SteelSound 5H v2
The SteelSound 5H v2 is the second in the 5H line. The first was a well rounded headset, but suffered in certain areas. Thankfully, the manufactures have taken all of the input from the 5H users and have redesigned the headset with a few enhancements.
SteelSeries is all about gaming. Our mission is to create performance enhancing gaming gear, created for and by leading professional gamers. We continuously strive to better ourselves, and work with leading professional gamers from 3 different continents to create our products.
SteelSound 5H v2 specs
|16 – 29 Hz|
SPL @ 1kHz, 1 Vrms
|1 + 2 = 3 meters (10 feet)|
|75 – 16 Hz|
Pick up pattern
Custom-engineered soundscape designed specifically to enhance performance and immersion in gaming. This headset was developed and optimized for in-game sound frequencies, which makes in-game sounds like footsteps, alerts and gunfire especially clear. You will be able to hear and pinpoint the location of your opponents, often before they hear you.
Full-size headphones gently fit around the ears and reduce background noise, while providing maximum wearing comfort.
Bringing the headset with you has never been easier or safer. The SteelSound 5H v2 can be easily dismantled into 3 separate parts, which makes transportation a breeze. The pieces will easily fit into a bag or a carrying case.
SteelSound 5H v2 also features a pull-out microphone system. The retractable microphone is practically invisible when not in use. The microphone cord is covered in high quality transparent plastic to ensure long-lasting durability.
On paper, the 5H v1 and v2 are no different, which means that mic/speaker quality should remain exactly the same.
The 5H v2 came in full retail packaging, which consisted of a clear plastic box with the headset on show on a pseudo-suede vacuum formed stand. The wires were all hidden away.
In the box, the headphones looked awesome and would compliment the look of any gaming setup.
Once opened, the headset was really nice to hold and they looked awesome, complimenting the look of any gaming setup.. It feels a little lighter compared to the original 5H. The plastic used is of a high quality, and you can tell that a lot of effort has been put into designing the unit.
After a closer inspection, it becomes obvious that the headset can be taken apart. This is a achieved by pressing in a tab above the earphone and pulling the headband away. Both ear pieces can be removed, so the 5H v2 is reduced to 3 parts.
The wire that connects to the left side of the headset cannot be removed which seems odd considering as the whole unit can be taken apart for transportation. However, if you remove the extension cable, you are only left with 1 meter of wire to tidy up.
The wire itself isn’t the normal plastic affair, but is encased in a cotton braid, which stops the cable from clinging to itself, and also seems to reduce knotting. It also feels a lot nicer than the cold touch of plastic.
The headset has a cable length of 3 meters which is great for gaming as it means that you don’t have to keep removing your headset to do something else in your room. SteelSeries have decided to divide the cable in two, with 1 meter permanently attached to the headset, and 2 meters as an extension cable. This means that if you have keyboard I/O ports, you don’t have to have 3 meters of wire coiled around the place. The downside of the extension idea, is that the connection between the 1m and 2m wires can be pulled apart quite easily, which becomes irritating when you are trying to pull the cable for whatever reason.
On the 1m cable attached to the headset, there is the volume control. This comes complete with a clip to attach it to your shirt/trousers so that you can always find it. On the control unit, there is volume control which goes from 0 to 100%, and a microphone volume switch with three modes; high, low and mute. The high and low settings aren’t really all that much different from each other, but it’s still a useful feature of the headset.
The ear pads in this version have been made larger and more comfortable. The head band has also been improved, providing more pressure meaning the headset will stay on your head better.
The headset can be adjusted to fit almost anyone’s head. The earpieces can be adjusted height wise, as with most headsets. The earpieces also rotate slightly which means that they will fit snuggly around your head. The top headband is heavily padded and is really comfortable to wear.
The microphone has been made much longer than the original 5H. It is also clad in plastic; protecting it from daily wear and tear. It can be positioned anywhere and also can be stowed away in the left headpiece so its not always in your way when watching a film/listening to music.
To make a fair comparison between the 5H v1 and v2, I will run the same tests as we used for the v1. You can read the v1 review here.
I used the headset for a few days to fully test the capabilities of it. The headset was combined with Creative’s X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity soundcard. This should mean that the sound quality is solely in the hands of the 5H, and not the PC.
Music: Much like the previous model, the high-end frequencies were reproduced faithfully. However, the 5H v2 falls down when faced with bass. Music sounds tinny and compared to other gaming headsets, its sounds awful. The larger ear pads also don’t help this matter; they move the speaker further away from your ear. Forcing the ear pads closer to your ears brings more bass to the headset. If you’re looking to listen to music, these headphones are definitely not for you.
Gaming: Because the ear pads are so large, they hug your ears and cut out all environmental noise. This means that you really feel part of the game. However, once again the lack of bass really lets down the headset. But the headset amplifies the high-end frequencies which means that you can hear things like gunshots and footsteps better. Explosions and engine SFX sound fake as there is no bass. Personally, I don’t feel that this advantage outweighs the loss of bass.
The headset is obviously designed for the FPS addict, who really wants every possible method of being better than his/her opponents. The headset makes high pitched sounds louder, which means that you can hear footsteps before other people. I feel that the headset will come unstuck in other games.
Skype: Skype is a VOIP program that allows two people to talk over the internet for free. The voice quality is a lot better than a standard phone call, which means that a high-quality microphone is required. The microphone on the 5H v2 is excellent, and the extra length of the mic means that you can position is wherever you want it.
Prolonged use of the headset is not a problem due to the comfortable ear pads.
The 5H v2 has several improvements on the previous version. The SteelSound 5H v2 focuses far too much on getting one up on the opposition in first person shooters, as opposed to being an all-round performer.
If you’re looking for a headset which will only be used for gaming, and perhaps a little bit of light music listening then the 5H v2 is for you. However, if you are used to deep bass and listen to a lot of music, then these headphones are not going to be up for the job.
Steelseries have done an admiral job in enhancing their already well-known headset, but they have failed to change the sound quality, which is where I feel that the 5H v2 falls down.
|Very comfortable||Bass still needs improvement|
|Improved mic length|
|Great mic quality|