Whether you are running a podcast, recording music, or streaming games, having a great microphone is essential. Elgato is introducing a pair of new USB mics: The Wave 1 and Wave 3. These mics are Elgato’s first set of USB mics to be released, and so far, we like them.
The Wave 1 and Wave 3 are condenser microphones. Condenser microphones work drastically differently than standard ‘dynamic’ mics. A condenser mic requires 48V ‘Phantom Power’ to operate, and the interface that makes that possible is built-into these Elgato microphones. Studio vocalists and voice-over artists prefer condenser microphones. Pod-casters also love them for their ability to capture sound in such a clean and distortion-free fashion.
The design of these two microphones feels robust and contemporary. The Wave 1 features a headphone volume knob on the front that also functions as a mute button. The fancier Wave 3 has a capacitive sensor on top. You can cut the signal just by placing your finger on top of the mic. On both of the mics, there’s a dial on the back. This dial is used for volume and gain adjustment, and to cross-fade between your PC and the microphone. Also found on both mics is a zero-latency 3.5mm headphone jack for studio monitoring. The Wave 1 has a standard 48kHz sample rate, which will be fine for most users, but if you need some super high-quality audio, the Wave 3 will get you 96kHz recording.
One of the best features of these mics is Elgato’s ‘Clipguard’ anti-distortion tech. If you are too loud and approach the clipping point, the signal is sent to a different route with a gain pad. The signal re-routing limits volume and prevents distortion.
You can pick up either of these mics now through Elgato and in retail stores. Wave 1 costs $130, and Wave 3 goes for $160. These mics are direct competitors to Blue’s Yeti range of mics. We will be doing an article that compares and contrasts the difference between the two, so stay tuned for that.
Are USB Mics Good For Streaming?
Yes. USB Mics are great for streaming. A USB mic is a standard mic with a single channel USB Audio Interface built-in. Quality is essential, and not all USB mics are designed equally. Check for things like sample rate and frequency response. Get something with at least a 48kHz sample rate and frequency range of at least 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
Do I Need a Mic For Streaming?
Yes. It’s always best to have a dedicated mic for streaming. The built-in microphones in phones, webcams, and laptops simply aren’t high enough quality for any kind of real production.
Featured Image Credit: [Eglato]