While you won’t see the SteelSeries Siberia 200 headsets competing with the top of the line Astro sets in terms of professional gaming audio delivery, you will find a more comfortable experience with the SteelSeries’ headsets than other comparable headphones. I know I have been impressed with this product and I have reviewed quite a few over the years (for this site and Gamerz-Edge back in the day).
Without further delay, let’s break this headset down.
The design of the Siberia 200 is a bit bulky in width, as I was noticing yesterday during a trial run with the HTC VIVE. While the VIVE did provide a bit of lift at the top, the girth of the headphones seemed to be a bit wider than usual. Does it affect the experience? No, but it was noticeable.
Countering that petty complaint, the comfort of the headset is the reason why you want the Siberia 200. The addition of the suspension portion of the headset makes all the difference in terms of comfort across your noggin. Its inclusion makes the headset feel like it isn’t there. You can feel the speakers on your ears, but the bar running across the top of your head is not even in the equation. Having worn many headsets in the past, mainly because I’m a video editor by nature/profession, the plastic bridge between earcups has always posed a problem with comfort and eventually became an annoyance. Sometimes a painful one. That uncomfortable portion of a typical headset was the main reason I use earbuds instead of headphones when editing and gaming. Siberia 200 changes that for me. The suspension headband feels like nothing runs across your head and it keeps the plastic away from becoming yet another headset annoyance.
Rounding out design, the actual speakers are comfortable over my big dumbo ears. The earcups are soft, comfortable and they have some longevity to them, meaning I can wear them for an extended amount of time without my ears getting sore (A huge issue with Logitech and Astro headphones with me). Much like the suspension headband, they’re practically unnoticeable and that is a welcomed addition to the sound experience from the Siberia 200.
Overall, I enjoy the design of the Siberia 200 thoroughly. While I’m not crazy about their bulky width, I can live with it if the design is a comfortable experience, which is the case here.
Specs vs. Reality
Specs can be a confusing list of big words that don’t mean much to the average consumer. Over the years as a reviewer my best friend for translating such jargon has been Google. With that said, the more you know, the better. So research the hell out of this stuff before purchasing headsets or really anything. Having said that, let’s talk about the innards of the speakers in the Siberia 200.
50mm Neodymium Drivers
Neodymium-based magnets inside of speakers are essentially built for smaller devices, made to be lighter in weight (a blessing, trust me) and powerful in performance, which brings an entire gambit of audio possibilities with a minimum amount of work. Think of them as the h.264 codec of magnets, where there is minimum effort, but maximum output. By the way, people adore the h.264 codec for that type of reason and it’s widely used by everyone in the video industry.
The speakers built for the Siberia 200 are powerful, depending on source of sound and hardware, and seem to deliver what they’re built to do with the Neodymium. For example, when I was listening to music with these headsets via Spotify on a Lenovo laptop, the Siberia 200 delivered a nice middle-of-the-road bass with an even amount of treble without feeling a bit audibly overwhelmed. The quality of sound was subtle and good enough not to continually turn things up or down (I’ve down that before on bigger and better speakers, and it’s annoying). The bass wasn’t flat, though, but it didn’t overwhelm, which you can partly credit the neodymium for in the headsets.
Headphone Frequency Response: 10-28000 Hz
In terms of headphone frequency response, it’s a set range that dictates the level of bass, mids and treble audio. Standard range is usually 20-20000hz, with 20 being the bass end and 20000 the treble end. The lower the bass end, the more powerful the bass can be, which is the case with the Siberia 200. Sometimes lower bass can equal out to inaudible bass moments, where bass can be felt rather than heard (that is the case with my Samsung Sound Bar currently, where the boom is overwhelming and it drowns out the dialogue/treble). What the Siberia 200 delivers in this arena, much like I mentioned in the previous paragraph, is an even amount of audio from bass to treble. One of the worst parts of being a Logitech headset owner from the past is that the bass almost always drowned out the treble and the mids. SteelSeries did a superb job in keeping things balanced and not overwhelming in delivery, yet not shortchanged when it came to dividing bass from the treble. For example, the pounding bass of a war torn desert in Battlefield 1 was toned down enough to hear the polite British lady tell me what zones were being captured. In past headphone experience, such dialogue would be completely wiped out with bass.
Headphone Sensitivity: 112 dB
Headphone sensitivity is the ability of a device, such as the Siberia 200, to covert electrical signals into audible sounds. The 112dB on the Siberia 200 is probably middle-of-the-road when it comes to doing such things. Thus, this matches the previously two discussed specification review outcomes, where I felt the sound quality/delivery was square in the middle and pleasantly balanced. At this level of sound, a person should start feeling some ear fatigue around the 30 minute mark, but I played Battlefield for about two hours without issues. The same could be said for reviewing movies with this headset.
As for the microphone portion of this product, it works great and is clear as a whistle. Since I don’t use it for Twitch (not yet at least), talking with my friends during online play was clear as day. They actually heard me much better than through my earbuds. The retractable mic is nice, though I’m scared to death I’m going to push that thing too far or break it. Neither has happened yet, so I’m going to write that off as my own paranoia. So far, so good with this portion of the Siberia 200.
The cost for this bad boy is around $69.99 MSRP. That’s not an unreasonable price for something that delivers a balanced audio attack and is comfortable to wear. I can’t think of anything that does both for that price point, plus you get to choose from a variety of colors, which may not seem like a big ‘plus’ for the item, but it is for gamers this day and age. I would lay down the dough for a pair of these in a heartbeat.
With all this said, onto the summary!