HyperX has launched an enormous vary of goods since being based in 2002, however lately the logo has serious about a brand new product class: microphones. Following the expansion of YouTube and streaming on websites comparable to Twitch, there’s an actual call for for high quality audio throughout the gaming group.
A good microphone most often prices in far more than £100/US$100, however many of us beginning out can’t have enough money to drop that type of cash on only one house in their setup. The HyperX SoloCast is a possible resolution, aiming to ship a resounding enjoy at a particularly within your means worth.
But is the HP-owned corporate onto a winner right here, or are there just too many compromises at this ultra-affordable worth level? Here’s our complete evaluate.
Design and contours
- Compact design
- Extremely light-weight
- Mute button however no different bodily controls
The HyperX SoloCast takes a easy, no-frills method to design. The microphone itself opts for a vintage cylindrical construct, with a jet-black grille complemented by means of a sparkly plastic external in other places. This muted aesthetic is one thing we’ve noticed numerous occasions ahead of, however it’s transparent HyperX has prioritised capability over seems at this worth level.
Another factor that straight away struck me is the SoloCast’s dimension. At simply 174mm lengthy and 78mm large, it’s probably the most compact devoted mics you’ll purchase. That permits it to seamlessly combine along with your present setup, taking on much less house at the table than a tumbler of water.
Of route, those dimensions build up significantly when the usage of the SoloCast with its base, which comes pre-attached within the field. This provides quite a lot of further capability; the mic will also be turned around into one among 5 set modes, whilst tilt may also be adjusted to fit your setup.
Even with the bottom hooked up, it weighs simply 430g (261g with out). Considering maximum top class mics are available at neatly over 1kg, the SoloCast is refreshingly light-weight and intensely moveable.
I’d have preferred to look an extendable arm right here too, however you’ll simply connect a third-party accent for that. The SoloCast is suitable with each 3/8in and 5/8in threaded setups – that is the identical as maximum growth palms and mic stands.
However, there are only a few controls at the instrument itself. Being restricted to the cardioid recording development approach there’s no method to transfer between them, whilst you’ll have to regulate acquire from throughout the app you’re the usage of to file audio. It’s not anything greater than a minor inconvenience for me, however could be a dealbreaker should you’re used to devoted controls.
In truth, the one bodily button is a mute toggle at the most sensible of the instrument. This is a smart selection to scrambling for mute within the related app, with a big LED sparkling pink when recording is in development. I did come across a subject the place the LED mild to be flashing off and on whilst muted every now and then, which every so often led to some recording issues.
However, a firmware replace to be had at the HyperX website online fixes this factor and allows you to disable the sunshine should you’d choose.
The SoloCast connects on your laptop by way of a USB-C port at the again of the instrument. HyperX features a beneficiant 2m USB-C to USB-A cable within the field, however a lead of your personal will paintings simply as neatly.
That makes it fitted to a number of platforms – Windows, Mac, PS4 and PS5, to call a couple of. SoloCast is in particular qualified by means of Discord and TeamSpeak, whilst HyperX additionally mentions Streamlabs OBS, OBS Studio and XSplit. You’re spoilt for selection.
Sound high quality
- Only Cardioid sound mode to be had
- Impressive high quality for voices
- Not really useful for different kinds of audio
As I alluded to above, getting began with the HyperX SoloCast is terribly simple. Just attach the mic on your laptop by way of the incorporated cable and choose it because the enter instrument inside of your most popular recording app. That was once Audacity throughout my checking out, along a handful of Zoom calls.
The SoloCast is a condenser microphone, which means it makes use of two steel plates (one portable, one fastened) to generate sound. It’s the most well liked taste for streaming and podcasting, despite the fact that you’re restricted to the cardioid recording mode – this implies the SoloCast will best file sound from without delay in entrance of it.
That’s fantastic for many freshmen, however you do fail to notice standard omnidirectional (sound from all instructions) and bidirectional (sound from in entrance and in the back of in figure-8 movement) settings. With only one pill, there’s additionally no possibility for stereo sound.
While you do lose some versatility in consequence, the default settings ship spectacular sound for the fee. Vocals are transparent and crisp, providing an excellent quantity of quantity in spite of my mouth being a couple of inches away.
I essentially used the SoloCast to file for our weekly podcast Fast Charge, and it was once a noticeable improve over the mic constructed into my headphones. It additionally did a just right task of filtering out a lot of the street noise within sight, one thing extra delicate microphones may just simply have picked up.
The SoloCast is missing in bass and doesn’t have the intensity of sound that dearer mics be offering, so I’d suggest sticking to voice content material. But for streaming or recording your facet of a podcast by way of Zoom, it’s an ideal possibility.
Price and worth for cash
The HyperX SoloCast has restricted availability at the moment, however you’ll nonetheless select it up for an ideal worth. The microphone is in inventory at £49.99 via Currys in the United Kingdom, whilst a $20 bargain approach it’s to be had for simply $39.99 at Amazon US. At that worth, it looks like a no brainer – expectantly Amazon UK will be offering a identical deal as soon as it’s again in inventory.
It’s additionally some of the least expensive USB mics you’ll purchase, undercutting each different access in our information to the most efficient microphones for streaming and podcasting. There are some compromises to succeed in this ultra-affordable worth, however it nonetheless represents very good price for cash.
If you’re having a look to dip your toe into the arena of USB mics, the HyperX SoloCast is the very best position to start out. An extraordinarily compact and light-weight construct belies its spectacular sound, with crisp vocals and minimum background noise.
There’s no significant other app or settings to tweak (best the Cardioid polar development is to be had), however that makes the SoloCast extraordinarily simple to make use of. An incorporated base is a smart place to begin, however it’s suitable with maximum growth palms and stands in the marketplace.
With only a USB-C port required, the SoloCast additionally works on virtually each primary platform. Key streaming and chat apps also are optimised to paintings neatly.
It can be simple to linger at the options no longer to be had right here, however I’d choose to concentrate on the entirety the HyperX SoloCast gives, at a fragment of the price of maximum USB microphones.
HyperX SoloCast microphone: Specs
- USB 2.0 Condenser Microphone
- Sampling charges: 48KHz, 44.1KHz, 32KHz, 16KHz, 8KHz
- 16-bit intensity
- Cardioid directivity development
- 174 x 78 x 97 mm
- 261g (429.9g with stand and cable hooked up)
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