Best SteelSeries Headphones Buying Guide

16 Jun 2017

Steel Series is basically an exclusive gaming headphones brand that releases headphones under different series names like Siberia and Arctis. The brand has been in business for many years and therefore has collected enough expertise in the particular line. Steel Series also have some of the best gaming headsets that are popularly used by the professional gamers. Their range is very wide which ensures that customers can easily get hold of the one suiting their requirements.

Steel series headphones always come with a suspension headband, thus making it very ideal for gaming. Some of the headphones also have an adjustable feature so that it snugly wraps around and contours the head. This keeps the headphones from coming off or slipping down thus preventing distractions during the gaming sessions.

This feature has been widely appreciated since the headphones were first released in the market. Steel series also has many other attractive features like the ergonomic design where you can control the volume without having the pause. This is made possible by the installation o volume controls on the side cups. The headphones also have a unique style and good finishing. Above all, the steel series headphones have great audio output as well as a very receptive microphone. The audio has a very wide range so that even the softest of the sounds are heard with much clarity. The sound produced is brilliant and crisp, with the clear bass that does not sound too harsh. The headphones are able to catch on to both the high and the low tones without making them too overpowering.

Most of the headphones from steel Siberia use the Dolby headphones technology that uses state of the art technology to deliver a rich sound quality. Since the brand is always using state of the art technology, every time a new headphone gets released, they are usually integrated with many amazing new features. This puts steel series in a big competition with the entire leading headphones producer from all over the world.

The latest headphones from steel series are using sound surround technology that creates a virtual 3 dimensional sound replication so that the user will get to know exactly which direction the sound are coming from. This could help the players to build a great team coordination and also assess where the enemies are coming from. This feature would help the players to plan their moves and counterstrikes accordingly, thus creating a very engaging gameplay. The general range for steel series headphones is 10 to 28000 Hz.

This wide range makes sure that the wearer can actually hear every little detail like the loading of a gun or slight footsteps and even feel the regular thumping of the bass. To top it all, the player will get to hear the sounds exactly as intense by the developer. It is no wonder that steel series are said to provide the most intense and realistic gaming experience.

There are other useful designs used in the steel series headphones, namely the retractable microphone. The microphones usually have a highly flexible rotating cord that can be swiveled around till the desired position is reached. You can also remove the microphone when they are no longer needed. Depending on the design, you may just slide the microphone up the headband or have it detached from the ear cup. For the maximum comfort of the wearer, the ear cups are padded with soft padding cushions. These not only feel very soft on the ears but also provide great noise cancellation by completely blocking out the outside sound. This recreates a totally isolated sound system within the ear cups thus proving crystal clear sound.

The brand, however, does not have a reliable customer support. For any doubt clearances, you can check the frequently asked questions at the steel series official website. But for further inquiries, you will have to personally approach the representatives via email, which they should respond to in a timely manner.

Different types of steel series headphones

On-ear headphones

These headphones have relatively smaller headphones that sit right over the outer ear. They only cover the ear canal as opposed to the entire ear. These headphones could be ideal for both indoor and outdoor use as they have a closed back and are also not very bulky. However, when it comes to the sound quality, they do not properly seal off the outside noise, thus giving moderate sound quality.  The bass may also not feel clear enough if too much noise gets filtered into the ear cups. However, the greater advantage with using on-ear headphones is that they are very lightweight and do not cause any pain on the ear and neck. They are also very versatile when it comes to usage. Some of these headphones are also collapsible for the ease of carrying around.

Over the ear headphones

Over the ear headphones are very large and their ear cups cover the entire ear. Because of the build and the design, most of the times these headphones are only appropriate to be used in the indoor conditions. When coupled with the right headphones technology, over the ear headphones can also provide excellent noise cancellation. Most top notch gaming headphones from the steel series belong to this category.

Due to the bulk, these headphones may not feel very comfortable if continuously worn for a long duration. However, steel series has given a new definition to this category of headphones by integrating extremely lightweight designs, padded ear cups, and headbands. This makes sure that the headphones do not cause discomfort over long gaming sessions. This also prevents the throbbing pressure points which generally lead to headaches.

