SteelSeries Presents a Game-Changing Microphone: A Versatile Option for Gamers
In a world where many electronics sold at local stores are mere rebranded junk from the same factory, SteelSeries stands out by offering a unique and genuine product. Recently, the renowned gaming hardware company unveiled their latest innovation—a dedicated streaming microphone designed specifically for gamers. While attending their presentation, it became evident that SteelSeries takes pride in crafting their products from scratch, a feat that is not always guaranteed in the computer hardware industry.
One of the key highlights of SteelSeries’ new microphone is its ingenious design. Rather than incorporating three separate capsules, they opted for an omnidirectional recording mode within a directional enclosure. This clever utilization of a 25mm thumb-sized microphone capsule, shaped like a heart, offers unparalleled versatility. Additionally, recording at 24-bit / 48KHz ensures impeccable audio quality.
Aesthetics and Features
The microphone is encased in a round chassis, mounted on a shock mount, and supported by a sturdy metal base. Although the overall design appears modern and functional, it is worth noting that certain competitors offer similar sonic qualities in a full metal enclosure. The premium feel of a metal shell, which is customary in studio-grade microphones, would be a welcome addition. Nevertheless, the device’s USB-C connection, accompanied by hidden LED lights and microphone controls behind fabric panels, provide an elegant touch. It boasts a front-facing mute and gain functionalities, volume controls for monitoring at the rear, and a cleverly concealed headphone jack. And, of course, it wouldn’t be complete without the fashionable RGB lighting—a characteristic SteelSeries enthusiasts have come to expect. Given that the microphone’s price tag sits at 200 euros, the investment seems justifiable for a genuinely original product.
Enhanced Streaming Experience
Accompanying the microphone, SteelSeries offers the Stream Mixer, a powerful tool that enables the usage of XLR microphones. Acting as both a preamp and a 48V phantom power source, this mixer enhances the streaming setup by providing two USB ports for managing separate streaming and gaming computers. The intuitive interface of the Stream Mixer allows for personalized adjustments, while the soft-touch surface and responsive buttons make it a joy to use. Priced at 350 euros, the Stand and XLR cable combo, although not cheap, offers a cost-effective solution when compared to less suitable alternatives. Though it is possible to find XLR mixers of the same caliber at cheaper prices, these options are generally geared towards professional users, sacrificing aesthetic appeal and ease of setup. Here, SteelSeries has made a smart move by addressing the needs of gamers and streamers alike, without compromising on quality.
Pristine Sound Performance
The microphone delivers clear and neutral sound, albeit with a slight emphasis on mid-bass and rounded treble. Importantly, it manages to avoid any metallic or harsh tones, which can often detract from the overall listening experience. Should users crave a different sound signature, the microphone’s EQ options allow for personalized adjustments. It is worth noting, however, that like most computer microphones, some background noise may be picked up, possibly due to micro-vibrations and room acoustics. Nevertheless, given that this product is primarily intended for computer-based recordings and not professional studio environments, such minimal noise interference is expected. In recent years, computer-recorded audio has made significant strides, but there is still room for improvement.
New and Improved Sonar Software
Additionally, SteelSeries introduces its upgraded Sonar Sound software, a remarkable feature available for free and compatible with all hardware brands. The software simplifies the setup process by providing prompts for easy hardware implementation and configuration. While SteelSeries offers various options including equalizers, noise gates, and drag-and-drop settings, one standout feature surpasses the others—AI noise reduction. To test its effectiveness, the software was put to the ultimate challenge in a bustling office located in a noisy urban setting with open windows. Surprisingly, it managed to keep ambient noise levels surprisingly low. The newly launched version also includes an anti-reverb function, allowing users to eliminate unwanted echo from their audio recordings.
For advanced users, the software’s GUI for routing applications provides an impressively user-friendly experience. Compared to other streaming software interfaces, which often lack intuitive controls, this software empowers users by granting full manual control over all input and output channels, including an independent equalizer. Particularly noteworthy are the game-specific equalizers, offering a competitive advantage in esports by significantly enhancing positional audio cues—giving players a distinct edge in locating enemies and reacting swiftly.
All in all, the SteelSeries gaming microphone is an outstanding product that sets a high bar for usability and reliability across brands. Its unparalleled versatility, exceptional build quality, and remarkable software features make it a worthwhile investment for gamers and streamers alike.
