At first glance, the two headsets are very similar, both in packaging and design. The same accessories are found in the box, same reading material, though the stickers have been changed to reflect the premium price you're paying for these. The headset is still large, though lighter, which is a great improvement, considering how the original pulled down on the ears.
The headset is durable in hand, and manages to retain that high-quality feel to it. Overall, this is not the kind of headset you can smash with ease.
Just like the Siberia Elite, Prism uses some fairly large circular cups, with some serious padding. There's one dramatic difference between the two, and that is the inner-ring, the space inside where your ears would fit, that's been enlarged, and now, at least for me, the headset is actually over-ear and not an over-sized on-ear.
The left cup features the volume controls, whilst the right cup has the mic mute off / on settings. The thick pleather wrapped memory foam cushions are unfortunately part of the cup architecture, which means replacing them is going to be an issue; not like there are custom-fitting cushions for the Elite on the market anyway.
Siberia has been the line-up that featured this suspended headband design. It's been a staple since the V1, and Elite Prism has taken it to the next level. Instead of using the small square metal bands wrapped in plastic, the headset features two large brushed-steel bands that can go through a lot of flexing without suffering any damage.
There's one small difference between Prism and the original and that is in the padding, with the new edition having softer and fluffier cushions. This difference is minimal though, and they rest on the head pretty much the same way.
I've had some serious issues with Siberia Elite's flat rubberized cable, and unfortunately, this is one of the things that hasn't seen an update. Prism has the same flat cable attached to the left cup. It ends in a micro-USB type AB, an arcane connector if I ever saw one. It can be plugged into different cable ends, including a 2x3.5mm headphone / mic split jack, a 3.5mm 4-pole jack, and even the USB Soundcard V2, which is an upgraded step over the original.
SteelSeries could implement a detachable cable into this design, and still have the fancy lighting scheme and controls running through the headband. Of course, a 3rd party cable would make most of these features useless, but it still would have been good to have the option. After all, SteelSeries 9H featured the same connector, but had a detachable braided cable.