Audio Quality and Comfort
Lets be honest, when gaming a lot of us tend to stay in game for much longer than you even intend too. Anyone who has played a Civilization game will know what I mean when I said a lot of times we end up sitting for just one more turn over and over. In the end that means that on top of good audio performance, it is really important that our headsets be comfortable for extended use. Even some of the most comfortable headsets can get a little uncomfortable after hours and hours. The Siberia V2 was one of the more comfortable headsets, a lot of that was due to its suspension headband design. So my expectations were very high when I went into testing of the Siberia V3’s. My wife and I both took a pair and we spent the weekend at a LAN. She spent the entire time gaming where I ended up getting in a mix of gaming along with me spending far too much time watching a few football games and doing a little writing. This gave me a great chance to see how the Siberia V3 performed.
Audio quality testing was easy. When hooked up to the kick ass audio card in the Asus Z97 Impact I was really able to get into my games. The mids and highs didn’t really change, nor did they need too. The larger internal capacity in the redesigned earcups did help the 50mm drivers put out more bass. On top of that, from what I can tell SteelSeries closed off the open air design, this helped with the bass as well but caused its own issues. I will talk about those at the end of this section though. In the end I found the audio performance to be improved over the Siberia V2’s but if you don’t like a lot of bass in your music or your gaming you might have to dig into the settings and dial things down a bit.
For comfort testing things took a lot longer, like I said its easy to make a headset that is comfortable for a short period of time, making it just as comfortable hours into a game can be much harder. For starters, the V3 feels slightly smaller than before. It wasn’t small enough to be an issue but my big head is close to as large as you would comfortably want to be. This obviously wasn’t an issue for my wife. I really didn’t notice it to much once I got used to the V3’s but when flipping between the V3’s and V2’s I could tell.
The New earcup padding is comfortable for extended gaming sessions and as expected it fit around my ears comfortably. For me, the worst thing that a headset can do is push on my ears, this is why I like larger headsets. Smaller headsets are fine for a while, but over time small headsets ALWAYS end up causing me a little ear pain. This is obviously a preference, but thankfully SteelSeries has done a good job keeping these large enough. SteelSeries dropped a little plastic and metal here and there with their new design, while I’m not a fan of how those changes make the headset look, the lighter design helps improve comfort as well, the less weight on your head the less amount of pressure
A lot of times when gaming I will take one earcup off, especially when my ears start to warm up. I put down the flexibility of the new design a little in the previous section but honestly it didn’t end up being too bad of a thing when the Siberia V3’s are in use. The extra flexibility made pulling one ear off at a time more comfortable. I was a little worried that the extra flexibility might mean less durability as well but I was able to twist the Siberia V3’s way beyond any normal use without any issues.
So I mentioned before that I wanted to talk a little more about a design change that they didn’t really talk about on the product page for the Siberia V3. From what I can tell, on top of changing to new sound absorbing earcup padding, they also closed off the earcup design. This without a doubt did improve the audio performance. With that said, it was a little disappointing going in expecting to be able to hear outside noise like previous Siberia headsets only to have it be well insulated. With the outside design having vent holes that normally insinuates that it is an open air design. This really only becomes an issue for people who need to be able to hear outside noise, like people with children. It’s not the end of the world by any means, I was just a little thrown off because the open air design was part of what made the Siebria’s unique from SteelSeries’ other headsets.
All in all though, I was very happy with the Siberia V3’s. They were comfortable and had great audio performance. Additionally, not only did the microphone perform well in my testing, but someone even noticed an increase in its quality with people I chat with day to day in Teamspeak.