Sound and Overall Performance
Starting off with the shorter performance commentary, the mic performs well. The speaker is heard quite clearly and the noise cancelation option was almost unnecessary. But when that option was available it was best left on as did well to isolate my voice from the television currently playing 2 feet away from my head. Steady performance here.
Now for the sound…
Perhaps it was the more-spacious ear cup design which improved that surrounding soundscape feel. Maybe it was the capabilities of the new version of the USB sound card that changed the sound presentation for the better. In any event, sound is absolutely crisp and vibrant with the SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism, so much so that it actually feels improved over the previous SteelSeries Siberia Elite headset. You have a very balanced sound with a nice presence of bass that’s not too overbearing or muddy.
With the added space of the re-visited ear-cups, passive sound isolation is a bit more solid since the ear cups have a better chance to effectively wrap around your ears. Sound did not leak out, and more importantly, it very much did not leak in. You would have to have a loud or noisy environment in order to be distracted with the Siberia Elite Prism on, playing at a middle to high volume. Sound feels as if it surrounds you, even without surround sound actually activated. All of this combined makes the Siberia Elite Prism a proper listening companion for all multi-media and mobile scenarios.
That is to say, that is how the natural listening experience plays out with the Siberia Elite Prism without it being connected with the newly designed SteelSeries USB sound card. As with the previous Elites, when connected to the USB soundcard, you open the door to the illumination and customization features of the SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism. Using the SteelSeries Engine, SteelSeries’ official customization software for the bulk of SteelSeries gaming products, you can play around with the EQ settings for the sound presentation. Want to change the balance of treble and bass? Have at it. Not sure what you want? Try using SteelSeries’ selection of preset EQ settings.
More importantly for the functionality of the Siberia Elite Prism, are the options now available through the SteelSeries Engine once connected via USB:
- Mic Noise-cancelation
- Mic Sidetone – for hearing your own voice, suppressing in-game yelling
- Auto Mic Compression
- Color customization for the illuminated ear cups with 16.8 million color possibilities
- Toggling for Dobly® Surround Sound
This time around there are two Dobly® technologies implemented in the SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism: Dolby ProLogic IIx® and Dolby Headphone®. Usually I’d say the following as I had for the previous Elites:
The Dolby surround sound is nice, but I appreciated it more with movie-watching or music-listening than with gameplay. Perhaps just a personal preference, but the raw sound without bands tweaked is usually the way I go when it comes to PC gaming.
Yet somehow, here with the Siberia Elite Prism, I actually preferred to leave it on throughout all experiences. It was simply well-executed to the point that it just felt right. The more-encapsulating ear cups just further enhanced the surround sound experience. Great sound presentation as you have come to expect from SteelSeries.
Don’t forget, with the SteelSeries Engine, you can customize all of these settings specifically for individual games and save them those settings into profiles that automatically kick into gear when the specific game launches. If may steal from my previous article where that example is already laid out nicely…
Continue on to Conclusion…