If you care about audio, you probably already have headphones that you love. But if you want something to use with gaming, you may also find yourself shopping for a headset so that you can communicate with your friends in Overwatch or Counter-Strike. But the Modmic from Antlion wants to ensure you never have to give up your awesome headphones even during online gaming sessions.
The Modmic 5 is a $70 adjustable 3.5mm microphone that you can attach to almost any pair of headphones that you use. It comes with a case, multiple extra extension cables, and all of the required pieces to quickly affix the mic to at least three different headsets. But most important, Modmic 5 sounds great in every situation. And while the gaming-headset business is competitive and lucrative for many of the players in that space, Antlion is breaking out from that crowd by catering to the most dedicated audiophiles.
What you’ll like
Versatile with great sound
The Modmic 5 is the best headset microphone I’ve used, and its versatility means you can turn any headset you own into an excellent gaming communication device.
Antlion has upgraded the sound quality for the fifth iteration of its microphone, and it is wonderful for gaming or talking with friends over Google Hangouts or Skype. But the Modmic is actually a lot more capable than that. Sure, it’s ideal for gaming, but I plan to use this as my on-the-go recording mic when I’m traveling. That’s because it’s small and convenient (especially with the included carrying case), and the recordings sound professional.
While you will still likely get better results from dedicated USB microphones, the Modmic 5 will make your voice sound warmer and fuller than just about any mic built into a gaming headset. The closest to the Modmic in terms of recording quality are the $250 Sennheiser PC 373D or the equally expensive Turtle Beach Elite Pro with the extra noise-canceling microphone. But Antlion’s add-on is only $70, and I prefer it over anything you’re going to find on Turtle Beach, Razer, Astro, Logitech, or Sennheiser gaming headset.
The Modmic 5 uses a 3.5mm connection, which means you can use it with a lot more devices. Sure, it sounds great connected to your PC, but I had great luck using it plugged directly into an audio recorder as well as my DSLR. And the two recording modes, unidirectional and omnidirectional, mean that you can get relatively clean recordings even when you’re in a louder room.
Here’s my mic-test playlist on Soundcloud, so you can hear for yourself how the ModMic compares to the competition:
Fewer cable-management headaches
The biggest improvement Antlion made with the ModMic 5 over previous models comes in how it is managing the cables. Because you’re attaching the mic to headsets that you already own, you’re going to end up with more than one wire hanging from your head. That can get frustrating, and it’s never fun to deal with tangles in the middle of gameplay. So Antlion included a lengthy coil cable that can house multiple wires in a singular tube. This cleans up the mess as long as you’re planning to primarily use the microphone with only one set of earphones.
What you won’t like
Still takes time to set up right
I love the quality of the Modmic and how I can use it almost anywhere, but I still think the cable management isn’t perfect. To get everything setup, it takes a lot of time. Feeding multiple cables into the coil tube is difficult — although maybe I just have big dumb fingers.
Setup is an even bigger problem if you want to use the mic with multiple headphones. It’s no fun to pull the wires out of the coil cable because you know it’s going to take a major effort to get everything nice and organized all over again.
The ModMic 5 solves a lot of problems for audiophiles. If you already spent $300 on a nice pair of AudioTechnica earphones, you don’t have to go buy another pair that has a mic. Just add a $70 ModMic 5, and you’ll have a high-quality recording solution worthy of your expensive, awesome-sounding headset.
Antlion provided GamesBeat with a sample ModMic 5 for the purposes of this review. It is out now for $70.