You’re probably most familiar with the Turtle Beach brand for their work in gaming headsets, but they’re expanding their hardware offering to now inlcude the Stream Mic. The single best feature of the desktop microphone is not its audio quality, but rather its diverse range of applications with support for the Xbox One, PS4 consoles, as well as PC and Mac.
If you’re a multiplayer gamer then you’ll want to be in constant communication with either your team mates in-game, or with your live streaming audience on services like Twitch. This need to talk typically drives gamers away from standard headphones and to a headset with built-in microphone. The advantage of investing in a dedicated mic like this is that it dramatically opens up your options for headphones.
Turtlebeach are promoting one of the key features the Stream Mic as the Adaptive Mic Patterns with TruSpeak technology. The microphone contains a dual-capsule mic array using digital processing with multiple pick-up patterns for different applications and environments. Basically this means regardless of the environment you place the mic in, it’ll do the hard work of automatically configuring settings to ensure you’re up and streaming like a pro without thinking about it.
One of my favourite features is the ability to connect a control the volume of a headset to the microphone. Depending on your setup, this may actually deliver a much needed extra cable length for comfortable gaming, something critical if you ever in engage in serious sessions. This headphone output is done with zero-latency.
The Stream mic is smart in the way that it adapts to your patterns of use. Thanks to TruSpeak technology and high definition voice pick up, it provides great clarity even if you’re not living on top of it. If you’re streaming live to your audience, great audio is critical in engaging, maintaining and growing your fan base. One of the fastest ways to frustrate people is with audio issues, its something even more critical than video to ensure is seamless.
On the front of the mic, there’s a big, convenient and simple mute button, making sure those sims of coffee and red bull aren’t heard around the world.
When it comes to your physical setup, depending on where you are in your gaming and live streaming career, the microphone can work with you. If you progress from the standard desk mount, its nice to know the microphone can mount to an adjustable microphone stands and booms (with standard 5/8 inch mount). Its a credit to the designers at Turtle Beach and demonstrates an understanding of real world environments and use cases for the Stream Mic with mounting options for both, right out of the box.
With many of us also creating content, the microphone can play double duty as an audio recording device for podcasts, voice overs, interviews and more. Thanks to the mic design and software smarts, you won’t need an additional pop filter which simplifies the setup and makes for a great look on camera.
Looks are one thing, but heading the audio quality from the Stream Mic is really the biggest test. Below is a quick sample without post-production. The audio does come out clean and thanks to the all-digital pipeline avoids any line noise.
Price & Availability
The Stream Mic from Turtle Beach is available now for A$179.00 from JB Hi-Fi. For what you get for the price, its definitely an affordable option for most. Hopefully if you are live streaming or podcasting with it, you’ve worked out a business model to fund hardware investments like this. If not, hit your family up for it this Christmas.
So now the one hundred and seventy nine dollar question, should you buy the Stream Mic ? If you’re someone who’s after a dead simple setup, with a broad scope of applications regardless of your platform choice (console or PC), then absolutely yes. When it comes to audio, you can spend thousands of dollars on the best sounding microphone, high quality cables, the right mixer, but for most that’s all overkill.
The engineers at Turtle Beach have created a great solution to a growing problem for those who stream live online. As our upload speeds increase in Australia, this option will increase in availability to gamers and don’t be surprised to see this on the desk of your favourite Twitch streamer.
The biggest competition to the Stream Mic is almost not a dedicated microphone, but rather those gamers who want an even simpler setup of a single headset that does it all, output and input and Turtle Beach has offerings in that camp too.
If you’re sold on the stream mic, you should definitely consider an adjustable microphone arm to get the mic closer to your mouth, as the included desk stand is a little short for optimal use.
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.