Out of all the headphones I’ve reviewed here on Console Monster, the SteelSeries Siberia v2 has been one of my favourites. Although a wireless option would be preferred, as a wired headset, the v2 has been my go-to headset of choice, and is one I continue to use regularly in the workplace. Learning that the v3 is now available I was intrigued to find out how such a great headset could be improved; so here I am again, with a Siberia v3 donning my cranium, and some words on how this baby rocks my ears.
Sliding out from a very similar box to the v2, only two main components come into hand, the headset itself and a simple extender cable – replacing the chunky mute-switched extension cable from the v2 – in its place is a simple stereo/microphone 3.5mm cable. The separate audio and microphone connectors have been merged on the v3, into one 3.5mm jack on the main cable, whilst the extension cable allows you to split these back out into individual connectors for those that need them to be separate – such as for PC sound cards for example.
The single-line cable, which exits from the left side of the headset, is more durable and longer than the v2, allowing it to be just short enough to be tidy, yet long enough to plug into places without feeling restricted or being that little bit too intimate with your audio source. The extension cable gives you an additional ~2 metres to your cable freedom, but for me I’ve always been a fan of the short cable and I have no need for the extension cable unless it’s for desktop use – where the extension allows you to comfortably reach the back of a floor-standing PC or into the back of an iMac without cables interfering with your keyboard typing.
New to the v3 is the relocated mute switch. No longer positioned on the extension cable, the mute switch can now be found on the left side ear-cup. A simple toggle up and down will turn the microphone on or off – no dedicated mic volume controls here, sadly.
Coming in white or black options, the headset itself feels just as comfortable as the v2 does, with the memory-foam ear-cup cushions providing a good enough amount of sound isolation. Like the v2, the v3 also features over-ear ear-cups, and to me, the diameter of the ear-cups feel slightly bigger. So people with bigger ears will enjoy that, however with a more roomy ear-cup, I came across a slight stereo positioning issue, that I will come on to later.
The v3 carries over the same self-adjusting suspension head band for positioning the headset on the top of your head. This is my preferred method and is probably why I loved the v2 over the many other fixed-banned headsets I have reviewed. The v3 feels more sturdy than its older models and it appears a little larger, giving greater comfort during those long gaming/music sessions.
The retractable microphone boom from the v2 returns with a slight adjustment to its size, as well as the boom arm’s reach – this could be possibly due to the slightly bigger ear-cups, as I mentioned earlier. With a 3.5mm connector, and no 2.5mm adapter, SteelSeries has ruled out any Xbox compatibility (an Xbox One version is coming soon). Like the v2, this headset supports PC/Mac, PS4, mobiles and tablets – anything that uses a 3.5mm connector. With the updated Xbox One controller, with its 3.5mm interface, the v3 may also see some compatibility here for Microsoft’s console, however I am unsure if the microphone will work with it.
The v2’s retractable microphone boom wasn’t something worth writing home about, yet the v3 does have some slight improvements in this area, with recorded audio sounding clear and crisp, but nothing ground breaking. Muting the microphone is as simple as sliding the switch located on the left ear-cup as well as stowing away the retractable microphone boom back into the ear-cup.
So how does the v3 sound? Well, in short, absolutely great! The v2 already shone in the audio department, and the v3 serves up much more of the same with an even greater punch in the bass department, thanks to its redesigned acoustical chamber, updated speaker drivers and the slightly larger ear-cups.
I mentioned earlier that there was a sound positioning issue with these larger ear-cups. What I meant by that was, that with my small ears, I found they could easily sit just outside the speaker’s ‘sweet spot’ (in the middle of ear-cup) which resulted in some slightly off-balanced stereo definition. On my first listen I thought the left ear-piece volume wasn’t level, but after repositioning the left ear-cup to find that sweet spot, everything then balanced out more evenly. It is a small niggle, and people with larger ears than myself shouldn’t suffer as much with this problem as I have.
Although lighter in weight, the build quality of the v3 feels much more solid than the v2. I’ve been using the v2 almost daily for a solid 2-3 years and they still feel as good as the day I got them, so with the v3’s stronger build, I am self-assured that the v3 will serve me for many more years to come.
SteelSeries has done a sterling job in taking their fantastic v2 headset, tweaked it and refined it into something I wouldn’t have thought possible. The Siberia v3 headset oozes the same comfort that can have you gaming for hours without any discomfort, whilst being enveloped in a wave of warm audible goodness. If you’re looking to upgrade your Siberia v2 headset, then the v3’s improved build quality, deeper bass and ear-cup mounted mute switch are all features that qualifies this headset as a worthy replacement. Whether it is gaming you’re doing or even music, the SteelSeries Siberia v3 has your ears (quite literally) covered.