SteelSeries Spectrum 5XB Review

SteelSeries Spectrum 5XB Review


Most of us, despite our adoration of the personal computer as a gaming platform, also own a console or two. There are many things that a console does well that it’s difficult to find with a home computer.

Sure you’ll never get a console that can give games of the complexity of a PC title, and they’ll never look as good, but the ease of just sticking a disc in and flopping on the sofa, pad in hand, certainly has plenty of benefits over the lengthy install, patch, drivers, configuration process of a PC.

So you’ve got a console and you want to talk to your friends whilst gaming. Your choices are pretty limited with either a “personal assistant” style bluetooth number for the PS3, or the woeful christmas-cracker quality of the XBOX 360 headset. Today we’re looking at a headset for the XBOX 360, the SteelSeries Spectrum 5XB, that promises not only to be more comfortable and better looking than the Microsoft effort but also has stereo and is compatible with any other audio device that uses a standard 3.5mm jack plug. Our beloved PC included.

So is it the Swiss Army Knife of headsets, or merely a “as seen on TV” special?

Technical Specifications

The product page for the Spectrum 5XB on the SteelSeries website is naturally tailored more to many special features of the 5XB which we’ll be covering later on, so for now here is the nicely concise specification for the 5XB.

Headphones Freq. response: 16 – 28.000 Hz
Impedance: 40 Ohm
[email protected], 1Vrms: 110 dB
Cable: 1 m / 3.28 ft.
Jack: 3.5 mm
Microphone Freq. response: 75 – 16.000 Hz
Pick up pattern: Uni-directional
Sensitivity: -38 dB
Impedance: 2K Ohm
AudioMixer cable: 3.7 m / 12 ft.

As you can see we’re not short for cable, and the response and impedance look very good. Speaking of looks, let’s see how it is in the flesh.