Once you start using a USB microphone, you’ll never go back to a gaming headset. The audio quality that HyperX’s Quadcast S offers is just incomparable to even the most sophisticated mic on a pair of gaming headphones. You don’t need to be an audio expert to get the benefits of a USB microphone either. Simply plugging in the Quadcast with no other tuning or calibrating will instantly give you much clearer, cleaner audio. What makes the Quadcast S stand out from the pack is its customizable RGB, variable gain control, and something I’ve never seen before in any other microphone — adjustable polar patterns. The QuadCast S is actually four microphones in one, making it the total package for streaming, podcasting, web meeting, or even just playing games.
While plenty of “web mics” have a minimalist pill-shaped design, the QuadCast S goes out of its way to look like a professional broadcast microphone. Its elongated metal frame is nearly twice the length of Elgato’s Wave:3 mic and it rests in an anti-vibration shock mount like any traditional broadcast microphone. That kind of presentation matters, particularly for streamers and podcasters. The QuadCast S looks indistinguishable from most professional recording devices and has the performance to match.
Related: Review: HyperX Alloy Origins Core Is The TKL Of My Dreams
Of course, it wouldn’t be a gaming device without customizable RGB. The 360 degree RGB lights encase the entire microphone and show off a cool rainbow pattern by default. It adds some great production value to any stream, and it’s also functional. When the light is on, you know that you’re unmuted. This is subtly one of my favorite advantages that a USB mic has over a headset microphone, which doesn’t always make it easy to tell when you’re muted. You can customize the RGB using HyperX’s Ngenuity software. I’ve had some headaches with that engine in the past, but it was fairly straightforward to tweet the colors and pattern on the mic this time.
One thing about the design that created a bit of friction was the placement of the ports and controls. The microphone attaches to a stand or arm from the back at an angle with the ports just above. It was kind of difficult to thread a USB cable around the housing without creasing it, and it's a bit awkward to fiddle with the polar pattern controls from behind the mic. I wish the ports were a little more accessible, and I also wish there was a USB port for audio monitoring instead of a 3.5mm, since USB headsets are far more common, but that’s an issue with every USB mic, not just the QuadCast S.
The real big seller here is the aforementioned adjustable polar patterns. With the turn of a knob, the QuadCast S can change between stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid, and bidirectional polar patterns. If you know about microphone technology, this sounds a bit like witchcraft. I don’t pretend to know how a microphone can change shapes, but I can tell you it works really well.
The reason you would want to change the polar pattern of your microphone is so you can use it for different purposes. If you’re just recording your own voice during a stream, podcast, or while gaming, you can set it to cardioid and you’ll know that the microphone is only going to pick up your voice and block out the rest of the world. If you’re doing a stream with a big group of people, you can set it to omnidirectional so that the mic picks up everyone in the room. One of my favorite ways to use the mic is bidirectional because I can position it in between me and an interviewee and only pick up our voices. It’s an extremely versatile device. But if you just want to take it out of the box and plug it in, it’s going to work great as a solo recording device on the default cardioid pattern.
Whether you’re a streamer, a podcaster, or just a gamer, you owe it to yourself (and your listeners) to upgrade your recording hardware. The QuadCast S is incredibly easy to use and affordable, especially compared to other professional recording devices, and has a look and RGB flair that really stands out. I don’t know of any other gaming mic that offers the versatility that the QuadCast S does, and because of that, it’s likely the last microphone I’ll ever need.
A QuadCast S was provided to TheGamer for this review. Learn more about the QuadCast S on the official HyperX website.
Next: HyperX And Anta Gordon Hayward Limited Edition Sneakers And Gaming Headset Bundle Review