HyperX has launched an enormous vary of merchandise since being based in 2002, however lately the model has centered on a brand new product class: microphones. Following the expansion of YouTube and streaming on websites resembling Twitch, there’s an actual demand for high quality audio throughout the gaming neighborhood.
An honest microphone often prices in extra of £100/US$100, however many individuals beginning out can’t afford to drop that kind of cash on only one space of their setup. The HyperX SoloCast is a possible answer, aiming to ship a convincing expertise at a particularly reasonably priced value.
However is the HP-owned firm onto a winner right here, or are there just too many compromises at this ultra-affordable value level? Right here’s our full evaluate.
Design and options
Mute button however no different bodily controls
The HyperX SoloCast takes a easy, no-frills strategy to design. The microphone itself opts for a traditional cylindrical construct, with a jet-black grille complemented by a shiny plastic exterior elsewhere. This muted aesthetic is one thing we’ve seen numerous occasions earlier than, nevertheless it’s clear HyperX has prioritised performance over seems at this value level.
One other factor that immediately struck me is the SoloCast’s dimension. At simply 174mm lengthy and 78mm vast, it’s one of the compact devoted mics you should purchase. That enables it to seamlessly combine together with your current setup, taking on much less house on the desk than a glass of water.
In fact, these dimensions improve significantly when utilizing the SoloCast with its base, which comes pre-attached within the field. This provides loads of additional performance; the mic may be rotated into certainly one of 5 set modes, whereas tilt will also be adjusted to fit your setup.
Even with the bottom hooked up, it weighs simply 430g (261g with out). Contemplating most premium mics are available in at properly over 1kg, the SoloCast is refreshingly light-weight and very transportable.
I’d have appreciated to see an extendable arm right here too, however you may simply connect a third-party accent for that. The SoloCast is appropriate with each 3/8in and 5/8in threaded setups – that is the identical as most increase arms and mic stands.
Nonetheless, there are only a few controls on the machine itself. Being restricted to the cardioid recording sample means there’s no choice to change between them, when you’ll have to regulate acquire from throughout the app you’re utilizing to file audio. It’s nothing greater than a minor inconvenience for me, however is likely to be a dealbreaker in the event you’re used to devoted controls.
In actual fact, the one bodily button is a mute toggle on the highest of the machine. This can be a nice various to scrambling for mute within the related app, with a big LED glowing crimson when recording is in progress. I did encounter a difficulty the place the LED gentle to be flashing on and off whereas muted at occasions, which often induced some recording issues.
Nonetheless, a firmware replace out there on the HyperX web site fixes this situation and allows you to disable the sunshine in the event you’d favor.
The SoloCast connects to your pc by way of a USB-C port on the again of the machine. HyperX features a beneficiant 2m USB-C to USB-A cable within the field, however a lead of your personal will work simply as properly.
That makes it suited to quite a lot of platforms – Home windows, Mac, PS4 and PS5, to call a couple of. SoloCast is particularly licensed by Discord and TeamSpeak, whereas HyperX additionally mentions Streamlabs OBS, OBS Studio and XSplit. You’re spoilt for selection.
Sound high quality
Solely Cardioid sound mode out there
Spectacular high quality for voices
Not advisable for different kinds of audio
As I alluded to above, getting began with the HyperX SoloCast is extraordinarily straightforward. Simply join the mic to your pc by way of the included cable and choose it because the enter machine inside your most popular recording app. That was Audacity throughout my testing, alongside a handful of Zoom calls.
The SoloCast is a condenser microphone, that means it makes use of two steel plates (one moveable, one fastened) to generate sound. It’s the preferred fashion for streaming and podcasting, though you’re restricted to the cardioid recording mode – this implies the SoloCast will solely file sound from straight in entrance of it.
That’s nice for many rookies, however you do miss out on in style omnidirectional (sound from all instructions) and bidirectional (sound from in entrance and behind in figure-Eight movement) settings. With only one capsule, there’s additionally no choice for stereo sound.
When you do lose some versatility in consequence, the default settings ship spectacular sound for the value. Vocals are clear and crisp, providing a formidable quantity of quantity regardless of my mouth being a couple of inches away.
I primarily used the SoloCast to file for our weekly podcast Quick Cost, and it was a noticeable improve over the mic constructed into my headphones. It additionally did a superb job of filtering out a lot of the highway noise close by, one thing extra delicate microphones might simply have picked up.
The SoloCast is missing in bass and doesn’t have the depth of sound that dearer mics supply, so I’d advocate sticking to voice content material. However for streaming or recording your aspect of a podcast by way of Zoom, it’s a fantastic choice.
Worth and worth for cash
The HyperX SoloCast has restricted availability proper now, however you may nonetheless decide it up for a fantastic value. The microphone is in inventory at £49.99 by way of Currys within the UK, whereas a $20 low cost means it’s out there for simply $39.99 at Amazon US. At that value, it seems like a no brainer – hopefully Amazon UK will supply an identical deal as soon as it’s again in inventory.
It’s additionally one of many most cost-effective USB mics you should purchase, undercutting each different entry in our information to the most effective microphones for streaming and podcasting. There are some compromises to succeed in this ultra-affordable value, nevertheless it nonetheless represents glorious worth for cash.
Should you’re seeking to dip your toe into the world of USB mics, the HyperX SoloCast is the proper place to start out. A particularly compact and light-weight construct belies its spectacular sound, with crisp vocals and minimal background noise.
There’s no companion app or settings to tweak (solely the Cardioid polar sample is out there), however that makes the SoloCast extraordinarily straightforward to make use of. An included base is a superb start line, nevertheless it’s appropriate with most increase arms and stands in the marketplace.
With only a USB-C port required, the SoloCast additionally works on nearly each main platform. Key streaming and chat apps are additionally optimised to work properly.
It could be straightforward to linger on the options not out there right here, however I’d favor to deal with the whole lot the HyperX SoloCast affords, at a fraction of the price of most USB microphones.
HyperX SoloCast microphone: Specs
USB 2.zero Condenser Microphone
Sampling charges: 48KHz, 44.1KHz, 32KHz, 16KHz, 8KHz
Cardioid directivity sample
174 x 78 x 97 mm
261g (429.9g with stand and cable hooked up)
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