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SteelSeries Siberia V3 Prism Review

SteelSeries Siberia V3 Prism Review

The SteelSeries Siberia has proven to be one of the most popular PC headsets of all time. Not only in its original form but in various different editions from those which are branded to match games, or those created for eSports purposes… even charity models. Today we review the follow up to that product in our SteelSeries Siberia V3 Prism Review.

SteelSeries Siberia V3 Prism Review – Packaging and Bundle

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The new Siberia headset arrives in some familiar looking SteelSeries packaging. There is a nice clear image of the product on the front, along with some key feature info (such as PlayStation support). On the other sides we get more detailed information on the headset and then inside a basic bundle of quick start guide and case stickers. We also note that SteelSeries still have not resolved a packaging issue. In the past we have commented on the headsets being dusty/covered in particles. Thats still happening here. Some manufacturers cover areas of their headsets in plastic to keep them pristine for arrival, maybe SteelSeries should do the same… yes it’s a minor issue.

SteelSeries Siberia V3 Prism Review – The Headset

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The Siberia V2 Prism is shown above and is the middle model in SteelSeries new range. An Elite sits above, featuring additional support for other devices, virtual 7.1 audio etc and a version with 3.5mm connectors sits below. The Prism uses a matt black plastic for the main construction and adds some style through a couple of gloss areas. The key feature of the Siberia range is that suspension design for the headband area which features a padded, leatherette headband. This area stretches to fit the users head with no need to manually set the length like other headsets.

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On the outside of the ear cups we find a perforated section (despite these being closed back) and this is to allows LED illumination to shine through, more on that shortly. The inside of the cups have branded fabric and are surrounded by leatherette with foam padding. Inside we have 50mm drivers and our frequency response is 20-20000Hz with impedance of 35Ohm and sensitivity of 80dB.

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One of the features we very much liked about previous SteelSeries headsets is the inclusion of a mic (uni-directional, 50-16000Hz and -38dB) which can be extended out of the left cup, or pushed in when not in use. It makes an appearance here with the added change that the mic mute button has moved to the ear cup. There is no in-line control pod on the V3 and no volume control. We must use Windows master volume, or our app volume. Finally the cable used by SteelSeries is a chunky, rubber covered and 1.5m in length.

SteelSeries Siberia V3 Prism Review – Software

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SteelSeries provide SteelSeries Engine as a control panel for use on the Siberia V3 (and other products) and our first screen allows us to choose which SteelSeries peripheral to configure from those attached. Interestingly we currently also get a pop-up informing us that they are launching cloud based settings storage which brings the app in line with competitor offerings. There is also another generic panel, Library, which allows us to configure per application profiles for our devices. The latest SteelSeries Engine can be downloaded from here.

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Moving in to the main control panel for the Siberia V3 Prism we find a nice simple layout. A button on the left allows us to manage configurations but the main settings are on the right. First up is the equaliser which includes profiles for various scenarios. Then we have the mic volume and beneath it software enhancements which SteelSeries intend to enhance the quality of our vocal. Our final setting is for the LEDs with SteelSeries offering a wide range of colours mixed with effects.

SteelSeries Siberia V3 Prism Review – User Experience and Conclusion

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As we noted earlier in the review, the Siberia V3 Prism is a follow up to some of the most popular headsets ever released, so without doubt it has a lot to live up to. Having said that though, the V2 wasn’t perfect. So there is potential for improvement and immediately when we unbox the item it is clear that there have been a few improvements, for example the headband is less fluffy and easier to keep clean while being more durable. The cable too is improved, thicker, though takes a couple of days to straighten out after unboxing.The headset also seems to keep more noise in than the V2 in our opinion and the matt design will appeal to some compared to the glossy look of the V2.

There is one significant issue though, the lack of volume control. At first we found that odd but moved on from it and used the headset for a period of time. Having done that we can say without doubt that this was a huge design mis-step by SteelSeries. Having discussed the omission with numerous other gamers (and PC users) over the last few days it would seem that they agree. Having an in-line or on-ear volume control is a critical aspect for PC users. Especially gamers who require quick access to controls while absorbed in a critical level or battle. SteelSeries also run the risk of alienating consumers too, because the Elite version of the headset does feature a volume control… and that could be read as SteelSeries saying that we should have to pay for this very basic functionality. Especially gauling as the Elite is 199euros, 60 euros more than the 139euro Prism. Let us be clear. For standard entertainment use, headsets do not require a volume control. It is a bonus feature, a nice to have. For a gaming headset, or multi-purpose headset it is a basic function that should be included.

Moving back to the positives, SteelSeries Engine continues to evolve and is a nice, simple and intuitive piece of software. We also like how well the Siberia V3 renders voice, whether that be in-game, streaming video or voice chat. Sadly for other audio uses the V3 is a step back from the V2. It has a reduced frequency response range and appears to lack the range of volume too. These combine to produce a lower quality audio experience in movies music and gaming. One which lacks the punch and lively sound of the V2. We can think of a bunch of gaming headsets, cheaper headsets at that, which we have reviewed recently that offer a better all round audio experience, something which is hugely disappointing given the opportunity SteelSeries had to build on a solid platform.

