Review: SteelSeries Siberia V3 Prism
How many ways can you illuminate your mouse/keyboard/headset/?
This is the question many peripheral manufacturers are asking as they continue to add RGB technology to their devices in hopes of oohing and aahing potential customers to buy their gear.
The answer? 16.8 million. Colors, that is.
And that's how many you'll find on the SteelSeries Siberia V3 Prism, the latest gaming headset from the Danish peripheral manufacturer.
This review will take a look at how well the Siberia V3 Prism, priced at $140, performs both as an everyday headset, as well as a gaming headset.
Unboxing and Setup
The SteelSeries Siberia V3 Prism comes in a fairly elegant box that you may want to hold onto for storage. Out of the box you'll get a couple of SteelSeries stickers and an instruction booklet.
Setting up the Siberia V3 Prism is fairly straightforward, though you'll want to head over the the SteelSeries website to grab the SteelSeries Engine software that enables you to adjust the equalizer, microphone levels, and custom illumination.
For an above-average priced headset, the Siberia V3 Prism comes with quite a few features that you would expect to find on a nicer headset. In its third iteration, the Siberia V3 Prism comes with the signature headband suspension system, memory foam cushions, a retractable microphone, 50 mm drivers, and of course, custom illumination.
While the software does allow you to choose between static and cycling colors, I found the options to be somewhat limiting. Ideally, for both enthusiasts and amateurs, the software should allow for per-pixel customization that would enable community members to create and share their wacky designs.
One thing that bothers me about the Siberia V3 Prism is the absence of dedicated volume controls. Many headsets, some of which cost half as much, have volume toggles that may be accessed on the headphone itself, and at this point I believe it needs to come as a standard. Instead, SteelSeries decided to add a mute switch for the microphone, which I personally find very little use for.
As a USB headset, the Siberia V3 Prism is compatible with both PCs and the PlayStation 4, but you won't be able to use it with your mobile device or the Xbox One (thanks for the proprietary headphone jack, Microsoft).
The SteelSeries Siberia V3 Prism is a well designed headset. In addition to custom illumination that makes you easily stand apart from the crowd, the Siberia V3 Prism's headband suspension system gives the headset a sleek look that works.
The generously-sized earcups give the headset a nice, hefty look, in spite of its impressive 0.64-pound weight. The subdued black and dark gray detailing with orange highlights pay homage to the classic SteelSeries look, which works well with the Siberia V3 Prism.
The Siberia V3 Prism headset is exceptionally comfortable. The soft padding on the earcups applies minimal pressure to the ears, and the unique headband suspension system prevents the headset from creating awkward pressure points on your head. Further the implementation of soft fabrics, faux leather, and mesh padding make the Siberia V3 Prism a delight to handle.
The Siberia V3 Prism is so comfortable, in fact, that it usurps, the SteelSeries H Wireless, my previous favorite. It's been a while since I could wear a headset for the brunt of my workday without feeling the slightest bit of discomfort. Whatever voodoo magic that he headset suspension system does, I urge other headset makers to follow suit as it's damn near perfect.
During the course of several days, I tested the Siberia V3 Prism by listening to music, watching videos, playing video games, and conducting a couple test calls.
Listening to music and watching videos
For music, the Siberia V3 Prism produced a warm midrange, with bright highs and balanced lows. The 50mm drivers were able to produce satisfying levels of bass, though I felt they could be richer, like those found on the SteelSeries H Wireless. There was no discernible distortion when the volume was increased and, overall, you can expect faithful reproduction of your favorite music.
For in-game sounds, I tested the Siberia V3 Prism over the course of about a dozen games of StarCraft II while listening to music through an online stream. The headphone were able to accurately reproduce the in-game sounds I've been accustomed to over the course of thousands of matches, and I experienced no audio imbalances when listening to music and playing at the same time.
During two test calls, it was revealed that, just as with previous SteelSeries microphones, the Siberia V3 Prism's retractable microphone produces a tinny, hollow sound. This is likely due to the fact that the angling on the microphone prevents it from picking up optimal sound.
While I think the headband suspension system, custom lighting, and 50mm drivers are interesting features, I really think SteelSeries should have included a dedicated volume toggle with a $140 headset. The fact that there is a rarely used mute button in its place doesn't help either.
One of the better-designed headsets out there, the SteelSeries Siberia V3 Prism looks great. The ability to customize the colors allows users to add their own personal flair to the headset, which is always good thing.
By and large one of the most comfortable headsets I've used, the Siberia V3 Prism's headband suspension system feels both snug and relaxed. I've used this hours for upwards of four hours at a time with no discernible discomfort.
The 50mm drivers were able to produce satisfying sound, though I felt they bass levels could have been richer. The microphone's performance was suboptimal, but shouldn't be considered as a deal breaker unless you're looking to stream content.
The SteelSeries Sibera V3 is one of the most comfortable headsets I've had the pleasure of using. Despite the absence of dedicated volume controls and a subpar microphone, the headset is a great choice for those looking to game for extended periods of time.
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