Available from: Steelseries.com
If you’re up on PC gaming accessories, there’s probably a bit of DéjÃ vu to be had from the Siberia 200. Essentially a re-release of the popular Siberia V2, it has a few subtle enhancements but overall, you’d be hard pressed to notice them on first glance.
Let’s be fair, the Siberia V2 was an excellent gaming headset. When Steelseries made the decision to discontinue production in favour of the V3, we’re not even sure they were ready for the outcry that ensued. Answering the call became something of a priority for Steelseries and the new Siberia 200 is a direct reflection of this. Priced very competitively at £59.99, this makes it cheaper than both the V2 and V3 headsets. Billed as an enhanced re-release of the V2, the company has kept things faithful to the original in almost every way. Aside from a lighter headband and semi-open drivers, you’ll be doing a double-take as you try to discern which is which.
This means that all the things which made the V2 great have returned, including that retractable microphone and suspension headband which helps with ergonomics. Clamping force was a bit of an issue with the old V2 and it’s here too. Anyone with a slightly wide head will start to feel the pressure after about an hour of use, but it does have the knock-on effect of providing a good seal to prevent sound isolation. On the topic of sound isolation, they don’t seem to hold up quite as well when compared to the older V2. Leakage isn’t terrible but it can be noticeable at loud volumes. My colleague who works at the opposite side of our desk said he could hear some slight noise but nothing that he would class as ‘distracting’. In the box you get a 3.5 AUX combiner for those combo jacks that have microphone and headphones on the same port… And that’s about it. There’s no carry pouch and no bag, meaning you’ll need to find your own if you intend to transport your headphones to and from events.
Now we get to the sound quality, which again is a similar tune to the V2. With a rated frequency response of 10-28,000 Hz and beefy 50mm drivers, there’s plenty of extension for those high notes. Rated at 32 OHMs, they should be good with most portable music players and built-in soundcards. Whether you’re gaming or listening to music, the 200 does an admirable job across all formats. We’d argue that it can sometimes sound slightly laid back in the presentation, but there’s an excellent stereo field with plenty of width. The more open design also helps to give a more natural sound representation, with a certain air to the presentation. The sound definitely leans more to a natural feel, with the bass and highs surprisingly controlled. Low notes can sometimes lack weight or get a bit muffled but this is really only nit-picking. If you loved the sound of the V2, there’s little to be angry at in the 200. It’s everything you remember but slightly more refined.
The microphone is equally impressive, with a rated response of 50-16,000 Hz making it pretty well suited for voice chat. Low-end noise is well filtered thanks to the 50 Hz roll off, while the 16,000 Hz upper limit stops things from being overly bright. Remember that we’re not recording vocals here, we just want a reliable mic for team speak. Clarity is top notch and the overall noise floor is minimal, with very little if any ambient echoes.
It might be a re-branded V2 but the 200 has enough going for it to make a purchase worthwhile. Subtle refinement combined with a lucrative retail price makes this headset worth of purchase.