Gaming Headphones: SteelSeries 5H V2 Gaming Headset

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steelseries_5hv2If you are seriously in to your gaming the chances are you tend to squeeze in as much gaming as you can throughout the day, but there are only so many hours you can socially use a surround sound amplifier and not risk annoying friends, family or neighbours. If you are in the middle of a LAN party then the need for an alternative is especially obvious and for this reason there are a number of gaming headsets designed specifically for such scenarios! Steelseries (a brand that specialises in professional gaiming ware) has a number of headsets under their belts, and the latest update to their PC range is the Steelseries 5H V2 (version 2 of their original 5H headset) which we were sent to review.

The headphones we reviewed came in a black finish, bundled with a USB soundcard supporting 7.1 virtual surround.  The headset itself can be disassembled into three separate components (the two earpieces and the headband) for easy transport making them ideal for LAN parties or competitions. Assembled the headphones are lightweight, provide more than adequate padding around the earcups and we found them really comfortable to wear even for extended periods, with the handy retractable microphone making it easy to talk to friends whilst in play.  The braided cable is about a meter long, and a second extension cable of about 2 meters in length is also included should you need the extra "range".

steelseries_5hv2_-_usb_soundcardSpecially optimised for reproducing important in-game sounds such as footsteps, gunshots and alerts, the headphones are brilliant for FPS games allowing exact pinpointing of these sounds to give the edge in the game whether playing alone or on multiplayer servers, and we could really tell the difference in comparison to our existing headsets. The bass felt thunderous and each individual sound could be heard distinctly with the virtual 7.1 giving a clear sense of direction to each.

That's not to say that you won't notice a difference when playing other types of game, and the headphones are also great for watching films and TV should you need a break from fragging other players.  Since the headset is specifically designed for in-game audio, the headphones are not really suited for playback of music where the audio profile comes across a little weirdly, however you probably wouldn't be buying a "gaming" headset for listening to music would you?

Available for ~£50 (at the time of writing) the headphones compare very favourably with and certainly surpass the majority of gaming headsets we have reviewed. We would definitely recommend them if you are in to your gaming.