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IceMat Black Siberia
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by Rob Williams on October 17, 2005 in Speakers/Headphones

With so many headsets available that are specifically designed for gamers, it makes it difficult to choose the right one. We are taking a look at the IceMat Black Siberia, based off the original Siberia that has been given countless awards. Let’s jump right in and take a fresh look at this cool product!

Testing

My computers speakers do not have a microphone jack, so for testing I plugged the headset directly into my Chaintech AV-710 sound card, which is using the latest drivers.

Gaming
Counter-Strike: Source & Battlefield 2

Of course, this headset is being touted for gamers, so it only makes sense that we test it out using two of the most popular team based FPS on the net! In Counter-Strike: Source, I played a round through the cs_office level, using the “Headphones” selection. In Battlefield 2, I played through the Dalian Plant map, and had selected high audio quality, plus EAX support.

Even though CS: Source is a fantastic game, the audio in the game is not exactly top rate. Even so, a good headset should help you determine where the enemy is, as that’s extremely important in this game. The headset performed greatly here, and the sound was crisp and clear, even at loud volumes. As for Battlefield 2, this is the type of game that this headset was made for! The tanks, firing and chat sounded incredible.

Since being able to communicate with your teammates is a top priority, you want to be clear enough so that they will understand… and this one did just that. The microphone was so responsive, that I could put it anywhere in front of me, or attached to the cord, and my team mates could hear me loud and clear.

Music
Bad Religion & DJ Tiësto

I am a huge fan of music, so a good headset is required to handle anything I can throw at it. The high pitches and loud volume. If I turn it up high and it crackles or sounds scratchy, that’s a sign that I won’t be using the headset for very long. Bad Religion is my personal favorite band, and if you enjoy punk music, you likely already know their music. DJ Tiesto is a legendary trance artist, and one of the most popular DJ’s in the world. Both CD’s being tested have been ripped to MP3 at 320Kbps, an ultra high quality.

I first listened to “Los Angeles Is Burning” from the Bad Religion album. As I had hoped, the music sounded amazing. The guitar, the drums and all the small details came in clear. Testing out the other songs on the album also proved just as great.

How about the trance album? The song I chose off the Tiësto album was “Solarstone & JES – Like A Waterfall”, which is the one you may have heard in the commercials for the album. It’s a very smooth sounding song, with lots of bass and voice. As I had hoped, the song sounded just as I wanted.. awesome quality. For fun, I turned up the volume within Windows up to Max, and the same for the headset. There was absolutely no distortion whatsoever. I am extremely pleased with the performance of the headset when it comes to music listening!

Movies
8 Mile & Gone In Sixty Seconds

For movie testing, I chose to use 8 Mile and Gone In Sixty Seconds, a couple of my favorites. In 8 Mile, I played the “The Final Battle” chapter, which has B Rabbit free styling against a Free World member. The reason this is a great chapter for testing, is because it takes place in an echoey basement, where the voices bounce off the walls. For Gone in Sixty Seconds, I played through the various chapters where Nicholas Cage is escaping with Elenor (1967 Shelby Mustang GT 500). Obviously, any great car chase scene makes for good sound testing.

I love these movies, and have watched both scenes numerous times during previous testings. Both movies had superb sound, especially 8 Mile. For movie watching though, I found that I preferred the Altec Lansing AHS602i with the bass boost enabled. The Siberia does a great job, but the booster on the AHS602i really helped make the movies feel more alive.


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