SteelSeries has yet again proved itself to be a leader in the field of gaming peripherals by creating a wireless headset from the H series but by catering for hardcore gamers while still allowing casual users to enjoy the product.
The new SteelSeries H Wireless headset is a completely wireless headset with a built-in microphone as well as two batteries. The interesting thing about that is that the headset itself only uses one battery at a time, but while doing so, users can pop the other battery into the unit plugged into your machine, to allow the other battery to be charged. What this means, is that gamers will have a miniscule amount of interrupted time while changing from a flat to a fully-charged battery.
The H Wireless fits comfortably and doesn’t seem too heavy or too tight around the head. The 7.1 Dolby Digital virtual surround sound is an example of the quality that it offers in terms of audio strength and has great mid-range performance with some very crisp high-range sound. I think where the H Wireless lacks only slightly is in the lower range where the bass seems a bit passive and may require a little more volume.
The headset looks sleek and really professional. Inside each cup is an orange fabric that fits inside the leather circle and creates a nice contrast. SteelSeries has its logo emblazoned on either side of the head band with the brand name worded across the gloss of the outer side of the cups.
There is a microphone stalk that extends out of the left cup which seems natural, but both the power button and the volume control sit on the right hand side. While the power button seems logical, the positioning of the volume dial seems a bit off as I would quite often struggle to adjust volume by feeling around the outside of the cup.
The transmitter is a great little thing in the boxed product and looks like something futuristic. It’s a little black box with rounded edges and has an OLED display which shows what you are currently tweaking, what is happening with the headset and how charged up the spare battery is.
The SteelSeries H Wireless has something of an understated design. It’s also quite a light-weight headset which makes for extreme comfort over long periods of use and fits perfectly on the shape of the head. The cups on either side may feel a bit small to some, but generally should be okay because they are large enough to completely fit most types of ears, and with the rotating cups, it’s safe to assume that most heads will fit comfortably. The rotation of the cups are ideal when wearing the headset around your neck or when storing it for travel because it allows the headset to fit well in most occasions.
The transmitter has a button and volume dial on it and it seems to be pretty straight-forward. What I like about it is how clean and simple it looks. The device can actually plug into many different consoles as well as a PC, so it serves many purposes in terms of a “multi-use” headset.
The SteelSeries H Wireless offers sublime 7.1 Dolby Digital virtual surround sound and has a distinct way in which the headset can draw you further into the game with the crisp sound. When examining it further, the audio in most games is really good and the clarity of both the microphone and the headset are great. As stated previously, it would have been amazing if there was a little more kick to the bass as while it’s solid, it does lack a little power.
The SteelSeries H Wireless headset isn’t only good for games though, it also packs a hefty punch in movies and videos. I felt particularly at ease while watching some of my favourite movies and series and felt that the headset did a great job. Interestingly, they may be annoying to others in close proximity as the headset does make a rather large noise beyond the cups.
I’m not entirely sure whether it’s the acoustics of the cups or due to the fact that the noise cancelling is so good, but at a lower volume on the headset, I could have sworn I could hear an echo at times. This was obviously not the case however, as other sources confirmed this not to be true.
The headset comes with two batteries, as stated before, and each one will last you about 20 hours. The beauty of having two batteries with a 20 hour charge each, is that you will rarely suffer down time. The high capacity is essential for the gamer who wants to make use of this headset.
I found the range of the transmitter to be rather good and went almost all around my three bedroom house. As one may expect, a large slab of concrete or collection of walls will generally tend to stop transmission, so heading outside is not possible, or necessary…
There are some really great aspects to the SteelSeries H Wireless headset and I can say that I’m going to miss the headset when the review unit has to go back. However, having said that, while the sound is definitely up there, I’m not entirely convinced that it’s on the upper echelon of headsets available at the moment. Though SteelSeries is definitely taking a step in the right direction and are almost there. The major downside for South Africans at least, especially where the H Wireless is concerned, is that this headset will set you back rather substantially. At an RRP of R3,699, the SteelSeries H Wireless comes with a hefty price tag, but then again, should wireless be your thing, these are probably one of the best you could choose.