I’m generally not a fan of wireless peripherals. If you asked me why that is, I wouldn’t know exactly how to answer you, because my reasoning is probably deeply flawed and likely hasn’t applied to wireless gadgets in decades. I think in my mind it’s a wireless latency thing, a completely irrational fear that suffering through even a few microseconds of delay between the time I press a button and a resulting action occurs would ruin my life forever.
Yes, I see you shaking your head and sniggering, you judgemental meanie. Like I said, I’m aware that my thinking is deeply flawed. And the SteelSeries Siberia 800 headset has definitively proven as much, because I’m kinda obsessed with it, despite its lack of fiddly cabling and assorted wire-y bits. Although there still exists a fair amount of fiddly cabling and assorted wire-y bits. Weird that.
One of the biggest drawcards of the Siberia 800 is the fact that it works with pretty much everything. You can use it with your PS4, your PC, your smartphone (or any other device with a 3.5mm audio jack), your Xbox 360, your guitar amplifier, and if you can find an appropriate way to connect the two, possibly even your toaster, so you can spend your weekends listening to the soothing sounds of bread being gently cooked alive. The only caveat here is that in order to use it with Xbox One, you need to ensure you get your hands on an Xbox One stereo headset adapter as well. The Siberia 800 doesn’t support Bluetooth, but it does offer sound sharing via a handy 3.5mm port on the right ear cup so people nearby can spy on what you’re listening to, and that’s pretty cool.
The headset interfaces with these various devices via its very snazzy transmitter / control box. You’ll find a number of input and output ports along the back of the transmitter, and the Siberia 800 comes with everything you need to connect it to most consumer gadgets – with the exception of that XBO headset adapter, of course. The stack of wires and cabling it ships with can be intimidating at first, but don’t fret – I’ve no doubt you’ll find your way around the place in no time. Once it’s up and running, the transmitter displays information via a bright, easy-to-read screen. You’ll use this to customise audio profiles, adjust equalizer settings, control chat/game volume and more. It’s a pleasure to use once you get the hang of things.
The headset itself is fantastic and sports a high-quality finish. It’s exceptionally comfortable, with soft, memory foam-padding and large, chunky ear cups that are great at sealing in important audio and locking out background noise. It’s also brilliantly lightweight, so you can wear it for hours without any discomfort. There’s a retractable microphone, a built-in volume dial (which doubles as a method for remotely controlling the transmitter), the aforementioned sound-sharing port and more to be found on the headset.
In terms of sonic quality, the Siberia 800 is right up there with the best gaming headphones on the market. Volume levels are impressively high without any noticeable distortion, and the calibre of sound that’s produced is exceptional across all frequencies. Tinkering with the equalizer settings shows exactly how capable the Siberia 800 truly is, and no matter what you plan to use it for, I’ve no doubt you’ll be pleased with the sound it produces.
I’m finding it difficult to think of any faults in the Siberia 800’s design. If I had to pinpoint something, it’d be the fact that a single battery charge doesn’t seem to get very far before needing to be juiced again. Thankfully, it ships with two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, so you should always have one freshly charged battery ready to go. They’re charged via a handy slot on the right side of the transmitter.
Other than that, it’s really just the price tag that’s terrifying. As much as I like the Siberia 800, it’s difficult to justify spending that amount of cash on a set of gaming headphones. That said, would I recommend the Siberia 800 if you’ve got the cash to burn and you’re not interested in spending it on a set of ultra-high-quality studio headphones? Hell yes.