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SteelSeries Spectrum 5XB review

Xbox 360 headgear with clever dual volume controls

SteelSeries Spectrum 5XB
An excellent headset for Xbox gamers

Our Verdict

A clever headset for Xbox 360 with dual volume controls, but sound is average


  • Solid design
  • Xbox 360 and Xbox Live compatibility
  • Great microphone quality
  • SteelSeries AudioMixer volume control
  • Comfortable to wear


  • Sound quality doesn't excel
  • Very expensive
  • If you don't have an Xbox 360, there's not much to recommend

Although the SteelSeries Spectrum 5XB gaming headset is compatible with PCs, and is perfectly good at playing music, it really comes into its own if used when playing games online on Xbox 360.

In games where communicating with teammates is essential, this is a fantastic headset.

Not only does the unobtrusive microphone (similar to the SteelSeries Siberia V2's mic) pick up voices incredibly well, the SteelSeries Spectrum 5XB comes with the SteelSeries AudioMixer. This is an inline remote with two volume controls – one for voice and the other for game audio. It connects to the Xbox 360 controller, so you don't have to move your hands far to adjust the volumes.

When using these headphones online, we found the ability to alter these two volumes on the fly incredibly useful – it can make a real difference in competitive team-based games.

The excellent comfort of the headphones meant that we didn't feel uncomfortable, even during the longest online matches.

The sound quality is good enough, but it has neither the depth nor the 5.1 surround sound positioning of its competitors.

The real selling points of this set are the SteelSeries AudioMixer and Xbox 360 compatibility – if you're a serious gamer, then the SteelSeries Spectrum 5XB can really help improve your game.

Matt Hanson

Senior Computing editor

Matt (Twitter) is TechRadar's Senior Computing editor. Having written for a number of magazines and websites, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. If you're encountering a problem or need some advice with your PC or Mac, drop him a line on Twitter.