Review: SteelSeries Siberia P300 Headset

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Product: SteelSeries Siberia P300 Headset
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Manufacturer: SteelSeries
Original MSRP: $99.99
This product was provided by the manufacturer for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy.

Audio Review:
The audio review for this product is available on Episode 442 of the podcast.

Let’s get this out of the way, I’m a fan of SteelSeries. I use their H-Wireless headphones with my PS4 a lot and they still stand-out among the ever-growing crowd of gaming headphones. But those run at a much higher price than what many people are willing to spend.

Now that there’s a standard 3.5mm plug on the DualShock 4, going wireless with your audio is a whole lot easier. I’m also a pretty regular user of the older Siberia V2 headset when I go to a LAN party. They’re insanely comfortable with excellent sound and oversized drivers and I love that they vent really well.

Cut to E3 2015 where Dave got his ears on this new entry in the Siberia line. I was obviously interested since I use the V2’s quite a bit, so when they arrived I was pretty excited to get them out of the box and on my head.

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When I opened up the box I giggled a bit because they seemed identical to the V2’s up in my office. But is that a bad thing? I really like them, and like I said, they’re always the set I use at LAN parties when I’m playing for hours on end.

The P300’s are designed to plug into the headphone jack on your PS4’s controller, but they’ll also work with many other devices with that jack. They even come with an adaptor that separates the Headphone and Microphone for compatibility with laptops, PC’s, and whatever else would use separate ports.

… luxuriously soft foam surrounds the earcups …
The design is incredibly simple and clean, and what stands-out the most with this line of headsets is the comfort. Instead of simply stretching a metal crossbar over your head, these use an elastic strip instead, and that’s all that touches the top of your head. What that brings is a much more comfortable feel without that hard piece pressing down on top of your head.

It’s tough to explain, but when you put them on your head, you’ll wish for that design on every other headset you try from then on. It doesn’t stop there though, luxuriously soft foam surrounds the earcups as well. I’ve never had any issues wearing these for hours at a time, and because they also have vents on both sides, they never get too hot either.

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Another benefit to having these vents is that unlike many of the other headsets that I’ve used lately, there’s no attempt at isolating or cancelling outside noise. Instead, and this is another reason I love using them at LAN parties, you can actually hear when someone’s trying to talk to you.

There’s still a sense of isolation, but it’s not as radical as most of the other headsets out there. You’re not constantly moving them away from your ears when someone’s trying to privately strategize with you or asking if you want another soda. Making things simple is something that I’ve always appreciated.

… the voice quality is a bit lower than I would expect …
But it’s not all great. Part of my testing includes using them specifically in a party to test for voice quality. Reports from multiple people highlighted a less than stellar performance of the boom microphone.

No matter what I tried, even going as far as putting the mic directly in front of my mouth, everyone in the group chat reported that it sounded like I was far away from the microphone, almost like I was using a camera or built-in laptop mic. It worked, but the voice quality is obviously a bit lower than I would expect.

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I do like that it’s easy to mute the mic though with a simple flip of a switch behind the left earcup. Also, the microphone can be slid up into the main housing easily, which all points back to the simple design.

One last thing I noticed was that they never seemed to get to a top volume that I wanted. Since these are passive (non-powered) they mainly rely on the device they’re plugged into. I have a feeling that the “oversized” drivers are affecting how high I can set the volume without something amplifying them. It’s not a huge deal, but depending on the game, sometimes you just need to turn them up and these only let you go so far.

The good news is that they sound fantastic. Since the PS4 sends audio to the DS4 encoded with a virtual 7.1 codec, sound moves around quite well with these drivers and the audio is generally crystal clear no matter where you are from high to low.

… $99 is just a bit too much …
Conclusion:
To boil things down, the headphones themselves are fantastic but the microphone seems to fall short enough for others to notice. My baseline for a mic on the PS4 is the included chat mic.

I’ve loved the actual design of these for a long time, but it really does seem like $99 is just a bit too much for what you’re getting. Maybe if the microphone performed better I’d reconsider, but you’ll have to decide for yourself if that’s a dealbreaker.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better set of headphones at this price-point though, especially ones that are this comfortable to wear.

Score:
7.0

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Written by Glenn Percival

Glenn Percival

Just a guy that loves games, movies, Golf, Football, and Baseball.

Podcast Co-Host, Editor-in-Chief, Video Producer, and whipping-boy

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