These headphones may actually be comfortable for the gamers as the ear pad totally cover the ears and the diaphragms sit away from the ear thus preventing unnecessary tension. This also creates enough space for the sound to reflect naturally. Although these headphones are actually designed for gaming purposes, you can also connect them to your PC and smart phone and use them for watching movies or listening to music.

Closed back headphones

The closed back headphones have closed ear cups, thus creating an isolated system within the ear cups. This makes sure that the outside sound does not reach inside the ear cups and also that no noise gets leaked outside of the headphone. Since they are great at dampening the outside nose, they offer excellent noise cancellation.

Open back headphones

Open back headphones have only recently made it into the line of steel series headphones. They look very similar to the closed back headphones. However, the back of the ear cups has an open mesh so that you can clearly see all the circuitry on the inside of the ear cups. The major advantage of open back headphones is that it allows the air to circulate freely in and out of the ear cups so that there is no extra heating or warming. It also allows the ambient noise from outside to get inside the headphones without affecting the quality of sound produced by the audio system.

The open back does not affect even the sensitive sounds like a low bass. Therefore, you can hear the crystal clear sound that is produced by the headphones while also the sound filtering in from the room. Although gamers have disputes over whether the open back or the closed back should be the most ideal for gaming, getting to hear the outside noise will make sure that you do not get to carry so as not to hear anything that is happening outside even when there is a crisis going on.

Wireless headphones

Wireless headphones are the same over ear headphones, minus the wire part. This makes it easier to use the headphones both indoors as well as outdoors. They are exceptionally convenient to be used in rushed subways, trains or buses s you can walk freely without having to worry about the wires getting entangled. These headphones are also excellent to be used in gyms.

Behind the neck headphones

Steel series has a few over ear headphones with adjustable headbands that can be pushed back so as to be used as behind the neck headphones. These types of headphones do not put stress on the head. However, the choice of the headphones also depend upon consumer preference, one major drawback with using the neck headphones is that you can rest your head or sleep with these headphones on as it will displace the ear cups.

Active and passive noise cancellation headphones

Steel series is one the best supplier of noise canceling headphones. Noise cancellation is when the outside noise does not get into the headphones. It could be of two types – active and passive noise cancellation.

Active noise canceling headphones have a microphone inside the ear cup which collects the outside noise. The audio system then produces sound waves opposite to the outside noise so that the two get canceled and the wearer only hears the sound coming from the game. Passive noise canceling headphones are those that make use of thick padding to block out the outside noise.

Things to consider when buying Steel Series headphones

Platform

The first and the foremost thing to consider when buying a steel series headphones is to find out the compatibility of the headphones with different gaming platforms and also the games that you are going to play.

Comfort

Depending on how long you are going to be using the headphones, you may go for the ones that provide normal comfort or extra comfort. If you are looking for the gaming headsets that are to be used for a sufficiently longer period of time, you can go for the lightweight ones with super soft foam padded ear cups and padded headbands. Some of the models also use leather lining on the ear cups so that it does not cause irritation on the skin.

Microphone

Almost all the steel series headphones have an attached microphone. The difference is that some of these are retractable while others are not. Having a retractable microphone makes sure that it does not get in your way when you no longer needed it. So depending on your preference, you go for either of the two.

Open/closed

Steel series headphones have both the open and closed back styles. Both are great when it comes to the sound production. However, open air headphones do not always provide optimum noise cancellation. While choosing in between the two, you should also consider the environment they are going to be used in.

Durability

When you buy a set of headphones, you always expect them to give a good lasting. So choose the models that seem to be durable enough. The padding and the material used for headbands, all go into determining how strong a headphone is.

Sound quality

Different steel series headphones have different audio range. Some have smaller ranges, thus eliminating many low tunes. Then there are high-end headphones with a range of 10 to 28,000 Hz, designed exclusively for professional gaming.

Spare parts

For your satisfaction, always check the free spare parts that are provided with the headset. This will prevent any disappointments in the future.

