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Customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Price:£21.79+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

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on 9 November 2010

Over the past years of using the default Xbox 360 Headset, I had become increasingly frustrated with the comfort and sound quality of the device. It's by no means awful, but I'm the sort of guy that likes to lose myself in the immersion of a game without having to constantly adjust or be bothered by tiny inconveniences. It became particularly apparent when Halo Reach was released and I could never hear my friends clearly over the sounds of explosions, and what I did hear was muffled and all sorts of different volumes. I'd had enough, I decided it was worth investing in an upgrade.

My first choice was the Turtle Beach X11 headset, due to a generally positive review base and cheap price. I looked at the fancier wireless models but just couldn't justify spending that much money on a headset when I already have amazing speakers connected to my xbox. On first use, I wasn't amazingly impressed by them. They were of course better than the Microsoft model, and had more features and adjustments, but the sound quality was still far from great and there was just too many wires dangling all over the place. I had to return them, and my search continued.

At this point I was a little stuffed for ideas. While doing my research, I discovered there isn't too many Xbox specific headsets available. Either the products were too crappy and cheap, or too expensive to be worthwhile. So this lead me into looking for Xbox adapters so I could buy a PC headset and use it for both. At this point, it's worth mentioning I use a lot of PC communication as well, such as MMO raids and Skype. Anyway, again, I found the adapters either seemed too cheap, or too expensive. Recurring story going on here. It was when I was browsing through SteelSeries' other PC headsets that I discovered the 5XB's and finally, I saw something that could have potential.


Needless to say, before too long I was convinced this was the headset for me. They look sleek, have all the features of the Turtle Beach X11's and more. Upon receiving them, all my hopes and suspicions were met positively. I am pleased with every aspect of them, save for two minor annoyances that I'll get into briefly later on.

Firstly, sound and microphone quality. I'd say these were the two main reasons I wanted to upgrade in the first place. I was not disappointed. I have a pair of rather yummy M-AUDIO monitor speakers connected to my PC and xbox. Their sound quality is brilliant and they are probably one of my favourite posessions. These headsets, unfortunately, do not compare and fall short on quality. But I'm not complaining. They still follow the same values of decent sound quality and accuracy over MORE BASS IS BETTER. The sound from these headsets is concise and accurate enough, yet still provides plenty of bass presence to keep your heart pounding in heavy action.

On the voice communication side of things. It's impossible to get perfect voice quality on Xbox Live. Most people still use the default microphone, and the technology in place to stream voice over the internet is compressed noticeably so the sound quality is never going to be great. Needless to say however, the experience is far greater than the default headset. At the very least I could ALWAYS hear what my friends were saying, and they could hear me equally as clearly. What makes this twice as good is the addition of the LiveMix device you attach to the bottom of the controller. It really does do what it says on the tin. When your friends speak, it lowers the game volume enough so you can hear them clearly. It's a subtle and brilliant addition that I dare say I could never play without again. I love it. And what's brilliant is if I ever want to upgrade my headset again, I can now buy any pc headset and plug it straight into the LiveMix box and experience the same glorious effect with no hassle at all.

Finally, I'll talk about the rest of the device. The little features they stick in just to add icing to the cake. First off, the look of the headset itself is great. Black and green may not be to everyones taste, but when I see this headset on my desk, I just want to put them on straight away. They just look like they're designed to get the job done.

Comfort is also a major issue when considering headsets. I think it's important (as sad as it may be) to forget you're actually wearing the thing when it's on your head. They have to be light, comfortable and unobtrusive. The 5XB achieves this easily. I have to say I hate headsets where the cushion lies on your ear. It tends to ache after an hour or so and I hate that feeling. These however have cushions that go around the ear, and are nicely padded and ventilated so that wearing these feels very nice.

