One of the latest premium peripherals from SteelSeries, the Alias Pro microphone is one of the best microphones I have ever used.
These days, every nerd and their dog has a podcast, Twitch stream or YouTube channel. There is almost no barrier to creating content, which means there is so much great niche content available. But it also means that the line between creator, hobbyist and fan has been blurred, and it’s no longer obvious who needs professional equipment and who doesn’t.
Sure, your YouTube series on snare sticking techniques of the early blues masters might only have 10 viewers now, but it may also end up being a foundational text for future study. Or maybe your podcast of fart jokes is only listened to by your mum and a stranger from Belgium, but they still deserve to hear your voice fully. Or, maybe, you have a hit podcast with millions of listeners, and appreciate a minimalist set-up.
The SteelSeries Alias Pro Microphone is designed for content creators who want to step up their game. As with most premium SteelSeries peripherals, like the Arena 7 or Arctis Nova Pro, it costs a pretty penny. But it also does more than what most out-of-the-box microphones can do before you start wading into specialist audio territory. I’ve been using mine for a little more than a week, and already it’s the best non-performance microphone I’ve ever had.
My first impression of the SteelSeries Alias Pro Microphone was “Wow, that’s expensive”. My second was “Ooh, that was super easy to set up”. Afterwards, I thought “This is the first microphone I’ve used in this office that no one has complained about on the other end of a presentation”.
The microphone comes out of the box already attached to the stand, suspended with cords that reduce noise from your desk. You then plug it into the mixer, along with the power cable and the USB-C cable to plug it into your computer. The mixer has a small gain dial, a truly massive volume dial, and then comically large ‘mute mic’ and ‘mute speaker’ buttons. On the back, there’s the port for the mic, two USB-C ports (so you can use it on two computers), power input, and a line out, along with a power button. On the side, there’s a headphone jack.
It’s clean and simple. Perhaps a touch too simple for the pro-est of professional users, but more than enough for professionals who want to record podcasts or be heard clearly on stream.
Looking at the specs, you can see that the condenser capsule is proudly “3x larger” than unspecified other microphones, which is good. Bigger isn’t always better, but here it does make a measurable difference to how many frequencies are picked up. The microphone is omnidirectional, too, which is good if you just want your voice to be picked up, and not your family chatting in the other room.
The inclusion of a suspension stand is really neat because it makes such a difference when you don’t want your microphone to broadcast the fact that you just accidentally touched your desk. Given that any time I do I podcast, I’m playing with some random object selected from my ‘random objects’ skull-bowl, this is very important for me.
Depending on how much you plan on using the microphone, I would also recommend looking into getting the suspension boom arm (US$99.99), but your mileage may vary.
The SteelSeries Alias Pro microphone performs ridiculously well. It just sounds good and is really easy to use.
Podcasts and presentations
While I don’t have a podcast myself, I do guest on a few, and I occasionally do presentations and panels from home over Zoom/Teams/whatever. My old microphone was a Yeti Blue mic that was just on the stand it came with. Every time I would record a podcast on it during the lockdowns, the producer would ask me to switch to my phone so they could just call me for better audio. There was something about the acoustics of my home office and the rigidity of the included Yeti stand (which I never got around to upgrading) that just didn’t play nice. It generally sounded, in the words of a particularly frustrated ABC producer, terrible.
When I set up the SteelSeries Alias Pro for a presentation I gave last week to a few hundred corporate types, I was braced for the tech person to ask me to try a few different volumes or configurations, or generally complain about the tiny half-glass/ half-plaster cupboard I use as an office. Instead, they told me I sounded great and moved on to getting the other presenter to adjust a few things. I have never been told my microphone or acoustics sounded great. I’ve tried so many microphones.
Doing a direct comparison between my Blue Yeti, Mac Studio Display microphone and the Alias Pro microphone, the other two (which previously sounded mostly kinda fine) seem like garbage in comparison. I can’t believe people put up with me sounding like that. Whoops. Guess I can’t go back now.
The specs read well, and the specs to a lot of mics read well, but good specs on paper don’t always translate to a product that works well. Here, though, the specs look good and the microphone conveys my voice even better. I could not be happier with this microphone.
Using the interface
As mentioned in the specs section, the things that separate the Alias Pro from the base Alias are the XLR out and the little interface box. Pro mics sometimes come with interfaces (or expect you to buy one separately), and they’re usually quite complicated. There’s an assumption that if you’re someone who needs a pro setup, you also have all of the pro knowledge required to go with it.
The SteelSeries Alias Pro is for people who need a good interface, but don’t want to be physically faffing about with anything (you can still faff about in the software, but the majority of users probably won’t need to do that). Instead, the box is simple, with a microphone gain volume knob, a computer volume knob, a microphone mute and a computer audio mute. The buttons are large, so you can blindly jab at them while focusing on your game or podcast notes, and the two knobs have distinct shapes, so you can adjust them without looking.
It’s a small and attractive device, that can (of course) light up with different RGB colours because it’s a gaming device. But the gain knob has a light ring around it which gets brighter the louder you turn it up, and turns red if you get too loud. Simple, and to the point.
It’s basically the kind of interface you need when you’re pro enough to need good quality audio with options, but not so pro as to have a sound person or other need for a full board. All the features you’ll actually need and use are here, without taking up too much desk space. It’s genius, actually.
One of the biggest benefits of any SteelSeries accessory on PC is being able to use Sonar. I did a lot of this review on a Mac Studio, where the Alias Pro performed extremely well. But being able to use Sonar on my gaming PC was extra delightful, because there’s just so much more customisation and fine-tuning you can do in the Sonar software. I really, really hope SteelSeries brings Sonar to Mac soon, but that is a whole other article.
Following the lead of the physical interface, Sonar takes a lot of things that should be complicated (like creating customised sound profiles that don’t convey the sound of keyboards clacking, or melding multiple audio sources into one stream) and makes it simple.
The use of ClearCast AI (in beta) to remove those keyboard clacks, fan sounds, or other background noise is extremely helpful in Zoom meetings when I’m trying to pretend that I’m concentrating and not writing something else. It’s not perfect, and it does sometimes sound a little unnatural, but I guess that’s the ‘beta’ part.
However, I do get a bit annoyed with the way Sonar renames inputs and outputs (and adds virtual ones), which can make it a nightmare to switch devices from the Windows menus. But, if you’re willing to commit fully to Sonar, truly marry it technologically and rely on it fully, to the exclusion of all Windows audio menus (much to the confusion and dismay of Discord), it’s fine.
Who is the SteelSeries Alias Pro for?
The SteelSeries Alias Pro is for people who need more control over and more flexibility from their microphone than the regular Alias (which plugs in using USB-C and doesn’t have a physical mixer) would allow. It’s for people who do a lot of podcasts, streaming, or video narration. It’s the microphone you get when you need a microphone that is good and fancy, but not too complicated.
It is very expensive, there is no way around that. Most users would be just as happy with the regular Alias microphone, which is cheaper (I haven’t tested it specifically, but the microphone part is supposed to be basically the same). But those who need what the Alias Pro has to offer will be extremely pleased, especially if they also use other SteelSeries peripherals.
GadgetGuy occasionally uses affiliate links and may receive a small commission from purchased products.
SteelSeries Pro Alias
The SteelSeries Alias Pro is one of the best microphones I have ever used, though the price means that it will be limited to those who can take the most advantage of its extra features.
Value for money
Ease of use
Easy to use
Interface is simple, in a good way
A bit expensive
Doesn’t have all the features you would expect from a true professional microphone