Given the popularity of games like Fortnite and streamers like Ninja, more and more people want to show off their gameplay on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to get started, with the latest graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD allowing you to do it at the press of a button, with little to no impact on performance.
Still, the streamers that build an audience are the ones who take care with their videos, so it’s worth investing in a decent microphone if you're going to be talking to your fans. HyperX’s Quadcast is built specifically with streamers in mind, which makes sense given the fact the company is a PC gaming specialist with loads of keyboards, mice and headsets to their name.
So is this the mic to get if you're aiming to be the next DanTDM or ProSyndicate? We went hands-on at CES 2019 to find out.
HyperX Quadcast: Design
The first thing to note about the Quadcast is that it looks unlike other streaming microphones thanks to its red LED lighting. There’s no pop shield (which stops harsh-sounding vocals like the letter “P” being a nightmare to listen to), because the shield is actually built into the microphone itself. It does, however, come with a stand which features a built-in shock-mount, which means if you accidentally knock it when you’re recording, the resulting sound shouldn’t send listeners reeling from their headphones.
The Quadcast features both a USB input and a wired 3.5mm headphone connector. The USB port is for connecting to your computer — the microphone sadly doesn’t have an XLR input for professional podcasters using mixing decks — but it will record into free software that’s included as part of both Windows and OSX, as well as streaming software such as OBS. The wired headphone connection then allows you to monitor what’s being recorded so you can ensure quality for your listeners.
HyperX Quadcast: Features
The HyperX Quadcast is similar to the Blue Yeti microphone that's a favourite of streamers, as it allows you to switch recording modes for different situations. Stereo and cardioid modes can be used for recording vocals, commentary or podcasts, while bidirectional allows you to sit down with another person on the other side of the mic if you wanted to do an interview with them, for instance.
As this is a gaming peripheral, it's the law that it has to have some sort of lighting feature, and, HyperX was keen to play up the red LEDs that run up the body of the mic. By tapping the top of the microphone, you can mute the Quadcast, just in case you need to say something off-mic when you’re streaming. The fact that it forms a major part of the microphone means that you can easily tell when it’s “on” and “off”.
HyperX Quadcast: Conclusion
Like HyperX’s other peripherals, the Quadcast is keenly priced at $139, which is about the same price as the Blue Yeti mic, which has a similar feature set. It will release in March 2019.