SteelSeries Spectrum 5XB Headset Review
By Gaetano Prestia
SteelSeries has made its console debut with the Spectrum 5XB XBOX 360 headset. The company well known for its professional gaming gear is giving console gamers a chance to use some of their critically acclaimed and high-quality gaming gear to enhance their gaming experience. While this headset might not be on the conventional side thanks to its size and short leads, its fantastic sound-quality and overall quality make it a must-have for any hardcore XBOX Live gamer.
The Spectrum 5XB allows you to isolate your friends’ voices over XBOX Live so that they’re not drained out by the sound of explosions and gunfire during online battle. Accessibility is the key here, and after a number of hours of use, the Spectrum 5XB comes across as the best third-party headset for a console ever. The sound is crisp and full, and you can drain out either the game sounds or the voices of those playing with you with the flick of a switch.
Those of you that wear glasses should be pleased to hear that this headset allows you to keep your glasses on while using it, thanks to extra space around the ears. Furthermore, the headset is designed in such a way that it fits comfortably on your head, no matter what size cranium you’re blessed with. The padded cans fit comfortably over the ears, and the peak volume isn’t so loud that it’s going to send you deaf. The bass and clarity have been tuned perfectly to offer a fantastic fusion of sounds directly into your ears.
The implementation of the AudioMixer means the headset will automatically lower the game audio when someone is speaking through their headset, pending you have LiveMix switched on on the headset. AudioMixer is also available separately if you already have a headset you’re comfortable with. The mixer is actually a fantastic addition, as it allows you to play the game with the audio loud without compromising the sound of your friends’ voices. That way, you can still enjoy the crisp sound of Halo: Reach, while still being able to understand what your teammates are saying to you. The volumes interchange almost unnoticed, thanks to the quality of the AudioMixer and its ability to flush out sounds and focus on a particular input.
The only downside of the 5XB is that the cables might seem a little unconventional for the casual gamer, whereas hardcore gamers might find the cables a little too short. However, set-up is extremely easy, as it’s just a matter of hooking the audio component cables into your television via the 360’s cables, and then plugging the headset into the 360 controller.
The Final Verdict
The SteelSeries Spectrum 5XB Headset is definitely worth it for hardcore online gamers, be it on 360 or PC. With Medal of Honor and Black Ops right around the corner, those of you in the market for a great headset with great sound quality should look no further than the 5XB for console gaming. Its fantastic sound quality and great overall design make it a fantastic alternative to an expensive surround sound system.
We say: Highly Recommended