Razer is well-known for delivering products for gamers that driver their passion, whether that’s pure gaming, streaming, or content creation. Today, we’re reviewing their latest streaming microphone: it features a built-in 8-bit screen to show interactive emotes to your followers while streaming. It’s customizable and improved from the Seiren X, though carries the same distinctive look. It is worth $179? This is our review of the Razer Seiren Emote.
- Cost: $179.99 USD
- Power required / consumption: 5V 500mA
- Sample rate: min 44.1 kHz / max 48kHz
- Bit rate: 16bit
- Capsules: 25mm condenser capsules
- Polar patterns: Hypercardioid
- Frequency response: 100Hz-20kHz
- Sensitivity: 20mV/Pa (at 1kHz)
- Max SPL: 110dB (THD < 1% at 1kHz)
- Impedance: ≥ 16 Ohm
- Power output (RMS): 110mW (at 16 Ohm)
- THD: < 0.1% (at 1kHz)
- Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Signal-to-noise ratio: ≥ 100dB
- Display RGB LED: 8 x 8 RGB LED Matrix
- System Requirements: Windows 7, 8, 10
- Platform Compatibility:
The Streaming Mic with a Screen
When it comes to viewer interaction, streamers try to do everything they can to get people’s attention. With the Razer Seiren Emote, Razer has come up with another way to help content creators to get that attention with a built-in 8-bit display for showing “emote” alerts on the rear of the mic
The screen is composed of an 8-LED by 8-LED grid and works with the Razer Streamer Companion app to allow you to set up all of the notifications, or events, you’d like the microphone to display a graphic for. . Alerts like new follow alerts, subs, bits, and tip donations can all be set to use their own emoticon from the app's large selection of animated pixels. You can also create your own graphics using the Companion app, or even load your own 8x8 GIF.
The main objective for the streamer is to set the mic up so that it is in the camera frame to show off the animations to everyone watching. You do need to make sure it is close enough to the camera though, otherwise, the emoticons become blurry and more pixelated than intended. Likewise, if you’re loading in your own GIF file, you’ll want to make sure that it looks the way you intend at 8x8 pixels. Using Photoshop, we shrunk down a number of GIFs and images. While some made the shrink just fine, others lost too much detail to remain usable.
The screen has its challenges, too. The color accuracy isn’t great. Whites look a bit pink. Yellows look a bit green. Likewise, how readable they are will depend on your webcam and how far away it is from the mic. It’s also challenging to make sure it’s in frame and mounting on a boom are can change the orientation of the emote you’re trying to show.
An Improvement Over the Seiren X
Compared to its little brother, the Seiren X, the new microphone features a hypercardioid polar pattern. With the Emote, all of your sounds are recorded in tighter angles than the X’s supercardioid pattern, though you’ll still be talking directly into the front and not the top like some broadcast mics This tighter polar pattern helps to reduce background noise while still allowing your voice to come through loud and clear.. The Seiren Emote sounds best closest to your mouth but can sound good even at distance with extra gain. I have tested it out from one foot from me while recording, up to two feet away and found that it still works very well
Performance is key when you are dealing with any microphone, especially if you’re a streamer. While streaming, I tested he mic by pulling up my page on a separate device and listened to how much background noise came through.. Having kids in the background really helped me to test out the Emote’s background noise rejection. While my daughter tends to scream and laugh on the louder side, but she barely came through when she was a room or two away.. Like any condenser mic, however, the Emote is still sensitive to other noises in the room.
Having used both microphones, I was impressed by the improvements the Emote brings to the vocal capture of the them mic. You can hear the differences in the following test recording, but the Emote is more full-bodied and is an all-around better sounding microphone. This is good to see with the price increase the Emote also brings..
While the microphones may look the same, there are a few other changes to the Emote that make a difference. With the Emote, if you hit your desk, the mic may distort or even fall over. The Emote now comes with a built-in shock that helps stop the vibrations from accidental knocks or bumps If you’re a taller person, or just need more height for your microphone, you’ll also be happy to find that the Emote ships with an optional gooseneck. This will make the Emote sit about 3-4 inches higher off of your desk. For me, this allows me to sit taller and more comfortably while recording. The last feature isn’t new but is still great to see and that’s its plug-and-play functionality. You don’t have to download any drivers or programs to begin streaming with it. The Streamer Companion App is still required for displaying emotes, however, and Razer Synapse makes making settings changes quick and easy, so it’s still recommended to use the software. Strictly speaking, though, you could plug this mic in anywhere and be recording fast.
When it comes to streaming microphones, the Seiren Emote comes in on the expensive side.. If you are streaming, or if you are just doing the recording for a podcast, the Emote may not be the best option due to this. The two biggest upgrades are the built-in shock mount and the LED screen for emoticons. To me, this doesn’t justify the extra money over the Seiren X.. What that mic will do is make you stand out from the pack of other streamers and add a layer of interactivity to your stream. There’s value in that but whether it applies will depend entirely on your goals and status as a streamer.
- High quality microphone for streaming and podcasting
- Built-in shock mount prevents unwanted interruptions while using the mic live
- Quality is about the same as the Seiren X for almost twice the price
- The LED screen colors aren’t very bright and the colors seem to fade
The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.