It has been a while since there was a microphone to disturb the force of audio peripherals, and SteelSeries Alias is this disturbance. We have always been glamoured by the SteelSeries products, but this made me really happy to review. There is a beautiful elegant design combined with the crystal clear massive quality of sound. Let’s see in detail what is going on with the SteelSeries Alias.
SteelSeries Alias: What makes it sound wonderful
Starting with the basic parts, the SteelSeries Alias is a Condenser microphone that can be connected to your PC with a USB. All the controls are directly built into the main body of the microphone, so you do not have anything external to manage except it. It has a smooth dark gray high-quality fabric, that covers the full body of the microphone, except the small control panel with the logo on the front, and the lower part of the back that holds the Gain button.
All the basic indications that you need are displayed directly on the microphone through LED lights that exist on the front side of it. This is one of the most cool things I have seen in microphone designs, especially because it does not affect the quality of sound. You will not see it directly without plugging it in, but the moment you do, those LEDs light up and help you see the level of your mic, or if you are muted, etc. Talking about beautiful lights, there is another one at the bottom of it that shines on the round base that comes with the SteelSeries Alias.
But wait, there is more
SteelSeries Alias comes with a shock mount that prevents the noise that occurs from hitting the table or adjusting the mount too much. The diaphragm of the microphone is the one that makes it distinguishable from the others.
Specifically, it is 25mm (1.5 inches) which makes it similar to many professional microphones like the famous Audio Technica 4040 or the Shure KSM32. Large-diaphragm microphones have the efficiency to capture lower sounds better, and they aim to make the sound source look bigger. Not that it will make a high-pitched voice sound like Darth Vader. Just on the “mass” of it.
Talking about numbers, the SteelSeries Alias’s sampling rate is in the standard high of 24bit at 48kHz. This is the highest quality you can find, which also comes in a great frequency response of 50Hz to 20kHz. Now ideally, this would be on 20Hz as the lowest frequency, but then again, this is more than enough for the main use of streaming, podcasting, or just using a good microphone to give callouts during gameplay.
The polar pattern of the SteelSeries Alias is a cardioid which means that it can receive sound mostly from the front and neglects the back of it. Keep in mind, though, that this is a condenser microphone which means that it is somehow sensitive, and perhaps you might need additional denoise tools in more noisy rooms, or keep it a tad away from your keyboard. It was not a problem for me, however, even as I am a heavy typer.
Connectivity and mounting
The SteelSeries Alias comes with a good quality desk mount. I prefer the different boom mounts that there are around which help you adjust it to the proper location, but it is always good to have a nice desk mount. Since I used it with both mounts, desk, and boom, it did not have a big loss if I was not pointing my mouth directly at the microphone. This means it has a good response even if you are a bit careless and do not speak in the general direction of it. Of course, it is advised to at least make the microphone look towards your head and not have it idly sitting somewhere.
The connectivity is simple: take the cables that are in the box and plug them in. That’s it. Everything is directly built into the microphone, which is why you do not need any external control devices, like the SteelSeries Alias Pro which has its controller. The type-C cable is the one connecting to the computer.
Then you adjust the gain of your voice from the back knob, following the indications on the LED lights in the front, to find the optimal volume. There is the mini-jack exit below the type-C exit for your preferred monitor device (if you use any), which by using the knob in the front, you can control it. In the box, you will also find a base for any boom mount that holds the microphone.
As you might have seen in different SteelSeries products, there is software that tends to your needs. SteelSeries Sonar is the tool for you. It really is user-friendly as some of these software can become chaotic. The first thing I recommend is to see the implementation of AI noise canceling, which is a must if you have any noise close to your microphone.
You can also use the presets that come with it for cases like the desk stands that help noises from knocks and other sources. If you like to mix and do stuff, though, you will most likely want to implement a compressor, a noise gate, or just simply whatever you like with the Parametric Equalizer, which helps you manage the frequency areas of your input sound.
SteelSeries Alias: Verdict
This is one of the best mics out there. Technically speaking, the best microphones so far are not gaming microphones. This one is. It brings to you the pros of some of the professional microphone models, like the quality of structure and quality of sound, whilst keeping the pros of the gaming standards, which are plug and play, connectivity, game compatibility with user-friendly software, and cool design. And LED, of course…
I liked it and enjoyed it so I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking to seriously upgrade their streaming peripherals at a good price. At the moment, you can find it for approximately 200€ which is a really fair price for a good quality microphone providing all these features.
We would like to thank SteelSeries for this review unit!