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  Product:     SteelSound 5H v2 USB Headphones  
  Price:     $115 (CDN) / $103 (U.S)
  Supplied By:     SteelSeries
  Author:     Mars
  Date:     October 5th, 2006
  Rating:     star star star star star star star star

MODTHEBOX would like to thank Thomas from SteelSeries for sending the SteelSound 5H v2 USB Headphones for review.

SteelSeries

Introduction:

Being a serious gamer usually involves having the best of the best hardware to give you an edge in your offline and more importantly your online gaming experience. When the difference between first and last place can be a mere couple of frags, every little advantage counts. Not so long ago hardcore gamers would source out the best available hardware among the generic products on the market to provide an edge. In today’s world of gaming quite a few companies manufacture products to appeal to the gaming community promising to give them that all important advantage. Four point speakers and sound cards played an important role in giving gamers the edge by immersing them right into the game with sound coming from all around them. Being able to hear an opponent running behind you gave you an advantage over other gamers using only a two point speaker systems. If you are not fortunate enough to have the space, or you live somewhere that noise may pose a problem, what can you do? One solution is to use a set of headphones, but generic headphones do not give you the "surround" experience that a multi point speaker system does. Luckily there are a few companies that aim at keeping things quiet for others, while still attempting to give that audio edge for your gaming experience. Today in the MTB Labs, we will be evaluating the new SteelSound 5H v2 USB headphones.

Specifications:

The SteelSound 5H v2 USB Headphones is an optimized version of the original SteelSound 5H headset. The new headset features improved microphone quality, a longer microphone cord, bigger (and more comfortable) ear cushions, additional frame pressure and numerous other technical design improvements. Here are some features and specifications taken directly from the SteelSeries website:

Model
SteelSound 5H v2 USB Headphones
Frequency Response

16 - 28.000 Hz

Impedance

40 Ohm

SPL@ 1kHz, 1 Vrms

110 dB

Cable Length

1 + 2 = 3 meters (10 feet)

Connectors

3.5mm

Microphone Frequency Response

75 - 16.000 Hz

Pick-up Pattern

Uni-directional

Sensitivity

-38dB

Impedance

2k Ohm

Sound Card

N/A

SteelSound 5H v2 USB Headphones
Click image for larger view
SteelSound 5H v2 USB Headphones
Click image for larger view
 

The SteelSound 5H v2 USB Headphones come in a clear plastic clamshell style of packaging providing a good look at the product. The rear of the packaging contains a cardboard insert highlighting the features and specifications. The headphones rest around a molded plastic insert that provides a fair amount of protection. In the rear, the cardboard insert forms the backing and behind here you will find the owners manual and software CD.

SteelSound 5H v2 USB Headphones
Click image for larger view
SteelSound 5H v2 USB Headphones
Click image for larger view
 

In the box you will find the headphones, USB adapter, driver CD, pamphlet showcasing other products from SteelSeries, and a paper containing a warning about hearing and responsible use of audio equipment.

SteelSound 5H v2 USB Headphones
Click image for larger view
SteelSound 5H v2 USB Headphones
Click image for larger view
 
My initial impression of The SteelSound 5H v2 USB Headphone was a positive one. On paper these headphones look promising. The wiring for the headphones has an outer braided cloth type shielding running along the entire length of the wire, with a microphone and volume control pod about two feet away from the left side earpiece. One nice feature of these headphones is the inclusion of a wire length extender allowing the end user to custom tailor the length of the wire needed base on the location of their computer system. The SteelSound 5H v2 USB Headphones use a ratcheting adjustable headband, instead of a simple pressure slide system. The ratcheting system provides a positive lock fit that is more durable and will prevent the band from slipping out of adjustment. The headband itself is made from rugged plastic with a leatherette wrapped foam pad running along the length of it. The cushioning around the ear pieces are also made from soft pliable foam that is clothed wrapped eliminating the "sweaty ear" syndrome associated with ear pieces that are vinyl or leatherette wrapped. For those on the go the headphones can be dismantled into three parts for easier transportation.

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