SteelSeries Siberia 840 Review

Words can’t do the SteelSeries Siberia 840 justice.

October 25, 2016

/ by Tin Salamunic

Overview: Just when I thought SteelSeries' superb Siberia 800 headset couldn't get any better, the audio experts just released an upgraded version, the Siberia 840, which basically makes this already excellent model near flawless. One of the most notable additions includes Bluetooth connectivity, allowing users to answer calls while gaming without the need to switch to another headset.

Based on my personal testing, the battery life has increased tremendously too. I've been able to easily squeeze over twenty hours out of each one of the lithium-ion batteries. The 840 model has one of the longest-lasting batteries I've ever tested in a high-end gaming headset. Another minor, but personally imperative, addition is the chrome finish on the ear cups. The 800 had a black, shiny finish that always left smudges and fingerprints after use. The chrome finish allows the 840 to remain clean in appearance, even after long periods of usage. This is a big plus for users who like to keep their tech spotless!

Lastly, the Siberia 840 lets users modify the EQ settings via the SteelSeries Engine 3 on top of the tuning options found within the amp. Ultimately, the 840 is the definitive version of their Siberia line, and it still remains one of the best wireless gaming headsets on the market.

The Review: Every gaming headphone manufacturer seems to boast about surround sound these days, but very few headsets actually deliver genuine spatial audio. SteelSeries’ Siberia Elite Prism (as well as the V3 Prism) are an exception, and are some of the best surround headphones we recently tested. However, nothing comes close to SteelSeries Siberia 840 wireless gaming headphones. At $329.99, they aren’t cheap, but their auditory performance outshines every model in its class. Their Dolby capabilities are unparalleled, and come closest to replicating an actual surround speaker setup. For gamers looking to invest in a truly elite headset, it doesn’t get more premium than this. The SteelSeries Siberia 840 are the Ferrari of gaming headphones, and they support nearly every device on the market.

Because of their diverse compatibility (Playstation, Xbox, PC, Mobile, iPhone and more), the Siberia 840 come with multiple cable hookups and interchangeable power adapter heads for different outlet types, as well as two rechargeable batteries to insure the headphones always remain charged. Depending on the cable type, the Siberia 840 provide a different Dolby surround sound. Dolby Digital is in effect when connecting via optical audio (best quality), and using USB audio delivers Dolby Pro Logic llx and Dolby Headphone. To get the full surround sound effect, it’s imperative to set the active device to the appropriate Dolby setting, and turn on Dolby Digital via the SteelSeries transmitter. The added Bluetooth connectivity expands the model's versatility even further.

"The SteelSeries Siberia 840 are the Ferrari of gaming headphones, and they support nearly every device on the market."

Setting up the headphones and transmitter is simple, and it’s even possible to use multiple consoles without switching cables if connecting the transmitter via a receiver. Since we have three consoles plugged into one entertainment set at our office, we decided to use the Siberia 840 via our receiver to easily switch back and forth between the devices. It’s as simple as plugging in the optical cable, turning off the TV speakers and turning on the headphones. The only downside to using a receiver is that the mic won’t work. However, users can keep the USB cable plugged into their desired console separately, and simply toggle the source with the active mic when chatting with friends.

The transmitter is used to tweak audio setting, select sources, and adjust the volume. It also tweaks Chatmix and Livemix settings. Chatmix is used for blending game and chat audio to achieve the best balance between the two, while Livemix automatically increases and decreases game audio when chatting is enabled. All of these functions can also be remotely configured via the headset’s radial dial, and the transmitter’s brightly lit OLED screen makes it easy to see the display when sitting far away. As you can see in the image below, you can now also make all of the tweaks within the SteelSeries Engine 3, which is a nice extra for those who want further control over their settings.

"The audio is crystal clear, with thunderous bass accentuating action-packed scenes in both movies and games."

The SteelSeries Siberia 840 are expertly designed and built to last. Both the headphones and the transmitter look stylish when sitting next to an entertainment system or PC. Their beauty extends to unprecedented comfort. The leathery ear cushions are soft and don’t generate any heat after long usage. They also do a superb job of isolating exterior noise. The leathery headband provides comfort when gaming for long sessions, although the headset feels slightly stiff at first. This is probably due to the super sturdy build quality. After using the headphones for a week, they loosen up and become more flexible.

"Words don't do the SteelSeries Siberia 840 justice. Gaming headphones aren’t usually recommended for serious audio enthusiasts, but the Siberia 840 may very well change that trend."

Don’t let the “gaming” label fool you, the Siberia 840 deliver remarkable sound across all media. The audio is crystal clear, with thunderous bass accentuating action-packed scenes in both movies and games. The surround sound is shockingly accurate, especially when playing first person titles. Multiplayer matches are far more immersive with enhanced positional cues, giving competitive gamers an unquestionable advantage. The only criticism, and this may not even really be a complaint, is the rather low maximum volume level. But to be fair, that’s a common problem with modern headphones. The Siberia 840 are powerful, but just a few more notches beyond the current limit would have been much better for those who like their action loud. The mic is just as impressive. While it doesn’t provide anything close to studio grade clarity, it’s the most efficient mic we’ve ever used on a gaming headset.

Conclusion: Words don't do the SteelSeries Siberia 840 justice. Gaming headphones aren’t usually recommended for serious audio enthusiasts, but the Siberia 840 may very well change that trend. From their sturdy yet comfortable build quality to their diverse compatibility and incomparable audio performance, the Siberia 840 come highly recommended to gamers willing to invest in a pricier headset.

Review by: Tin Salamunic


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