[Review] Steel Series Spectrum 5XB Medal of Honor Edition Headset
The SteelSeries headset’s and headsets in general for gaming have always impressed me due to the sound. Sound is key when it comes to video games and also headset’s which is one of the key features I have looked into when reviewing this headset.
The SteelSeries 5XM headset has got a new paint job giving it the “Medal of Honor Edition”. The grey camaflouge colours and design of the headset is great and really reflects to the game itself especially the boxart, which is great. The Medal Of Honor stand’s proud on your ear’s with the logo on the ear pieces. Looking to other headsets I find this one to have more a simplicity and appealing look as the headset design isn’t over the top.
The Mic is one of SteelSeries signature features in this headset, the mic can be pushed away into the headphones to keep it stored away when you wish not to use it and have it in front of your face. It’s a great feature and stands out amongst other headsets.
When I first picked up the headset the first thing that worried me is the wires. I am not one for wired headsets as I find they get in the way to much but the SteelSeries headset isn’t as packed as I thought. There is only 2 leads that need to be plugged in which is the USB lead for the headset itself and the audio splitters that plug into your Xbox/TV, and the Mic adaptor for the Xbox 360 controller depending if you want to use the Mic. Although it’s not wireless and you may want to stay in a seating range if you have people constantly walking past, but it’s not much of an issue since you don’t have to put countless battery’s in to keep it charged.
The headset is very lightweight and feels very comfortable on the ears. This said they feel quiet flimsy. They are constructed well however to give you a more comfortable wear but at the same time not sturdy due to the plastic it has been made from. This said however they proved me wrong and still have been sturdy enough. I also sat on them by accident and they didn’t break. Sit Test complete.
Now setting up the headset was quiet easy for me and is quiet straight forward… Until I got to the Xbox 360 controller itself. I found it very difficult for the Audio Mixer Box that is attached to the Mic lead ridiculously hard to get it to stay into the controller. It takes quiet a hard push to get it to click in place which was frustrating. This audiomixer contains the usual separate volume and voice-chat controls so you can adjust the sound to your exact specifications. However, it also has the LiveMix control, which when enabled automatically drops the game volume when someone speaks and then raises it again when they’re finished. That means no more being unable to hear your team-mates during a firefight, or the angry under-age kids that are screaming abuse down the headset. You can always mute them though. There is a flaw to though to the LiveMix however and that is if someone has a static mic that constantly spasm static down your ears, thankfully you can turn it off. The Audiomixer is pretty big, not in weigh but just in its dimensions. It takes up a huge amount of room of your controller. This was quiet frustrating as it took me a lot longer to adjust than I thought as it kept getting in the way of my fingers. Lastly is the length of the wire that connects from the mixer to the headset. It is only one metre which may sound plenty enough for a gaming aspect, but if your one for films then you would encounter an issue where you would have to keep the controller in your hands .
The headset provides the ultimate saround sound experience with great volume controllers. The headset is great for long gaming sessions as the headset doesn’t feel painful on the ears or your head. The thick foam padding completely covers the wearers ears to provide the best comfort. I never found the headset uncomfortable to wear, it was just like wearing a pillow on your head… Just with a lot of sound and it’s attached to your Xbox 360. The only issue I found with the headset is that I picks up a lot of static sound through the headset even just during gameplay and no voice chats. I seems to suffer slightly with some noise cancellation. The headset is also good to block out sounds that aren’t present in the headset as I literally found it hard to hear someone talk to me with them on, which is great when you have your mum or partner shout at you, you can just keep playing and nodding your head.
The 5XB defiantly packs performance, the level of sound quality is the best I have seen in a headset for a long time. It delivers crisp sound’s and picks up all the other sound effects you may not of heard via a TV. The headset is definitely aimed for the gamer and provides great sound for the gamer. The headset really isn’t made for anything else which if you like listening to music or films it could be an issue. However the headset can also be used as iPod headphones with the cable. The Audiomixer which is a great feature and enables the headset to work with the Xbox 360 very well, I just didn’t like all the background distortion that it caused. With the volume turned up you wont hear it but during a blank cut-scene or when the game is loading you will notice it and expect it to happen. The mic quality is untouchable and delivers crisp clean audio transmission every time.