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REVIEW: SteelSeries 5H v2 - Doomhammer


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#1 vVv Doomhammer

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:24 AM

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After using the SteelSeries 5H v2 headsets for a bit, I've decided to give a breakdown on my experiences with them. I know that some people have been having some trouble and don't think of them too favorably, but I'm finding them a joy to use.

Earpieces: Soft and comfortable. They fit well around my ear without causing pressure to the cartilage itself, which I've found with other headsets causes irritation after prolonged use. While they don't completely kill surrounding ambient surrounding noise, they do an excellent job of deadening it, which allows the sound coming through the headset to be sharp and highly audible.

Sound Quality: These things are golden. They has an excellent range of sound, which is phenomenal both in terms of music and gaming. Additionally it has excellent clarity. Sounds and voices coming through are crisp and clear.

Microphone: This is the area where most people are having trouble with the headsets. They've experienced a low quality output of sound and have been told they're hard to hear. I also experienced that briefly, but it seemed to me that the problem was mostly based on the microphone direction. THE MICROPHONE PICKUP IS SPECIFICALLY DIRECTIONAL, and given the flexibility of the microphone neck it's quite easy for the facing to be pointed wrong. Twisting it so that it's properly oriented is easy, and fixes the problem. Also, the neck holds that direction well. In addition, it's easy to tell where the proper orientation is because there's a small screw on the microphone facing the same direction as the microphone pickup. Be sure you have it facing the right way!

Misc: The cable is made of a woven material, which is both durable and flexible, and won't wear out nearly as fast as rubber will. In addition, the cable has an extra section that allows an extremely long cord or a more practical short one.

Connectors: The connectors are pretty standard. Two 1/8th inch TSR plugs, one for microphone and one for earpiece, as you'll see in almost all headsets. There's an extra adapter that is used to plug into a xbox 360 controller, and this may be the other piece of the trouble people have been having. It's the one place where feedback is important to SteelSeries because having effective connections to both xbox controllers, and more specifically the mix amps used at MLG events, is very important.

I'm extremely pleased with the quality of the headsets and I'm incredibly excited to have SteelSeries as a vVv sponsor. Their manufacture of products is exceptional, and I'm confident that collaboration between vVv Gaming and SteelSeries will help to further improve on gaming products.

Jordan "Doomhammer" Kahn
Doomhammer@vvv-gaming.com

Production Coordinator for Riot Games

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"Because two tanks aren't twice as good as one tank. They're five times as good."
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#2 Caper

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 07:21 AM

my only gripe is they don't have any 5.1 surround sound headsets with 4 speakers per earcup for a more precise awareness in games that support it.
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#3 vVv LordJerith

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 10:15 AM

I have tested this with Doomhammer. I agree with him, people who complained about the mic were not using it properly.
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#4 Jerkstore

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 08:06 PM

Hey everyone. The Left 4 Dead team just got hooked up with all the greatest Steelseries products. I figured I would give reviews of what I got so anyone interested could have a better idea of what to expect from Steelseries.

Steelseries 5H v2 Headset
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I've been through many headphones and headsets, and have a few good pairs of Sony and Sennheiser cans. So I'm a bit picky when it comes to sound. My first impression of this headset is that it is extremely comfortable. They sit comfortably around my ears, I don't feel the bridge pressing down on my head, and my ears feel just fine after several hours of use. That alone is enough to buy this headset; most headsets are uncomfortable and turn your ears red after an hour or two.

The sound quality is crisp. The first thing I noticed is a lack of bass, but I easily fixed this by turning up bass amplification in my soundcard settings, and they sound just as good as the Sony cans I usually wear for music. Most reviews will tell you these are bad for music, but that's only because they do have weak bass if you don't tweak your sound at all.

I haven't tried out the supposed Virtual 7.1 yet, but these headphones work great for gaming. I can locate the sounds coming from hunters, smokers and boomers just fine. The quality never becomes muddled or over-modulated as some headphones do when playing Left 4 Dead in a hectic horde with hundreds of zombies yelling.

The microphone is nice and simple. It retracts into the headphones if you just want to use them for audio. Good quality microphone, nobody has complained yet. And there's no cloth on the outside to get smelly, ripped up and chewed.

Great comfort, great quality, great microphone. Best headset I've ever owned.

Steelseries 7g Keyboard
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This is a no-nonsense keyboard. It's built purely for function and not for beauty. There's no bright lights, 100 extra keys or a screen you'll never use. Instead of all that, you get the most solid and functional keyboard you'll likely ever lay hands on. This keyboard uses mechanical keys, which means the keys feel different. It took me some adjusting to get used to them, but typing on it feels much smoother and responsive than ever. After playing some L4D with it, I start to not notice myself using the WASD keys and my fingers just slide across like butter. Not as much pressure is required to press the buttons, but at the same time, they give a much nicer tactile response than regular keyboards. The result of this is faster typing, twitchier movement in games and never being unsure of whether you pressed a button or not.

Another great feature of this keyboard is that it acts as a hub for your headset and usb devices. Instead of plugging your headset directly into the computer or into your speakers, you can plug it into this keyboard. The USB ports are v1.1, so I don't use my mouse with it, but it's great for having 2 extra accessible usb slots.

My biggest qualms with it are the key positioning. The capslock key is directly aligned with the A key, so I was pressing it accidentally while I was getting used to typing. I ended up popping it out; the mechanical keys can still be pressed with a key missing, IN CASE I EVER GET VERY ANGRY. The enter/return key is extra large, and bumped the | key into an odd spot. The backspace key is the size of a normal key, which is fine. And there are media keys on the F-row, but you have to press the Steelseries button that is in the place of the left-side windows key. Sort of strange but I'm quickly getting used to it.

