A while back, I got a set of Guild Wars 2 themed SteelSeries products. Amongst that set was the SteelSeries Flux headset, which is more like a pair of headphones that you wear and less like a traditional gaming headset. I used them for a while and I was pretty impressed. Shortly after, I received a newer model of the Flux dubbed the Flux Luxury. It’s essentially the same thing, but with a few added caveats. Since they’re so similar I’ve decided to combine them into one review for one of the finest lines of headset you’ll find in gaming.
The normal SteelSeries Flux headset comes with a lot of features you wouldn’t normally expect to find on gaming peripherals. For one, it’s got earcup pads that simply twist off to remove and reattach. This makes taking them off for cleaning a breeze, as you can simply twist them off, clean them (and the surrounding area) and then twist them back into place to continue use. This also makes them ideal for swapping if you’ve got other colored earpads. You see, the Flux line is all about customization – so much so that they offer changable magnetic plates on the outside which you can easily lift off when you want to give your headset a different look. The Flux Luxury features the same things, but the earcup pads are made out of a faux leather and they’re more cushioned, allowing for even more comfort during longer sessions.
Another big plus is the ability to completely remove the cable from the headphones. You can unplug the cable at the base of the headset, which allows you to swap cables if something happens to it, or you can switch sides if you need more length. When I use my Flux at work, my computer sits off to my left, so I plug the cable in over on the left hand side, allowing for a few more inches of use. This is a tremendous idea, and one I’ve only really seen on products that are far more expensive, such as Beats by Dre headphones. Since there’s an input on both sides, you could actually plug another set of headphones into the second hole allowing you to share what you’re listening to with someone sitting next to you. I like to take my Flux on car trips and let the kids use them as the boys like the same type of music and it allows them to share one iPod if one of them happens to forget to bring theirs along.
The regular Flux comes with a standard cable that connects to your computer via pink/green analog cables, and it features an inline microphone so you don’t have a pesky boom mic to worry about. While I like the idea, I feel like I have to grab that mic and hold it a bit closer so that people can understand me. If you opt for the Flux Luxury, it comes with that same cable, but it also comes with a cable that only has a headphone out, perfect to use with your PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS, or smartphone. I use it daily with my iPhone 5 and I love it. This is a big plus for the Flux Luxury, and combined with the ability to fold your headphones up and place them in the bag (included with the headset) only future increases the value of the headset.
The Flux headphones feature some terrific sounds. Bass sounds great and music always sounds clear and crisp. Audio from Youtube can sound a bit tinny, but I think that’s more the nature of Youtube than the headphones. My only real complaint is the inline microphone. It sounds fine if people can hear you clearly, but like I said earlier, I find myself constantly needing to grab it and hold it in place, slightly closer to my mouth for the best results. The headphones are extremely comfortable, though after a while they can feel tight on your head. Even the Flux Luxury with the softer earpads starts to hurt my ears after several hours of use, though I often use my headphones between 8 to 10 hours a day, and every headphone eventually starts to become uncomfortable with extreme use.
No matter your flavor, both the Flux and the Flux Luxury are two of the finest headsets I’ve had the priveldge of using. If you plan to carry your Flux with you while travelling, I suggest you spend the extra cash and upgrade to the Flux Luxury because it’s absolutely worth it – but both models are fantastic and I highly recommend them even if they are a little pricey.
The SteelSeries Flux headset is available for $99.99 (MSRP), and the Flux Luxury is available for $149.99 (MSRP) at retailers as well as SteelSeries’ own webstore. Both versions of the Flux were provided for review by SteelSeries.
They sound great and they're easy to customize. They fold up for easy storage.
Even with customizable options, they're still kind of plain looking. They're a bit too expensive.