HyperX microphones have come a long way from the QuadCast launch in 2019. Since then, the company has made a mic to suit almost every type of content creator, which have been both impressive and affordable. This time around, HyperX is hoping to catch the attention of users looking for pro-level sound by releasing its first XLR microphone, the HyperX ProCast, for $249.
What sets the HyperX ProCast apart from its top USB mic is what's inside it. It's got a gold-plated large diaphragm condenser capsule, which you'll find in many XLR microphones used by professional musicians and podcasters. The result is deeper, richer vocals than your standard USB microphone.
Of course, $250 is a lot of money to spend on a microphone, but when you compare it to other large diaphragm condenser microphones that aren't marketed to streamers, you'll find it to be a competitive price point. I'm curious to get my hands on Elgato's new $100 XLR dynamic mic and see how it measures up against the ProCast first-hand, but the Elgato Wave DX has reviewed pretty well already.
One thing I'm surprised about is a lack of features and extras when you compare it to HyperX's other 'cast' mics. But damn, does it sound good. ProCast delivers the stellar sound quality you'd expect from an XLR, and that should strongly make you consider spending the coin.
At a glance, it keeps with the brand's clean cylindrical design. It ditches much of the HyperX's visual flair aside from the red accented cords on the shock mount. I was also surprised to see there's no tap to mute which is one of my favorite touches on HyperX mics. Though if it's more style over substance you want, the QuadCast S and its wild RGB lighting probably more your vibe. Either way, the ProCast is a sturdy piece of premium kit that feels like it belongs in a studio.
Being that the ProCast is an XLR mic you'll need an audio interface to plug into your PC. I'm using a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, which runs about $170 on sale. The cost of using an XLR microphone generally drives most people away from them into the affordable embrace of USB mics since those, for the most part, are simply plug-and-play. However, once you use an XLR mic and hear the difference, the cost will be worth it to level up your sound.
Below you can hear how the XLR HyperX sound's against the Quadcast S, HyperX's premium USB mic at $150, and the now $225 Shure MV7 Hybrid XLR/USB podcasting mic. Right off the bat, my voice was loud, crisp, and clear. Even with Soundcloud's upload compression, the ProCast's sound quality blows HyperX's best USB mic, the Quadcast S out of the water. It's not even close. When comparing it to the Shure using an XLR cable—our current absolute favorite mic—they sound pretty darn close.
It's a clear, clean sound best suited for content creators who talk a lot, or need to use their voice professionally. If all you do is chat away on Discord, there are cheaper options, such as the HyperX SoloCast that still sound pretty good. I did notice several folks online, when I was playing Warzone 2.0 and Warhammer Darktide, asking if I were a streamer because my mic sounded so good. It's good to know the ProCast works well for in-game chats, because you never want to be the teammate whose mic sounds like they are underwater.
My only issue with the ProCast's sound is that it's really sensitive, even with gain adjustments. It does pick up some background noise. Not a big dealbreaker if you've already got a decent podcasting set-up with some soundproofing, and if background noise hasn't been an issue before, you'll be ok. You can switch on the 80Hz filter, which should help with unwanted low-end noise.
You'll also need a microphone boom arm, as the ProCast doesn't come with a stand (or an XLR cable now that I mention it). In fact, it doesn't come with anything except the mic itself and a detachable, front-facing pop filter that's mostly serviceable. To be fair, lots of XLR microphones come this way. However, it's still a little disappointing since HyperX's other streamer-focused microphones come with more accessories out of the box.
The ProCast has the unfortunate pleasure of being compared against the best podcasting mic, the Shure M7. That retails between $225-$250 and is currently the gold standard in microphones because of its sound and flexibility. And frankly, being a hybrid XLR/USB microphone, it has spoiled me. The ProCast is selling for about the same price and is a straight XLR-only microphone. That could be a turn off but man, does your voice sound great when using it. And isn't that the entire point if you're spending premium cash on a premium microphone?
The HyperX ProCast is a great-sounding debut XLR mic that plays it safe design-wise. You're definitely getting what you pay for in terms of sound quality. Your voice will sound its very best, as long as you have the cash to spare on it and all the accessories. If you already have them, however, the ProCast is a solid investment.