Steelseries Siberia 350 review

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Gaming headsets are a dime a dozen these days. With the industry saturated with options from low-end, cheap options to the luxury, expensive options, manufacturers must find a way to make their product stand out. Finding a balance between quality and price can be tough, and often, especially in the case of built-in mic headsets, one feature is sacrificed for another.

The Siberia 350, the newest introduction to the Siberia line from Steelseries, is no exception. This mid-range gaming headset definitely rises to the occasion in almost all aspects, but it falls just short of being perfect. When looking at a gaming headset, I look at three aspects: comfort, sound quality, and mic quality. If one of these is off, it may make the difference between me making the purchase or keep shopping. How does the 350 stack up in these aspects and where does it fall short?

Comfort

First, let’s talk about how comfortable the Siberia 350s are. Having a comfortable headset can mean the difference between an awesome long gaming session or a horrible short gaming session. The Siberia 350 headset should be the benchmark of comfort for headsets. They have a suspended design so there is no adjusting for size, instead, the headband is on bungees and allows the ear cups to fall naturally onto your ears. This also means that the weight of the headset is on your head, not your face. My go-to pair is comfortable as well, however, with the standard headset, the design and the over-the-ear cups, the weight tends to rest on my jaw and temple causing some fatigue. The 350s alleviate that problem so much I actually forget I am wearing them.

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The ear cups are extremely comfortable as well. They fit over my ears no problem, even with my glasses one. In some headsets, I have experienced the cups pinning my glasses frame between my ear and the side of my head. After a while, this causes some discomfort and I have to begin to regularity adjust to alleviate that. With the Siberia 350s, I did not have this problem and was able to have them on for hours.

Sound Quality

Gaming with a great sounding headset vs. a mediocre one could mean the difference of getting a jump on your opponents before they get a jump on you. It is safe to say that no one will be getting the jump on you with the Siberia 350 headset. I tested them out while playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and The Division. While playing CS:GO, I was able to hear opponents coming down a hallway or around a corner before they were even in site. The sound gives you total immersion and provides surround sound causing you to feel like you are in the game. While walking down the streets of New York in The Division, I was able to hear those pesky Cleaners down an ally far before they even saw me coming.

Engine 3, the software available from the Steelseries website, allows you to fine-tune the sound quality and balance yourself. You can also use the preset settings and turn on/off the dynamic sound feature if you would like. I played around with these settings while watching a movie, and I was blown away at the sound quality. It was like having a surround sound system strapped to my head. I was able to feel like I was on the set of the show or movie if I wanted, or if I wanted just more background noise, I could turn off the surround setting and just have it be more 2-D sounding.

Mic Quality

Sounding good over the mic is more than just your opponents being able to hear your trash talk clearly, you also want your team to be able to hear you which in games like CS:GO could be the difference between that big W or lots of salt. This is where the Siberia 350 falls a bit short. While playing online, my team reported that my voice sounded a bit tinny and compressed at times. While they were still able to hear me, it did throw them off a bit every time I talked. This wasn’t the case every time, but it was enough to show a bit of inconsistency in the sound quality. Not something that is looked at fondly, especially if you stream.

Design

In addition to the suspended design, the side of the ear cups is equipped with customizable LED lights. The color can be activated or deactivated as well as customized via the Steelseries software. However, the color is not quite as true as some other RGB headsets. The colors tend to come out a bit more on the pastel side or just not true to the color chosen. For example, red looks more like a bright orange while orange looks more like a yellow color. This may not be that big of a deal to you, it wasn’t to me, but if you are a fan of having all your LED’s match on your rig, this may not be the best option.

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One awesome feature of the design is the mic is actually retractable. When not in sue, you can retract the mic back into the headset so it is out of the way and easier to take with you to LAN parties. It is also nice when you just want to use it for watching a movie and don’t want that mic in your face. The rest of the mic is built with high quality materials and feels solid. The cord is complete with a volume control wheel and uses a USB connection to connect to your PC.

Final Reaction

Overall the Siberia 350 is an excellent headset and would be a great upgrade from one of the lower end options out there. However the sound quality of the mic is something to be considered, in addition to the pale coloring of the ear cups (if that is something that you care about). Where the headset lacks in mic quality, it makes up for in comfort and sound quality. I could literally wear these for hours, with glasses, and not only be comfortable, but I will more than likely forget I even have them on (this is a true thing that has happened). The sound is awesome and more than once gave me a leg up during game play. When it comes down to it, the sound of the mic is something that would ultimately prevent me from purchasing it.

Rating: 3.5/5 Atom

NR 3_5 Atoms - B-

 

 

The Siberia 350 is available now for $119.99 and is compatible with PC, Mac, and PS4. To learn more visit the product page here.

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