SteelSeries has spent the better part of the past two years redesigning and reinvigorating its entire range, along with the introduction of the Alias; a new pro-grade PC microphone aimed at not only gamers but those interested in all types of content creation and streaming. While its price is admittedly a little steep at A$399, there’s plenty to love about the Alias, from the solid build quality and sleek design to the top-notch audio. While its software lacks a little in terms of outright customisation, it’s hard not to recommend to those seeking an alternative for content creation.
The Alias opts for a pill-shaped design, as opposed to most standard cylindrical microphones, but I think it’s a nice touch. It comes sitting in a nicely woven shock mount, which is attached to a rather sturdy steel frame that holds it all together. The steel frame also includes a small screw so that the mic can be adjusted either upwards or downwards, depending on your angle. There’s also little to no setup out of the box, as the mic only comes with a boom arm adapter, which the mic can be attached to at a later date, and USC-C to USB-A cable for connectivity.
Up front, the Alias’ mesh-wrapped design is also rather minimal. There’s a small control pad towards the bottom, which features a touch button to mute the microphone, in addition to a volume gain knob. It also features four customisable LED lights, which indicate mic levels and sensitivity, which is easy enough to read and super responsive. Around the back, you’ll find that USB-C connection port, as well as a microphone gain knob, and a 3.5mm audio port for monitoring, which is a nice inclusion also aimed at content creation.
Performance & Sound
Right out of the box, the Alias is clear and sharp, if a little quiet. That being said, a quick turn of the gain dial on the back should patch that right up. My voice immediately came across with a sense of depth, picking up those lower notes as well. As a result, things sound super robust and punchy, which is great for those who want to be up and running as quickly as possible.
The proposed range of 50Hz to 20,000Hz is about as good as it gets in terms of specs, particularly at this price, recording at a sample rate of 24-bit/48KHz. Essentially, it’s equipped for a range of voices and tones, picking up the highest creaks and lowest hums in various voices. I would recommend it to anyone based on these specs alone, even if it won’t matter too much to the everyday user.
Thankfully, the Alias is also really easy to connect, with just a single USB-C to USB-A cable. While there’s nothing wrong with a more traditional XLR connection (which is featured on the Alias Pro), or running it through an interface, it removes any of the extra hardware without sacrificing any major sense of quality or control.
The SteelSeries GG app returns once again, as the main control centre for the Alias. The standard customization options accessible via the Engine portion only really allow you to adjust the overall gain and the colour of the lights on the LED display. But once you head to the Sonar section of the app, it’s a different ballgame. The Sonar section can control the master volume of all your connected accessories and layers, including speakers, game volume, chat volume, media volume and mic sensitivity. If you’re using multiple displays or like to multitask, it’s worth looking into.
But users can also activate the Clearcast AI noise cancellation, which helps more so when gaming, blocking out many of the external sounds like keyboard and mouse clicks, or the dreaded chip-eating tornado that I’m guilty of every now and then. As I’m sitting here typing away, the Alias is about a foot away from me, and it’s barely registering the clicks of my keyboard. Given that I’m a sucker for clicky keys, it’s mighty impressive. This can also be turned off, but as the Alias is so geared towards accessibility and ease of use in every other department, is generally worth leaving on.
Verdict & Value
The SteelSeries Alias doesn’t necessarily pave the way for content creation microphones to follow, nor does it present a laundry list of new and exclusive features to cling to. But with a sleek design, solid build quality and premium audio, it’s ticking all the right boxes as far as the everyday user is concerned. That being said, I can only imagine that the steeper A$399 price point would hold some casual users back.
But if you’re looking to get into streaming and content creation, it’s worth adding to the list of investments as one of the most solid, well-rounded USB microphones on the market.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Highlights: Sturdy build quality; Easy to use and install; Clear audio; Clearcast AI noise cancellation
Lowlights: The price is a little steep for a USB microphone
Review based on unit supplied by SteelSeries.