The Razer Seiren Mini is a $50 budget microphone for streaming that might skimp on features but still delivers top-notch sound. Content creators on a strapped budget or anyone just dipping their toes into podcaster feel right at home with this plug and plug mic.
This year has been huge for PC gaming hardware. GPUs, like the newly released Nvidia RTX 30-series cards (opens in new tab) (and upcoming AMD RX 6000 cards (opens in new tab)), are taking up most of the spotlight, but streaming gear has also had a pretty good run with easy to use capture cards, fancy ring lights, and light up microphones.
We've noticed an emerging market of specific budget mics. Companies are just starting to notice the demand for cheap microphones for streaming, or for podcasters, since more and more people are at home and taking it up as a hobby.
Cheap microphones are nothing new. What IS new is the influx of cheap microphones that actually sound amazing. It started with the $50 Talk GO (opens in new tab) from relatively unknown JLab audio, and before we knew it, companies HyperX, Razer, and even Blue are now pushing smaller, economical streaming mics for under $100.
Price: $50 on Amazon (opens in new tab)
Directional Patterns: Supercardioid
Recording Sample Rate: 48kHz
Bit Depth: 16-bit
Weight: 9.2 oz
The Seiren Mini's adorable pill-shaped design comes in your choice of Black, Mercury White, and Quartz (pink). Out of the budget mics out there, the Seiren Mini's design is the most eye-catching. I was sent a Mercury White microphone, and it's one of my favorite looking pieces of hardware I've gotten this year and pretty darn cute. Razer has been slowly adopting some design cues from Apple, especially when it comes to its gaming laptops.
Much like the HyperX SoloCast (opens in new tab), many features were stripped away from the Seiren Mini to keep the sound quality up and the cost down. There's no volume or gain dial. Hell, there's isn't even a mute button.
The mic itself is as bare-bones as they come. For $50, most people might be able to live without these features as long as the mic is easy to use. Though I've got to say I'm not a massive fan of the proprietary micro-USB cable Razer tends to use on many peripherals, as it does with the Wolverine Ultimate and it's wireless mice. The shape of the micro-USB input keeps you from using third party cables because they simply can't fit into the slot and that's a pain.
I can't express enough how much I hate when a hardware company does this. If you lose that cable for whatever reason (which happens), the mic is useless until Razer's replacement arrives.
I would have loved to have seen a ⅝ to ⅜ thread adapter so that it'll mount on most boom arms. So, just keep that in mind if you're hoping to match it to an existing arm. I like the tilting stand and built-in shock mount (a feature missing from the SoloCast), which is useful if you run a pretty animated stream where accidental bumps are everyday occurances.
As you can hear above, the Seiren Mini sounds just as good as Razer's more expensive Seiren offerings. The Mini's super-cardioid polar pattern does a better job of tapering down background noise to focus on what's in front of it, though it does sound a bit softer than the Seiren Emote at its default gain. I've also added in the SoloCast and JLab Talk GO for comparison. HyperX's mic does sound slightly better than the Mini but not much, which is an impressive feat on its own considering how much the SoloCast has impressed us.
The Seiren Mini is a perfect entry for Razer's already reliable line of microphones. It's ultra-portable size and pricing gives streamers another good option for a budget microphone. The lack of a mute control and some other quality-of-life features will take some getting used to for any more pro folks, but they'll be aiming their sights higher up the product stack anyways.
The simple fact that the Mini, at just $50, sounds as good as its more expensive brethren will attract users who just want a simple mic that looks elegant and sounds excellent.