Steel Series Arctis 5 RGB Illuminated Gaming Headset

  • The headphones use a clear cast microphone that is known for the excellent background noise cancellation, thus delivering excellent clarity and studio quality voice.
  • The headphones can be attached or detached to a USB soundcard with Chatmix. This allows the user to have different volume settings for the headset audio and the microphone volume.
  • Uses S1 speakers and DTS Headphone: X 7.1 surround sound
  • The stereo studio is available on Mac, PS4, VR, Switch, Xbox One, and Mobile.
  • The headphones are designed to deliver athletics inspired performance.
  • Feature fabric Airweave ear cushions and a ski goggle suspension headband fo maximum comfort during the long gaming sessions
  • Arctis headsets have been the winner of several awards including Red Dot Product award and Tom’s Guide “best overall gaming headset”.

Pros

  • Gives great sound quality at a very reasonable price
  • The microphone is very sensitive and has an excellent noise cancellation.
  • The headset has an inbuilt voice and game sound mixer that gives excellent results by boosting the voice
  • Headset has an elastic headband thus making it very comfortable
  • Retractable microphone which not only protects the mic but also makes sure that it does not stand in the way when not used

Steel Series Siberia 800 Wireless Gaming Headset

  • Uses the next generation speaker drivers that can deliver high accuracy, detailed highs and midst and clear bass
  • Has a closed back for superior noise cancellation
  • Uses Dolby’s 7.1 virtual; surround sound technology for a more realistic gaming experience.
  • Compatible with PC/Mac/PS3/4 and Xbox 360 as well as Apple TV
  • Has a retractable microphone with an indicator light that glows when muted
  • Runs on lithium ion batteries
  • You can also share the sound with a friend by using the sound share
  • Features a click wheel that allows you to control the volume
  • Memory foam cushions used for ear padding. The headband also has a padding for maximum comfort

Pros

  • Has an amazing sound quality. You can also play around with the equalizer setting.
  • Can perfectly catch the audio signals even from a very wide reach
  • Delivers very clear sound. Static is completely absent.
  • Durable built
  • Simple on-ear controls
  • Very comfortable to be worn during long sessions
  • Microphone works very well
  • Uses batteries that can be swapped. Hence no charging.

Steel series Arctis 7 Wireless Gaming Headset

  • No lagging
  • 4 GHz wireless audio with a range of 40ft/12m
  • Battery life- 15 hour
  • Uses S1 speakers
  • Uses clear cast microphone that cancels out all the background noise, thus delivering crystal clear sound.
  • Features 7.1 surround sound technology, thus recreating a virtual sound space. The wearer will be able to understand exactly which direction the sounds are coming from.
  • Stereo audio works on Mac, Xbox One, VR, PS4, Switch, and Mobile
  • Makes use of the super soft air weave cushions for ear padding. Also, has the pad on the headband.
  • Ski goggle suspension headband
  • Winner of several prestigious awards

Pros

  • good finishing and durable
  • High-quality materials used
  • brilliant sound quality
  • very reasonable price
  • features an in-game voice mixer that mixes the voice received from the microphone with the game sounds
  • the voice mixer is amazing in voice processing
  • offers versatility in use
  • can be used to make calls directly from the PC
  • padded ear cups and headband
  • adjustable headband allows for a comfortable fit
  • the retractable microphone that can be put away when not required
  • better headphones than the steel series Siberia 800
  • Since there is nothing on the headphones to indicate the battery level, you have to connect it to the PC to check battery level.

Steel Series Arctis 7

  • Lag free wireless audio

The headphones use 2.4 GHz wireless audio combined with the auto channel hopping technology. The wireless range is 40ft/12m. The headphones offer a dropout-free performance.

  • Clear cast mic

Uses a clear cast mic based on a bidirectional design. The microphone is capable of canceling outside noise and delivering studio quality voice. The mic also does not pick up static when placed too close to the mouth.

  • S1 audio driver

The use of S1 speakers enables the headset to deliver detailed sound with minimum distortion. It has the ability to recreate a very balanced soundscape thus making it ideal to be used for not only games but movies, music and much more.

