SteelSeries has stuck with the 5H as their flagship headset for some time now so it was kind of a surprise when they announced the 7H a few months ago. Not wasting any time I made it known multiple times that I was very interested to take a look at their newest flagship headset. It's hard not to get a little excited, we enjoyed the Siberia v2 series when we tested them and we know their 5H series has a large following as well. What could possibly follow in those large footsteps?
Product Name: SteelSeries 7H Headset
Review Sample Provided by: SteelSeries
Review by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
18 - 28.000 Hz
SPL@ 1kHz, 1 Vrms:
1,0 + 2,0 = 3,0 m (9,8 ft.)
50 - 16.000 Hz
Pick up pattern:
Steel Series may be consistently evolving their products but their packaging hasn’t changed much over the past few years and the 7H is no different. The front of the packaging has a large window giving full view of over half the headset. Around back there are pictures of the 7H, but more importantly you can find a specification listing for both the headphones and microphone. Just below the specifications they have a small diagram of the 7H and all of the included parts, each has a description attached to it. Inside the headset was secured by twist ties onto a felt covered formed plastic tray. Behind the tray you will find instructions on swapping ear cup pads, a Steel Series sticker, a extension cord for both the microphone and headphone plugs, cloth ear cup pads, and the headset’s micro USB to 3.5mm cable.
Some of you may remember how comfortable the Siberia v2 was and it's going to be tricky for Steel Series to top them. Putting the 7H on for the first time I had to adjust the headband to fit my large head, one of the best parts of the Siberia was its auto-adjusting headband. With the headband adjusted, I wasted no time to jumping into a game of Alien Swarm. I noticed right away that the cups fit a little tight against my head and the design of the 7H doesn’t allow for any adjustment. Outside of that problem, the 7H was very comfortable. The headband has a thick padding which keeps pressure off the top of your head during extended play sessions.
The ear cups have a swivel which helps the cups fit firmly around your ears. Steel Series provided both synthetic leather and cloth ear cups giving you options on both the 7H’s comfort and how much outside noise you will hear. Overall the comfort of the 7H was great, but a step below the amazing Siberia v2’s.
Full size over the ear headsets are my favorite. Not only are they comfortable, but they also always seem to have a full rich sound. The 7H is no different. Their 18 - 28.000 Hz Frequency response covers well over what the human ear can pick up, basically you won’t miss a single sound. Listening to Eminem and Rihanna’s song “Love the Way You Lie” showed off the 7H’s ability to hit the lows while still having crisp highs. The audio quality of the 7H when listening to music was truly impressive. In game it was no different. Not only was the audio quality top notch but the directionality in game is great as well. The 7H’s audio quality is where it shows why this is Steel Series’s flagship headset. In fact my biggest problem was finding MP3’s of the higher quality in my collection. What sounded good last week is now clearly inferior.
Swapping out the ear cup pads was a little troublesome at first, but wasn’t too difficult. Swapping them out was like pulling out a cork. The original synthtic leather pads block out all outside noise while the cloth pads let in just enough to let you know if someone is at the door.
The microphone performance is also top notch. I always loved the flexible and hide-able microphones in Steel Series headsets; the 7H sports the same design with a few changes. The new design is a little smaller and includes a few ribs on the outside to make it easier to hold on too while adjusting.
The removable cord is a nice design feature too (I have ruined a few headsets by catching the cord). My only concern is with the micro USB plug. I have seen this connection fail on a few cell phones after extended use. I would hate to see what would happen with a sharp tug in the wrong direction. Maybe in the future a strong magnetic connection would be a better choice. In-line with the cord is the volume control and microphone mute switch. The microphone switch is difficult to bump but also a little hard to toggle. In fact during testing I think I may have damaged it with my Hulk-like strength by squeezing it too tightly. Despite this it seems to still work fine. The volume control was easy to use and never once gave me any issues. The inclusion of the cord extender is nice because it gives you the option to have a short cord or long cord. This is a prime example of Steel Series really listening to their customers' needs and trying their best to cater to them.
I was excited to see what Steel Series had to offer with its new 7H and I was not disappointed. I did have a few issues; first was with fit because of the large size of my head. I also had some issues with the microphone switch. But those issues are nothing compared to the amazing audio quality of the 7H. At just under $130 this isn’t a cheap headset but you are no doubt getting your money’s worth. Although, if you have a large head like me, you may want to consider the Siberia v2 instead. Especially if you are worried about fit but it’s hardly a deal breaker. Just remember, it's always great to have a second option.