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SteelSeries 9H Gaming Headset

  • Dolby 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound
  • Double Enclosure Technology
  • Retractable Noise Cancelling Microphone
  • Swappable cable ends for use with PC, Mac, or mobile devices
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Learn more about the SteelSeries 9H

General

Brand
SteelSeries
Model
9H
Part
61101

Feature

Color
Black

Headphone

Headphone Frequency Response
10Hz-28KHz
Headphone Input Impedance
32 ohm
Headphone Signal to Noise Ratio(SNR)
110 dB
Connector
3.5mm/ USB
Ear Coupling
Circumaural
Cord Length
3 ft.

Microphone

Microphone Impedance
~2K ohm
Microphone Frequency Response
50Hz-16KHz
Microphone Sensitivity
-37 +/- 3 dB

Feature

Features
STEELSERIES AUDIO
Powerful, detailed sound experience via tournament grade audio drivers.

DOLBY TECHNOLOGY
Featuring both Dolby Headphone and Dolby Prologic IIx for superior surround experience.

CUSTOM-ENGINEERED SOUNDSCAPE
Specifically optimized for in-game sounds such as footsteps, alerts and gunfires.

DOUBLE ENCLOSURE TECHNOLOGY
Double enclosure, closed design isolates outside noise for less distractions.

EXTENDED COMFORT
Extra-padded, soft all-leather design provides comfort during long sessions.

RETRACTABLE MICROPHONE
"Invisible", retractable, uni-directional microphone in left ear-cup.

CONTROL YOUR AUDIO
In-line audio controls for volume control and muting microphone.

READY FOR EVERYTHING
Swappable cable system for use with PC, Mac, tablets and phones.

Quick Info

Warranty

  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year


Customer Reviews of the SteelSeries 9H

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  • Kevin W.
  • 6/18/2014 5:38:42 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsVery good headset, but probably worth closer to 100$

Pros: This thing is great, definitely delivers great sound, and feels quite high quality, from the headset itself, to the cords. The mic goes into the headset which I love.

Cons: 160 seems quite high, if I were to guess the price of these after using them for a couple of months, my guess would be 100$.

Other Thoughts: If you can get them on sale for not more than 120$, then I highly recommend them.

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4 out of 5 eggs

Pros: Build – The headset is built well. Nothing about it is loose or squeaky.

Cords – The cords are very nice and proper lengths, no complaints there. And of course they give you the various connectors.

Comfort – It is a very comfortable headset. I had no problem wearing for hours. The leather cups feel nice and it isn’t too heavy. If I’d tweaked on thing it would be slightly larger ear cups because the pushing on the outsides of my ear a bit.
Surround Sound – The surround sound works well (except for my volume note in the cons). It is very clear where the sounds are coming from.

Microphone – The mic on this headset worked well for me. My voice came through clearly and it did an ok job with filtering out background noise. I did not have the same negative experiences others had with the mic being too sensitive. I also liked the retracing attribute of the mic. It is actually a decent length and flexible so you can adjust it. When you retract it there is a nice click and it stays in securely.

Noise Isolation – they may over hype this in the product description but this headset does a better job than most I have used as isolating out background noise.

Cons: Volume – Like others I am listing volume in cons because this headset is not loud enough. However, I don’t think it is as big a problem as others have made it out to be. When I usaed it with my phone, it did have enough volume. The only time it was not loud enough was when using it with the included USB Sound Card. This is very disappointing since this is how they intend for you to use the headset and is how you get surround sound with it. It was just able to get to a volume that worked for me but could go no higher. They probably should have made it USB 3.0. I will note that there is no reduction in volume when switching on surround sound.

Other Thoughts: Sound quality - The sound is on this headset is good and about what you would expect from a $160 product except the bass is a little heavy for my taste (easily fixed with an equalizer program). I don’t think the sound quality is good enough to move it into the pros portion.

Software – I am putting this in other thought because the SteelSeries Engine is easy to use but not very robust. I have to mention the Mic Sidetone did not seem to work for me but I don’t know anyone that uses it so I’m keeping it out of cons.