This disappointment continues on to the mic which is overall decent, but the audio enhancements offer mixed results. Is the volume when enhanced louder? Yes. Is it clearer? Marginally… but so too is the background noise that the limited noise cancellation fails to deal with.

Summary: It is more expensive than the V2 but doesn’t manage to offer an improved audio experience. Add to that the reduced basic functionality (lack of volume control) and even that the cable is longer (in total) on the V2 and we have a V3 headset which disappoints. Ending on a positive though, voices are nice and clear on this headset and it is super comfortable. Quite simply, if you like the design of the Siberia range, give some serious consideration to the various V2 models which are still available.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

16 Comments

  1. Fellowgamer

    Hey guys I am also an owner of the Siberia v3 prism. The headset itself works great; the sound that I hear when I play games is magnificent. I haven’t experienced any issues with the audio at all; I can defiantly say that the headset has made my gaming experience more enjoyable and much easier. When I first opened up the steelseries headed up, the packaging was well equipped with directions showing you the easiest way to set up your headset. I think that being a diehard gamer it is important to have a great headset that will take care of all your needs and this Siberia V3 is your best bet. I got a friend of mine, who owns this headset too, and he havent experienced any problems??? I dont agree with this article at all, maybe they should reconsider the testings, and make sure that the headset they used for this review wasen´t broken from the start…

    Peace.

    • Hi, i’m glad you and your friend like your headsets however that doesn’t change the fact that the V2 is cheaper, has more features, has better specs and as a result sounds better.

      • Fellowgamer

        The fact that you talk about your review as if it was a fact makes me disgusted. Your review is as much an opinion as its a review, and its not really objective if you mask me, and i can tell you, you do.
        The price is marginal the two headsets compared, and the level of comfort not including the amount of work that has gone into improving a beautfiul headset (referring to v2) and making it extraordinary (referring to v3) makes the price difference minimal. Design is costly, so yes, of course a new headset will be more costly, you would be nothing but an ignorant not knowing this. It fits better on the head of me, im nothing but a meere human being, but yet i think i can speak for most of us when i say that your review is nothing but a complaint and a stupid act of trying to downgrade a beautiful designed headset, slightly costlier, yes i agree, but will u complain about 20€?

        Companies have to earn money, lets not keep this a secret, and of course they have to upgrade their headsets. The sound is as good as the old one, its WAY WAY more comfortable, and comparing the two the new one is a ferrari and the old one a toyota. The difference is there, you pay for it. You say that the sound is not better quality, but i can assure you that is the same ATLEAST! the fact that it fits better on your head makes the new headset extraordinary, and besides that, you could hook up EASILY with women at your local club wearing this piece of design. its THAT beautfiul.

        This is not reveloutionary, it´s an upgrade. An upgrade from a very succesfull headset, known by all gamers in the world. The v3 Prism offers the light function, and the steelseries engine software. For 20€ you will get a more enjoyable design, light, and more comfy. To be honerst i think the sound is better, beacuse the headset fits your head better. It´s more tight, so the sound gets better.

        Why buy the v2 when you can buy a better upgrade with more functions for 20€… I think real gamers can agree with me.

        • Hi Fellowgamer, thanks for your response. It made my day.

          Working through some of your points…

          “Your review is as much an opinion as its a review”

          All reviews are opinion.

          ” its not really objective if you mask me,”

          I can tell you that my opinion of SteelSeries is very high, in fact if I was going to lack objectivity it would likely swing in the other direction. To being more likely to go easy on them. One of the best mice I have ever used was their Sensei, my second favourite headset of all time, their 7H. Of course having reviewed for well over a decade now I know how to balance my own feelings with the need for an impartial review.

          “The price is marginal the two headsets compared, and the level of comfort not including the amount of work that has gone into improving a beautfiul headset (referring to v2) and making it extraordinary (referring to v3) makes the price difference minimal. Design is costly, so yes, of course a new headset will be more costly, you would be nothing but an ignorant not knowing this. ”

          Curious about how you know the amount of effort and cost was involved in the v3?

          “but will u complain about 20€?”

          Yes, when 20€ gets you a lot in the headset marketplace.

          ” of course they have to upgrade their headsets.”

          The V3 Prism is not an upgrade. It is a revision. If anything, looking purely at the specifications and features it is a downgrade.

          “The sound is as good as the old one, its WAY WAY more comfortable, and comparing the two the new one is a ferrari and the old one a toyota. ”

          I am fortunate enough to have access to both and regularly use the equivalent V2, the USB based Frost Blue version. During the testing for the V3 Prism I was therefore able to switch between the two in the exact same environment, with the exact same audio source on the exact same system and compare as well as is possible. Quite simply, the higher spec hardware in the V2 earcups sounded better.

          “the fact that it fits better on your head makes the new headset extraordinary”

          It has a slightly tighter fit than the V2, but not as good a fit as some competitor models. That said, it does feel lighter in use but the overall fit isn’t class leading.

          “you could hook up EASILY with women at your local club wearing this piece of design. its THAT beautfiul.”

