For a long time SteelSeries has been a brand synonymous with PC gaming. Well known for its keyboards, mice, and gaming surfaces, the company is now expanding into the realm of headsets for next generation consoles.
We started off with the Siberia X/P 100, the letter determining which console it’s meant for, P for PlayStation and X for Xbox. Our representative notes that the 100s sport a more relaxed grip than some of the other headsets on the market, allowing you to play for more hours without needing to take a break.
Though it does come with an Xbox One chat adapter, that isn’t without drawbacks. The X 100 costs an entire $20 more than the P 100, thanks entirely in part due to the cost of including said controller dongle. It’s still cheaper than the $25 Microsoft usually charges, and though the company has announced a new controller that no longer requires these adapters, we don’t expect it to become standard anytime soon and SteelSeries probably doesn’t either.
That said, surprisingly there’s no boom mic on the 100 line. Rather, it has an “invisible onboard microphone” that supposedly allows you to focus more on the game than on the equipment. We’re a bit hesitant to believe it before we try it for ourselves. It’s also worth remembering that we’re dealing with a stereo headset here, so don’t go expecting surround sound.
A step above that is the X/P 300 line that costs a bit more at $130 and $100, respectively. According to SteelSeries, during blind testing, the 300 was chosen 3:1 over their competition. This doesn’t really come as a surprise to us. During our brief ears on, we noticed good sound quality worthy of the $100 price.
On top of that, these are clearly built for console gamers. The ear cushions go over, not on, the ears, and are padded with noise reducing memory foam. Combined with the suspension design, these headsets are ready for some abuse in the form of frequent removal and inevitable toss onto a table.
Something else more hardcore gamers would be pleased to hear is that there is actually a microphone for the 300s. It does however, extend out from one of the ear cuffs. While that’s fantastic news for some that are afraid to break them, it does feel a bit delicate whereas others might prefer something a little more sturdy.
At the top of the line we have the X/P 800s which are set to be a heavy competitor for best console headsets. Comparable to that of the Astro A50s, the 800 is 100% wireless. It does, however, sport one massive improvement: the inclusion of a separate battery. While one 20-hour lithium ion battery is utilized inside your headset, the other remains charging in the transceiver.
It fully supports 7.1 Dolby Digital surround sound including Dolby Headphone, Dolby Digital, and Dolby Pro Logic IIx. By far though, the biggest quality of life improvement is the OLED display on the transceiver. While you can get up and adjust various factors like volume, EQ, or the mix between volume and chat, you can also do so directly on the headset. So when you need to make changes on the fly, the display will let you know that you are indeed making your intended changes. It can also show you profiles, battery life, and more.
A five-band equalizer is fully supported for full control or you can just roll through the presets for differing types of entertainment. You can also opt in to independently controlling the ChatMix levels, allowing you to turn down you friends during an important cutscene or amp up their volume during a particularly important maneuver. Most will probably decide to automate this process with LiveMix that will turns up chat when the conversations start rolling and make sure your game is at optimal levels when it’s quiet as a cricket in the room.
All things considered, it will set you back a pretty penny. Xbox One owners have to shell out $330 while their PlayStation brethren just manage to come in under the $300 mark. Unsurprising considering the A50s have a similar price point.
That said, the X800 looks like it comes with a better hub complete with an additional battery and OLED display. Consider us excited.