The Turtle Beach USB Stream Mic could be exactly what you were looking for if you’re a gamer or podcaster looking for a low-cost USB microphone that produces crisp audio. It has more digital signal processing (DSP) than almost every other mic that we have tried, which helps it to record finely and clearly from about any distance.
You can also swap between multiple polar patterns on the mic to get the best sound for certain situations. This, combined with its low price, makes it an excellent option for gamers on a budget.
Turtle Beach Stream Mic
About the Product
The Stream Mic by Turtle Beach is a low-cost USB microphone suitable for gamers with a variety of recording patterns to choose from. The Stream Mic is unique in that it does most of the processing within the device. This means that it can block out any background noise and provide a higher-quality final product, unlike most USB microphones.
When you are in a noisy setting, Turtle Beach’s mic will do much better than a Blue Snowball microphone wired directly to a PS4, but it won’t fit on the Xbox One. It can also be used for interviews, podcasts, and voice-over roles.
Product Design & Quality
The gray and black Stream Mic has a vintage-looking build and measures approximately 6.5 inches in height, 2.0 inches in width, and 4.5 inches in depth. However, its casing is made of plastic and seems to be a bit cheap.
It isn’t a major flaw given the product’s low price. The mic comes with a feature to swivel around to the position of a speaker thanks to the built-in desk stand, and its strong base means it won’t move on the desk. We discovered that the screws on either side of the mount cannot do a great job of securing the angle of the mic into position.
So you should be careful to not tug the cord and adjust the alignment of the mic unintentionally while using headphones plugged with the mic’s socket. The screws can also be taken off from the frame and screwed onto a regular mic stand with the adapter provided with it.
A mute button is located on the front screen, which is covered by a multi-colored LED band. The top parts of both front and back screens, and even the top part of the mic, are covered in the grille.
The Stream uses a multi-pattern valve on the inside. By using this pattern button you get the option to shift between the most common style for general voice recording known as the Cardioid, a pattern suitable for noisier situations, which refuses more sound from both the sides and back than other patterns known as Hypercardioid, and Omnidirectional ideal for catching sound from the entire room without refusing any sound from any position.
The modes are colored by LED as green, orange, and blue according to the patterns.
The supplied USB cable is extremely long and attaches to the mini USB connector at the rear panel of the mic. In addition to the 3.5mm headphone socket, this panel comes with a volume button for the headphones, the aforesaid pattern button, as well as a key marked PS4/PC on one side and Xbox on another.
If you want to use this Stream mic to live stream, the purpose of this switch is pretty simple: choose the right choice for the system or device on which you want to stream live. The switch must be adjusted to PC if you intend on using the mic to record voiceovers or podcasts.
First and foremost, depending on the recording device or game system, you can encounter some delays while using the in-built headphone port. Although you can use the Stream Mic as a standalone listening system without headphones, the recording software can only show it just like a recording unit, not as a device with outputs. The lag is a little bothersome.
When tracking with a GarageBand, for example, there is a small slap back pause when using the mic. Of course, it has no impact on the recording, but it does have an effect on a vocalist’s performance. About the fact that the different mic patterns seem to be a gimmick, there is a significant variation in how sound.
For example, the omnidirectional mode provides a really crisp, light signal, whereas the cardioid pattern sounds almost dull. However, as compared to the other cardioid mics we’ve checked, nearly all of them being rigid cardioid mics, the cardioid mode of a Stream Mic sounds rather equalized. To balance baritone or darker voices, the lows are improved, as are the high-mids.
Because of the built-in processing, you should be able to connect it to almost everything and it should run. If you have a PlayStation 4, an Xbox One, or PC and would want to do a variety of audio editing, the Stream Mic is an easy workaround.
- Many recording patterns are available
- Standard mic frames would be alright for positioning it
- The included USB cable is long enough for carrying it around bigger spaces
- Plastic contour seems to be made of low-cost material
- The mic stand’s side screws don’t always lock the angle in place
The Turtle Beach USB Stream Mic allows you to handle the live streaming or recording phase in new ways for podcasting and gaming. Switching mic patterns becomes particularly helpful in multi-person situations.
Consider the more costly Beyerdynamic Fox or Blue Raspberry, or the less costly Blue Snowball for a much more pure signal from a USB microphone. The Stream Mic produces a stable, if highly processed, a signal which is less likely to upset gamers who’re looking for a USB solution under $100.
You may also like to read: Best Microphone for Streaming.