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SteelSeries 5XB Medal of Honor Edition Review

If an expensive surround sound system isn’t a viable option for your own household, and your parents/partner/pets simply fail to understand why you need the volume turned up so loud to appreciate the noise of every bullet streaking through the air, then a good headset is an absolute must for you! Fortunately the latest offering from SteelSeries offers more than just an excellent Medal of Honor paint job; it also features impeccable sound quality and a microphone offering crystal clear clarity.

Let’s first consider aesthetics. The usual black and green paintwork adopted by SteelSeries has been scrapped for this special edition 5XB, replaced instead with a simple yet effective “Medal of Honor Edition” text on the outside of the ear pieces, along with the camouflage paintwork that we’ve come to expect from the long-running series. The design work isn’t over the top which makes the appearance far more attractive than most game-modelled headsets. And what’s more, there’s a special design treat in the form of a microphone that actually tucks away into one of the earpieces when not in use, removing it as a source of irritation when you desire sound but not communication.

The 5XB isn’t the heaviest of headsets which, at first, may have you wondering if the design is somewhat flimsy in nature. Fortunately this really isn’t the case, with the materials used being sufficiently sturdy in design to survive several drops to an unforgiving floor. The lightweight nature of this headset has another advantage in that you can comfortably wear it for significant lengths of time without feeling the pressure from a heavy weight bearing down on your skull.

If you wish to transport your 5XB to a friend’s house to join in some gaming there, you will be happy to know that this model easily divides into three pieces for easy and safe transportation. There isn’t a specific carry case included, but the dividing nature of the design will prevent any untoward damage in transit.

It is worth noting that the 5XB is not a wireless headset. You will need to connect cables from the controller to Audiomixer, and from Audiomixer to headset. This does save messing around with endless battery changes in pivotal gaming moments however, and the metre long cable spanning from mixer to headset provides enough room to manoeuvre in your gaming. As the 5XB is undoubtedly one of the most comfortable headsets currently on the market, even fans of wireless technology may be willing to look past the cables to enjoy hours of gaming without a hint of discomfort. Plenty of padding surrounding both the headband and earpieces would have you mistakenly wondering if you hadn’t tied a pillow to your head by mistake, were it not for the absolutely exquisite sound to enjoy.

The sound quality of this headset really is phenomenal. It’s obviously geared toward gameplay sound, with a wonderfully bass-filled tone sure to capture the mood of any shooter or other title. Despite that, the 5XB still performs admirably should you wish to listen to a movie soundtrack or MP3 instead. It isn’t just the sound quality that deserves a mention though, as the incredibly clean microphone transmission will have your friends instantly jumping to obey your commands in whatever game you may be playing.

Completely customisable sound is just another feather in the cap of the 5XB, with a custom Audiomixer that allows you to adjust your sound to your exact requirements by setting volume levels for both gameplay and voice-chat. An additional mode called LiveMix will even automatically reduce the volume of the game as a person speaks in chat, bringing it back up to the normal level once they have finished speaking. In a co-op mode with friends this is an invaluably useful tool; you’ll never miss another command!

On the whole then the 5XB really provides everything you need in a headset. A sleek and effective design, near unfaultable sound quality and a well-equipped Audiomixer combine to make this a model suitable for all your gaming needs.

9 / 10

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