What Do You Mean, More Headphones?
After reviewing a bevy of gamer headphones, we figured it was a good time to sit down and take a look at the Icemat Siberia, which is Skype-certified. Of course, I couldn't leave my gamer brethren out in the cold, so we begin today with the SteelSound 5H.
Besides its name, which implies a murder weapon instead of the usual plastic fare, the 5H is a well-crafted piece of gear. Said plastic is, of course, the most lightweight option, and the 5H's designers took advantage of its flexibility, which for example, allows it to be stripped down for transport.
Indeed, of all the gaming headphones I've looked at over the past several months, the 5H is the only pair to have detachable earphones. This means you can break it down into three parts - the two headphones and the headband - which definitely makes them easier to carry around. Normally headphones, even if the speakers are thin and flat, are restrictive in regard to where you can place them in a bag or suitcase.
Compatibility-wise, the 5H has another trick up its sleeve: The microphone is built into the left headphone, and can be extended outwards whenever you need it. At first I thought it might not provide clear pickup, as it can only stretch out as far as the average person's chin. However, the pickup is fine, with the added bonus that anyone using the 5H doesn't have to keep it so close to his or her mouth that you can hear the blood circulating.
Attached to the headset itself is a fairly short wire, yet it is long enough to connect either to a laptop or a tall computer tower. The device also comes with an extension cable that offers about as much reach as you will find with any other headset, so you can plug it in at the farthest extreme of your machine.
This simple, but rather genius design decision means you will almost always have the right tool for the right job - a short cable if you're on top of the jacks, and a long one if you need reach. This system avoids having a lot of cable to deal with even if the jacks are merely inches from your head.
The headphones themselves, as well as the headband, are covered in a soft velvet-like material. They don't quite clamp to your ears, like the Alienware Ozma 7's do, but they do provide full enclosure of the ear, nonetheless. They're comfortable to wear over long stretches, and do not get too warm like many of the leather-based earphones I've tested.
The headset's control unit, located along the stretch of wire attached directly to the headset, is sparse compared to the microphone, volume and bass control options that the Speed-Link Triton offers.