For performance testing, as always I used both the Apex 500 and the Siberia 200 every day at my main PC. This way I spent time gaming on them like they were designed to do and it also gave me a chance to write with the M500 and listen to music and movies with the Siberia 200 while working. Let’s start with my experience with the Apex M500 though. I was really impressed with just how quickly I was able to jump into it. Having a completely standard layout meant no adjusting. The M500 at its core is a simple design and it fit well on my desk, not taking up any more room than needed. I love that they included Velcro straps on the cord, wrapping up the extra cord kept the clutter down as well
Typing on the Apex M500 went well also. The Cherry switches are rock solid of course. I prefer Cherry MX Browns so I will say I wish they had an option with those, but the reds aren’t to heavy and type well with their linear action. SteelSeries went with Cherry stabilizers as well on all of the longer modifier keys and surprisingly I didn’t have any issues there as well. I say that because as much as I love Cherry stabilizers for ease of swapping out keycaps, they do tend to chatter a little, especially when the keyboard is new and I didn’t experience this at all. I wasn’t able to dig inside but I have to wonder if they lubed them a little.
Last but not least I love the addition of backlighting. I would love to say that I’m a touch typer and for the most part I am. But there are still times when I do need to take a peek at where my hand is. This is especially true when putting in tough passwords and they fail. The backlighting was bright and having the legends on the top half of the key near the LED helps as well. Blue for lighting wouldn’t be my first pick, I think white like the RAW products or orange from the SteelSeries colors would both be other good options.
As for the Siberia 200’s, like I mentioned before they are physically the same headphones as the older Siberia v2’s with the exception of the changes in the cord design. That said I did still spend time testing them in various situations. I was at home putting them on right away because I’ve been using the Siberia v2’s with both my main PC and my LAN rig for years with the exception of recently where my LAN rig has a set of V-Modas and my main PC has had the H-Wireless for simplicity. That said I did notice right away that the Siberia 200’s earcups are a little smaller than the Siberia 350. The extra size helped keep those off my ears a little more where the Siberia 200’s to fit mostly on top of my ears. The memory foam padding still does wonders. The suspension design is also very comfortable. They weren’t perfect, you can tell the design has aged and I have had a few headsets recently that fit more comfortably, specifically I would love for the 200 to have the same larger cup size of the 350 and a little more padding as well. But the old design is still better than most gaming headsets out on the market for comfort.
As for audio performance the 50mm drivers sound good, especially with bass. They aren’t in the same class as a 200+ headphone but, like on the comfort side of things, they sound better than most gaming headsets on the market. The open air design lets you still pick up a little around you, so if you are listening for a doorbell or buzzer or if you need to keep an ear out on your kids you can.
The new cord design is a lot easier to work with than the short cord with the extra-long extension cord. I was able to plug the headset into my X7 without any issues, if you have your PC off your desk it might get a little tight though. Bundling in the adapter to go to one plug is nice as well for people like me with a laptop with a single plug as well as for people looking to use the Siberia 200 on their phone or PS4.