Hello everyone. Today I am bringing you a product review, hopefully the first of many!
As many of you already know, SteelSeries is a leading manufacturer of professional gaming mice, headsets, keyboards and other peripherals for PC (master race), Mac and Xbox 360 platforms. I’m very grateful to have the privilege of testing one of their newest products, the Flux In-Ear Pro’s. I’ve been using these for three weeks now, let me tell you what I think.
When SteelSeries announced that they were going to sell in-ear headsets and market them for gaming, I was very skeptical. My previous headset, the SteelSeries Siberia V2, was (what I thought to be) perfect and I couldn’t imagine getting the same comfort and quality out of ear buds. Then I thought about my hair. My glorious hair. The only downside to the Siberia V2s was something that could not be helped – they messed up my hair! It was sort of like “hat hair” except more distinct because it was a straight line across the top of my head. Really, it did not bother me a great deal, but it was a con nonetheless. A con that an in-ear headset could (and did) fix.
Ok let’s get to it. The Flux In-…ugh I’m just going to call them IEPs. The IEPs will run you $129.99. Pricey. However, try to remember that the IEPs are headsets not just ear buds. Compared to headsets with the same audio quality and microphone clarity, that is a fairly average price. Even if it’s a little more expensive than the headset I had before, the versatility of the IEPs are worth the extra cost. Now would be a good time to mention the swappable cables!
As you can see, the IEPs come with two cables, one for using the headset on a mobile phone and the other for your PC. This is a fantastic feature, it always felt weird listening to music on my iPhone as the microphone half of the cable dangled. Also regarding cables…I plug my IEPs into the extension cable that came with my Siberia V2s. Without the extension, they would hardly have slack, and that would be uncomfortable. Be sure to measure how far you need the cable to go. My cable measures 4 feet and a couple inches.
I play video games competitively, specifically Tribes Ascend (#tao). In Tribes, being able to communicate with your team is extremely important. If a teammate has a microphone that isn’t clear, it’s a pain to try and decipher what they are saying and it could cost the team the match. I remember bracing myself for the worst when I first opened Mumble/TeamSpeak and asked “How does my mic sound?” I was relieved when I heard “great“, “excellent“, “perfect“. So, if you are wondering, yes the microphone is just as clear as a “normal” headset (ex: Siberia V2).
If you Google “comfortable gaming headset”, you are almost guaranteed to see “SteelSeries Siberia V2″ within whatever webpage you open. SteelSeries has a reputation for comfortable audio peripherals, and the IEPs are no exception. Included with the 3 sizes of standard silicone ear tip sizes is a pair of Comply™ memory foam tips. These are great. A quick roll between your fingers and they are ready to insert. It’s sort of cool to listen to the background noise slowly fading away as they decompress. I routinely wear them for 3+ hours at a time, not once have they fallen out or started to hurt my ear. In fact, I haven’t even bothered using the other tips yet, and probably never will. To clean the Comply™ tips, run them under warm, not hot, water and squeeze them. Let them sit out for a few hours before using them again, as the water could damage the ear bud. Note: The Comply™ tips can be rolled down much more than what the picture shows.
Pros: IEPs will not mess up you hair. The microphone’s quality is excellent. Comply™ ear tips are very comfortable and have a snug fit. Great audio. Because the IEPs are not as bulky as a typical headset, they are ideal for travelling gamers.
Cons: The price will put a small dent in your wallet. The Comply™ ear tips must be cleaned and set out to dry. Also, a cable extension would be needed if I did not already have one.
Thanks for reading, now go and treat yourself to a better audio experience.