SteelSeries' 5Hv2s are a little more understated than its Siberias, but still carry the same black-on-white stormtrooper feeling — unless of course you opt for the all-black version.
Gone is the wonky headband found on the Siberia, replaced by a comfortable cushioned top. The clamping force across the ear cups is also more even, but the 5Hv2 carries another trick the Siberia doesn't — you can pull it apart into three pieces for easy travelling, the top part of the headband coming away from the bottom halves, which are connected to the cups.
The closed ear cups are covered with velour instead of leather, and just like the Siberia the headphones come with a 3-metre cable, which detaches 1 metre down using 3.5mm headphone and earphone plugs. An inline volume control is also here, although this time comes with a metallic clip if you want to attach it to something, and instead of a straight mute button it offers three levels of volume for the retractable microphone — high, low or off.
Much like the other SteelSeries headsets we've tried, until a certain volume threshold is hit using the inline volume control, the sound is tonally more rounded but lacking in treble. The higher you push it, the sharper the trebles become, until eventually everything gives way to pure treble and sounds awful. We'd recommend finding the tonal sweet spot once on the inline control, and then using either Windows' in-built volume control or an amp to adjust thereafter.
We hooked the 5Hv2s into a Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic and fired up Team Fortress 2 to test its audio properties. As is the SteelSeries way, we found vocals and gunshots enhanced compared to usual headphones, although unlike the Siberia's the 5Hv2s set the sound a little further from the ears, opening up a wider scape. This helped when listening to music, with a much greater tonal range observable, and a better defined bass, with Karnivool's Goliath not becoming such a mess during the latter part of the song. Drums were still pushed very forward and sometimes jarring, most likely due to their sonic similarity to gunshots.
The 5Hv2 can be best described as passable. If you don't need to pull your headset apart, we'd recommend the cheaper, more comfortable and tonally superior Plantronics GameCom 777 or 377.