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HyperX ProCast XLR Mic evaluate: Professional-level audio for a value

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Professionals

  • Impeccable construct high quality
  • Included shock mount with versatile threading
  • Spectacular-looking, particularly the seen capsule

Cons

  • Dearer than comparable non-gamer {hardware}
  • No solution to simply rotate mic in shock mount
  • No included cable

As soon as upon a time, avid gamers relied on headsets with built-in microphones. Then, boom-arm microphones turned more and more widespread. Certain, they took up extra space. However they allow you to use any headphones you wished. 

As streaming turned extra prevalent, these increase mics additionally quietly signaled to viewers that you simply have been severe about all of this, far more than these amateurs with their headsets. 

For those who actually wished to impress, you could possibly take issues a step additional. The USB mics that started the pattern gave solution to higher-end fashions meant for podcasting and even radio broadcasting. The place a USB mic would plug into your PC, this breed makes use of an XLR connection that requires a separate mixer or USB interface (or each). 

What was the advantage of buying and selling your headset for 3 separate items of audio tools that probably price a number of occasions as a lot? Audio high quality. The largest music stars and most high-profile podcasters just about all use XLR mics, for causes we’ll talk about beneath. 

The HyperX ProCast's main body

The see-through mesh turns the practical capsule right into a little bit of a showpiece.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

It is this market that finds HyperX dipping its toes into the XLR enviornment for the primary time by making an XLR mic particularly for avid gamers. With its ProCast mannequin, HyperX has created a purpose-built piece of audio tools each bit as skilled as these made by audiophile manufacturers. Whereas it comes with a commensurate value, it is arduous to fault its audio and construct high quality. 

Specs

Connector XLR
Decide-up sample Cardioid
Capsule kind  Giant diaphragm condenser 
Onboard controls  -10Db acquire toggle, 80Hz high-pass toggle
Mount Everlasting shock mount with 3/8-inch and 5/8-inch feminine threading
Frequency response  20Hz~20kHz
Energy necessities  48V Phantom energy 
Output impedance  16 Ohm
Dimensions and weight 134L x 102W x 209H (mm) | 376g (mic), 127g (shock mount), 503g (complete)

HyperX's ProCast microphone on a boom arm with its pop filter on

The pop filter might be clipped onto the shock mount by pushing it into place across the perimeter.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Construct high quality

Put merely, the ProCast is constructed like a tank. It is a kind of gadgets you choose up and instantly really feel assured in as a result of how dense and strong it feels within the hand. 

In fact, this implies you may want a good-quality stand or increase arm. I would not belief this $250 gadget to a $25 no-name arm that appears like an inexpensive desk lamp. This large boy wants a strong basis rated for its 1-pound-plus mass, and that is value factoring into the acquisition value.

The equally well-built shock mount is sort of everlasting. Not like fashions that use a friction-fit system, the shock mount’s inside ring is screwed to its physique. This implies you may by no means have to fret about bumping your mic out of its mount. Nonetheless, it would not allow the additional little bit of freedom another fashions present by letting you rotate them of their mounts.

Extra: Shure MV7 evaluate: An ‘virtually excellent’ hybrid mic for podcasters and streamers

Other than the preinstalled shock mount, the one different occupant of the ProCast’s field is its pop filter. Not like the black foam “Beefeater hat” pop filters most mic firms embrace, HyperX selected a inflexible metallic filter product of a bent sheet of metallic with tiny perforations that does the identical job. I discovered it to be wonderful at dampening down pops and plosives — these overemphasized, obnoxious “P” sounds you get on some mics.

Nonetheless, it did not do fairly at effectively blocking wind and respiration noises because the basic black foam covers. In fact, you actually should not have your mic positioned the place you are respiration instantly into it, nor ought to there be a lot wind at your desk. 

The back of the HyperX ProCast microphone

The PAD change can add or take away 10dB of acquire, whereas the high-pass change beneath it can block out some undesirable rumble.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Options

The XLR port on the bottom of the HyperX ProCast microphone

That is the XLR port on the mic with the three pins that carry your audio sign.

HyperX

XLR mics are fairly featureless in some ways. There are normally solely two controls you may generally discover on the microphone itself, and each are current right here: a -10dB acquire toggle and a high-pass filter change. The primary will make it easier to higher dial in your quantity ranges, whereas the latter will assist cut back undesirable low-frequency sounds. Each develop the flexibleness of the ProCast a bit whereas permitting the related USB interface or mixer to do the heavy lifting, because it ought to. 

