SteelSeries creates a slew of gaming peripherals from gaming mice to specialized gaming headsets. I recently spent some time with the Spectrum 7XB Headset from SteelSeries. The 7XB is a wireless headset specially made for the Xbox 360. The 7XB has a slew of features from the companies specialized LiveMix feature to the headsets ability to disassemble, perfect for those traveling gamers.
I’ll start with the headsets physical design and feel. While there is noting to flashy with the look of the 7XB, its functions are top-notch. The first thing you’ll notice is the wide headband that doesn’t wrap tight around your head. To many of my headphones have a tight headband and after hours of non-stop use you start to feel the side pieces digging into your skull. With the stretched out headband of the 7XB the band really never touches your head, instead you have a nice soft top cushion, keeping you nice and comfortable.
The next nice design feature is really for gamers who bring their consoles around to various locations. The 7XB can be disassembled into 5 smaller pieces making it great for traveling. Plus when not in use the mic actually can be retracted into the headset, no need to worry about ripping of a thin mic-boom when storing the headset.
Since this is a wireless headset you need a base station to send audio. It’s a pretty straight forward compact unit, that can easily be hidden in an entertainment center behind your Xbox 360. Connecting it to your Xbox is similar to other wireless headsets. You have an included RCA adapter which you plug-in inline with your console audio, and then a USB adapter that plugs into the Xbox to power the base station. Also included is a mini-plug cable which can plug into your TV’s headphone jack if you don’t want to fumble with the RCA connectors. Both audio connections give you the same quality audio, so there is no difference between them, and you should just use whichever is easiest to hook-up.
Now onto the headsets function. The headset is fairly simple to use, from the ease of syncing it to the base station to selecting the audio preset that sounds the best. I was quite surprised actually by the quality of audio I was getting out of the headset. I usually find battery-powered headset to be a little low in volume and lacking bass, but this isn’t the case with the Spectrum 7XB. I felt like I had enough volume and after switching through the audio presets was able to find one that gave me a good amount of bass and not make the high-end muddy to really make those Gears of War 3 explosions boom.
The really neat thing that I haven’t seen in any other headset is the LiveMix mode that the 7XB has. Pretty much when enabled LiveMix will automatically lower the game volume whenever voice chat audio is sensed. So when playing an intense game of Black Ops you won’t lose your teams voices in the sounds of the battlefield. You’ll need to tinker with the LiveMix settings a bit to get the mix just right, at first had it to high and the game audio would pretty much drop all the way, but after a few button presses I was able t get a good mix that kept my team’s voices clear but also didn’t totally kill the game audio.
SteelSeries impressed me quite a bit with the Spectrum 7Xb headset. From it’s really comfortable design to the solid sound the headset produces. This headset is packed with some decent features but not overlay complicated to use, which is a major plus. To many gaming devices have so many functions and instructions that they are just too much, this isn’t the case with the Spectrum 7XB. The only downside is this is strictly a headset for the Xbox 360 as far as voice communication goes. Lack of Bluetooth means you can’t sync it with a PS3 or PC for voice communication. While you can still hook it up to your PC and PS3 through the various audio connectors it would have been nice if Bluetooth or at least an optional adapter was available to use it with your other gaming devices, I hate having multiple headsets and earpieces around the desk for everything. The lack of voice support for other consoles aside, this is still a solid and worthy headset. If you are a heavy Xbox 360 gamer and have been looking for a nice wireless headset at a reasonable price then check out the SteelSeries 7XB.
A SteelSeries Spectrum 7XB Headset was provided to us for this review from SteelSeries.