The SteelSeries Siberia v2 is one of the venerable old men of the audio landscape. With its suspension headband and solid sound, it's been a go-to of many players for years and years and years.
This year SteelSeries decided to refresh its entire headset line though, introducing the RAW Prism on the low-end and an updated version of the Elite on the high-end. And smack dab in the middle? The Siberia v3.
To outward appearances, the v3 didn't change much. This is the same minimalist, floating-headband design that made the v2 such a hit. I'm not a huge fan of the plastic feel of the set, as it comes across a little dainty and low-budget compared to some other offerings. On the other hand, this is the most lightweight headset. Seriously, if you're the type of person that needs to play games for ten hours at a time there's no device more comfortable than the v3.
You could also take these out on the street for ten hours at a time, thanks to the unimposing retractable microphone — though I make no claims to the v3's overall durability and street-readiness. Both the plastic hoops and the floating headband feel fragile, but I didn't exactly want to test that by dropping it on the floor a bunch of times.
The Siberia design is timeless. It's one of the classiest headsets on the market, and it's got the comfort to match. Under the hood SteelSeries made some major changes though, upgrading the drivers to the now-standard 50mm and redesigning the earcups to have more space.
I actually found the earcups a bit too loose now, lacking a firm seal, but that's a small trade-off if the alternative is a vice-grip on my jaws.
The new earcups also seem to add a bit of echo/distance to sounds, which I found unpleasant. This is especially noticeable in the mid-range. On the plus side, there's more directionality to sounds on the v3. It's not "surround sound" enabled, but in terms of stereo headsets this is one of the better ones when it comes to pinpointing movements — for instance, the sound of an alien stalking you through air vents.
For 50mm drivers, the Siberia v3 is also surprisingly restrained in its bass. Don't get me wrong, this is still a gaming headset and there's definitely a bass presence cutting across some of the mids, but compared to something like the Cavimanus this is a decent out-of-the-box sound. The highs actually suffer the most, getting muddled on the top-end and ruining some of the punch of gunshot noises. Music sounds best in sections where the bass cuts out and gives the mids room to breathe.
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