Danish peripheral manufacturer, SteelSeries, may have made a name for itself by producing gaming-centric keyboards and mice, but it has spent the last few years attempting to branch out into other areas of the gaming market. One of those areas has been headphones, with its Siberia line. This is a premium product that SteelSeries has improved further with the release of the Elite version.
The first impression of the Elite’s box is that it's big for a headset — surprisingly so. The black box is just for show, as opening it up reveals the headset in its more manageable retail packaging.
The headset comes in a stylish black box that is designed to be reused for storing or transporting the Elite. Although large in size, the headset is surprisingly light and makes use of a suspension design consisting of a leather headband.
The large footprint of the headset is due to the padded earpieces made from memory foam and covered in leather. The padding is large enough to comfortably cover the ears completely and help reduce surrounding noise.
Audio and microphone
The speakers used in the Elite are capable of a frequency range of 16-28 KHz and have an impedance of 32 Ohms. The key selling point is the inclusion of Dolby ProLogic IIx, which is designed to allow for up to 7.1 channel surround sound to be heard over the speakers, and scaling it up from 5.1 when available.
The Elite also comes with a retractable microphone, which can be pushed out of sight into one of the earpieces if not used. There is a handy LED indicator on the microphone to show when it's muted.
An included USB sound card, in the shape of a dongle, enables noise cancellation functionality for the microphone. This same dongle adds Dolby audio processing and controls the earpiece illumination when connected.
Both earpieces feature a customisable light. The included software allows for one colour to be displayed at a time, or a set of colours to rotate over a set interval.
The dongle for the Elite only has audio inputs and does not have any buttons or dials to control the headset. Instead, the dial on the right ear piece is used to adjust the volume level, while another dial on the left earpiece mutes the microphone.
The headset itself is wired and comes with a 1.2m cable, as well as an extension cable. An included plug adds a pair of 3.5mm jacks that splits the audio and microphone signal, and the dongle comes with inputs for these jacks as well.
The SteelSeries Siberia Elite is available now and retails for $248.99.