I still can’t believe that there was once a time when I didn’t have a headset in my house. I had built in computer speakers and a mic – what did I need a headset for? Of course, once you go headset, you never go back, and the difference between them can be incredible. This latest updated headset from SteelSeries promises it’s better than ever, and it just might be my new benchmark for headsets.
See me, feel me
Of course sound quality is a big deal, but just as important in a headset is the comfort factor. From the first time I put on the V3 Prism, I found it incredibly easy to wear, even for long periods of time. The big ear cups fit softly around my head, offering a snug degree of natural sound cancellation without gripping my head in a vice. The faux leather padding is soft and feels luxurious. I found that they fit right around my ears without making it feel like my cartilage was being crumpled into a cramped space. That said, be warned that long playing times may result in some hear or even sweating around the ears.
The suspension headband is remarkably comfortable. The design means that the small weight of the headset is evenly distributed across the head and doesn’t require any size adjustments to make it fit your unique skull. While the band itself isn’t padded, it’s soft enough with the weight distributed so evenly that I never felt like there was a sore spot on my head from wearing the headset for too long. Additionally, the suspension cords have been strengthened, so even if you pull on them on a regular basis, they seem much tougher. I pulled rather hard on them just to test and I couldn’t break them, so normal use shouldn’t lead to any suspension failures.
For those who like to fiddle with lights and make sure the headset offers the same shade illumination as the rest of their rig, the V3 Prism allows for the usual customisation options as other SteelSeries products – get that exact shade of red to make yourself look menacing without getting your skin to look creepy.
The V3 Prism can be plugged into your PS4 as well as as your PC. Unfortunately, this wasn’t thought through as well as I might have hoped; with a 1.5 meter (5 foot) USB cable, you need to sit absurdly close to your TV unless you have a USB extension cable. While this isn’t as much of a problem for PC users, I was unable to sit back and relax on my couch while using the headset without risking pulling the PS4 out of the TV cabinet with me.
Can you hear me
While the primary purpose of a headset is to hear well, I’d like to start with that secondary purpose that is also incredibly important – being heard. Not all microphones are created equal; you want something that picks up your voice when you’re directing the course of attack to your teammates, but doesn’t blast a ton of other noise into your comrades’ ears. The V3 Prism is perfect for this. First up, the microphone is retractable. This means that you can put it perfectly in place while in use and pack it away when you aren’t talking to anyone – a nice way to avoid distraction and also makes it look much snazzier. The unidirectional is excellent at picking up voices and I even managed to find a position where my breathing didn’t bother other people. When retracted, it still picks up sound pretty well, so be sure to toggle the mic switch if you’re actually just not wanting to be heard. That said, even when retracted, the mic didn’t pick up the sound coming through the ear cups, ensuring that my gameplay noises didn’t echo into other players’ ears. This is quite possibly the best mic I’ve experienced on a gaming headset.
As for the sound quality on the headset, it’s excellent for gaming. The stereo set up doesn’t offer perfect surround sound, but it certainly is good enough for following footsteps on the map or knowing from where the killer shots are being fired. The bass is not as tuned up as most players are used to, so if you’re expecting some rumbling bass during gameplay (or using the headset when listening to music or watching videos), it just doesn’t give quite as satisfying a depth of bass. That said, the middle sounds are excellently clear. Even at high volumes, I was impressed with the clarity of the headset, although it should be noted that it definitely performs best during gaming rather than consuming other media.
- Frequency Response: 10 – 28000 Hz
- Impedance: 35 Ohm
- Sensitivity: 80 dB
- SPL@1kHz, 1V rms: 102dB
- Cable Length: 1.5 m (5 ft.)
- Connection Type: USB
- Frequency Response: 50 – 16000 Hz
- Pick Up Pattern: Unidirectional
- Sensitivity: -42 dB
- Windows and Mac OS
- Recommend Retail Price: R1 999
Last Updated: June 8, 2015