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4 out of 5 eggsSteelSeries 9H Gaming Headset

Pros: very decent sound quality
light weight
easy to wear (comfortable)
very decent sound quality (for gaming)
braided cables
volume control on the headset cord
mic sounds good

Cons: probably should be in a little lower price range.
USB sound card is kind of worthless
not very loud (with out a good sound card and amp)
ears get sweaty from leather after a while of gaming

Other Thoughts: After spending a little time with these headsets I give them a 4 out of 5. Over all these are good headset for gaming and very comparable to my A40s as far as the sound goes. With them hooked up to the "sound card" that comes with it the volume leaves something to be desired. I hooked them up to my ZX sound card with the amp that came with them and it is a night and day difference. So much that it is hard to tell the difference between these and my A40s that I use on a daily basis. They have very good stereo sound stage and 3d positioning in my FPS games sounds very good. If you are going to listen to music then its best you use an EQ to tune them to your liking because these are set up for gaming right out of the box. So real world sounds in game sound great and has a great deep bass for explosions, that's why you will probably have to tuned them differently for music playback. The metal headband and metal hinges feels like a fairly durable construction and they feel fairly light weight. Over they are a very decent headset for all around listening as long as your willing to EQ them for music. I personally feel they should be in a slightly lower price range but that just me being cheap:-)

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  • Nicholas D.
  • 6/5/2014 1:21:46 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsDecent Sound Quality, Way Too Quiet

Pros: +Comfortable
+Decent Sound Quality
+Light
+Modular Cables

I purchased the SteelSeries 9H headset as a replacement for a broken Logitech G35 which I have used for a few years. I mainly chose the 9H because of the USB soundcard and the modular cables system. I expected the 9H to be a decent upgrade from the G35 but was left sorely disappointed.

Overall, the sound quality was decent, but not as good as my old G35 even after messing with the equalizer for a bit. They were a lot more comfortable than my old G35 and also much lighter but still felt solid.

Cons: -Sounds are quiet even at max volume, with or without sound card.
-Mic was broken upon arrival.
-Does NOT block out sound well.

First off, the microphone was defective. I tried it with and without the USB soundcard, messing with the SteelSeries software, and on more than one PC.

While the sound quality was decent, at max volume the headset was very quiet. I tried it on several devices and was really disappointed. In a room with a fan running I had trouble even hearing music and game audio at max volume on my PC. It's possible that there was also something defective with the speakers causing this but I'm not going to waste any more time on this headset to find out.

Overall, I am disappointed by this headset and have returned it for several reasons. There are plenty of cheaper options that are just as good or better than the 9H.

Other Thoughts: While not really pertaining to the quality of the headset, apparently newegg does not consider the "SteelSeries 9H Gaming Headset" to be a headset. Good to know if you have a headset coupon from newegg.

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4 out of 5 eggsGood, except connection flaw

Pros: Great looking headset – they look like they cost over a hundred dollars.

Retractable mouthpiece - it feels pretty sturdy and I like that it can be hidden (if you wanted to use them in public for music)

I think that this headset doesn’t accentuate lows, mids, or highs in a distracting way. This can be a good thing for gaming and even listening to music. I suppose iTunes/media player’s EQ could help you out if you wanted more lows for bass heavy music.

They work well for FPS games.

Analog mute/volume control on the headset cord – cord is a good length (several feet) and adjustable depending which attachments you are using

Cords are lightweight and are braided with similar color as the headset

Surround sound and noise cancellation work well. I can only compare it to real surround sound which is obviously much better but the headset sounds good to me

Ears didn’t get overly hot in an a couple hours of use

Cons: Despite the headset looking nice, the construction may be somewhat lacking. My connector where the cord plugs into the headphones was slightly askew. At first, I thought this new headset was not functional because the cord’s plug would not fully connect to/align with the headset’s socket. I forcefully shoved the cord’s plug in, moving the internal receiver/socket a couple millimeters, and finally got them to work. I worry that over time this coupling will become loose and cause problems. My headset may be an outlier, but considering the price, this should not happen. Because I had problems with the connection between the cord and the headset, I also have to complain about the price. They should be flawless for $160. I don’t think they deserve 3 stars, but they may not deserve 4 either.

I really hate that these have a proprietary cord coupling. If it broke, which seems to be more than plausible with the one that was sent to me, you could have a hard time fixing them or need to pay money to send them to SteelSeries… there is only a 1 year warranty from the manufacturer.

I feel like the soundcard is trying to prevent you from hurting your ears with too much volume. Certain features, like surround, sometimes seem to reduce the overall volume.

Other Thoughts: Although I built my own gaming computer and game a fair amount, I have never used an over the ear headset for gaming until I got these. Most of my experience with headphones is from fairly cheap earbuds – this headset obviously sounds much better and let in much less noise. But, the cord shaking around/hitting things can cause noise in both kinds of headphones.

I have a pretty small head, maybe medium hat size

I often use music production software (Digital Audio Workstations) and flat sounding speakers are supposed to work well for determining discrepancies in studio sound. I don’t have studio monitor speakers, so I think these could be a decent compromise for hearing the music in a ‘flatter EQed’ way.

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  • Anonymous
  • 6/4/2014 3:43:27 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

4 out of 5 eggssolid comfort

Pros: One piece design. Very comfortable to wear. sometimes you forget that you have it on. Excellent fit and finish. No qualms about workmanship.

