Steelseries Siberia 840 Wireless Headset Review
Published: 14th November 2016 | Source: Steelseries | Price: £274.99 |
There is no denying that the Siberia 840 is a premium headset befitting of its lofty price tag. Headsets live and die by their audio quality, but with wireless ones there is the added complication of their latency, wireless range and battery life.
The Siberia 840 ticks all of these boxes and then some. Battery life is fantastic with the claimed 20 hours being pretty much on the mark, regardless of the source you're using or the volume that you listen at. Even with it blaring away via Bluetooth we saw a shade over 18 hours before it necessitated a battery switch, which is more than enough for even the most hardcore of gamers. If, by some fate of a brand new game and a crate of energy drink, you require the use of the headset beyond those hours the included second battery can be swapped into the 840 in a matter of moments. Headset off, quick turn of the side panel to undo it, battery out, battery in, panel back on and you'll be back up and running in around 10 seconds. The biggest benefit of this is that you're not having to plug the headset into a cable to charge it as you would with a fixed battery. So you get all the longevity whilst remaining fully wireless. The transmitter base containing a slot to insert the battery and charge it whilst you play only enhances these already lofty credentials.
Speaking of the transmitter base it looks fantastic, with a small footprint, light weight and easy to see display augmented by a well designed menu system ensuring you can reach your chosen setting in moments. There are loads of choices too. There are some inbuilt equaliser profiles which can be supplemented by your own ones if you want to use the Steelseries Engine software, but if you're just using the Siberia 840 as a console/phone headset then you're also not losing functionality, as the default equaliser options cover most peoples requirements. You can easily adjust the volume of each input, as well as the chat blend so you can bury annoying team mates in the mix as well as bring them to the fore in games that don't need such a reliance upon audio cues.
Audio fidelity is fantastic, as you would expect from a headset at this end of the price range. Sure it doesn't match dedicated HiFi headphones costing many many hundreds of pounds, but that's hardly the point. As far as audio solutions for the gamer who also watches a few films and listens to some music the 840 is exceptional. Bass notes are tight and pounding without ever turning woolly or dominating the rest of the mix. The mid range is very good, with every instrument/effect clearly discernable, and the highs have a nice airy quality to them that lets them soar above you. The virtual 7.1 surround is one of the best we've heard too, and if you love films with well mixed surround then the Siberia 840 brings new levels of enjoyment with them. Lastly the microphone is solid if not spectacular. It's fine enough for team audio, just somewhat in the shadow of the excellent output the 840 provides.
If there are a couple of minor niggles with the Siberia 840 they are a combination of things you expect from a Wireless headset and things that perhaps you might not expect at this price. The build quality is very good, although it contains more plastic than we were expecting for a headset at the thick end of £250. We're not saying it's going to fall apart, no Steelseries headset we've ever tested has done so, but we were hoping for metal height adjustment and the plastic is narrow enough that we worry slightly. Secondly, the design is a tiny bit of the rigid side. Even those in the office with medium to small sized heads found the fit to be very tight, and those of us with larger heads and particularly glasses will feel a little squished. The memory foam ear covers help tremendously to negate this, but if you find tight headsets annoying this wont sway you. Lastly the wireless range is excellent in the same room, but if you move out of the room containing the transmitter into another one it very quickly loses signal. The 40ft range is spot on whilst you're in direct sight of the transmitter, but don't expect to wander around the house wearing it.
Those minor issues aside the Siberia 840 combines support for any input you can think of with excellent audio quality and long battery life to end up being one of the very best wireless headsets it has ever been our pleasure to test.