HyperX has built a reputation for delivering quality products to gamers over the years that range from keyboards and mice to infrared syncing RAM kits and RGB SSDs. When I heard that they would be breaking into the microphone game I couldn’t help but be both excited and nervous. It would be great to replace the Yeti microphone that’s been my go-to for as long as I can remember, but would they get it right out the gate? Microphones can be notoriously finicky with many, including my Yeti, requiring me to use software like VoiceMeeter Banana to EQ the sound just right. So how does the HyperX QuadCast Stack up? Read on to find out more.
- MSRP: $139.99 (Amazon - affiliate link)
- Power Consumption: 5V 125mA
- Sample/Bit Rate: 48kHz/16-bit
- Element: Electret Condenser Microphone
- Consender Type: Three 14mm Condensers
- Polar Patterns: Stero, Omnidirectional, Cardioid, Bidirectional
- Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20Khz
- Sensitivity: -36dB (1V/Pa at 1kHz)
- Cable Length: 3m
- Microphone: 254g
- Shock Mount and Stand: 364g
- Total w/ USB Cable: 710g
- Impedance: 32 Ohms
- Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
- Max. Power Output: 7mW
- THD: ≤ 0.05% (1kHz/0dBFS)
- SNR: ≥ 90dB (1kHZ, RL=∞)
Unboxing and Initial Impressions
When comparing it to popular Blue Yeti the first thing I noticed was how much lighter the stand was. I remember being rather (negatively) blown away at the heft of the Yeti stand when I first purchased it and was worried that HyperX would follow suit and was gratified to see that was not the case. The QuadCast comes nicely packaged and put together for desk placement. The USB cable’s three-meter length is refreshing given that many manufacturers seem to not realize how much cable length can be needed for streaming setups at times. Also included in the package is the adapter to attach the shock mount to a boom-arm mount and forgo the included desk mount.
Speaking of shock mount, I really love that HyperX included one out of the box. While you can remove it and use an aftermarket shock mount that would probably be better, the included shock mount is nicely constructed and serves its purpose well. The nice additions don’t stop there with the QuadCast including a built-in pop-stopper (for those hard p’s, b’s, etc) though I found it doesn’t work as well as the aftermarket pop stopper I had purchased for use with the Yeti.
Aesthetically, I happen to like the red and black look and when plugged and unmuted the QuadCast glows red which is a fun touch that I happen to enjoy, but I can see it being a point of contention for quite a few people. I think HyperX really missed an opportunity on not allowing these colors to be customized, dimmed, or disabled but maybe we’ll see a version two later down the line. However, the inclusion of a tap-to-mute feature located on the top of the mic is a pure stroke of genius. It’s incredibly easy to mute and un-mute the microphone and is located in such a way that it would be ridiculously hard to mute on accident. The lights also turn off when the microphone is muted, making an impossible to miss indicator that you are or aren’t capturing your audio.
Just like other condenser microphones, such as the Yeti, the QuadCast comes with the ability to adjust the gain on the fly, though the QuadCast’s implementation is more aesthetically pleasing from a design standpoint, forgoing obtrusive knobs and allowing the base to spin to select the gain level you want to use. I recommend using a lower gain if at possible to reduce white noise while live-streaming and avoiding voice distortion. Noticeably absent, however, is a volume knob for the headphone jack - something I find to be quite the oversight. I make a habit out of using the headphone jacks on my microphones to monitor my own voice in real time (I do a lot of music recording) and not being to adjust the volume coming from the computer on the microphone has turned out to be quite the annoyance.
Now onto the meat and potatoes of the review - the audio quality. Before I get there I want to make note of exactly how my recordings were taken so they can be replicated if you find yourself with a QuadCast on your desk. Microphone position is extremely important for recording quality and if you spend time watching popular streamers you’ll notice that most have their microphone positioned really close to their mouths. This is done to capitalize on the proximity effect, which naturally raises the bass in your voice (radio voice effect) and is the area where the unique color and character of the microphone quality will be most evident. Assuming the use of pop-stopper the best recording for most microphones is around four inches. With all that said the two recordings will serve to illustrate the difference between with the microphone sitting on the desk and the microphone in the proximity zone.
This first recording utilizes my boom arm with the microphone in cardioid and positioned approximately four inches from my face. Before you listen to the desk positioned recording, take note of the deep and rich tones as the microphone picks up the bass of the voice. This is the proximity effect discussed previously at work. No EQ adjustments were made, this is a straight recording via USB with no additional software utilization or white noise filters.
Note how much more trebled the voice sounds. In the end, it’s all preference on what you want your voice to sound like with a major trade-off being not needing to worry about using a pop-stopper when you aren’t speaking directly into the microphone from close proximity. However, any desk stand will pick up on keyboard typing so it’s something to consider when choosing your placement.
HyperX has really knocked it out of the park with the QuadCast. As an initial entry to the microphone scene, I am really blown away at the quality of the product before me. I’ve found that the QuadCast delivery the most naturally sounding recordings out of the box than any other microphone I’ve come across, with all previous ones requiring at least minor EQ adjustments to get sounding right. It’s a very pleasant experience to plug in a microphone and go and having it sound as great as the QuadCast. Sorry Yeti, you’re getting boxed - the HyperX QuadCast is getting a permanent home on my desk.
- Comes with pop-stopper and shock-mount
- Natural, crisp audio out of the box (no EQ adjustments needed!)
- Tap to mute is a great feature
- No volume knob for headphone output
- Can’t customize lighting color
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.