Features and Photos
At first glance you would really have to look hard to spot any differences between the Siberia Elite and the Siberia Elite Prism. They both share the same design, with just a few small changes. That means they have the same thick padding look with two large earcups that are well over an inch thick. Beyond that you get the same suspension design that has made all of the Siberia headsets so comfortable only with the Elite the top bar is cut from aluminum and is thinner than the standard Siberia’s. All said they look a lot like huge earmuffs except without the fur.
The Elite Prism has the same USB sound card that the Elite and the 9H also have. It hooks it via USB and you have three connection options. You have microphone and headset plugs as well as a tiny plug. That same plug is on the end of the Elite Prisms cord, you keep it all digital using this plug. That plus is also the only way to be able to light up the LEDs on the sides of the earcups, going full analog won’t power them. The USB sound card has two rubber feet on the bottom typically, this review sample came in missing those feet though as you can see in the photo below.
The main cord on the Siberia Elite Prism is four feet long, this is really short compared to any other normal headset but don’t worry SteelSeries includes an extension cord. They used the flat never tangle cord design that we first saw on the Flux In-Ear Pro’s. While it might seem completely unneeded for such a short cord, they also included a Velcro cord strap to wrap your cord up when you aren’t using it.
The small USB like connection on the sound card and on the Elite Prisms cable can also be found on the rest of the accessories. SteelSeries gives you the option to plug directly into the sound card or you can use one of the two other adapter cables. One has double analog jacks for microphone and headphone connections on most PCs and the other has a single connection that handles both. The latter you normally see on phones, tablets, and thin laptops. They also include a cord extender, the default cord is really only useful when hooking up to portable devices that you have on or near you, hooking up to a PC requires a little more cord. Even when using the extension cable you still have the option to use one of the two adapter cables or the USB sound card.
One of the really unique aspects of the Elite Prism and the original Elite are the LED rings on each earcup. Not only can you set them to glow any color at all, but they also have a few other functions. When you twist the one on the left it mutes your microphone and turns an LED light on to let you know the microphone is muted. The right one controls your volume controls when you turn it. Each has a small rubber ring around it with dimples to give you a good grip. Just to give you an idea of how far they turn, the volume control turns about 180 degrees while the mute hardly turns at all. I like the SteelSeries logos on each earcup as well, they don’t use very much branding and it helps keep a clean look.
One of the small changes when going to the Prism from the original Elite was to actually anidize the aluminum support arch that runs from earcup to earcup. The original black model was all black but had a silver arch that looked completely out of place. The new look might seem like a small change but it looks MUCH better. So the Siberia Elite Prism uses that arch to give the whole headset a solid base but when you put them on the only thing that touches the top of your head is a suspended pad. This is the same design that the original Siberia and the Siberia V2 used as well. This design normally feels lighter and frankly it forms to fit your head a little better without having to use as much padding. The strap on this model is rubber on top with a SteelSeries logo embossed into it with small inch wide leather pads on the underside.
One of the other big changes was to move from the extremely thick microphone design on the original Elite and actually use the same microphone from the H Wireless. Looking at the specs this is actually a fairly significant downgrade microphone wise, but the old design was inflexible in your way. Hopefully the change won’t hurt actual performance too much, but I know initially it is great to see the microphone be easier to use. Just to give you an idea of the difference I dug out our original Siberia Elites and got a comparison shot as well.
Down under the right earcup there they also slipped in another headphone port that you can use to share what you are listening too with a friend. I absolutely love this feature but also completely forget to use it when it would actually come in handy!
The last and biggest change when going from the Elite to the Elite Prism was in the earcups. While the Siberia Elite looks like it should be the most comfortable headset because it looks like it has two large pillows for earcups, but this didn’t end up being the case for me and a lot of other users. The earcups were actually too thick and they ended up pushing on your ear rather than sitting around your ear. While I could see a difference when I compared next to the old model, it wasn’t until I busted out my trusty measuring tape that I was able to see just how much things changed. They went from under two inches and added around a half inch of space to get to 2 and 3/8th. I will find out in the comfort section if this was enough to fix the comfort issues, but it is promising to see that they made changes.