Testing & Results
I used a lot of the resources from audiocheck.net to experience the technical limits of the Siberia 350s, but most of my time spent with them was listening to whatever I was most familiar with. I always try to spend an evening listening to albums that I like to compare different sound devices with – I tend to stick to more “electronic” tracks that are usually pretty instrumental.
I’ll break out the Tron: Legacy soundtrack for it’s Daft Punk collaborated orchestral pieces, and my go to album for almost anything is The Glitch Mob’s Drink The Sea.
I try to stream some radio stations from my Amazon Prime account as well (with some classical music thrown in for good measure), but the real fun is using them in a game with great sound engineering like the Battlefield series (although I can’t get enough of those giant robot footfalls from MechWarrior: Online – a great test of the lower frequencies if anything). I’ll be the first to admit my hearing isn’t what it used to be (and I’m no sound engineer in the first place), so if possible I’d recommend trying out any pair of headphones in person that you’re interested in – the experience can vary greatly per person.
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z97N Wifi
System Memory: 2×4 GB DDR3 1866 MHz
Processor: Intel Core i5 4690K @4.4 GHz
Audio: N/A (USB Headset)
Video: Gigabyte GTX 970 OC
Disk Drive 1: Samsung 250 EVO 250GB SSD
Disk Drive 2: Seagate 1TB 7200 RPM HDD
Enclosure: Corsair 380T
PSU: Fractal Design 450W
Monitor: Acer XG270HU (2560×1440/144 Hz)
Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit
Let’s start with thesound samples. Their headphone tests are pretty straightforward, and walk you through frequency tests, binaural recordings, driver matching tests and polarity checks (among others). I found the frequency tests especially interesting, although they correspond more to the abilities of your ears rather than the capabilities of the drivers. For what it’s worth, the 20 Hz-17 KHz spectrum I heard was a bit different than the claimed 10-28 KHz listed on the box of the Siberia 350.
The driver matching test moves through the entire spectrum of sound waves. I didn’t notice any discrepancies between the left and right drivers on the Siberia 350.
The “bass shaker” test was interesting, as it is designed to uncover any unwanted noises from rapidly-vibrating drivers. Perhaps you have heard a vehicle pass by that has a powerful subwoofer installed – and you can tell by the entire trunk assembly buzzing like a nest of angry hornets. That is what this test is designed to highlight (and to be clear, that isn’t an effect you would want in a headset. Or a car, for that matter). The Siberia 350s passed the test without any buzzing, although the bass started to noticeably lose its impact at the very low frequencies.
The Dynamic Volume test starts at a “full volume,” then lowers the volume in steps with the last audible step being the dynamic range of the headset (or more accurately, your ears). I could still hear the voiceover at 42 dB below full scale volume with hints of the voiceover beneath that – not quite as good as the Func HS-260 I had tested long ago (which uses 50mm drivers as well) but who knows if my hearing has gotten worse over the past year…
The polarity tests showed the Siberia 350 to be wired correctly, and the binaural test revealed a sound stage that was capable of reproducing an accurate sensation of direction and distance. In fact, the sound stage is quite realistic if the source material supports it. It’s been awhile since I’ve tested headsets and I had forgotten what the binaural recording used for a test (I was just running down the list and noting my responses each audio clip). When I clicked the binaural file, I immediately heard a knock on the window about six feet to the right of my computer. I got up and opened the shades and was quite confused when nothing was there…I should have read the last sentence containing the description of the recording (it’s a knock on a wooden door). It’s amazing to me, when recorded correctly, how we can quite convincingly place sounds in a 3D space using only two speakers! Needless to say, the ability of the Siberia 350 to place sounds positionally is very convincing.