I also love the microphone system that lets you coil it up inside the left earpiece when not in use. When it is out, the microphone is easily adjustable and picks up voice at all angles fine. The braided cable is a nice feature. It feels very strong and quality work. It's also far less irritating when it occasionally brushes across your arms, unlike the plastic/rubber cables. Last thing to mention is the fact the entire headset can be broken down into three pieces incredibly easily. I haven't needed to use this feature personally, but I tried it once and it was a piece of cake to do and I imagine is more useful for some.

For the price I've paid for this device (I think it was around £75 at time of purchase) I think I've got the exact headset I was after. It's bang inbetween the crappy low level headsets and the expensive £100+ unnecessary ones and I'm very satisfied. I use it with nearly all my devices now, xbox, pc, tv, ds and my mp3 player (when I'm not outside, hah). The only thing that could possibly make this headset any better would be the inclusion of 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound, and/or wireless connectivity. Yet, I know this would substantially add to the cost, so I'm quite happy without.

I nearly forgot about the two minor problems I mentioned earlier. They're that much of a none-issue! When I first used the headset I got noticeable squeaking noises, changing in volume depending on the angle the LiveMix device was connected to my controller. I soon discovered this was the controller port itself, and switching to another controller solved the problem. There is still a tiny tiny squeak sometimes, but I never notice it usually. The other small problem is the fact the cable for this device is really really short. I actually like this however as it means you haven't got a ton of cables on your lap connecting to your controller. It does mean though that connecting this headset to a pc is a pain if it's far away, making it literally impossible to use UNLESS you have some handy 3.5mm extension cables which I do, thus making the entire problem not a problem.

Anyways, I hope this review helped to those who dared read the entire thing. Sorry it was so long, I wanted to cover everything, and express how much I love his headset despite it's few flaws.

Thanks SteelSeries!
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on 7 December 2010
Great sound quality on the headphones, very comfortable; the padding on the ears is cleanly designed to be worn for extended periods, It has a nice telescopic microphone that actually makes people sound like themselves. Bass is deep and the separation is good, footsteps are crisp and picking out if someone is calling out in front or behind is easy.

The headphones are good but they are only half the package. The spectrum audio mixer is in the pack as well which enables the headset to be used for xbox live communication, its easy to set up and also works as a pre-amp making things very loud in a good way. It also works with other gaming headsets which is a nice touch.

As great as the mixer is it needs to be treated with a bit of love, I would make sure you unplug it from the console and pad after use as it may otherwise feed back next time you switch your console on, it's not that big a deal as long as you remember.

Also: A warning to stick warriors, it doesn't plug into fightsticks very well so if you wanted to hear Guiles' theme really loud I'd get a different headset. I personally prefer the sound quality of this set to that of Turtle Beaches, I'd recommend them, whole heartedly. 4.5 Stars.
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on 24 July 2011
So I got these for christmas and was really impressed with the quality. That was until last night when I couldn't get any sound from the right hand headphone. This is roughly about 6 months after buying them. I wanted to write about this because of the brilliant and fast reaction from Amazon. I e-mailed them this morning about the fault and within 2 hours they had got back to me saying a new pair was on it's way. Excellent customer service, just hope the new set lasts longer.
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on 30 November 2011
Positives: - VERY comfortable. I sometimes play for 8+ hours at a time with absolutely no problems.
- Good sound. I'm no audiophile, but you get immersed in the game, and more importantly, you can hear where enemies are!
- Mic Quality. My voice comes through loud and clear, doesn't pick up background noise. No problems here.

Negatives: - Independent voice volume doesn't work. Seems others have had this problem too. You can control game volume,
but scrolling the 'Voice' volume wheel doesn't do anything.
- Mixamp is flimsy/awkward. For one thing the faceplate broke off after 2 weeks (other reviewers have had this problem).
Also, it wouldn't work with my wired controller, leaving the mic functioning only when you 'jiggle' it.

-The MAIN PROBLEM: It is only now, as I look for a new headset that I see it is actually quite a common one. The sound
in the right headphone has 'gone'. The problem lies not in the headphones or the mixamp, but the green
connector that plugs into it. I Heath Robinson'd a solution using sellotape to hold the wire at the exact right angle to
make it work, but it works intermittently at best.