Creamy rich bass and good midrange for music.

I compared these with my old fatality creative headset and it is rungs above it in looks, design and functionality. These are much lighter and the sound is much more immersive as if you are on your own planet of gaming.

Multiple adapters for phone, pc, and mac.

Cons: There is some leak when gaming, so you may hear outside interference from your enviroment and home. It is not total isolation that many gamers prefer, but at this price range it is a worthwhile exchange. For next level headset, you'd have to pay upwards of $300.

It locked up my xbox when plugged in.

usb sound card is a bit weak.

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5 out of 5 eggsI love this headset!

Pros: +Very nice looking headset. I really like the matte black look it has with the orange stitching and liner for the ear pieces.

+The padding on the ears is an inch thick and very soft and comfortable to wear for long periods of time. I wear glasses also and it didn’t bother me at all. It fits my head perfectly without being too tight like a lot of headsets seem to be. Although I do have a narrow shaped head. They also seem very well built and look like they should last a long time, with the metal frame for the headband.

+It comes with some adapters to use with different devices. You can use it with the USB connection which of course uses the built in sound card. You can also use it directly connected to your sound card if you remove the USB extension. Or connect it to your iPhone/iPad etc. The cables are not thick, and are braided which I like a lot, because the overly thick cables get too annoying hanging from your head. The Headset cord section is 3’-6” long, the PC extension is 6’-10” long.

+Sound Quality: I am not an audiophile, but they sound very good to me. I normally use a Seinnheiser PC350 headset for games, but actually prefer the sound out of this headset. It has good bass for games, and excellent positional surround sound (at least to me it does). There is a couple of negatives that I will mention in my cons.

+The Microphone sounds very good to me when I tested it with some windows recording software. I like it even better than my Sennheiser PC350 headset. The recordings actually sound slightly cleaner when using the USB connection.

+It does better at blocking noise in my room than my PC350 headset does. Although its not going to eliminate a loud tv in the room, but it blocks out the video card fan on my computer when playing games, I don’t hear it until I take the headset off.

+Manual is only 8 pages and is all pictures :)

Cons: -Using just the USB connection with the built in sound card, the maximum volume is not nearly as loud as when connected to a sound card with a built in amp. Although it still sounds very good, and at 100% its just the right volume for me actually. I have hurt my ears in the past by turning the sound up too much, but this should help me not do that. It does however get much louder when connected to my Asus Essence STX soundcard. From what I can tell this is a high ohm headset, as it does the same thing that my PC350 headset does for volume.

-The Dolby on this headset is not good in my opinion. It lowers the volume even more, and it just doesn’t sound good. Unlike my Essence STX sound card which does great with Dolby. But its really not a big negative to me because the normal surround sound setting is very good with this 9H headset.

Other Thoughts: I actually like this headset a lot, despite any negatives. Its worth 5 stars in my opinion, for me anyways. In its software it even allows you to set custom game profiles so that it will automatically change the sound based off of what game/exe file you load. The software notified me when there was a firmware update that it then auto downloaded and installed.

The microphone you can also leave pushed in all the way, flush into the headset and it looks like normal headphones. I don’t use the mic a lot, and its nice to not have it sticking out all the time. Normally I play mmorpg games.

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4 out of 5 eggsGood for Gaming

Pros: This is a nice headset, the sound quality is good you are able to hear sounds that you wouldn't normally hear with your standard day to day headset. Includes plenty of cable length, so you are able to use at a distance from your pc if you were to sit on your couch while playing games on say a 60" HDTV. Enough connectors for PC, ipod, ipad, mp3 players, smart phones etc.

The color in nice, retractable hidden mic is a nice touch when you want to use as a media headset without the mic setting in your face the whole time.

The padding is adequate, with leather covering the ear padding it is soft and comfortable, it does tend to make my ears sweat a little, but all in all very wearable for long periods of time.

Has the included usb sound card which does its job, I just use them without it though as my MB has sound blaster xfi3 onboard for really nice sound with this headset.

So, I did find a use for the usb sound card as a stand alone sound source for a PC I have that the onboard sound had stopped working due to a bad speaker port, so I just plugged in the usb sound card installed the steel series engine driver and plugged speakers into it and it works well for the pc to have sound now.

Cons: I do have a couple cons that tie together, the sound on this headset could be louder with windows volume at 100% and the volume control on the headset turned all the way up its to me still low. With the usb soundcard still the same issue volume is too low for my liking, but it would keep you from blowing your ears out and saves your hearing so I guess its a trade off.

Other Thoughts: My overall thought on this headset is it is a great product, it does what it was designed to do let you game without much outside noise interference, be comfortable aside from a little bit sweaty ears, and hear all the sounds you need to in the game by setting up your own profile for your hearing needs for each game.

