Hey gang, Valkor here. We have a couple more GameView pieces before we close out an amazing 2013 and I'm looking forward to a very exciting and promising 2014. And what better way to say sayonara to 2013 than with one amazing gaming company, who thus far has shown TOV and the world that they're all about being the best – SteelSeries. They've scored the gold twice with the Siberia V2 and the Sensei gaming mouse. And now they're back to try for a trifecta with the Siberia Elite Gaming Headset for PC, MAC, iOS, and Android… iOS and Android? This is about to get interesting.
The Siberia Elite is built similar to the Siberia V2, but with more beef to it. The Elite provides the same suspension headband as the V2, only with a comfort strip that has thicker padding (memory foam) that's just below a metal rig. The earcups are fully enveloped in plush padding foam and they're large enough to fully encase your ears, which provide an amazing level of noise cancellation. On the right ear is your volume control and on the left is the mute/unmute dial. The microphone is retractable, which it and the earcups illuminate. And through the use of the SteelSeries Engine 3 app, you can customize the colors, choosing amongst 16.7 million shades. Not only can you play with the colors but also the audio settings with the ten-band equalizer.
Because the headphones are fairly universal, you have several options for connecting the Elites to your preferred device. You get three attachments – a PC adapter, which includes a connector for the audio and microphone ports, a 3.5mm mobile adapter allowing you to plug into any portable device (i.e. smartphone or tablet), and a USB soundcard to give you an audio boost in sound quality. There's also an extension cable in case you need some distance between you and your device.
When testing, I ran the gamut of not just gaming but movies and music as well. On the gaming side I took Telltales "The Walking Dead" and Path of Exiles for a spin. For music I sampled a couple of beats at different rates and with film I went with both digital and physical vids. And given the inclusion of a mobile adapter, The Galaxy Note 3 and latest entry into the Val-cave repertoire the Nexus 7, were taken for a spin. And the end result?
SteelSeries have scored another slam dunk in the audio department with the Siberia Elite headphones. First up the level of comfort is astounding; I thought the over-size, over thickness of the earcups would be a hindrance, maybe they'll feel too tight, but after some extensive wear I found that out to be untrue. The Siberia Elites are quite comfortable and don't feel heavy even after prolong use. The audio quality is just as amazing as the comfort; The Walking Dead is dialogue heavy and voices carry through crisp and clear as if the characters are right next to you. Playing Path of Exiles and watching some of my favorite action films, The Elites handles left/right audio cues amazingly well; stuff that sounds like it's coming from the either side of the screen or from a distance are accurate and sound incredible. Also bullets, sword slashes and all sorts of sound effects just pop from these headphones. With music, you can turn it up to the max with no distortion; of course your ride may vary depending on your settings but no matter the audio quality I tried, everything played to perfection. Bonus: do yourself a favor and plug in the USB soundcard and really give your ears a treat. I haven't heard my music and gaming sound so good since the Creative XMOD. Finally, having the ability to play with the colors is a nice touch but you can't really see your handy work. However if you're using the Elites during competitive play or with friends you'll have a great time as the effect looks so damn cool.
The microphone is the Elites only negative; voice crackles or don't come through at all with my Skype/mobile use. I had my issues with the V2 but not on this level.
Save for the poor quality in the microphone's audio, the SteelSeries Siberia Elite Gaming headphones scores the gang another TOV gold ribbon; though the price is up there (retail $199) you're getting exceptional audio with an amazing level of comfort. And out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving the Siberia Elite a 4.5.