Thanks to the popularity of livestreaming and YouTube content, peripheral makers have discovered a market for high-quality audio-video equipment. Now, gaming-first companies like Razer and HyperX are rushing into that space.
HyperX is launching the QuadCast USB microphone. It’s available now for $140, and it’s compatible with PC, Mac, and PlayStation 4.
One of the good things about HyperX entering this space is that it knows gamers are demanding. And it built a smart microphone that is better because of all of its clever extras.
What you’ll like
It all starts with high-quality audio. You will always get better audio from plugging an XLR mic into a mixer, but USB mics are going to work just fine for the vast majority of people. And if you’re in this “prosumer” segment, the HyperX QuadCast sounds as good or better than nearly any competing device.
It has four microphone patterns: stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid, and bidirectional. For streaming a game by yourself, you’ll always want cardioid. And in this mode, your voice will come through full and clean. It even does a fine job of isolating room noise if your PC fan is loud or you want to keep a window open.
But even in the other modes, you should get audio that will sound great in a YouTube video or on Twitch. If you want to record a bunch of people for a podcast or for a multiplayer stream, you’d do better with an array of shotgun mics, of course. But the QuadCast is still better than good enough.
You can hear it compared to other microphones in the playlist below:
But it’s all of the extras that set the QuadCast apart. You can get similar audio from the Blue Yeti Nano, the Razer Seiren X, or the Samson G-Track Pro. The reason I prefer the QuadCast is because it was obviously built with gaming in mind.
The QuadCast lights up from the inside with red LEDs when the microphone is active. This makes it easy for people to tell when you have a hot mic on your desk.
And if you want to mute the mic, all you have to do is tap the top. The QuadCast has a touch-sensitive button to mute and unmute. This is such a great idea. It eliminates switches and physical buttons that can create loud clicks on your recording track. Instead, all you have to do is gently press your finger to the top of the microphone, and the light turns off and the microphone goes silent. And since the touch button is on the top, you won’t accidentally activate it.
Included shock mount
But perhaps the best feature is that the QuadCast comes with a shock mount. This is what pushes it over the top for gaming-related video content.
A lot of USB microphones sound great, but they also pick up the bumping and thudding of a mouse moving on a nearby surface. You can almost always buy a third-party shock mount to fix that. But with the QuadCast, that’s not a concern. It eliminates those vibrations without the need for anything extra.
What you won’t like
You may need to tinker to get the best results
The QuadCast sounds great out of the box, but you may have to fiddle with everything to get the best quality. The problem is that you can adjust the mic in Windows or on the hardware itself.
You can use the gain control on the bottom of the mic, but that could affect the clarity of your recording. It is also separate from any software gain control that you might end up using.
So you should take some time to get everything dialed in how you like it.
With the QuadCast, HyperX has continued to show that it understands how to appeal to gaming fans. While it knows that great sound is crucial, it added multiple features that it knows will keep people happy long after they spend their money. On top of that, the QuadCast is really hitting the right price. At $140, it is right in the range of a Blue Yeti, but it’s actually a better deal since it comes with a shock mount.
If you are looking for a USB mic to livestream, podcast, or create YouTube content with, this is my recommendation.
The HyperX QuadCast is available now for $140. HyperX sent GamesBeat a sample unit for the purpose of this review.