Content creation is the in thing right now and no whether you’re making TikToks, recording your own weekly podcast or playing games live on Twitch, you’ll need good quality audio to stand out from the crowd. The problem is, microphone technology can be confusing and expensive, making it hard for newbies to know what to get.
That’s where Streamplify comes in, with a range of entry-level gear tailored to first-time users. The range includes the Streamplify mic, with simple USB connectivity and Plug & Play support that works with Windows, Mac and consoles, and most importantly, it’s impressively affordable.
The question is, is it tempting enough to tempt new content creators away from more established brands like Yeti and Shure? Well…
Design and features
The Streamplify USB mic is designed as an entry-level device for those new to the world of streaming and podcasting, and the general design and build reflects that. It’s largely a no-thrills affair, sporting a black cylindrical body and matching mic grille – but that’s no bad thing. It’ll get the job done, and still look good doing it.
In fact, at just 170 x 42mm, the small dimensions of the microphone make it well suited to those with limited desk (or stream) space, or on-the-move podcasters that like to record on-location.
Despite its budget nature, the Streamplify USB mic comes with a dedicated pop shield to help soften the plosives (like words starting with ‘p’ and ‘b’) and stray breaths when you’re recording. It’s a little on the small side, but that does arguably fit with the compact dimensions of the mic itself.
As well as a pop shield, the mic comes with a foldable tripod in the box. That allows the mic to sit on a desktop for easy access, but that also makes it susceptible to bangs and other knocks on the counter.
Thankfully, the included shock mount does a good job at negating it for the most part. You’ll still notice feedback from bigger bangs, but the rumble produced by hammering the keys on your keyboard during intense gameplay moments should go largely unnoticed.
If feedback or limited desk space is a concern, you’ll be relieved to know that there’s also the Streamplify mic with a table-mounted arm available for an extra £10, allowing you to move the mic around freely and get a bit of your desk space back.
It’s also compatible with other accessories, sporting a 3/8in thread port on the shock mount.
One of the fun elements of the Streamplify mic’s design is the RGB ring that runs around the centre of the mic. There’s a range of colour effects to cycle between, adding a bit of pizazz to livestreams, and you can flick through them using the button above the front-facing headphone jack.
The lack of dedicated software means you can’t customise these effects, but with both solid colours and flowing effects available, you’ll likely find one that fits your aesthetic.
The RGB strip is also used to show which playback mode you’re currently using with your headphones. There are two available – Full Playback Podcast Mode and One-way Playback Gaming Mode – with the former filtering your mic capture back to your headphones for real-time monitoring and adjustment, while the latter cancels out background noise to negate distractions when streaming games.
Aside from the RGB control button, there’s only a single dial on the headset – but don’t assume that’s your gain control. Instead, it controls the headphone volume when listening to real-time playback, and pressing the button in will mute the mic (indicated by a red RGB strip).
Without dedicated software for PC or Mac, it would’ve been nice to have a gain control at the very least. Instead, you’ll have to adjust gain and any post-processing effects (like noise cancellation) using the recording software of your choice.
That makes real-time adjustment when recording a little more difficult, but the good news is that it plays nice with most audio recording apps and broadcast software, including the likes of Streamlabs OBS, Nvidia Broadcast and Audacity used for testing.
The Streamplify mic connects to your PC or Mac via a USB-C port on the bottom of the device, with a 1.8m USB-C to USB-A cable in the box. If that’s not quite long enough, it’s easy to switch out with one of your own, and the same can be said if you want to ditch USB-A for USB-C too.
The USB-A connectivity and plug-and-play nature of the mic mean it’s compatible with a range of platforms, including PC, Mac and Chrome OS, and it even worked on our PS5 during testing.
The Streamplify mic is a condenser microphone, which to the uninitiated means it uses two metal plates – one movable, one fixed – to generate sound. While that’s fairly standard among USB microphones, there is a catch: the use of a single capsule means you’re limited to the Cardioid recording pattern, which only records sound from directly in front of the mic.
That’s ideal for podcasters and streamers, but it means you miss out on omnidirectional and bidirectional patterns that capture more of the environment, and the use of a single capsule means there’s no stereo recording available either.
That does mean it’s not as versatile as popular USB mics like the
Blue Yeti X and
Shure MV7, focusing mainly on podcasters and streamers rather than musicians trying to capture live recordings, but at a fraction of the cost, it’s an easier pill to swallow.
Despite the budget price tag, the Streamplify mic delivers great sound capture with clear and crisp vocals, further aided by the pop shield keeping plosives at bay.
I was pleasantly surprised by just how well the microphone performed compared to its premium competition, using it in an
episode of Tech Advisor’s weekly podcast Fast Charge with no complaints. In fact, viewers were curious about what mic I was using during the stream, mainly down to the cool RGB lighting on offer.
The quality of the recording was detailed enough for both the live stream and the audio-only version of the podcast, for which I tend to use the Blue Yeti X.
That’s not to say there aren’t any weak areas – my voice wasn’t quite as deep and bassy as usual, and there’s no software to tweak the sound of the recording to get that richness back – but if you’re just getting started and need a high-quality mic for speech-based recording, the Streamplify mic ticks most boxes.
The Streamplify microphone comes in two configurations – one with a tripod, another with a mic arm – with the
tripod bundle being the cheapest of the two at £59.95/$64.95, while the
mic arm bundle will set you back £10/$15 more at £69.95$79.95. Both are available exclusively from
Overclockers in the UK, and
Amazon in the US.
Whichever you decide on, it’s clear that these are among the more affordable USB mics on the market, albeit not quite as cheap as the
$39.99/£49.99 HyperX SoloCast.
If you want to see how it compares to the competition, take a look at our pick of the
best USB mics for streaming & podcasting.
If you’re just getting started in the world of podcasting or game streaming, the Streamplify mic is a solid option – and not just because you can choose between a tripod and a boom arm.
It’s compact and lightweight, the RGB ring adds pizzazz to live streams and most importantly, it offers high-quality vocal recordings at a fraction of the cost of the competition.
Of course, it’s not the perfect all-rounder – you’re limited to the cardioid recording pattern, the use of a single capsule means stereo recording is out of the question and there’s no companion app – but it ticks plenty of entry-level boxes.
So, while it might not appeal to more advanced users, there’s still plenty to appreciate about the budget-friendly Streamplify mic.
Streamplify Mic with Tripod: Specs
- 170 x 42mm (microphone without stand)
- 1x Ø16 mm condenser capsule
- Cardioid pick-up pattern
- 16bit, 48kHz sampling rate
- 100Hz-18kHz frequency response
- 3.5mm jack
- USB-C with USB-C & USB-A cables
- Mute functionality
- RGB lighting with 8 modes
- Plug & Play
- Compatible with Windows, Mac, PlayStation & Xbox
- Tripod in the box