The Sims 4 headset is a joy to use in almost every way. Well-built, lightweight – even after hours of use it’s still just as comfortable. It has a polished, muted white and grey look, and would be an incredibly subtle piece of kit if not for the giant glowing Plumbobs on each ear. From an entirely subjective point of view I’m not completely sold on them. On the mouse, it’s a genuinely nifty feature, but when you’re actually wearing the headset you’re not going to be able to see any of the illumination, which by default reflects the moods of your Sims in game.
It’s hard to imagine what purpose it might serve beyond letting the people around you know how your Sims are feeling. Unless you set up a complex system of mirrors to see both sides of your head at once rather than just looking at the screen. My personal opinion aside, I’m sure plenty of Sims fans are going to dig the big fat Plumbobs and we can expect to see a lot of Instagrammed teenaged girl selfies featuring them.
Cushioning is provided by sponge covered in breathable, soft mesh. It’s all lightweight and easy on the head and you can really feel the quality compared to cheaper alternatives – the mesh cushioning breathes but isn’t scratchy or rough. I have a pretty big head and headphones like these usually sit uncomfortably tight – that wasn’t the case here. Sure, they might have been extended as much as they physically could have been, but that’s besides the point. They fit just as well on small heads as they do on big ones.
Sims branding aside, it passes as a mid-range gaming headset. I especially like that the mic – which is built into the left can rather than protruding on a pole – delivers upon the crystal clear quality it promises. I was expecting to be disappointed – but my Destiny teammates in their eternal wisdom assured me the sound was sharp and clear (although to be honest I usually play with an iPhone hands free kit as a budget headset solution so improving on it wouldn’t be that difficult).
My one complaint is the volume, should you attempt to use it on other platforms. It just doesn’t put out enough of it. What I could hear using it on PS4 sounded pretty good – but it was just so quiet. Perhaps this is an issue with the PS4’s device volume management, but either way, I wouldn’t recommend this to someone looking for a headset they could use for everything. It’s USB-input too, rendering them useless as walk-about headphones. The audio quality through PC is excellent, though. It just feels like so much more could have been done with them.
The bass drivers aren’t particularly powerful – you won’t feel the headset shake as it spews out big explosions or that new fancy electronic music all the kids seem to like – but they’re adequate enough and the bass doesn’t muddy the mid or treble even at obnoxiously high volume. It handles classical, EDM, rock and metal with no distortion or quality loss – it’s built to be a jack-of-all-trades, and it does it well.
I can’t give the SteelSeries Engine 3 software enough praise. It’s idiot-proof, and stores profiles for all of your compatible devices in one easy-to-reach place. Obviously there’s not a hell of a lot you can do with it – considering how stripped back and minimal the Sims 4 headset actually is. The Engine allows you to customise the Plumbob illumination from a huge range of colours, most of which representative of the palette you’ve selected onscreen. You can set it to glow or pulse between different pre-set colour ranges – it would be good to be able to set your own colour ranges, but the ones on offer are varied enough to please most.
This is a solid headset for the price, and with the added Sims flare, it’s sure to impress simulation nuts everywhere. It’s perhaps not the best purchase to make as an all-around audio solution due to the USB input and volume issues on other platforms, but as a dedicated PC headset, you could do much worse. The problem is you could also do much better for not all that much more cash.
It’s just lacking any kind of wow factor past the giant glowing gems, which definitely aren’t going to be for everyone – I think it’s highly likely even some Sims fans are going to be put off by them. Between the mouse and the headset, I would recommend the mouse much more highly as a piece of all-around gaming equipment – but if you’re crazy about The Sims and these peripherals appeal to you, rest assured – they’re backed up by solid build quality and SteelSeries’ trademark excellence.
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.