SteelSeries Spectrum 7XB Wireless Headset Review (Mainly X360)

Posted by Christophor Rick (TheSuperGuido), Jul 22, 2011 19:56

SteelSeries showed off this Spectrum 7XB while at E3 and then sent one over afterward for us to check out. Since we love game audio here at GDN, I was very happy to see it because my main PC headset is a Sonar 5.1 Cyber Snipa, which is USB. Steelseries Spectrum 7XB xbox 360 wireless headset

Specturm 7XB Setup

This unit comes with a transmitter box which requires one USB port for power and intercepts the signal from the console through the RCA audio jacks. So if you’re using HDMI or the SPDIF audio output on your Xbox 360 console, you’ll need to do a little reconfiguration in the settings and some cabling. That’s unfortunate but not really a big deal.

Once you’ve got the cabling set and the transmitter box, transmitting, you’re ready to don the headset and get some gaming done. Well, almost, first you’ve got to get those batteries into it.  There’s a hatch on the top of the right ear cup which holds two AAA batteries. The added weight does not unbalance the headset in the least and there’s no noticeable difference in weight (which is actually 60g for the left and 90g for the right). How do I know the weight of each side? Easy, the unit disassembles into three units, the top headpiece, the left and right cups. Handy indeed for traveling with your gear because the cups only turn about 45 degrees which wouldn’t be enough to store them flat in your backpack or suitcase.

This does bring me to what I see as the first flaw in the unit, the batteries. Why they did not opt for a rechargeable battery pack I can’t fathom. It could have been something as simple as an induction cradle or a USB-powered system or even built into the transmitter where you just plugged the battery in and it charged even when the Xbox 360 is off (since power still goes to the USB on it). Any of those solutions would have been preferable to having to either use standard AAA batteries or go buy some rechargeable AAA batteries. While it would have made the unit slightly more expensive, I think that would have been a good trade off.

For more video game reviews on this and many others head to Game Rankings

Our Rating for SteelSeries Spectrum 7XB Wireless Headset Review (Mainly X360)
9.0 Feel
It took some adjusting to find the perfect fit, but after that the lightweight unit was perfect. I would have appreciated cloth ear cups (which are a separate purchase) because the leather ones made my ears extremely warm.
8.5 Usability
Listening functions on just about everything, the setup is involved but not difficult and the mic only works on the Xbox 360. Sound quality is pretty good and that’s of major importance but it’s lacking surround sound capabilities.
7.0 Value
This is an expensive wireless headset. Other top manufacturers have lower priced models with similar functionality on the Xbox 360 and standard wireless headphones save you about $80-100 without XBLA chat capabilities. There are even 7.1 surround Xbox 360 headsets in the same price range as this stereo headset.
7.5 Overall
While on the expensive side and not offering surround sound, the Spectrum 7XB is still a solid performer with a lot of versatility. A future version would be nicer with both ear cups (leather and cloth) packed in, a rechargeable battery and mic capabilities on at least PC/Mac not to mention surround sound, all for the same price.

Rating: 0.0, votes: 0

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