Yesterday I ignored the wrist pad that comes with the 7g. I figured I never used a wrist pad and didn't need one now, as I liked having the keyboard closer to my body. Well today I saw the big plastic guy looking all lonely next to my desk, so I popped it on and gave it a shot. Now before I talk about this one, let me tell you about other wristpads. Most wrist pads are too short, and they become more like palm wrests or an annoying plastic hump that gets is the way. Or the big soft ones are just unnecessary. It didn't take me long after using the 7g's wristpad to figure out why it was designed this way. As I said, most wristpads are too short to actually hold your wrist. This pad holds your wrist comfortably so your hands can hover in the correct position over the keyboard at all times. If you don't use the wristpad, your arm will shuffle around and maybe find a comfortable position. But every time I put my arm on the keyboard with the wristpad, it just feels right.

If you want a solid, heavy keyboard with functionality specifically for gamers who don't stare at their keyboard, there is none better.

Steelseries QcK Mass Mousepad
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Mousepads are a personal choice; everyone has different preferences. Here is my criteria:
- I play on high sensitivities, so I need a bit more friction than hard surfaces offer. Cloth is the best choice for me.
- I move my mouse very quickly, so the mousepad cannot move or shift around. Needs a rubber bottom and a decent weight.
- Because of the high sensitivity, there can't be any surface imperfections. Every single movement, no matter how small must be registered.
- I have a smaller desk space so it can't be gigantic

The QcK Mass fits all of my needs. It has a rugged but smooth cloth surface that gives me the perfect amount of friction. The mousepad is much heavier than my last pad and has a huge rubber base, so it will never shift around. The surface has no designs and a consistent cloth weaving, so there is no chance of skipping or stuttering. And it fits my desk perfectly.

Only thing to note is that the cloth pads are rolled up in their packaging, and need to be flattened out overnight with some heavy books to ensure it stays completely flat. But that's no problem.

Steelseries has a huge line of mousepads, so make sure you get the one that fits your needs.

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#5 vVv LordJerith

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 10:35 PM

This is how you write a review!!!!! Great job! I'll be sure to share the feedback with SteelSeries! Look forward to all of you taking pics!
LordJerith
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#6 Konvict

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 10:36 PM

Great Review! I Will put this into consideration if I buy these products!
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Rep the Best.

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#7 Recklesz

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 10:37 PM

nice review on the headsets and the other things too
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#8 Empire

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 10:59 PM

Excellent review. I was planning on getting a new surface soon.

#9 vVv Doomhammer

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 11:14 PM

This is a really excellent review. I'm really glad to have this perspective and hear these opinions. Thanks, Jerkstore!

Jordan "Doomhammer" Kahn
Doomhammer@vvv-gaming.com

Production Coordinator for Riot Games

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#10 Pazmaticemail

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 11:33 PM

Great review! I'm intrested in seeing how good those headsets are. Price check? =P

Oderint dum metuat

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#11 Jerkstore

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 01:32 AM

I almost forgot. All 3 products get two Costanza thumbs way up.

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#12 Caper

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 02:57 AM

can't wait for my stuff to come after reading this =]
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#13 vVv Zodyak

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 03:22 AM

GREAT REVIEW!
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#14 Jerkstore

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 01:21 PM

Update on the 7g Keyboard:

Yesterday I ignored the wrist pad that comes with the 7g. I figured I never used a wrist pad and didn't need one now, as I liked having the keyboard closer to my body. Well today I saw the big plastic guy looking all lonely next to my desk, so I popped it on and gave it a shot. Now before I talk about this one, let me tell you about other wristpads. Most wrist pads are too short, and they become more like palm wrests or an annoying plastic hump that gets is the way. Or the big soft ones are just unnecessary. It didn't take me long after using the 7g's wristpad to figure out why it was designed this way. As I said, most wristpads are too short to actually hold your wrist. This pad holds your wrist comfortably so your hands can hover in the correct position over the keyboard at all times. If you don't use the wristpad, your arm will shuffle around and maybe find a comfortable position. But every time I put my arm on the keyboard with the wristpad, it just feels right.

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#15 vVv LordJerith

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 02:05 PM

Update on the 7g Keyboard:

Yesterday I ignored the wrist pad that comes with the 7g. I figured I never used a wrist pad and didn't need one now, as I liked having the keyboard closer to my body. Well today I saw the big plastic guy looking all lonely next to my desk, so I popped it on and gave it a shot. Now before I talk about this one, let me tell you about other wristpads. Most wrist pads are too short, and they become more like palm wrests or an annoying plastic hump that gets is the way. Or the big soft ones are just unnecessary. It didn't take me long after using the 7g's wristpad to figure out why it was designed this way. As I said, most wristpads are too short to actually hold your wrist. This pad holds your wrist comfortably so your hands can hover in the correct position over the keyboard at all times. If you don't use the wristpad, your arm will shuffle around and maybe find a comfortable position. But every time I put my arm on the keyboard with the wristpad, it just feels right.


Thanks for the update. Keep us posted on the pros and cons, as I share this feedback with SteelSeries!
LordJerith
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Owner, vVv Gaming
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#16 Methodx

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 02:13 PM

Fantastic review, this is definitely the way to review products good stuff.

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#17 Syn2K

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 02:27 PM

excellent review.

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#18 SLumps

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 03:51 PM

Loved the review
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#19 Ohadd

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 10:59 PM

Great review im thinking about picking up a mic now.
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#20 KillJoyy

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 12:36 AM

great review

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