Summary: Really love the headset, and would buy it again if I thought these malfunctions were an isolated case, but alas, I will now be either getting the Turtle Beach X12s or the new Tritton Detonators.

NB: Yes there is an issue with background/white noise/hissing, and a buzzing if you're charging your controller while playing, but I've done my research and this is a problem with *ALL* wired headsets. Electromagnetism ftw.
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on 7 September 2011
bought these just over a month ago and they have broke already. Customer service is slow to respond too. My headset worked fine for a while and they are comfortable and good looking but they are poor quality in my opinion(and a lot of other people's too)

The sound on my headset started to dissapear and come back due to loose wiring and the end of the jack broke off where you plug it into the xbox pad. I was never rough handed with this headset at all.

I wont ever go near a steel series product again. I bought Turtle beach X11's and they are better already and half the price!

oh yeah and if yours brake make sure you have £15 spare to ship them off to Denmark for repair...
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on 7 May 2011
I have recently purchased this headset after a long debate on which headset to get. Now i have only been using for a day but already i can tell that the sond quality is extreamly good for its price and it is very comfortable to wear. Also one of the most important factors about a headset is can you "sound whore"? and in all honestly yes, already this has helped me out multiple times within the first day.

Even though there are many positive factors about the headset there are only a few things that arn't as great. For example the headphone jack that you plug into you controller is a little bulky. This may weel get in the way of youe fingers, yet after about 30mins i was used to it. The other downside is that the bass on the headphones isn't the best.

Overall i would have to say that this headset is one of the best that i have owned and with the price taken into account i would 100% recomend it!
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on 16 July 2011
Great headset - comfy, great sound, great mic quality.

Only problem is my first pair broke after 1 months use. The sound in 1 ear stopped working.

Steel series replaced my product at the cost of £6 shipping for me. Oh well. Worth the inconvenience.

I use them with my xbox 360...they are brilliant.

UPDATE: Second pair has broken already, exactly the same problem as before. Build quality must be awful, I don't think I will be purchasing another pair I'm sick of returning the bloody things.

Lowered from 5 star to 3 star because of poor build quality / quality control.
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on 22 March 2014
Tyese headphones can be used independently of the xbox, For hooking up to your iPod. This is so useful. Compared to other xbox headsets you get double use and dont feel like you are dragging a lump of cable around (true whilst using the xbox also) even more useful when using with your ipod it has a nice lightweight short lead. Brilliant and very portable.
Surprisingly too, the sound quality is really very good, and I am comparing it against hifi headphones. For those into their hifi they will find the stereo separation to be decent and instrument separation is surprisingly good too! There is a pretty even tonal balance with solid but never overpowering warmth and bass. The top end does sound quite thin and ocasionally crackly but this is more a point than a complaint!

I have reviewed one of the lower end turtle beach headsets recently (15£ cheaper) and found the 5xn to be vastly superior in every department.

It's leads and connections are arranged in a way which never feels like you are humming a great load of cables around, the cables are solidly made, the mixing unit/bit which connects to the controller is solid and on mine fits snugly and I won't worry about it coming out easily.

The only minor niggle I have is the hiss which comes through the headset when all connected up. It's something to do with the amplification or powering. I figure this is common with devices of this type as it also happened with the turtle beach headset. Perhaps better shielding in the mixing unit or the USB cable (used for getting power to the device) would help? I read another review state that using a USB port on another device helps. And I can report that using my tvs USB port eliminated a whine that accompanied this hiss which may have become annoying, and it's closer to the phonograph connections on the back if the tv which is good for reducing cable clutter.

