Reviews: Headsets with Microphones

REVIEW / SteelSeries 7H

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Last updated: October 19, 2010  
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Tristan François Published on October 19, 2010
Updated on October 19, 2010
Translated by Catherine Barraclough

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Headphone Type Closed
  • Speaker Dynamic
  • Cable Length 3.25 m
  • Weight NC
SteelSeries gaming accessories have a good reputation among both amateur and pro gamers. The brand's headsets are not necessarily the best on the market, but they're often great value for money.

Design: dodgy remote

The 7H headset is well made. The big headband feels sturdy and robust, and the materials used seem to be of excellent quality. Plus, we like the fact it's supplied with both velvet and imitation-leather earpads, so you can use whichever you prefer. The extension cable is also a welcome addition, as it makes the 7H easily adaptable to all kind of computer set-ups.

The remote control is, however, a little more questionable. Even though it's perfectly positioned on the cable, it's of a very poor quality. Even the design isn't particularly convincing, but it's when you actually start handling the remote that you really start wondering just how long it'll take it to fall apart.

As the 7H are closed headphones, you'll soon find yourself sweating no matter which set of earpads you choose. Plus, the very rectangular shape of the headband will no doubt bother some users, who'll find the 7H uncomfortable after just a very short while, especially since the headband squeezes your head quite tightly.

Audio: who stole the bass?

We often criticise gaming headsets for being way too heavy on the bass, but there's no risk of that with the 7H, as there's not much to be found below the lower-mediums and upper bass frequencies. In fact, these headphones are heaviest in the mediums and then the treble. The output is pleasant to listen to and voices can be heard clearly, but it's not necessarily the best frequency distribution for creating a fully spatial effect.

Nevertheless, the 7H should please the majority of gamers, especially since the sound is really quite accurate.

The microphone is the same retractable mic. found in other SteelSeries headsets. Its design is particularly practical as it can be folded away when you're carrying the 7H around or when not the microphone's not in use. Plus, a semi-rigid cable means you can position it with accuracy. We're big fans.

It's a shame that the comfort and sound output of the 7H headphones are somewhat debatable, as we were hoping for more from SteelSeries. We had high hopes for the 7H but, in the end, we were a little disappointed as we couldn't find anything to justify the 7H's higher position in the manufacturer's headset range.

USB Version
For anyone who wants to bypass their computer's sound card (for an identical audio output on any PC or to avoid using a poor-quality sound card, for example), SteelSeries also sells a USB version of the 7H.

It's effectively the same pair of headphones supplied with a USB dongle that the 7H connects to via its two mini-jacks. The sound output is only very slightly different, as a sound card is built directly into the dongle and, once plugged in, a 7.1 virtual sound function pops up. The USB version is, however, around £20 more expensive.

PROS

  • Sturdy, robust design
  • Good-quality microphone, can be positioned with precision

CONS

  • Comfort is definitely debatable
  • Sound output not necessarily well-suited to gaming
  • Poor-quality remote control

CONCLUSION 3/5

We found the 7H disappointing. It's not that it's a bad headset—it's still decent enough—but its higher price compared with other models in the range isn't justified as far as we're concerned.
3 SteelSeries 7H Digitalversus 2010-10-19 00:00:00
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Amazon 60.98 - See offer  
Amazon 69.95 - See offer  

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