          I’m pretty sure most women worth hooking up with would stay far, far away from the crazy person wearing headphones in a club. Plus, how are you powering the LED in there? Oh, and regardless… i really couldn’t care less about the way a headset looks. As long as the looks don’t interfere with your peripheral vision it shouldnt really matter one bit.

          “This is not reveloutionary, it´s an upgrade. An upgrade from a very succesfull headset, known by all gamers in the world. The v3 Prism offers the light function, and the steelseries engine software.”

          As before, this is not an upgrade. Additionally, the V2 also uses SteelSeries Engine. Granted it doesn’t offer the mic settings on V2 but that in itself isn’t really a problem because, as I noted, the mic settings actually make any background noise that the cancellation does not solve, worse.

          “Why buy the v2 when you can buy a better upgrade with more functions for 20€”

          Once again. Not an upgrade. Not in specs, not in audio quality and not in features. The only feature that the V3 adds is software based and to get that you LOOSE functionality… no hardware volume control.

          “I think real gamers can agree with me.”

          I am a real gamer. I’m also fortunate enough to have used the V2, which is better, as well as the a whole bunch of competitor models over the last few months. Corsairs H1500, the Roccat Kave XTD, Kingstons HyperX Cloud, Audio Technicas AG1, the Sennheiser Game One, Plantronics RIG, CM Storm Sirus C and further back more from ASUS, Turtle Beach, etc and even a few we haven’t written about yet. All but one I would choose over the V3 Prism. (And yes, i know some of those are more expensive, but as a result of the above I also know through experience what makes for a good gaming headset).

          Anyway, as I said before, I am glad that you are enjoying your headset. I’d suggest you continue to do so, rather than spending time trying to justify your purchase.

  2. MarcDestrick

    Hey Stuart,

    There is actually a HUGE difference from the V2 to the V3 Prism….. And that´s a fact. I researched the product a little before paying it, and i am now, a proud and happy owner.

    Firstly, this headset is much more isolated, the earcups is more tight in a comfortable way that makes the sound better .
    Secondly, better speakers. Higher quality than the V2, which also includes more bass for instance. (you can customize your sound functions in the SteelSeries Engine 3) <– the V2 "only" uses SSE2.

    And reffering to the new volume control, that you mentioned you don´t like, – that´s not a big deal. Every gamer i know uses the volume control via. the keyboard or in game (as do i) Personally i think you can regular the sound more precisely at the earcup than on the cord. The mute function is also way better on the earcup, you can find it easier and faster than on the cord. So in my opinion this is only positive.

    The new design is much more enjoyable and smooth. Updated to a new school looking headset, which i like. The light function is also a big "upgrade" and works well, you can also save your " customized profile/ on cloud " on the SSE3.

    Fellowgamer: "Why buy the v2 when you can buy a better upgrade with more functions for 20€”

    Stuart: "Once again. Not an upgrade. Not in specs, not in audio quality and not in features."

    Wrong! The audio is improved with better speakers. Features: yes. Light function is a feature, and the "tag" you can 3D print and put into your headset is definitely a feature to. The SSE3 is also a " better feature " than the SSE2.

    I really see the improvements to this product, and I think 40€ is well spent and worth paying

    • Hi MarcDestrick, from the same IP address as FellowGamer… aspects of your post are incorrect however as long as you like YOUR headset then thats all that matters, right?

      • MarcDestrick

        Yeah, from the same IP adress, as fellowgamer is my little brother. That´s totally correct.

        And yes, i like it 🙂

  3. MarcDestrick

    I just don´t get why you are saying this headset is not an upgrade. Really dont make sense.

  4. MarcDestrick

    Thank you sir,

  5. oneeye3fingers

    I spent 2 months looking for a good set of gaming headphones and read review after review untill I was about to give up for a while.Everything I looked at stunk from $150-$350 all I read this part is good but,but,but over and over again.Then the sun came out and there was the Steel elite prism and I would say 90% of the reviews were very favorable.I bought a set at Amazon $163
    I run this on my auzentech x-fi home theater hd sound card,an awsome card if I may say so.Anyway these headphones rock,I can tune them like you could not believe from Auzentech software.My sound card powers the headphones so well I could blow my brains out if not careful.I game on Steam alot particularly ghost recon fantoms and everyone says my voice is very clear.I have had no complaints from other players.So for $163 I hit the jackpot.Gooood job Steel

  6. oneeye3fingers

    Ooops my bad……ghost recon phantoms,I use to spell better until I started gaming with this headset LMAO

  7. Lol… classic comments. Call’em out HH! Haha.

  8. Sebastian

    I bought this headset to, not knowing that there wasn’t any volume control. This was a bummer but most recent keyboards, especially if you’re a gamer, have volume control buttons. So this way i can still change the volume.
    But then, I could also use the headset for my PS4, but there I don’t have a volume control button so it depends on the game loudness. Or i have to change the sound settings in PS Menu but I don’t want to change any of those settings..
    So it’s a very nice headset but too bad about the volume control.. 2 small buttons on the earpads would’ve done the trick for me.

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