Regarding the hiss. Of course there is a simple way to eliminate this entirely, when you are not chatting with friends. The headphone cable has two ends, one for the mic, one for the headphones sound in, simply connect the headphones sound in connector directly to your tv thus sidestepping the need for power and a connection to the mixing box. For an even better quality of sound ( but one you will have to control using xbox preferences and im game volume controls) hook it up to the sound output of your xbox using an RCA to headphone jack converter (a few pennies worth)
To do all this you will need a headphone cable extension cord (a few pennies worth). You will definately hear the difference.

I don't yet have a bad word to say about these headphones, Even the microphone is very good quality and you can get it sufficiently close to your mouth using the intelligently designed bendy hideaway mic boom system. I have broken a ridgid mic boom before when storing it in my messy cable and all things electrics box, so well done steelseries for that idea!

These headphones were worth around 80£ when they first came out and you know, if I wanted to spend 80£ on a gaming headset, I think right now I would be pleasantly happy with them. I might like them to look a little less glossy, less plasticky but it would only be my huge ego saying that!

So highly recommended.
The review above I wrote a little while ago and only now got around to publishing. I don't game on my xbox much these days so these double up as pc gaming headphones. You will need a couple of short headphone cable extension leads if you wish to do this and it all works very well.

One thing I forgot to mention in the above review is that these are definately not a fully hermetically sealed set of cans. Your neighbours will definately hear you playing games but I think they are designed on purpose like that as you can hear what you friends are saying when they are gaming on their chides when you are linked up. Perfect. :)
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on 8 January 2015

So first of lets talk about the positives of this headphone.
For the price you get a amazing pair of headsets. They are really comfortable around the ear. They are great for travelling with as they can be folded into 3 sections, the 2 earcups and the middle headset piece. The sound quality is amazing, i used this headset to play cod and it was incredible, you could hear people behind you. It comes with a steelseries mixer that connects to the controller and has a really long wire so its good if you are far away from the console itself. The mixer allows you to controll the gameplay volume and the voices of player. Another amazing feature the mixer has is the capability of reducing game volume while your team mates speaks and you can turn it of if you would like.

Now for the cons.

My first pair i had startes having a issue with one of the earcups not working due to the wiring near the connectors,i managed to get another pair sent out to me altough i had to return the headset back. So again after a few months and this time with more care the same thing happened again altough this time i took things into my own hands and cut open the wire. The issue was dues to thin wires and wear and tear so i sorted it together taped it and its good as new altough it doesnt look as good as it did.

so to summarise.
amazing for the price you pay but make sure to take care when using it as the wires are really sensitive to wear and tear!
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on 31 December 2013
First of all, this headset was really good for the first couple of days, and then it broke.
Second of all, I did not purchase this off amazon.
To start with, I had no trouble setting up the product, it's as easy as plugging in an adapter that is sold separately, then plugging the Red and White cables into that, and the usb and you are set!
Then all you need to do is plug the actual headphones into the (very badly made) livemix controller and you can hear the games. However, if you wish to talk to friends you must plug it into the controller.
I had it all setup and it was working fine for 2 days, but then on the livemix controller the cable started to split, so I put some electrical tape over it, however a couple of days later the audio was distorted and my friends said that my voice from the mic was 'cutting out' all the time. I checked under the tape and, surprise, an even bigger split had developed. This has caused many issues, such as not being able to hear my friends at all and having to hold the controller awkwardly. I have also noticed that when the controller vibrates there is sound coming through the headphones. I have tried plugging the headphones into my PC, and they are perfectly fine. I rounded it down to the livemix. The actual headphones are great, but the overall quality of the livemix controller is abysmal. I would definitely not recommend this to anyone because of the bad quality. On the plus side, however the actual headphone cable is excellent and it is really comfy.
tl;dr: Do not buy this if you don't want it to break in 1 week.
Edit: I fixed the problem with the mic cutting out, turns out it was the controllers fault (stupid me!) However, the headphones refuse to go into stereo now, even when using pc and phone. I have had 2 steelseries headsets and I will never buy one again. If someone is buying this for their kids, don't get this - get turtle beach or tritons. I have tried both and they are excellent.
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