Steelseries raw prism 1

Whenever I write about the awesome toys from SteelSeries, you lot jump all over me to tell me that despite being wonderful accessories, you simply can’t afford them. Well, here is a headset in the budget range. Can SteelSeries make something worthwhile for less cash, or should they just stick to the high end stuff?

See Me, Feel Me

Steelseries raw prism 2

As you would expect from SteelSeries, the Siberia Raw Prism is a pretty good-looking accessory. It’s got the ubiquitous giant earcups that comfortably encase your hearing appendages, providing some form of noise cancellation. Unlike other headsets from the company, this one has a fabric covering for the earcup, and seems to offer slightly less memory foam padding as well. This makes it smaller, but also reduces the noise cancellation and makes the headset feel less luxurious.

The headset itself is light weight and has a cushioned headband to ensure it doesn’t dig into your head. The headset adjusts easily and doesn’t make any plastic clanking noises when you move your head – a major issue with some other budget headsets. With a 1.5 meter cable, you can easily use the headset while working at the computer, or connect to your console and still have length to reach the couch. With a USB connection, the headset works happily with PC, Mac or PS4.

The microphone is built into the left earcup – no extended boom or retractable mechanism. Thanks to a handy on/off button on the left earcup, you can also mute yourself on the fly. Of course, you’ll have to remember to unmute when it’s time to talk again – there is no indication to remind you when mute is enable or disabled.

While there is nothing wrong with the headset, there is nothing to also set it apart. It doesn’t look particularly slick or luxurious, instead appearing like a standard accessory. Without any extra bells and whistles to make it a must have headset, it all comes down to the sound.

Can you hear me?

Steelseries raw prism 3

When it comes to sound, the Siberia RAW Prism offers a serious punch, pushing plenty of volume through to your ears. However, the headset doesn’t offer any digital surround sound and the features offered by the SteelSeries Engine 3 software are much less varied or nuanced than normally available – rather than letting you choose FPS or MMO sound settings, you can go for performance or immersion. There is even a voice setting if you’re listening to interviews or podcasts, although in general the music or default setting seems best. That said, the sound quality is clear and superb, without any distortion even at high or low levels.

With the microphone integrated into the left earcup without any extension, I found that I simply didn’t trust it. It picked up all the sounds in the room, including when a plane flew far overhead or my cats knocked something off the desk across the room. The sensitivity can be adjusted, although then I felt like I had to shout into the mic in order to be heard. This may have been more of a perception thing for me, but I just didn’t feel like it was a convenience to have the mic out of the way – I’d rather have the mic in front of my mouth so that I know I can adjust it as necessary.


  • Frequency: 20 – 20 000 KHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm
  • Cable length: 1.5 meters
  • Cable connector: USB (male)
  • Mic: Omnidirectional
  • RRP: R999

Last Updated: October 15, 2014

SteelSeries Siberia Raw Prism
While the headset offers excellent sound, so do similar accessories in the same price range. Without the extra features or improved experiences, it seems like a lot of money to spend on a pretty standard headset.
Not Bad


  1. Admiral Chief 0

    October 15, 2014 at 15:35


    I was recently gifted a pair of Sennheisers with one ear “deaf”. Cut off the stereo connector, soldered on a gold plated new connector and tadaaaa, fixed.


    • Skyblue

      October 15, 2014 at 15:51

      I used Sennheisers for a few years, awesome headphones!


    • Captain JJ the dragging racer

      October 15, 2014 at 16:04

      I love my Sennheisers. Best set ever. And then my girlfriend decided that she agrees and now they’re not mine anymore. Same thing happened with my first Xbox controller.
      Using a pair of Genius now (because I needed the mic), really good set for R200. I can’t find a single fault on them.


      • Skyblue

        October 15, 2014 at 16:12

        I am looking for a really cheap headphone set atm. I only need them for the occasional co-op evening and spending a grand on a set for occasional play makes no sense to me. Could you forward me the model number please?


    • HvR

      October 15, 2014 at 16:49

      A R400 pair of entry level Sennheisers headphones beat the pants off most of the gaming headsets even 5 times its price.

      Gaming headset are the same as Dr Dre Beats headphones, big price, big name, lots of flare but lacking in substance.

      If you need a mic, get a clip on for R40.


      • Admiral Chief 0

        October 16, 2014 at 11:16

        I have turtle beach earforce z2 for gaming, and the sennheisers for the rest


  2. Skyblue

    October 15, 2014 at 15:57

    Hmmm, but do they come in black?

    Love me some Steelseries. Here is my kit, don’t mind the customized keyboard, when I LAN I drink, when I drink I sometimes forget who I am, then need constant reminding…


    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      October 15, 2014 at 16:01

      I like the look of the Apex Raw kb. Very tempted to get one, but my Razer Lycosa is still going strong.


      • Skyblue

        October 15, 2014 at 16:10

        I have really enjoyed mine so far and I’m pretty picky. I used to compete back in the day, Quake. If your current kb is fine it’s a waste to get a new one.


      • Matthew Holliday

        October 15, 2014 at 17:24

        if you want an upgrade, get one.
        i was the same with my lycosa, ignorance is bliss after all.
        but I think upgrading was the best PC based decision Ive ever made.

        dont automatically go for the Apex though. consider corsairs mechanical range, Im in love with my one.
        these mechanical keyboards really do make a difference, so much more key control and the cherry reds arent really that much noisier. my mouse click makes more noise.


        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          October 15, 2014 at 22:08

          Backlighting is a must for me, I tend to play in the dark. Wait… O_o


          • Matthew Holliday

            October 16, 2014 at 09:45

            best backlit keyboard around, its got a green panel behind the backlighting, so its super crisp and really uniform & it works with razer synapse, which is pretty cool.

            the mx blues are a bit louder though, they have that click at the bottom & the media keys are controlled by the Fn button.

  3. Rags

    October 15, 2014 at 16:24

    Can these be driven by a Sound Blaster card? oO Not too familiar with USB headsets except those with integrated soundcard. I expect you lose the ability to amplify it?


  4. Matthew Holliday

    October 15, 2014 at 17:21

    how does it compare against the set its replacing, the siberia V2s?

    they go for about the same price now and the V3s are coming out soon, so im curious at how they match up, as the v2s have always sorta been the standard for gaming headsets?
    been trying to convince myself to get a new pair, have never really been happy with my krakens, but have been holding off untill i find something thats actually worth it.


  5. Jackie

    October 15, 2014 at 21:24

    I Have about R1000 for a really good headset, whats the best i can possibly get? (gaming specific) and where can i order it from?


    • Matthew Holliday

      October 16, 2014 at 09:59

      R1000 gaming headsets, youre probably looking at the Razer Krakens, Steelseries siberia V2s or these RAW prisms.
      the razer is probably the least good out of the 3, and i cant find any comparisons of the RAW prisms against the v2.
      can pretty much guarantee youd be happy with either though.

      i been doing my online shopping here lately:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Twelve Minutes Review – Stuck in a Mystery Time Loop

We’ve all experienced deja vu a few times in our lives, but what happens when you ha…