Audio Quality and Comfort
While it’s important to save money where you can when your budget is tight, the last thing you want to do is pick up a product and not have it perform up to your expectations. To make sure this doesn’t happen I have been using the Siberia RAW Prism for the past week for all of my gaming, work, and everyday computing. Doing this gives me the best idea of what to expect from the headset over long periods of time comfort wise and it gave me a chance to test the audio performance under various situations. So how did it perform?
Well let’s start on the comfort side of things. Actually, with the loss of the suspension headband I really was not optimistic for their comfort performance. Surprisingly they were actually very comfortable though. The soft padding didn’t press and cause discomfort over long periods of time and the perforated fabric covering it did a good job of keeping my ears cool. In fact I didn’t really have any heat issues, this rarely happens, even with some of the best headsets on the market my ears warm up. I think the biggest help for the comfort was the RAWs lightweight, there very much to them and that translated to less pushing on your head.
When using the Siberia RAW Prisms day to day I didn’t have any issues with the length of the cord. The microphone didn’t get in my way obviously due to their stubby microphone and I only had to turn the microphone up about half way for everyone to be able to hear me in Teamspeak. I did run into a bit of a problem though, with the microphone being that close it picks up on the audio playing through your headphones. This is made even worse because the headphones don’t really hold audio in as well, so I really had to tweak my microphone settings to get it to not pick up the headphones. To give you a way to test for this, go into your settings and turn your microphone to listen mode. If you get a high pitched running noise after making a noise then your microphone is picking up your headphone audio. I was able to get that ringing noise with the microphone set to 44% and the audio turned up to anything over 25%. A little feedback isn’t the end of the world as long as you know that anyone who is listening to you talk might also be able to hear your audio sounds. That means you might not want to listen to anything embarrassing when gaming with your friends for example. Using push to talk if you can with the RAWs should help keep that embarrassment to a minimum.
Last but not least, what about the audio performance? I was actually extremely impressed over the course of the week of testing. With budget headsets I don’t really have high expectations but they weren’t far off from what I have seen from the Siberia V2’s. They were clear, loud, and did everything you will need them too do. In game I was especially impressed but day to day they kept up as well. When doing music testing they fell a little flat on both bass and on highs when listening to songs like Rap God from Eminem that hit everything at once. A little tweaking on the EQ helped on the highs but the lows are limited by the small enclosure size of the RAWs earcups. When compared to gaming headsets in the same price range I think that SteelSeries is on point where they should be.