The SteelSeries Alias Pro is a superb microphone that expertly bridges the gap between desktop class and pro performance, and its mixer deck is a welcome addition. It’s just held back by the Sonar app’s incompatibility with macOS, which limits your audio adjustment options.
Clean, clear audio with XLR quality
Stream Mixer is very helpful
Included shock mount and boom arm adapter
Works with multiple computers simultaneously
Sonar app is incompatible with macOS
Very sensitive to sounds around you
You can always trust iMore.
The Alias Pro is the first standalone microphone from SteelSeries (along with the regular Alias), and it’s a good one. It marries XLR quality with USB convenience, and throws in a shock mount and handy mixer deck as part of the package, along with a built-in pre-amplifier and 48V of phantom power.
If you’re after a desktop mic for gaming and streaming, it’s a really strong contender, and among the best Mac USB microphones we've used.
SteelSeries Alias Pro: Price and availability
The SteelSeries Alias Pro costs $329.99/£319.99 from the official SteelSeries website, and is available at a range of third-party outlets. It's a pricey microphone, but justifies its cost with superb audio quality, a great build, high-end features like its XLR interface add-on and great software (well, on the Windows side at least...).
SteelSeries Alias Pro: What I love
Let’s look at audio quality first. The Alias Pro is a condenser mic rather than a dynamic microphone, and that means it’s more sensitive at picking up sounds around you. There’s no need to sit with it pressed against your face, and it can easily capture your audio about six inches away or more.
With that arrangement, my audio tests came out beautifully crisp and clear, with a pleasantly neutral sound. If you want a warmer feel, you’d normally look for a different mic or an appropriate filter in the SteelSeries Sonar app, which comes with a bunch of extra options for tweaking your audio — but unfortunately it’s not available for macOS (more on that later).
The Alias Pro’s included shock mount is a nice touch that helps fight back against bumps and scuffs in your recordings. The mic also comes with an XLR interface (dubbed the Stream Mixer) that lets you adjust audio gain and headphone volume on the fly. There are two large mute buttons — one for input and one for output — that shine red when activated so you always know when you’re muted. The LED color can be adjusted in the SteelSeries GG app.
The gain dial has an LED ring that flashes green when audio is detected — handy for knowing everything’s working. The headphone volume dial and the output mute button can be remapped in theory, but this feature is only available for Windows. Still, the interface is a great addition that you’d normally have to pay extra for. It means you can just slap the large buttons instead of fiddling around on the mic itself searching for a tiny mute toggle.
Around the back of the interface are two USB-C slots. You can use these to connect two computers at once to the Stream Mixer. That’s perfect if you use one machine to stream and another to record gameplay.
$329.99/£319.99 might seem like a lot compared to standard desktop mics, but the Alias Pro is anything but standard. The price is actually pretty reasonable when you put it against other XLR microphones. Don’t forget that you also get the bundled XLR interface, which could easily set you back another $150/£150. All in all, the Alias Pro is a compelling option if you’re done with entry-level USB mics and want something that offers you more control without having to spend a truly obscene amount of money.
SteelSeries Alias Pro: What I don’t love
In Windows, the SteelSeries GG app comes with an add-on called Sonar. This contains audio presets tailored for a bunch of games, and it also lets you adjust your audio settings in fine-grained detail, including individual sliders and routing options. Unfortunately, it’s not available on the Mac, meaning you miss out on a great suite of audio configuration tools to really tune this mic up to perfection.
Without Sonar, you’re also missing out on its AI-assisted noise cancellation. Since this is a condenser microphone, its high sensitivity really benefits from something that can cut out background sounds. Here, you’ll have to stick with a third-party app like Krisp.
Finally, the second button and dial on the Stream Mixer can’t be remapped, again due to a software incompatibility with macOS.
SteelSeries Alias Pro: Competition
The closest competitor at this price is probably the Blue Sona, an XLR mic costing $349.99/£299. However, it is a dynamic microphone and doesn’t come with an XLR interface. There’s also the HyperX ProCast at $199.99/£259.99. While this is a condenser XLR mic, it too lacks a bundled interface.
SteelSeries Alias Pro: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if…
- You want XLR quality without the hassle and expense
- You’re after an easy-to-use hardware interface for mic audio
- You enjoy the sound offered by condenser microphones
You shouldn’t buy this if…
- You need Mac-compatible software controls
- You just want a cheap, basic microphone
- You want to be able to isolate your voice against background noise
SteelSeries Alias Pro: Verdict
The SteelSeries Alias Pro is a superb microphone that expertly bridges the gap between desktop class and pro performance, and its mixer deck is an inspired addition. It’s just held back by the Sonar app’s incompatibility with macOS, which limits your audio adjustment options.
Bottom line: An excellent microphone with a nifty XLR interface, but it really suffers from the lack of SteelSeries Sonar support.
Alex Blake has been messing around with Apple tech ever since he caved to the pressure and bought an iPhone 3G “just to see what all the fuss was about.” He’s spent the subsequent 15 years prattling on about Apple and has somehow managed to do so professionally. Don’t ask him how.