Steelseries Diablo III Headset Review
In just a little more than a month from now, the legacy of the heroes of Sanctuary continues in Diablo III from Activision Blizzard. This hack ‘n slash dungeon crawler has been 10 years in the making and looks to be every bit worth the wait. To celebrate the event, SteelSeries has partnered with Activision Blizzard to bring Diablo III fans some much-needed equipment before they once again plunge into the depths of Hell. Our first of three reviews this week brings to you the Diablo III USB headset.
You’ll notice two things when you first open the Diablo III headset’s packaging. The first is how light the headset is compared to most other high-quality headsets: It only weighs about 1.5lbs. The second is the over-the-head “suspension” design unique to the SteelSeries line of Siberia V2 headsets which this product is based on. These two design factors go very far in ensuring the headset will be a comfortable fit with zero adjustment, regardless of the size or shape of the user’s head.
More so, the light-weight design and wide, felt strap that rests on your head makes certain you don’t get the “headset fatigue” pretty common with long-term wear. After wearing the cans for approximately eight hours straight on a GuildWars marathon, I felt none of the soreness on my ears or across the top of my head I usually get from heavier headsets, whose padded headbands tend to make the top of one’s head hurt because of the padding’s uneven distribution.
Not only is the Diablo III headset exceptionally comfortable, but it is absolutely gorgeous. While the general design of the headset is based on the Siberia V2, the Diablo III version stands alone with its distinctive “hellish” motif. The body of the headset is black with gothic accents, wrapped around dark red grills on the outside of the cans. The cans are illuminated by a ring of pulsing, red LEDs that, along with the III logo on the side, can be adjusted for intensity and timing of the pulses through SteelSeries’ own software engine.
The headset is a USB-type setup. Once plugged in on a Windows 7 machine, native drivers recognize the headset as a Siberia V2 and install with no issues. While it’s unnecessary to install the SteelSeries Engine software to be able to use them, it’s highly recommended as it also allows you to tune the sound with a built-in equalizer. The SteelSeries Engine, which can be downloaded from its site, is also adorned in the Diablo III theme, and can control other DIII peripherals such as the SteelSeries Diablo III mouse and keyboard.
SteelSeries took another smart route in the design of the cabling. The red and black nylon-wrapped cable extends three feet off of the left can, a perfect distance for the laptop user. However, if you’re connecting to a PC, the additional 6-foot extension allows you the extra distance necessary to sit comfortably at your PC for your hell-bound entertainment, and quickly disconnect it to bring it with you wherever you go.
So how does the SteelSeries Diablo III headset sound? Magnificent! The 50mm drivers, in combination with the equalizer capable of tuning your headset to your personal preference, drive exceptional sound for not only gaming, but everything else you prefer to do on your computer. The headset provides a very wide range of sound between 18Hz (deep bass) to 28,000Hz (ear-shattering highs), which is much more than the human ear will ever need, but allows you to really fine tune the headset to your ears to maximize the personal sound experience. After my GuildWars marathon (I’m not yet cool enough for a DIII beta key), I fired up my Zune software, Sony Music Unlimited, and Netflix and tested each application. The headset did not disappoint in any case, with the exception of a lack of 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound, as the headset only delivers stereo.
The headset also does a brilliant job of eliminating ambient external noises for both the user as well as any team members he or she might be chatting with. Leather ear pads surround the cups, eliminating things like cell phone ringing, children screaming, house burning down, etc., to ensure your aural experience is at its maximum potential. The retractable, noise-cancelling microphone guarantees those same noises won’t be an annoyance to your guildmates as well. The retractable microphone (fixed on the left can) also allows you to have your mic tucked neatly away when it isn’t needed, and not easily lost like other headsets with detachable mics.
Aside from the lack of surround sound, the only other complaint is with the volume wheel on the headset’s cable. There is very little tension in the wheel, which makes the volume adjustments very sensitive, going from very quiet to very loud in a hurry. However, once you dial in the right volume, you’re good to go.
Overall, the SteelSeries Diablo III headset is an exceptional piece of equipment to own, and an absolute must-have for any fan of the Diablo franchise. At a retail price of $120, it’s relatively affordable for a high-quality set of cans as well.
The Diablo III headset receives a 4.5/5.0.
***CONTEST ALERT*** – Love Diablo? Want to get your hands on a Diablo III mouse, headset and mouse pad to adorn your PC-powered demon lair? Well, now you can! This week, Wanderson75.net is giving away not one, but two sets of Diablo III gear compliments of SteelSeries. That’s right! Just head on over to our Facebook page and Like us. Two winners will be chosen at random this Friday night (April 13th, 2012) and announced on our page on Saturday morning. This contest is open to anyone in the continental U.S. or Canada (sorry Alaska, Hawaii, Nova Scotia and PEI). Sign up now! And if you don’t win this time around, hey – you’ll still get awesome news and reviews on videogames, technology, and gamer life delivered to your Facebook page daily, because we love you.
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