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SteelSeries 7H Gaming Headset Review

Comfort

The 7H is a reasonably comfortable headset but does lag behind the Siberia V2 in this department.  Even though the headset is quite lightweight, we found that the faux leather pads became a little uncomfortable after an hour or so of use.  But this problem was rectified when we switched to the fabric pads which feel a lot less claustrophobic around your ears as they are softer and have a more comfortable texture.  Using these fabric pads we were able to game for a few hours without discomfort.

Gaming

First of all we tested the 7H with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Gunshots were clear and defined and the background noises were prominent and allowed us to easily hear enemies sneaking up behind us. Sound panning was reasonably effective but not as good as what we have experienced with proper surround sound headsets.

Next we moved on to Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories which was transformed by the 7H.  After playing on my Creative 5.1 speaker system, I heard background sounds that I’ve never heard before which really brought the gaming experience to life.

We also played various other titles and the 7H performed well throughout, despite the lack of surround sound.  We did have the sound turned up to the max throughout all the testing for a comfortable gaming level; this may not be quite enough for some people and it certainly would be nice if the 7H had a little more volume.

Movie

One of my favorite films for testing audio is The Dark Knight.  In the opening sequence the deep bass notes were crisp and clear and the sound was well balanced overall.  The lack of any surround sound or virtual surround sound is evident, though.  Considering the price of this gaming headset, its performance was perfectly adequate in this area.  Those who are looking for the best movie experience should probably consider a proper surround-sound headset, however.

Once again, the only small problem we found during movie playback was that the headset was lacking in volume somewhat, even when we cranked it up to max.  Sure the volume level was acceptable but for complete immersion in the movie, it really needs to be a bit louder.

Music

Music playback was decent considering the 7H is geared specifically towards gaming.  The lower registers were particularly impressive with clear reproduction of all the tracks we played.  We tested a variety of different types of music from classical to hip-hop and the 7H reproduced all the tracks well for a gaming headset.  But for the audiophiles out there, we would recommend a headset that is geared specifically for music playback.

One of the advantages of the 7H is that it can be used with an MP3 player thanks to its use of 3.5mm audio connectors.  We tested it with an HTC Desire phone and the performance was very good – but the size of the headset makes it too cumbersome to use on the move.  SteelSeries have a mobile device adapter on sale for those who want to use both the headphones and microphone simultaneously with portable devices.  This should also work for those who use Steam on their Macbook!

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