The SteelSeries Alias Pro is an exceptional XLR mic that spans the grey space between USB microphones and a professional XLR setup. Consequently, it is the perfect option for gamers, would-be streamers, and anyone who wishes to dabble with video editing. Alongside this, it comes with a handy stream mixer and is as plug-and-play as you’ll ever get.
On top of this, you notice the incredible build quality the moment you open the box. Additionally, the first test run will blow you away, as its recording prowess is immediately noticeable. Therefore, though it comes with a moderately high price tag, I believe you get what you pay for.
Another element to consider is the incredible Sonar software that is free to download and a program that is recommended to get the most out of your device. Now, word of warning, once installed, it does dominate your audio profiles, so this is something to look out for. However, if you can cope with this minor annoyance, and work around the multiple audio devices your PC states you have, you’ll adore this in-depth and useful software.
What’s in the box of the SteelSeries Alias Pro?
- I love the colourful nature of SteelSeries packaging. The striking imagery and key selling points ensure that you want to rip open the box immediately. Furthermore, you can recycle it if you so wish.
- The SteelSeries Alias Pro comes preassembled. As such, you can plonk it on your desk, plug it in, and away you go.
- The stream mixer is small but easy to handle. Furthermore, it has some large knobs to adjust gain and headphone audio and tactile buttons to mute the mic and the audio.
- You are provided with 2 USB-C cables and a professional XLR cable. As such, there is the ability to focus on dual PC streaming if you wish.
- Attach the mic to a boom arm with the boom arm connector.
- Learn the fundamentals with an easy-to-understand user manual.
Unless you are a pro, you’re probably wondering why would I invest in an XLR microphone. After all, a USB condenser microphone is more than suitable, right? Well, for a long time, I thought so as well. In fact, I’ve been using the ROCCAT Torch for years and I’ve enjoyed every moment. Yet, the moment I plugged the SteelSeries Alias Pro into my PC, I knew my video recording days were changed forevermore.
Thanks to the 3x-sized capsule that utilises a cardioid pattern, my voice recording and game chat sound deeper and richer. Furthermore, the bass line was strong and the unfortunate popping from over pronunciation disappeared. Additionally, the ability to use this mic with no audio knowledge will be attractive for many.
Another fantastic feature is the ability to change either the microphone or the stream mixer at the drop of a hat. Thanks to the professional XLR cables, you can flit and change between devices without undermining usability. Yet, unless I’m going to focus on high-end streaming or hours of podcasting, I know that this microphone will tick every box for me.
It’s all about the apps.
Where SteelSeries excels compared to its peers, is its awesome support software. Consequently, I highly recommend installing Sonar to enhance your experience. This incredibly easy-to-master interface changes the way you’ll use your microphone. This app allows for up to 5 audio inputs that it’ll mix together, and then output the results. This was impressive as it takes away the necessity of a traditional mixing desk.
This then goes a step further, as you can adjust the EQ of each input audio. As such, if your voice and the in-game sound are delivered at the same frequency, you can reduce the conflict without removing the background audio altogether. With some minor trial and error, you can improve the way you stream and this can only be a good thing. Moreover, there are some audio presets for popular games to enhance that plug-and-play idea.
The tricks of the trade keep coming.
Unnecessary background noise can be a make-or-break experience for your viewers. Whether it is the whirring sound of your fans or the click, click, click of your mechanical keyboard, it can drive people potty. Well, if you wish, you may use Clearcast AI Noise cancellation to remove these unwanted sounds. As such, with a click of a button, your stream will be dominated by your voice, the in-game audio, and little else.
The sound mixer also helps with your audio levels. The handy RGB lighting highlights any peaks and troughs in your volume. As the device picks up your voice, it’ll glow a delightful green colour. However, as you become more animated and loud, the lighting will move to a yellow hue and finally a vivid red glow. This easy-to-identify warning system highlights your volume levels to help you remain calm whilst delivering an exciting and interesting stream.
The SteelSeries Alias Pro is incredibly well-built. The 3x-sized capsule is impressively housed in a slim but weighty microphone. Furthermore, the device is perfectly balanced thanks to the awesome Silent Shock Mount. This simple but effective design helps to reduce vibration and unwanted sounds. Additionally, thanks to the locking nut, you can adjust the angle of the mic with ease.
Whether you use the desktop mount or attach it to a boom arm, the results are identical. This amazing microphone looks great while picking up your voice perfectly. Moreover, the simplicity of the cabling system ensures that your workspace remains uncluttered.
If you adore RGB, then you’ll go crazy for the lush lighting on the stream mixer. This lightweight device catches your eye whilst reminding you of your volume levels. What’s more, the tactile buttons highlight any muted inputs, and this helps keep things simple and user-friendly.
Is the SteelSeries Alias Pro worth it?
A USB microphone isn’t a bad option if you are testing the waters. However, once you are established, you’ll want to expand your options and improve your audio quality. Thankfully, the SteelSeries Alias Pro sits perfectly in that void between amateur and pro standards. Furthermore, its integration with the Sonar app and the ability to use Clearcast AI noise cancellation was impressive. Additionally, the simplicity of the plug-and-play approach and choice of a desktop mount or boom arm will appeal to many people. Accordingly, I adored this microphone and I recommend that you buy it here!
(More information on SteelSeries can be found here!)