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Saturday | December 10, 2016
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SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism Review

SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism Review

SteelSeries are one of the better known names in peripherals and their Siberia range has been impressing gamers for many years now. A number of months ago they began refreshing the product stack with new, enhanced models and today we take a look at the high end option in our SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism Review.

SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism Review – Packaging and Bundle

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SteelSeries package the Siberia Elite Prism in a large box which has a sleeve on the outside providing plenty of details about the product as well as a nice clear image. Inside the main box the headset is suspended in plastic with the headband structure protected by plastic to ensure it arrives in good condition. Bundled with the Siberia Elite Prism we get product documentation, sticker and various connectors.All of the main cables are flat and that starts with a 2m extension cable and continues with a 3.5mm splitter, smartphone connector and USB based soundcard which we will look at later.

SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism Review – The Headset

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The Siberia Elite Prism is shown above and like the other members of the Siberia family it uses that cool looking suspension design. In this case we have a metal suspension beam and beneath it a padded headband which work with the tension on the earcups to clamp the headset around our ears. We will talk about more of the features in the next paragraph but one which is immediately noticeable in the image above is that as normal, the cable extends from the left cup, in this case a 1.2m flat cable. What isn’t so normal is the 3.5mm port on the right cup. This is an audio passthrough which allows us to share what we are hearing with someone using another headset.

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The earcups on the Siberia Elite Prism are fairly large and filled with memory foam which combines with a soft breathable coating to form a seal around the ear. This mixes with the closed back design of the headset to create passive noise isolation as well as an immersive sound. On the outside of each earcup we have a grey circle which has two functions. The first is LEDs, it lights up from inside based on the software settings and the second is that it rotates, on the left ear to mute the mic and on the right ear to change the headset volume. Inside the earcup we have speakers which have a frequency response of 16-28000Hz, impedance of 32Ohm and sensitivity of 120dB. Then, extending from the left cup (and able to be hidden away inside it) is a unidirectional microphone with flexible arm. The mic has a frequency of 100-10000Hz with impedance of <2.2K Ohm and -44dB sensitivity.

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As noted earlier in the review, the Siberia Elite Prism arrives with a USB soundcard. At one side we have a short cable which ends in USB connector for PC connection and at the other, two standard 3.5mm audio connectors through which we can use any headset…though SteelSeries would hope it would be one of theirs. Also here is a small USB connector which allows us to plug in the headset direct, enabling the LED functionality.

SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism Review – Software

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The main functionality of the Siberia Prism Elite is available when using the USB connection and SteelSeries Engine 3. Engine 3 has Cloud Sync functionality and allows us to control most recent SteelSeries products and on the Siberia Elite Prism the functionality starts with a simple panel which lets us know about any firmware updates (and applies them) before we click through to the main settings.

SSE3b SSE3c

Once in the main panel for the Siberia Elite Prism we can enable or disable the Dolby Headphone technology (including ProLogic IIx) for virtual surround, set EQ levels manually or via profile and tweak mic settings. Those available are noise reduction, volume, tone and compression. We can also enter Configs (profiles which can auto launch with apps) or LED configuration. In LED configuration we can select off, colourshift, steady, breathe and volume trigger with 16.8million colours available.

SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism Review – User Experience and Conclusion

Starting, as we pretty much always do, with the build quality and design of the product our first impression when unboxing the Siberia Elite Prism was that it is a substantial headset. This is isn’t some cheap, flimsy unit, this very clearly is built to a high standard and designed to take some punishment. The parts are all manufactured to a high standard, assembled well (including strong stitching, and there is enough flex in the appropriate areas to allow movement rather than damage. Cabling seems strong too, with enough extra in areas such as the wire from cup to cup to ensure minimal wear over time and the finish seems durable.

In use the mute and volume functionality on the ear cups is welcomed (some of the other Siberia headsets lack this) and the handy LED on the mic to show mute/on status is a welcome addition too. Elsewhere the multi-platform compatibility is ideal in todays world, and we were pleased to see that Steelseries have kept the cabling as simple to change as possible. Add to this the audio-pass through function, allowing us to share audio and we really do have a feature packed headset, which helps balance out the reasonably high cost to buy.

As far as performance goes, the quality offered by the Siberia Elite Prism is good, complimenting the high level of build quality and features. Through the USB connection/card we get a nice detailed sound which certainly favours games, movies and streaming. Vocals are clearly key to the soundscape of this product. There is plenty of bass when required and the level of configuration available from the SteelSeries Engine is good. It is also a simple, intuitive piece of software which is ideal. Our only minor change would be for SteelSeries to provide some additional volume/power through the bundled USB soundcard, it offers clarity and minimal (if any) distortion however on some quieter sources we were close to the volume limits available. Of course those using the headset through the 3.5mm connectors will have no such issue and when connected to a headphone amp the extra power combined with the good fit from the oversized earcups makes for a very immersive and powerful experience.

Summary: Great build quality, good design and plenty of features. Good for music but excellent for movies, gaming and listening to streams.

Gold Award

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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