Gaming Headset Steel-series H Wireless

4/21/2014 2:47:53 PM
Gaming Headset Steel-series H Wireless

SteelSeries ups its headset game, and the price

What does reviewing a gaming headset have in common with a porn star? Well, sublime sound quality certainly gets my juices flowing, but it’s not so much aural as oral stimulation that’s the link here. Yes, my mouth opened that wide when I learned just how much these cans cost. You could have fitted a small marrow into the slack-jawed, gawping chasm.

H Wireless cuts the cord on our highly successful H Series headset line
to deliver exceptional audio in a brilliantly designed wireless headset.

So what do you get for this kind of outlay and facial disfigurement? Pop-out arms that give you a head massage after a bout of frantic fragging? Chilled ear cushions? Sadly no, but that’s not to say that the H Wireless isn’t packing some serious tech.

It’s wireless, but you won’t have to string it to your rig to recharge because SteelSeries has included two Li-ion battery packs. One slots in behind the left ear cup, while the second charges inside the transmitter so the cans are never without fresh juice. With around 20 hours of punch per pack, you’re likely to run out of steam long before the headset does.

Then there’s the transmitter – part charging station, part mini amplifier, and capable of kicking out up to 12 metres of wireless range. Round the back are analog and optical digital inputs and outputs, plus a USB port to ensure compatibility not just with PCs, but also consoles. The whole shebang is controlled by a push-button dial and a slick OLED display that are a pleasure to use.

We built a multiplatform headset and then threw in
even more connection options just to be safe

The headset itself is no minger and despite being a tad battery-bloated, it’s a comfy weight and fit. The issue is the plastic-fantastic construction and leatherette padding, which feels out of place attached to over $330 worth of kit.

The mic is another letdown, as it refuses to stay positioned where you want. We’re talking a supermarket trolley on an ice rink level of disobedience, and its recording quality isn’t high enough to compensate.

Raw deal?

Thankfully, the mediocre mic and materials are forgotten once your lugholes experience the quality audio. SteelSeries has packed in virtual Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic IIx support, which amount to a noticeable – albeit slight – benefit when it comes to spatially pinpointing sounds.

Wherever and whatever your entertainment is, H Wireless has you covered.

Even without this trickery there’s plenty to appreciate. Well-controlled bass, clear midrange and crisp treble give the H Wireless not just gaming prowess, but decent musical abilities too. Ditch the Dolby for music though, or every track will sound like it was recorded in the Batcave.

Trouble is, although the audio quality is good, it’s not as awesome as you may expect for the money. Overzealous bass should be confined to the back of a slammed Saxo, but the H Wireless could really do with more low-end punch and the overall volume isn’t up to much. It’s enough for gaming, but break out a wide dynamic range Dolby Digital or DTS film and you’ll discover that the dialogue lacks oomph.

Still, if you prioritise top-notch wireless abilities, cross-platform compatibility and a great control system over outright sound quality, the H Wireless is a compelling option, if your pocket can take the strain…


·         Headphone Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20000H

·         Microphone Frequency Response: 100Hz - 10000Hz

·         Max Volume: 100dB* SPL @ 1kHz

·         Wireless Range: 12m (40ft) straight line

·         Battery Life: 20 hours per pack, typical usage

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