  • 1 DTS Headphone: X 7.1 Surround Sound

Surround sound on PC and stereo sound on Mac, Xbox One, PS4, Switch, VR, and mobiles.

  • Extra soft cushiony padding for the ear cups and padded headband for extra comfort during the intense gaming sessions
  • The Artis 7 is also a winner of various prestigious awards including the PC Magazine Editor’s Choice

Pros

  • Great sound quality at a very reasonable price
  • Processes voice using an inbuilt voice mixer
  • Better performance as compared to its predecessors
  • Adjustable headband provides a firm hold, thus preventing slipping and distraction
  • The sound is not overpowering

Steel Series H Wireless Gaming Headset

  • Uses Dolby Headphones technology
  • 1 virtual surround sound, making it great for gaming
  • Retractable microphones with mute control. There is also an indicator light that glows when the headset is on mute
  • Comes with two Li-ion batteries that can be swapped mid use
  • Uses Steel Series next generation speakers
  • Very rich and detailed sound
  • Low-frequency punch
  • Compatible with a number of platforms including PC, Mac, Apple TV, PS4/3, Xbox 360, home entertainment devices as well as smart phones
  • Brilliant design and exceptional audio
  • Delivers crystal-clear sound on all platforms
  • Frequency hopping ensures that the headphones can work without any interference
  • Features on-ear control so that you do not have to pause in between your game to adjust the settings
  • The ergonomic controls can be used both for volume control and navigation
  • The equalizer settings can be adjusted

Pros

  • A very versatile headphone. It can be used on the indoors as well as outdoors.
  • Low latency. Many headphones speed up or slow down the sounds depending on the lag. This headphone keeps a fixed speed.
  • Combines three different Dolby headphones technology into one. i.e. Dolby Headphone, Dolby Digital, and Dolby Pro Logix LLX.
  • The two inter swappable batteries make sure that you never run out of power

Steel Series Headphones Accessories

  1. Headset stand

There are custom designed headstand stands for different headphones for an easy and convenient storage

  1. Battery pack

The no chargeable headphones come with a battery pack for storing the batteries when not in use. This will ensure that they do not get misplaced.

  1. Hard case

The hard case is basically for use when traveling. This makes sure that your headphones do not get damaged while on the go. There is also a different zipper pouch for storing the cables.

  1. Leather ear cushion

This is for extra comfort. Being made out of skin friendly leather, this will ensure that it does not cause any reaction on your skin.

  1. Interchangeable headband

These are basically for the newest release of Arctis headphones. The headbands are designed under collaboration with the artists Thank You, X and Lauren Asta. There are many interesting options like a glacier, solar, winter night, crushed snow, crushed dawn, to choose from.

  1. Adapter

The adapter is used when changing consoles, namely to Xbox One. The Xbox One headset adapter allows for great quality sound on the Steel Series headphones.

FAQs

  1. Which headsets are compatible with PS4?

All the headphones are compatible with PS4. However, the Siberia 650’s illumination and surround sound do not provide a very good support.

  1. Which headsets are compatible with Xbox one?

The entire range of headphones from Arctis as well as Siberia 800, Siberia 650, Siberia 200 and Siberia 100 are great to be used with Xbox One. Others may need an Xbox One adapter.

  1. Which headsets are compatible with mobile devices?

All the Arctis headphones, Siberia 800, Siberia 650, Siberia 200 and Siberia 100 are compatible with mobile devices.

  1. Which headphones are integrated with Steel Series Engine 3 software?

The Arctis 7/5 and Siberia 800/650/350/100 utilize the Steel series Engine 3 software.

  1. How to select the best Steel Series headphone?

First, you need to understand what platforms you will be using it on. The official website also has an interactive headphone selection that should guide you on the headset selection process.

Conclusion

Steel Series has a very rich line-up of headphones, most of them using state of the art technology. The brand has been a long time favorite among the professional gamers all around the world. The headphones have a very good frequency range, clear cast audio, virtual sound surround among other interesting features. Although some of the headphones are exclusively designed for gaming, there are also other options which cover a multitude of functionalities.

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