SteelSeries Siberia P300 Gaming Headset Review
Getting a gaming headset just right takes a lot of work. They not only need to accurately showcase the cinema-quality soundtrack, booming explosions and directional subtleties like footsteps, but must also be lightweight and comfortable enough for extended gaming sessions. Not only that, but they must also be durable and have a microphone clear enough to cut through all the in-game chaos, to coordinate online multiplayer strategies with teammates or simply catch up with far-away friends or family.
There’s a lot of competition in the gaming headset market these days, which can only be good for gamers as companies strive to offer the most compelling prices and push the technological envelope in a battle for your business. This also has created a multitude of options for every price range, as audiophiles with plenty of cash to spare can enjoy the high-end experience offered by something like the $300 Astro A50s, while gamers on a budget still have a number of premium options available in the sub-$150 price range. Such is the case with the newest offering from SteelSeries, the Siberia P300 Gaming Headset. The company has long been creating exceptional PC peripherals and has recently branched out into the console market.
The first thing I noticed when putting on the Siberia P300s is how incredibly comfortable and lightweight they are. Seriously, I once wore them for almost 3 hours straight before realizing they were still on my head. Even after such an extended period of use the headset did not create much pressure or tension on my ears, which is an issue even in high-end headsets like the Astro A50s. The memory-foam leather ear cushions feel great while sealing in the game audio and minimizing external noise. There also wasn’t a lot of noticeable audio leak, so you shouldn’t need to worry about waking anyone during a late-night Metal Gear Solid V session.
The SteelSeries Siberia P300 Gaming Headset can connect to PlayStation 4, mobile devices, and Mac/ PC via a 3.5mm headphone jack connection. If you’re an Xbox One gamer, there is a version compatible with that console, but you’ll have to shell out an extra $29 for that one. There’s a flexible and retractable microphone built into the left earcup, as well as a quick-mute mic switch for when you just want to listen and not be heard.
So how does the audio compare to the competition? Quite well, actually. The 50mm speaker drivers deliver a relatively flat EQ response, which clean and clean treble and mids and understated yet powerful bass. I find this to be important in a gaming headset – some headsets exaggerate bass frequencies so much, which can sound impressive at first but clouds the rest of the mix. The thumping bass from a game’s soundtrack or nearby explosions might cover up the sound of approaching enemy footsteps, for instance. While using the Siberia P300s I was able to easily pinpoint things like directional gunfire, the slow shuffle and moans of zombies, and enemy radio communications in the distance. The headset also sounds great with a multitude of music genres; I hooked it up to my PC and phone for hours at a time when I wanted to listen to some tunes – in fact I’m doing just that right now while writing this review.
One of my only complaints about the SteelSeries Siberia P300s is the lack of an in-line volume control. As such, you’ll have to manually adjust the volume through your TV, PC or mobile device, so be careful about just plugging in and playing music for instance – I practically deafened myself the first time I hooked the headset up to my PC. I can’t imagine this to be a very expensive thing to implement, so hopefully this feature makes its way into the next updated model. Also, the mic is a bit on the quiet side, so you might have to make some in-game adjustments to make sure that you’re heard by your friends online. The cord is pretty short, but it’s meant to be hooked into the PlayStation 4 controller in your lap, so I can overlook this. I simply bought an extension for when I wanted to hook up to something further away.
The SteelSeries Siberia P300 is an exceptional headset for its price range, featuring incredible comfort and superb audio quality at just $99 MSRP. The lack of in-line volume control and relatively weak mic are a bit disappointing, but obviously some concessions have to be made at this price point. Overall though, this is an enticing option for players looking to upgrade their gaming experience on a budget.