SteelSeries 5H v2 headset
Posted by: Snubbsy on: 07.01.2010 01:00:00 [ Print | 0 comment(s) ]
Music - a good variety of music was used to test this headset - This list included some Kanye West, The Safety Dance.
The audio handled quite interestingly - it is very directional. This is greatly beneficial in gaming, however when it comes to music, it can cause some parts of the music to be drowned out by others. However this isn't overly noticeable, and to be honest shouldn't be applicable to the application of these headphones as they are designed for gaming. This effect can actually improve the listening experience in some types of music - e.g. something with bongos - I noticed this first with the song "Zoom Zoom Zoom" (used in the Mazda advert from a couple of years ago).
The directional audio effect splits the instruments etc, and allows a greater appreciation of this type of song. However, saying this - you are essentially not hearing the music as the creator intended, much like when you change the EQ significantly on your car stereo - it's just not the same!
As such, if you're after some headphones for use with your iPod or alike, please instead go for a brand associated with music rather than gaming! (Such as Shure etc)...
Having said this, the headset definitely does a better job than any other headphones/earphones etc I have at picking out the lows and highs you don't normally notice when listening to music, but to be honest, this is very subjective...
I digress - If you're looking for a gaming headset (with integrated microphone too) then a SteelSeries H5 V2 should be perfect, provided it tests well in the gaming department.
First up - Need For Speed: Shift
This game hasn't had the greatest rep from launch, mainly due to its predecessor being quite terrible without using a steering wheel peripheral. However, I had high hopes for this game after hearing it would be more sim-like than GT5, but still include the "modding" options like in previous games.
I have to say, since its release I have been loving this game, it makes brilliant use of my Logitech Driving Force Pro (force feedback etc).... However, I should be reviewing the headphones - not the game or my steering wheel. As such, I set up my X-Fi correctly (headphones mode, crystaliser off, 3D effect off etc)...
And Oh. My. Gosh. Talk about in-game immersion. I could hear the engine growling - and thanks to the directional effect of these headphones, I was able to hear it separately to the other noise/music within the game. All the sound effects sounded deadly realistic (again O.M.G the engine!) exhaust noise, road noise and other car noise were spot on.
Whilst this headset doesn't feature a 5.1 setup, it did a good job of positioning the engine noises (however I can't help but feel it would be better using 5.1 technology - however this would drive prices up, which can't be a good thing!).
Quite simply, I would say I prefer the headphones to my 5.1 Surround Sound speaker set, as whilst the SRS allows for better positioning of noise, the SteelSeries 5H V2 are far better for replicating the various noises within the racing games. I would therefore suggest, that if you are a racing-gamer, and are interesting in getting some headphones, get these!
Left 4 Dead 2
Since I gave NFS: Shift an introduction, I feel I now have to for our next game - L4D2. Sadly, much like NFS: Shift, L4D2 was shunned a bit due to some complaints regarding the previous game's (The original L4D) support and lack of DLC. However, regardless of this, L4D2 has sold very well, and features an improved UI, better graphics and hopefully a better soundtrack.
This game is probably the best test of the headset, as I often use my SRS setup to detect when a hostile is behind me, and loosing this ability could see my scores fall. On top of this factor, this is the only game I'm testing with today, which has a use for the microphone.
First up - the microphone
At first, people struggled to hear me (it seemed as if the microphone wasn't even plugged in!). However, this was thanks to my *brilliant* troubleshooting, I realised that my front I/O microphone port wasn't hooked up properly! Moving the 3.5mm jack to a working port sorted this (slaps forhead!).
Once I had sorted out these errrmmm..... "user-founded" problems, other players could hear me crystal clear. The in built microphone control switch (off/low/high) came in handy - the majority of the time players could hear me on "low" without my voice booming in their ears, however, once the hoards had set towards us, turning up the mic to high made sure my voice was heard above the dying zombies' screams!
Much like NFS: Shift, I felt deeply immersed in L4D2 with this headset. The directional effect definitely adds value to the headset, and sets it apart from other headsets (for comparison reasons, I used an Plantronics headset, and some "Tevion" headphones - neither could even come close to the immersion effect of the SteelSeries). So the main question - could I still tell when a zombie was coming up from the rear? Yes I could, many times I was aided by the SteelSeries 5H V2 - I heard the zombies a mile off, and responded to them with a few shots of 9mm ammo.
Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoy playing this game, and it becomes even better with this headset.
Just a quick note on comfort - I found this headset to be very comfy, from when I first put it on, until the moment 2hrs later when I took it off. It almost felt as if it was not there. This isn't to say the headset is light, however SteelSeries have done a good job of designing some well fitting ear-cushions.
Next Page - Conclusion