In a world where most of the stuff you buy at your local electronics store is rebranded junk from the same factory, it’s always a one-size-fits-all solution, it’s no surprise when SteelSeries invites you to a presentation and then gets told that “something will be shipped.” Give it to you”, hardware writers always benefit. It certainly shows how proud SteelSeries is of making something from scratch. This should be a given, but with computer hardware it usually isn’t.
In this case, SteelSeries has a new product for them: a gaming microphone. Not a PC microphone, not a podcasting microphone, but a dedicated streaming microphone for gamers. Although we played a role in their narrative, some very valid points can be found not only in the presentation, but also in the technical material provided.
Because the Steel series has a valid point. Why waste space and money on three small capsules when you can have an “omnidirectional recording mode” that can be used for a versatile podcast setup when all you need is one person talking to it and nothing else, and if possible, not everyone The sound of pressing a key 1000 times a minute?
What they did was take a giant 25mm thumb sized personal microphone capsule and put it in a directional enclosure. It’s kind of heart shaped, which makes sense. It also makes more sense to record such a large capsule at 24-bit / 48KHz.
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It is placed inside a round chassis, mounted on a shock mount, and attached to a very strong metal base. It’s a strange pillbox shaped enclosure, and I have to say that while I understand that it makes sense to go for lightweight materials, there are other microphones on the market that have the same qualities sonically, but in a metal enclosure full As metal casings are also standard for studio mics, the design and feel is great. The premium feel of a metal shell should be included at this price point, but my main criticism is why don’t the metal shock mounts use the same material and color to complete the look?
Alias connects to USB-C and has LED lights and microphone controls behind the fabric. It has mute and gain functions on the front, volume for monitoring on the back, and a headphone jack hidden inside. Does it have RGB? Yes, they can’t control themselves. At 200 euros it’s not cheap, but considering it’s a real product and not just a rebrand, I’d say it’s worth it for that alone.
The Pro comes bundled with the new SteelSeries Stream Mixer to power XLR microphones as it acts as a preamp with 48V phantom power and includes two USB ports for use with a separate streaming and gaming computer, or a very advanced set. The mixer is easy to use and partially customizable, but more importantly, the soft touch surface feels great and the buttons have good feedback. The Mixer is roughly equivalent to most €200 mixers on the market, so the €350 stand and XLR cable combo isn’t cheap, but compared to less suitable solutions, it’s cheap. It is possible to find better or cheaper XLR mixers of the same caliber, but these are usually aimed at professional users, which means they are ugly and sometimes difficult to set up. Dual PC support is a very smart move.
The sound is very nice and neutral, although there is a bit of mid-bass and rounded treble, it never becomes metallic or harsh, so if you still like that kind of thing, EQ options. The Pro’s noise floor is slightly lower than the regular USB version, but otherwise their sound signature seems identical. As with most computer mics this strange noise is still picked up, I suspect it’s due to micro-vibrations and room acoustics, but it’s clear your be recording in front of a computer and not in a professional environment – otherwise it would be strange. Don’t get me wrong, computer recorded audio has come a long way in the last five years, but we haven’t reached the finish line yet.
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SteelSeries also has an extra trick: new and improved Sonar Sound software (free and compatible with all brands of hardware). It makes setup a breeze with a little prompt that kindly asks you what hardware you should use for what and where it should go. Although SteelSeries may want to focus on the equalizer, noise gate, drag and drop settings and many options for each source and output, as well as general operating options, there is one obvious feature that stands out above all: reduction AI noise. I tested it in a busy office in a big city with the windows open and rain, traffic, and generally noisy workers all around. He keeps all that at a very low level. The new version launching today should also include a new anti-reverb feature that we can access, giving reverb-challenged users the option to remove unwanted echo from their sounds.
For more advanced users, the GUI for routing applications is probably the most user-friendly I’ve seen in a long time, and anyone who uses OBS knows how bad some can be. streaming software be. It also gives full manual control over all five inputs and outputs, including a fully independent equalizer. While some might get it in streaming mode, which is a one-app solution, I find their game-specific equalizers to be extremely valuable, bordering on cheating, as audio optimization in esports games really made a significant difference in terms of positioning enemies against the classic. “listen first, look later” approach.
So, great product overall, really a great first try on a microphone that we should have for ease of use and setup every time regardless of brand.
#SteelSeries #Alias #Alias #Pro