Connectivity

Once more, that is an XLR mic. Which means it makes use of the spherical, three-pin connector that is powered professional microphones for a lot of many years. With out going into technical particulars of how XLR connectors influence signal-to-noise ratios, or interference, I am going to simply say it gives simply in regards to the cleanest, purest audio enter obtainable. There is a motive why it is remained the trade customary for thus a few years. 

The connector on the ProCast is as sturdy and exactly manufactured as in any XLR mic I’ve used, offering that satisfying click on that could be a trademark of the connector. It might have been nice if the ProCast included an XLR cable, and an ideal alternative for HyperX to incorporate a bit extra of its trademark crimson accents. However, at the very least you will get low-cost, good, lengthy XLR cables for about $10 to $15.

Sound

One of the simplest ways to expertise the sound high quality is to listen to it your self above. However, if you happen to’d quite learn my opinion… I may wax poetic about overtones and timbre, and different audiophile phrases which might be thrown round far too usually. As a substitute, I am going to give attention to the issues most avid gamers will really care about. 

First, the ProCast is evident, very clear. It is the sort of microphone that may get feedback in voice chat. I have been requested quite a lot of occasions if I am “a streamer or one thing” when utilizing good XLR mics, the ProCast included. There’s a completely totally different high quality to the audio than even an excellent headset mic gives. It is extra sensible, with none of that compressed, nasal sound that drives everybody nuts after they cannot perceive your voice chat callouts. 

Extra: HyperX QuadCast S evaluate: Add some aptitude to your streaming setup

When the speaker or headphones you are being heard by means of are ok, this distinction actually shines, offering that concrete sense of professionalism that drove the preliminary adoption of microphones like these to start with. 

Whereas no microphone can remove all background noise, the cardioid capsule within the ProCast does very effectively. Whether or not it was mouse clicks, key change clacks, or my canine consuming his supper throughout the room, somewhat little bit of repositioning and a partial twist of my interface’s acquire dial was all it ever took to make any undesirable ambient noise virtually inaudible, all whereas I remained clear as a bell. 

Clearly, this implies the ProCast is much better than you could possibly ever need for in-game chat, and greater than ok to please even the pickiest Twitch YouTube watcher. It may even stand toe-to-toe with podcasting mainstays like the Shure SM7B, particularly in case your listener’s audio tools is not equally high-end. Nonetheless, I would not advocate this mannequin for non-gamers, whatever the high quality, for the explanations we’ll talk about beneath. 

Backside line 

For those who’re uncertain if the HyperX ProCast is best for you, I would advise you to resolve a couple of issues. 

First, do you actually need this stage of audio high quality? For those who do not stream or create content material, the reply might be not. There are headsets, just like the Drop PC38X for instance, that present distinctive audio output and a microphone that is method higher than you want on your FPS or MOBA chat of selection, all for lower than this microphone prices. And that does not even embrace the worth of a mount, interface, mixer, and so forth. 

For those who do stream, I might nonetheless advocate additional consideration about whether or not that is the correct mic for you. I imagine this $250 value skews into the “gamer tax” territory. I’ve used a $100 XLR mic for a few years that sounds very almost pretty much as good because the HyperX ProCast (it is included within the Options to think about part beneath, if you happen to’re ). Nonetheless, it is a very mundane, not-at-all “gamery” trying mic. 

HyperX's ProCast microphone

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

If trying good on stream issues as a lot as audio high quality to you, the HyperX ProCast stands out as the one for you. However, in case your mic will not often, or by no means, be seen, I would skip this mannequin in favor of one thing cheaper. 

HyperX’s first foray into XLR mic’s exhibits large promise, and outperforms the expectations most consumers have for {hardware} marketed on to avid gamers. However, to justify its value you actually need it to be seen and acknowledged by viewers who will know what it’s. 

Options to think about 

That is the XLR mic I have been utilizing for years. It is inexpensive and compact, and even is available in a USB model if you happen to do not wish to cope with XLR. It is also lower than half the price of the ProCast at its common value of $100, and often discounted from that. 

On the alternative finish of the spectrum is Shure’s SM7B. You’ve got in all probability seen this mic in entrance of tons of celebrities, podcasters, and YouTubers. It is the attainable gold customary for XLR audio.

One of the enduring “starter” microphones. We adore it at ZDNET and nonetheless use it in our video manufacturing as a result of it is an ideal, easy-to-use, all-around pleasant-sounding mic that can be greater than sufficient for all however probably the most severe content material creators.

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