SteelSeries Guild Wars 2 Gaming Headset

SteelSeries Guild Wars 2 Gaming Headset

Written by Travis Huinker on 10/19/2012 for PC  
More On: Guild Wars 2 Gaming Headset
The Guild Wars 2 Gaming Headset is a branded edition of the SteelSeries Flux that features logos on interchangeable side plates, red on-ear cushions, and cord. Most notable features of the headset include its 40mm stereo drivers, in-line microphone, shareable sound ability, and folding design for easy storage. Retailing for the suggested price of $100, the Guild Wars 2 Gaming Headset has big shoes to fill when compared with other hardware on the market. While the headset succeeds at delivering loud and clear audio reproduction, the headband proved bothersome after extended periods of usage.

SteelSeries Guild Wars 2 Gaming Headset Specifications
Frequency response: 18–28000 Hz
Impedance: 29 Ohm
SPL@ 1kHz, 1 Vrms: 118 dB
Cable length: 2m
Jacks: 3.5 mm
Frequency response: 50–16000 Hz
Pick up pattern: Omni-directional
Sensitivity: -38 dB

The headset's 40mm drivers delivered a powerful and rich audio reproduction in both the video game and movie tests. Most impressive was the ability to clearly separate sounds and avoid cheaper audio hardware's typically muddled audio. In-game tests for Counter Strike: Source, Borderlands 2, and Guild Wars 2 all performed well, producing a clarity of sounds ranging from gunfire barrages to subtle wind gusts. As with gaming, loud and explosive movies were a blast to watch due to the thumping stereo drivers. The music reproduction was not on par with games or movies, but still performed with above average results. The overarching problem with music was the loss of audio detail due to the overpowering bass level.

Gamers wishing to voice chat online with friends or guild members can rest assured that the in-line microphone performed exceptionally well during various online gaming sessions. Users can enable or disable the microphone by flicking a built-in mute switch, which stops unwanted sound from reaching the other end. Recipients of the microphone's audio reported that voice communication was clear, loud, and--most surprising--without any feedback or background noise. The problems of most in-line microphone hardware was nowhere to be found with the headset; instead it continually received and delivered clear voice chat.

Another noteworthy feature of the headphone is a set of connector ports, one on each of the earcups, that allows for the sound to be transferred to another user. This is particularly useful for sharing a song or movie with someone else while traveling or simply lounging at home. The two connector ports also enables the individual to decide which earcup to use for plugging the headset into their computer or particular media device.

With the headset's flux capability, users can actually bend the headband using the SteelSeries FluidFIT material. The headband can either be bent inward or outward to match the shape of a user's head. But even with the flux capability, you can strain the plastic material's parameters. The headset's natural shape has an unfavorable inward curve that becomes uncomfortable after a couple hours of usage, which seemed to be unsolvable with the flux capability. The cloth ear cushions did provide some relief for longer sessions, but never quite solved the discomfort caused by the headband's inward shape. At the headset's price point, it was disappointing that SteelSeries didn't opt for complete over-the-ear cushions that most likely would have solved the discomfort caused by the inward shape.

In regards to the build quality, the plastic components range from solid to flimsy. The headset employs an assortment of parts that never feel uniform in construction. Fortunately, the ear cushions featured a high quality cloth and leather mesh that isolated a majority of background noise. The other standout feature is the extra long 2m PC cable that separates into both audio and microphone connections. The cable's material is also prone to tangling, which is unhelpful when playing games or simply storing the headset. As for looks, the headset is far from subtle with its white headband and neon red ear cushions. The headset's visual appearance would have fared better with either an emblem or graphic from Guild Wars 2 versus a bland, licensed logo.

The Guild Wars 2 Gaming Headset from SteelSeries delivered a mixed experience in which both the audio and build quality differed in various aspects. Game and movie tests reproduced clear and loud audio, yet lacked in music due to overpowered bass and an overall flat performance. The most surprising features of the headset were the exceptional in-line microphone and tangle-prone PC cable. Unfortunately, the headset became uncomfortable when in use for extended sessions, especially with games and movies. In addition, the build quality was disappointing considering the high price tag of $100.

The Guild Wars 2 Gaming Headset is available now from SteelSeries.
The Guild Wars 2 Gaming Headset from SteelSeries does an admirable job of delivering exceptional audio reproduction for both video games and movies, yet lacks when playing music due to overpowering bass and flat performance. The headset's build quality exceeds with its impressive in-line microphone and tangle-prone PC cable. However, the plastic construction and uncomfortable inward curve of the headband makes for a disappointing experience when in use for extended sessions.

Rating: 7.4 Above Average

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

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I've been writing for Gaming Nexus since 2011 and focus primarily on PC games and hardware. I'm a strong advocate of independent developers and am always seeking the next genre-breaking and unique game release. My favorite game genres are strategy, role-playing, and massively multiplayer online, or any games that feature open worlds and survival elements. View Profile

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