As the number of people getting into online and mobile gaming is increasing, we are seeing a huge rise in the amount of money people who are willing to pay for quality headsets to enhance their gaming experience. There was a time for example when people who played consoles would be happy with the free headset Microsoft and Sony gave away with their consoles, but now people seem more willing to splash out on top quality gaming gear, strange when you think the way the economy has been in recent years. When it comes to PC gaming, the only free option is usually inbuilt speakers so headsets are usually a must buy, and you will find people spending even more than console gamers because for PC gamers everything usually has to be top of the range.
But what if you don’t have the extra cash to splash out on a £100 headset? Can you still get a good quality headset at an affordable price? Well thanks to the 3Hv2 from SteelSeries the answer is yes. SteelSeries have built up a great reputation over the years, providing high quality and durable products that seem to last a lifetime. With the 3Hv2 it’s no different, something that may surprise some of you with it being at the cheaper end of the H range, but like the adverts say about shopping at Aldi, lower prices don’t necessarily mean lower quality. Well before I blabber on too much let’s move on to actually reviewing the headset.
Although sound quality is probably the most important aspect to getting a headset, the first thing you will see is its physical appearance, so why should the review start any other way than by focusing on its design. The one thing you’ll notice from the off about the 3Hv2 is its foldable design which makes it ideal for gaming on the go, whether it be on your laptop, tablet or smartphone. I mean it’s seriously impressive how compact it gets as it can curl up into a ball only slightly bigger than my fist, so for anyone travelling it isn’t going to take up much space at all. Add to that the fact the microphone retracts into the ear piece to compact it even more, it really does make for a brilliantly designed bit of gaming tech. If the compact design doesn’t win you over though, you’ll at least be safe in the knowledge that you’ll be looking stylish while you sport these bad boys with the sexy black and orange colour theme going on and yet that isn’t all.
The 3Hv2 is also made with comfort in mind, with the extra-padded, soft, all leather ear pieces designed to give you comfort and also help reduce noise in your surrounding environment. Now personally, I thought to begin with the cushions for your ears weren’t the best, I felt like my ears were beginning to sweat and it became uncomfortable after prolonged use. Nevertheless I continued using them and after a few days I got used to them, the sweating stopped and they started to feel a lot more comfortable. Maybe it’s because I’m used to using in-ear headphones rather than an over-ear ones, maybe not, I’ll leave that for others to decide. On the other hand it really did do a good job at blocking out the sound around me, allowing you to focus on your games; unfortunately this also got me shouted at as people thought I was ignoring them on purpose, but I just genuinely couldn’t hear a word they said.
What I also liked about the design was the soft rubber cable used to connect the headset to the device of your choice. I mean I’ve had ear/headphones and such in the past that were beyond poor quality; one of the worst examples are the free apple earphones you get when you buy an iPod or iPhone, they just fall apart and the wire casing tends to rip easier than shredding pulled pork. Unlike my previous purchases of ear/headphones though, you can tell the 3Hv2 is built to last with its soft but durable rubber cable. I mean you can tell just by the feel of it that it is made to a high standard and you’re buying something that will last longer than a couple of weeks. You also get a free adapter allowing you to use the 3Hv2 with tablets and phones, again made from the same durable rubber as the main part of the headset which you wouldn’t receive from a lot of other manufacturers.
The last things to mention about the design are the adjustable strap that goes round your head, meaning it is suitable for both adults and children and the in-line audio controls for volume and the microphone. The headset extends on both sides with a slight push, allowing you to adjust the size easily, however you’d think being so easy to adjust it may slip occasionally and you’d have to readjust but you don’t, it keeps its shape nicely. The sound control is a nice little device that just allows you to switch your microphone on and off with ease, and to adjust the volume as you like. It’s nothing fancy but it’s a lot easier than trying to fiddle around with all the settings on a computer. If there was any criticism of this part of the headset it’d be that the in-line controls seem a little bigger than it would necessarily need to be as the mic switch and volume control are a lot smaller than the casing, but when you think about the price you’re paying you can look over a flaw like that.
Now you’re probably bored of me chatting about what they look like and are wondering about the important factor, how they sound. Well with powerful SteelSeries audio drivers you will get a crisp, clear sound that is better than the majority of the 3Hv2’s competitors. In fact, the quality you get could probably compete with headsets that are of an even higher price range it’s that good. I mean they aren’t the best you will find, but again for the price you pay you’re getting a lot of value for your money. The only thing I would like to see a bit more of is more powerful bass supply to the headset; I mean when you play your games although you do get a crystal clear sound where you can hear peoples footsteps you don’t get that feel like you’re actually there if there is an explosion or a barrage of bullets being fired. I mean my JVC earphones I bought for my iPod do a better job bass wise and they were actually cheaper than the 3Hv2, but then again they weren’t a full headset.
The microphone probably deserves a little more written about it too, other than I like it because it’s retractable. I used it both gaming online and while using face time on the iPad just to test the quality and in all honesty you can’t complain. People could hear me crystal clear, and unlike some microphones, such as the one on the latest XBOX Kinect, it doesn’t pick up all the background noise going on. I mean if it’s loud you can hear it, any microphone that doesn’t pick up a loud sound would be terrible, but the microphone almost refrains from picking up annoying sounds like a fridge humming in the background or people chatting on the TV.
Therefore to conclude, the 3Hv2 proves that good things really do come in small packages with its stylish and compact design making it one of the most portable headsets available on the market. Like I said it had a few issues such as the original irritation of the cushioning around the ears which soon goes over time, the design of the in-line controls being a little big and an improvement being needed for what I believed to be the lack of bass. But that being said though it’ll be hard to find something of a similar or better quality without paying at least double the price, proving that the headset really is value for money.
- Freq. response: 10 – 27000Hz
- Impedance: 50 Ohm
- SPL@1kHz, 1Vrms: 102db
- Cable: 1.2m
- Jacks: 2 x 3.5mm for PC
- + 4-pole 3.5mm Mac®, Mobile and Tablets
- Freq. response: 50 – 18000 Hz
- Pick-up pattern: Uni-directional
- Sensitivity: -40 dB
- Impedance: 2.2K Ohm
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.