Lately, there has been an avalanche-like growth in the headset industry. This is in many ways a direct consequence of the increasing number of multiplayer games. In games like Counter-strike, for example, real-time communication is a vital detail, if you want to prevail. And what's more, the audio quality has improved dramatically lately and you can practically get equal quality from a pair of $40 headphones like the quality you would get from a $400 HIFI system. Of course, the LAN culture has contributed in some ways as well; speakers are not very practical to haul around to LANs, so headphones are the obvious choice for a LAN addict.
Frequency Response: 18-28,000 Hz
Impedance: 40 Ohm
SPL@1kHz, 1V rms: 99-104 dB
Cable Length: 1m (Headphones) + 1.8m (Volume)
Jack: 1/8" Stereo + 1/4" Adapter
Frequency Response: 80-15,000 Hz
Sensitivity (1V/Pa@1 kHz): -38dB
Contents and Packaging:
The Icemat Siberia came in an attractive but thin cardboard box with a plastic transparent front section. On the back of the packaging is technical information about the Siberia in several languages and a small diagram labeling the different parts of the headset. Through the transparent plastic on the front of the box, you can see the headset itself, the volume control device and the microphone, all of which are enclosed in a white plastic base. I always love being able to actually see what I’m buying.
Inside the Siberia box, Icemat includes:
1 x Siberia headset
1 x 3.5mm to 6.3mm jack converter
1 x Microphone
1 x 1.8m volume control and extender cable
1 x Set of Velcro pads
1 x Microphone holder
Taking a Closer Look:
The cord is an interesting creation all together. First of all, its thick, which is good, and has many thin ridges, which is odd, but cute. Besides that, it has plastic extensions every 40-50cm for griping the microphone cord. Overall, the headphones are very comfortable; feel expensive, elegant, and almost lavish. The connectors are also of good quality and are much better than the standard ones. They use the 3.5mm jack form on both the microphone and headphones and also include a 3.5 to 6.3 adapter for use in stereos etc.
The sound quality on these headphones did not disappoint at all. From watching DVD’s, listening to CD’s, to some intense gaming. I must admit I was a little bias during testing. Having never owned a set of high performance headphones before I was blown away when I heard bass coming out of them during a rock track! Both bass and vocal sounds were crisp and clear and the bass sounded punchy from both the PC and the MP3 player. It was only after listening to rock tracks for a few hours I realized the bass wasn’t as deep as it should have been, this is most likely due to the open air design of the headphones. One thing I did notice was that if the extended cable with the volume control is being used it is possible to generate more bass. Simply set the source (mp3 player, PC) to a high volume and reduce the cable volume to about half way, this gives much deeper bass.
1 x USB soundcard
1 x driver CD
1 x USB cable.
Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound
12 Channel Equalizer
USB Cable Included
Taking a Closer Look:
On each end of the soundcard are connectors. On the top end is a mini-USB plug for attaching to the supplied USB cable, which then goes into the PC. On the bottom end there are two female 3.5mm jacks, one for a stereo output (such as headphones) and one for a microphone input. This differs from the volume control box that comes with the Siberia headset as it only has one port for the headphones, the microphone has to be connected directly to the PC.
The included USB soundcard adds a virtual 7.1 surround driver that, through intelligent sound panning and manipulation of frequencies, enables the sound to "circle" around one's ears, albeit via software means. Note that this is not a real substitute for a true 7.1, or even a 5.1 surround system - a bit of testing proved that only the left and right earpieces actually responded accordingly when tested on a 5.1 sound testing panel. It makes for an interesting listen though; music, audio files, and even in-game sounds can be shifted round and round as one pleases. There was little instruction on the matter of switching the sound output though back and forth between speaker and headphones though, which had to be done manually via the host machine's control panel.
The bottom line on the USB sound card is that it works. It provide great positional audio, which more than makes up for any imperceptible loss in quality they have. Most of all, at only a $20 price premium, it is still $30 cheaper than the least expensive Audigy2 on the market, the Audigy2 Value, and you can transport it with you to any system, as long as you have the conveniently small mini-CD.
-Long leads on the Headset
-Very comfortable, unique design
-No microphone attachment on the headphones
-A LOT of different cables and parts that could get lost
-USB Soundcard’s lead is a little short