SteelSeries is back with a brand new set of premium wireless headsets that are primarily for the Xbox 360, but will work with other devices too. The SteelSeries Spectrum 7XB are on the review block today, a solid headset that untethers you from your Xbox and makes communication with your co-op partners even easier.
Inside the package you’ll find your headset, which feels extremely solid in construction, a set of pass through cables to hook up your audio (red and white connectors), a ?” to ?” stereo cable, the Xbox 360 microphone cable, your base station, and finally two triple A batteries.
Rather than utilize a built in rechargeable battery, SteelSeries opted for two AAA’s - which of course - you can get your own rechargeable versions of. It took about 14 hours of use for mine to run out with a mix of 360 and PC use.
The base station is powered by a USB port and you can hook up audio to your 360 a few ways. If you utilize component cables with the red and white audio connectors there’s a pass through connector that sits between them and the input jacks. If you use HDMI or Optical audio, you’ll need to connect the box to a headphone jack on either your TV or receiver. This was the method I used.
I used the headset through a variety of games, but most of my co-op time consisted of Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon and F.E.A.R. 3. The nice thing about these two games is EDF is quite busy, with lots of audio and effects while F.E.A.R. 3 can be busy at times, it also slows down and uses environmental effects to create tension. With these two ends of the spectrum it was easy to get a good feel for how the headset’s audio quality was.
The 7XBs performed fairly well from an audio standpoint, I had to cycle through the ExactSound settings to find one I liked as they were a little light on bass at first. For the most part they sounded great and it was easy to determine directional audio. The closed ear design also made it impossible to hear the outside world - this was proved numerous times as I successfully ignored my wife asking for assistance with things around the house.
The best thing by far is the LiveMix audio, something also available on other SteelSeries headsets. When your teammates talk, the mixer dynamically lower the in game audio so you can hear them easier - and it works exactly as advertised. No more struggling to hear my co-op partners over the sound of gunfire and explosions.