SteelSeries Siberia V2 Headset Review

It’s very rare that a set of cans, or stonkin’ great headphones, will replace my beloved Roland RH300s for any length of time. But the Siberia V2 has done just that. Admittedly, the Rolands are wearing out somewhat from sheer excessive use, so I welcome another set to step in and hold the flame for a while.

The SteelSeries Siberia V2 is the aesthetic successor to the original SteelSeries Siberia headset which I looked at waaay back in 2007. Rest assured, however, that the Siberia V2 borrows nothing more than the aesthetic from its older sibling and represents a complete overhaul of the headset, including the inclusion of a built-in, tuck-away microphone making it, this time around, truly a headset.

The Siberia V2 look better and sound better than their predecessor, the sound quality difference is very pronounced when doing a direct comparison (I still have the V1s to test again) and the V2 really make the originals sound terrible by comparison. Along with better sound quality comes a better microphone, the Siberia V2 boasts an extremely discrete microphone which pulls out of the left cup when you need to use it, and stows away as a discrete little bump when you’re just chilling out to some obscenely loud tunage. For something touted as a highly optimised gaming headset, the Siberia V2 sure does deliver a stunning music listening performance. With no “custom engineered soundscape” to enhance gameplay sound effects and mar music fidelity (like the very gaming-focussed SteelSeries 5h headset), this really is an all-round headset that, unless you have serious objections to wearing obnoxious cans out and about, should fit a diverse variety of listening scenarios easily.

The V2 not only make a great out-and-about headset but also, with the relevant adaptor, can be used for on-the-go voice notes/calls with a compatible phone. This is a slightly bizarre combo, and pulling out the discrete microphone to answer a call may warrant some stares. Also, the adaptor is pretty back to basics. It lacks any method by which you can pick up a call or start Voice Control, although the ‘phones themselves do include an inline volume control and Microphone mute switch which are handy for turning down the music you’re listening to without having to root about in your pocket or bag for the audio source. An adaptor to supply inline controls, microphone input and audio out would be infinitely more useful, but sadly SteelSeries haven’t quite stepped up to the plate here.

I received the limited edition Red Siberia V2 headset to review. This is one set of cans that elicits laughs, mockery, turned heads and more when you’re out and about. But there’s something empowering about appearing to wear an accessory out of a Transformers cartoon on your head and, frankly, not give a damn about what anyone thinks. The Siberia V2 definitely makes a bold statement, the Red ones even more so, and they make enough noise to match, too. If you like to be noticed, then you’ll really like these.

Just like the original Siberia headset, the V2 have a peculiar over-head design that sees the main structure of the headphones raised above your head, and a small, soft, spring-loaded pad actually sits atop your head to keep them from slipping down. This makes them feel lighter and more comfortable from some of the more serious cans I’ve tried, and they’re much less stuffy, too, making for greater comfort in hot weather and during marathon gaming sessions.

For gamers, there’s also a Siberia-to-Xbox 360 adaptor which uses a peculiar setup of mixing the audio from the headphone port of your television with the headphone output audio of your Xbox 360 controller. It’s an interesting setup that’s slightly heavy on the cables, but it works. Sadly, however, not every TV out there has a headphone socket for some bizarre reason, and our Xbox 360 writer John owns one such television- d’oh!

Overall, the V2 represent a great value for money and can be used in all sorts of situations, providing you don’t mind sporting absurdly silly cans out in public. From PC gaming, to console gaming, to music listening, to phone calls and Skype on your iPhone. Almost £70 may seem like a steep price, but the fact is that you’re not going to get half-way decent sound without spending a few notes, £70 for a gaming headset combined with out-and-about music listening ‘phones isn’t a bad deal.

If red isn’t your flavour, then you’ll be pleased to know that the SteelSeries V2 are available in black and white too.

Red SteelSeries Siberia V2 – £67.99 delivered from Play.com

White SteelSeries Siberia V2 – £67.99 delivered from Play.com

Red SteelSeries Siberia V2 – £67.99 delivered from Play.com