I recommend this headset for the gamers out there that need to have good sound quality while defending the universe online and such, Game on geeks.

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5 out of 5 eggsSolid Headset - Great for Gaming and Media

Pros: - Great Build Quality
- Great Sound Quality
- Comfortable

Those are the top three pros of the SteelSeries 9H for me, but there are many more that added up to me thoroughly enjoying this headset. The hardware used to test the headset is listed in "Other thoughts".

I am a gamer, and I watch a lot of videos and movies while at my PC, so those are the two areas I rate my headsets.

First off, these are great for gaming, they have no problems producing rich deep sounds that greatly add to the gaming experience. They are also comfortable for long game sessions. At no time did I get a headache, nor did my ears become hot or uncomfortable. The longest gaming session lasted a little over 4.5 hours, that's non-stop without removing the headset.

The mic sound quality is also very good, easily picking up my voice and not much of the background noise, such as fans. Tested using both TS3 and Vent, as well as recording my voice and playing it back. You're easily understandable and come through sounding crystal clear. Of course, this might differ based on environment noise and your own voice, and you can tweak some of the mic settings in the SteelSeries Engine 3 Software.

For media, the sound quality is just as good, and the headset seems to be able deliver a wonderful audio experience. Of course, a lot of this is going to depend on what you have driving the headset as well, so that's something to keep in mind.

The braided cable is nice and long and allows you to ample length to move around no matter where you connect the headset.

The included SteelSeries USB Sound Card V2 also works wonderfully, and sounds great when compared to on-board audio and even compares to the Sound Blaster Z I used as well. Better than many other USB sound cards I have used and tested.

Overall I thought the 9H was able to offer up a great audio experience for both gaming and media and I would easily recommend them to anyone looking for a high-quality gaming headset.

Cons: There were a couple cons that I ran into, but I did not knock off any Eggs since they are minor and did not have a significant negative overall impact on my experience.

At first, the in-line volume controller would produce a great deal of static when adjusting the volume, and ceased as soon as you stopped adjusting. However this went away after playing with it for just a few minutes. Perhaps there was something on the contact surfaces.

When you're wearing the headset, and have no audio playing, any movement of the braided audio cable is very easily heard inside the left cup where the cable attaches to the headset. However this ONLY happens when there is silence and it completely unnoticeable at any other time. Why? Think of the old phone game, 2 cans and a string.

Other Thoughts: I tested this headset using three different audio sources. The included SteelSeries USB Sound Card V2, the Realtek ALC892 chipset on my ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0, and my Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z sound card.

Headsets compared were the Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Alpha and Rage, Razer Kraken 7.1, Corsair Vengeance 1500 v2, a Logitech G35, and a Razer BlackShark (BF4 Edition). All ranging in price from $30 to $150.

While I do not own all of these headsets, friends and family do, and were kind enough to let me do some comparative testing. In each case, both them and myself thought the 9H delivered great sound. Easily comparing and even beating some of the other headsets in our opinions.

In all three cases, the headset performed wonderfully, and it delivered a great experience. Something you would expect from a SteelSeries product.

The SteelSeries USB Sound Card sounded noticeably better than many of others I have used, something that was a welcome surprise.

In closing, I really enjoyed this headset. Being an avid PC gamer they filled that role fantastically. They easily stood up to many other high-quality headsets that I have used. Easily recommended.

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4 out of 5 eggsSound Off

Pros: Great sound quality and the noise reduction and cancellation works well. I have a gaming computer that I built for my young nephews and my grandchildren. This headset coupled with the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Zx soundcard is explosive. The sound quality is awesome and there are no complaints from the younger generation. The additional accessories make it easy to use this headset with other item besides the PC.

Cons: While this headset is excellent with the gaming computer and the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Zx soundcard. It falls a bit short in the sound and connection department when plugged into a Windows 8 laptop, Surface Pro, Galaxy S5, and iPad. The sound quality is not as good as the gamer (I did not try these in a gaming notebook). When plugged into the Xbox they sound good, but not as good as the gaming PC. The soundcard in the gaming PC helps the headset outperform the other devices. When Engine 3 is downloaded to the notebook, there is a remarkable improvement in sound quality. The notebook can be made better by downloading and installing Engine 3. Engine 3 makes it easier to control the headset on the gaming PC also. There is no App for the Galaxy S5, iPad, or the Surface Pro…this would probably be a plus if there was an App.

Other Thoughts: If you are buying these for use with a phone or tablet you might want to consider the SteelSeries H Circumaural Wireless Headset (a bit expensive, but they would be ideal for those items. This is not your typical headset and should be consider an investment as you would any other gaming device or accessory.

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