SteelSeries 7H Fnatic Edition Review
Posted 2012-01-11 mascot
SteelSeries 7H Fnatic Edition Review
I’ve reviewed the 7H headset from SteelSeries couple of times already at the previous web-site I used to work at, and I know what to expect as far as sound quality goes, and the comfort level. The biggest complaint that I had with all of my reviews of the 7H were the ear pads, they were either too hot or let too much sound through. It looks like SteelSeries and Fnatic have found quite the solution for this, with their new cloth ear pads that also look quite amazing.
Just like every other headset SteelSeries sells, it is boxed in retail packaging. Though there are no stores in the USA really that stock SteelSeries’ products, Internationally there are quite a lot of shops that do, and this packaging is perfect to showcase the product inside the box. Taking the 7H Fnatic edition out of its packaging revealed the headset (duh), the micro USB to USB cable, the 3.5mm extension cable, and a set of plain cloth ear pads. I was a little shocked that they did not include the leatherette ear pads as well, but beggars can't be choosers I suppose.
Putting the headset on for the first time was quite an experience. The level of tightness is a little overwhelming, but after about an hour of gaming, I could feel the headset getting more comfortable. Eventually it got to the point I didn’t really notice it was there, and this was partially due to the ear pads. They provide a much better experience compared to the plain cloth, or the leatherette pads found in the normal 7H headset. The Fnatic ear pads are cloth, but they have a hole pattern, like mesh. This allows some air to come from the outside of the headset, into your ear. It makes your ears cooler, but does allow some external noise to come through, but I would rather have cool ears than sweaty ones. On a side note, frequent adjustments of the 7H caused creaking plastic some times. That is to be expected when the headset is almost all plastic though.
The 7H offers a 50mm driver, basically the biggest you can fit into normal-sized over-the-ear headphones. With drivers that big, you can expect to hear great mids and highs, with good precision. There is also a dimantling aspect to the 7H, which is one of my favorite features of this headset. The 5Hv2 dismantled into three pieces: two ears cups and the headband. The 7H takes that a bit further and dismantles into four: two ear cups, headband, and the detatchable cord. Being able to detatch the cable is a really nice feature, since so many gamers roll over it with their chair, or get up without taking their headset off. I am guilty of both, and the detatchable cable kind of acts like a safety feature. If you pull on it hard enough, the cable will detatch without ruining the plug or breaking the cable. This is perfect for LANning because many times I've become too excited when participating in LANs, and I can see this allowing the headset to last longer.
As I said before, I've used this headset quite freqeuntly, and I enjoyed it every time I got a chance to review it. However, everything is not golden when it comes to the 7H, in particular with the sound. For a gaming headset, it’s among the best in my opinion, but as a pair of music headphones, it can be quite lacking.
In games, you can hear just about the entire soundstage that the game was designed to give. You can hear the subtle sounds very clearly, and you can pinpoint exactly where they came from with no confusion. There is a little more bass than the Siberias v2, but not much more. In a gaming headset, you want low bass, or at least precise bass, which the 7H offers the first of the two. There is not a lot of bass, and that is a good thing, because it’s not precise at all. Listening to music you can hear the true colors of the headset, the highs and mids are quite decent, but the lows are muddy. Any sound that drives a bit of bass you can hear it getting lost, but you are buying a gaming headset and not a pair of audiophile headphones.
The microphone is really good, and it’s a nice feature that it can be tucked away when not using it. In voice communication software, my team could hear me quite nicely and had no issues with static whatsoever. In-game was treated just as nicely, with great detail in the microphone and no static. Overall, one of the better microphones from a gaming headset.
In my book, the 7H Fnatic edition is a winner. I've always loved my Siberia v2s, but the 7H I think offers a bit more precise audio when it comes to games. The 7H is a bit more enclosed, and that allows the audio to be a little more precise over the Siberia v2, it also gives the audio a different sound. Both headsets use the same 50mm driver, and both have their own positives and negatives. If you are looking for a really nice and comfortable headset, I would chose the 7H over the Siberia v2s. If price does become a factor, the Siberia v2s are always an excellent choice, but for gaming the 7Hs will give you some advantages.
While you're still here, we suggest you take a look at our Counter-Strike team captain's, Patrik "cArn" Sättermon's video overview of this headset:
You can buy SteelSeries 7H Fnatic Edition headset in our Shop and support Fnatic with your purchase.