Steel Series X800 Headset Review
I’ve used high end headsets before, but none of them have been as user friendly as the Steel Series Siberia X800 headset. Through ease of use and outstanding audio quality, for over 300.00, you won’t find a much better headset. There are no major aesthetic bells and whistles to this headset – like there are in many headsets from other companies – but with this release, Steel Series is pursuing functionality and comfort; they have succeeded.
The headset is pretty basic looking, and really there isn’t an eye appeal that will draw you to this. The headset is completely matte black. Each side of the headset extends near the cups to help fit the device snugly on your head. On the side of each ear cup is a removable cover. One side houses a micro-usb port which can be used to perform software updates on the headset. The other side houses the removable battery.
A microphone extends from the left ear cup and bends, which gives consumers options for where they wish to place their microphone. On the right ear cup is the power button – hold to power on and power off, press to mute the microphone – as well as the 3.5mm jack which can connect to your Xbox One controller to initiate chat functionality, and a share-audio port that will allow an extra person to hear game audio being passed through the receiver to your headset.
The headset comes with a separate receiver. The receiver comes with a power cord to power the device, as well as an optical cable which can be plugged into your PC or Xbox One system. There is an LED display on the front of the device which allows you to control the volume, increase or decrease game audio or chat, set preferences, and assign profiles. On the side of the receiver is a slot which stores and charges an extra battery pack, which is included.
The Steel Series X800 Headset provides gamers with everything they could possibly want in a headset. While they are not as comfy as other Steel Series products – chalked this up to the need to create a wireless versus wired headset – there still shouldn’t be any complaints. People with extraordinarily wide heads will experience the most discomfort with this headset as it will feel like each ear cup is pushing on your head; the average individual, however, will find this specific set adequate: not the best in comfort, but definitely not the worst.
Steel Series is charging a premium for this headset, and understandably so. They are also providing premium functionality. The average wireless headset in my opinion will run for 12-16 hours, tops. The Siberia 800 will run for a whopping 20 hours – which is about right when I look back on my usage logs – and an extrodinary 40 hours should you take advantage of the swappable battery pack. Unless you forget to place the extra battery in the charging slot on the receiver, the two 20-hour lithium-ion batteries should be all you need, ever.
A simplified design makes for simplified controls, and Steel Series has done an excellent job with this. The number of buttons on the headset are no more and no less than what is needed. While some headsets get overly complicated with the number of buttons and options available on the headset, Steel Series has opted for a simplistic design that gets the job done. On Xbox One, the availability of the chat dongle helps keep the headset as simplified as possible, a great bonus for Gamers who are just about games, not about frills.
Not enough good things can be said about the headsets audio capabilities. Not a lot of companies are offering up 7.1 Digital Dolby Surround in their headsets, but Steel Series is here and you better believe they are charging a premium for it. And so they should. The quality of the audio is top notch, and Steel Series has given players technological options that only the most prolific audio elitists will understand and enjoy – Dolby Headphone, Dolby Digital, and Dolby Pro Logic IIx. However, even for the average consumer, it is nice to see the details and technologies are available, whether I personally make use of them or not.
When playing through various games of Assassins Creed Syndicate, Fallout 4, and Halo 5, the one thing I notice was there was no audio lag. This is because Steel Series has created technology that jumps between frequencies, giving players the best possible audio experience. Should interference happen, the headset automatically switches to a new frequency keeping your audio clean and clear.
LiveMix: Another technology I was happy for in the Steel Series Siberia 800 headset was the devices ability to detect chat audio coming through the system, automatically lowering the game audio and sending through the chat. When the voices are gone, the game audio returns to normal and you can continue. It is a neat feature that no other headset I’ve used has implemented.
ChatMix: the standard feature with all other wireless headsets is also available here. Should you want to permanently turn up your chat or permanently turn up your game audio, you can. This is the mode I used when playing first person shooters as the audio from my friends was important for us winning the match.
I must stress that this headset – in Canada – retails for a whopping 349.99. You are paying for a premium headset, and Steel Series is giving gamers exactly that. A 300+ dollar headset won’t be for everyone, and if you are not looking to take advantage of Dolby 7.1 surround, perhaps this is not the headset for you. However, serious gamers who use headset for the majority of their playing time should strongly consider the Steel Series Siberia X800 Wireless Headset. It is a top notch product, worthy of its price.