There is a plethora of choices of wired earphones available to music listeners, gamers and phone users who prefer them to wireless (Bluetooth) devices and in-the-ear buds. Some are cheap and essentially worthless while others are quite expensive. The new SteelSeries Siberia Neckband provides first-class performance at a more-than-reasonable price.
SteelSeries is catering specifically to owners of Apple devices (iPods, iPhones and iPads) by virtue of the 3.5mm plug/jack that has three (white) bands around it rather than the general industry standard of two. All Apple users know that the two-banded jacks, most often, do not work correctly in Apple devices. On the other hand, the three-banded plugs work perfectly in ANY device. The headset is white and looks like it belongs with Apple gear!
This headset is worn behind the neck rather than over-the-head. This style is preferred by many gamers and by people who wear headsets while walking, biking or exercising.
The sound of the Siberia is outstanding with good bass response and a clear and accurate transfer of electrical impulses to sound. There is a volume (and fast forward/reverse) control on the cord and, surprisingly, there is a high-quality retractable microphone built into the left ear cup. It can be pulled out or retracted back into the headset as needed. I am told by people I have used it to speak with (via both iPhone and FaceTime) that the sound quality is genuinely outstanding. The sound at the wearer’s end is equivalent to a high-end set of headphones costing $100 or more.
The basic technical details are what one would hope for in a light-weight, competent headset/microphone combination.
Frequency Response: 18 – 28,000 Hzm
Impedence: 32 Ohm
SPL@1kHz, 1Vrms: 104 dB
Frequency Response: 80 – 15,000 Hz
Pick up pattern: Uni-directional
Sensitivity: -42 dB
Impedence: 2F Ohm
The neckband is adjustable and will fit all but the hugest of necks comfortably. The only downside I have noticed is that the connecting cord is only about 3′ long. This can be somewhat limiting although extension cords of plug-in wires are readily available if needed.
The cushioning on both the neckband and earphones this headset are wonderfully light and comfortable. The sound is great. I am listening to some classical music on my iPad through this Siberia Neckband as I write this and it is really quite remarkable – Especially when you consider the price. At less than $30 on most sites, it is less than half the cost of similar (and less impressive) products offered by Logitech and Sony.
Attractive, affordable, comfortable and good sound and voice response. What more could an informed consumer ask for in a neckband headset that will work with ANY device – Apple of otherwise?