SteelSeries 3H and 4H Headsets

by Matt Serrano on April 20, 2007 in Audio & Media

SteelSeries has become well known for offering quality products for gamers, and today we are taking a look at two well-priced offerings from their headset lineup, the 3H and 4H.


Headsets are enticing to gamers for many reasons. It’s become a necessity for competitors. There’s little you can do against someone who can communicate with the rest of their team and hear the smaller details like gunshots and footsteps in a particular direction. Sound is important, if not moreso than the rest of the gaming experience.

In most cases, it’s not just what you hear, but how well others can hear you. There’s no point in getting a headset to talk to people in game if no one can understand you on the other end.

It’s hard to find the right balance. Usually, either the sound or the microphone is of low caliber, if not both. Most serious gamers have reverted to buying separate headphones and mics. There can be other annoying problems like having huge attachments that get in the way or need to be clipped on a piece of clothing that I personally don’t like to deal with.

SteelSeries is most known for their gaming products. Their product lines range from mice and mouse pads, keyboards, and obviously headsets, with everything catered towards gamers. SteelSeries was quick to market with their 3H and 4H gaming headsets. They intended to offer fantastic sound quality with an affordable price point.

This article is not intended to see what model is the better product, because both headsets have different features. Instead, this review was designed to compare both indirectly to point out their features and flaws, and to help readers decide which (if either) headset they prefer.

Closer Look

Both headsets came delivered in their standard packaging. The boxes were a bit beat up, but that was more likely due to the rough shipping process.

As expected, the 3H is considerably lighter than its older brother. Both sets were very durable, even though the 4H may feel a little clunky because of its size.

Here are the specifications for both headsets:

SteelSeries 3H
SteelSeries 4H
Frequency Response2.93GHz1066MHz
[email protected], 1Vrms102dB110 dB
Cable2 meters (6.5 feet)1.8 meters (6 feet)
Frequency response50-18.000 Hz75-16.000 Hz
Pick up patternNon-directionalUni-directional
Sensitivity-40 dB-38dB
2k Ohm2.2K Ohm2k Ohm

The 4H includes a clip about two feet from the base of the headset that can adjust the volume and change the microphone sensitivity. By comparison, the 3H includes no controls. I found that the clip rested right at my waist.

Not including any controls proved to be an annoyance for me. Every time I plugged the 3H in I was forced to bring the volume down to listenable levels.