In its quest to inject RGB into everything on the planet, HyperX's signature microphone, the Quadcast, is back with a colorful new look, as the HyperX Quadcast S. The new dynamic RGB lighting adds a little something extra to an already great microphone. If everything else on your desk lights up in rhythmic unison while you stream, why not your microphone, too?
Specs-wise the S is more or less identical to last year's Quadcast, offering the same frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz, bit-rate of 16-bit, three 14mm condensers, and lets you choose between four polar patterns. It still retains its sports-talk radio broadcast mic look which isn't for everyone, but I think it has a certain charm to it.
Price: $159 Amazon
Directional Patterns: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, bi-directional, and Stereo
Controls: Volume Control and Quick Mute
Recording Sample Rate: 48kHz
Bit Depth: 16-bit
Weight: 710g (with shock mount and stand)
The biggest draw of the Quadcast S is that it's loaded with built-in features that usually end up being pricey add-ons for other streaming microphones. The built-in shock mount prevents the mic from picking up any accidental bumps that happen during a contentious Warzone match or overly active Discord chat. The built-in pop filter is also a nice touch considering I always have issues trying to find the optimal position and distance for my rink-a-dink $7 pop-shield, and it never quite stays where it's supposed to when mounted.
When checking out hardware targeted for streamers and content creators, one thing we always look for is its ease of use. For me, the less I have to think about my microphone (or audio in general) during a stream, the better.
The tap-to-mute button at the top of the mic can be hit with the slightest touch which means your audience won't hear an audible click whenever you need to mute a sneeze, or cough, or a loud dog. When you're muted the RGB on the mic flicks off which is a smart indicator, and you control gain via a soft-touch dial on the bottom of the mic, which makes adjusting your levels on the fly easy and seamless.
I ran through our usual test script of out-of-context gaming quotes and, as you can hear below, my voice was loud and crisp, even on lower gain. Though my plosives tended to sound a little more blown out than I'd like, the quality of my voice sounds good. During conference calls, I can be heard clearly with numerous colleagues commenting on how much louder I was than anyone else, which is an easy fix by bringing down the gain.
On the software side of things, the HyperX Quadcast S uses its proprietary Ngenuity software to handle all things RGB, and that's pretty much it. I mean, you can adjust things such as the mic level and get a description of each polar pattern. But other than that it's pretty light in options when compared to the Elgato Wave: 3, which comes with a digital audio mixer, or Blue Yeti X's Blu! Voice software which let's you apply audio filters.
While the RGB is impressive and fun, it doesn't merit an upgrade for existing Quadcast owners, since the microphone is the same from last year except for the lightshow. But if you're choosing between the Quadcast and Quadcast S, the dynamic RGB is neat and loud, which could always deter anyone after something more low-key. If that's the case, the Quadcast is probably more your style (and you'll save around $20).
That being said, even with no significant change the Quadcast S is still one of the better streaming microphones you can buy, and the RGB does add a little lava lamp vibe to your streaming set up too.