SteelSeries Siberia 200 Headset Review
The SteelSeries Siberia line of headsets has to be one of the most popular gaming audio lines on the planet. They are actively engaged within the eSports community and they know exactly who their target audience is.
Because of this I would say they price this Siberia perfectly at $79 USD, which is that sweet spot for value gaming audio. The Siberia 200 is the successor to the Siberia V2, with 7 colour options available, and we have the Alchemy Gold version in our hands today.
Design & Build
The Siberia 200’s design follows in the footsteps of previous SteelSeries headsets, with a very familiar structural body, flexible adjustable headband, low profile tubes that carry the cable from one side to the other, and a very light and plastic construction that feels okay right now, but long-term might not hold up very well if it is treated roughly. The common issues with the Siberia V2 headset where the microphone issues or one of the sides not passing audio. It’s one of those things that SteelSeries says they are improving and from what I remember it feels practically identical to the V2.
The ear cups have a bit of swivel and the flexible structure will adjust according to your head. Now for me the size wasn’t an issue, but for individuals with wider head the clamping force will definitely be too tight. SteelSeries has done a great job with the thickness of the ear cushions, although I initially thought were way too thin my ears remained comfortable without touching the interior drive wall. Ear temperature was also not an issue, yes occasional air breaks are needed, but for the most part the Siberia 200 breathes a little bit.
I loved the low profile, hidden, and extendable microphone stashed away on the left. It is always on and it can be muted via the inline remote. That can also control the volume of the headset. I find it very convenient and it is a perfect length away from the headset. The one strange part I found is that at the lowest volume I can still hear the audio come through, so there is no way to mute the headphone completely unless it’s done through your source.
As far as what the microphone sounds like, the quality is absolutely atrocious. It will allow your teammates to hear you, but this is by far the weakest part on the Siberia 200. The cable is not braided, but it is very light and non-intrusive with separate mic and headphone jacks at the end. There is a splitter included, which is to be used on mobile or the combo jacks on notebooks.
Now the testing of this headset comes at the perfect time with the Fallout 4 release, which is a game that has a fantastic sound atmosphere. For reference, I first tried the game with the Sennheiser HD 800 to hear the soundstage, to hear all the elements and all the details within the environment, and then put on the Siberia 200’s just to see what was missing, what was the soundstage like, how was the bass responding, and just to see exactly how much detail would presented by this $79 headset compared to something more expensive. And honestly I was surprised and I satisfied with what I heard. That is because SteelSeries has always delivered a bright sound signature to pick up footsteps and create a situational awareness through a semi-wide soundstage, and this headset is no exception. Just walking in Fallout 4 and just closing my eyes I can feel the sense of scale, the decay, the blowing wind, and the distant firefights. The bass is sometimes overpowering, but during the majority of gameplay it complimented the action well enough.
Next it was time to jump into CS:GO to test my sound reflexes, and again the bright treble extension is excellent to detect incoming footsteps with good stereo separation that lets me feel the direction of incoming fire. That is all I can really ask for in a gaming headset. The soundstage is semi-wide, it’s not open, but that is okay. It actually preserves more audible detail, but in sacrifice of a more closed audio space.
Overall, the Siberia 200 manages to deliver a satisfactory audio experience for games. I do wish that SteelSeries would open up the ear cups for a wider soundstage, and I really have nothing to complain about in the audio spectrum at this price point. The bass is deep with occasional muffle, but as the full package this headset pretty much has it all. Having said that, they seriously need to improve the microphone quality of future headsets, because at a certain point a poor quality microphone is no longer going to be acceptable at any price point.
Buy items in this review from Amazon at the links below:
Amazon (US): http://amzn.to/1lw4cXs