Review: HyperX Quadcast USB Microphone
HyperX is known primarily as a headset specialist and is already established in the audio sector. At this year’s CES in Las Vegas, a microphone was presented for the first time. HyperX remains true to the audio segment, but nevertheless breaks new ground. This is reason enough for us to critically examine the new HyperX Quadcast*. How it works in practice, we’ll tell you in the following review.
Scope of Delivery
The microphone is delivered in a white-red package, which in our opinion is attractively designed and arouses interest in the content. Once unpacked, the microphone is presented in a robust polystyrene package.
Next to the microphone you will find a warranty card, a user manual and a welcome sheet. In addition, the package contains a three meter USB cable and an aid for attaching the microphone to a tripod or microphone arm. The USB cable is a USB A-to-Mini USB cable. Due to the sheathing, the cable appears very robust, which promises longevity.
All in all, HyperX delivers very useful additional instruments, which we rate positively.
|Energy consumption:||5 V 125 mA|
|Sample/Bitrate:||48 kHz / 16-bit|
|Element:||Electrolytic condenser microphone|
|Capacitor:||Three 14mm capacitors|
|Direct characteristics:||stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid, bidirectional|
|Frequency range:||20 Hz – 20 kHz|
|Sensitivity:||-36dB (1 V/Pa at 1 kHz)|
|Cable length:||3 m|
|Weight:||microphone: 254 g
Shock protection bracket and stand: 364 g
Total with USB cable: 710 g
|Frequency range:||20 Hz – 20 kHz|
|Maximum power:||7 mW|
|THD:||≤ 0.05% (1kHz/0dBFS)|
|SNR:||≥ 90dB (1kHZ, RL=∞)|
Design and Workmanship
The design of the microphone can be described as modern. HyperX seems to attach great importance to red color elements – they can be found not only on the otherwise white package, but also on the otherwise black microphone. Here they represent a wonderful complementary contrast to the otherwise dominant black. Of particular interest here is the fact that the honeycomb structure of the top of the microphone is backed with a red fabric. However, the microphone is mostly made of metal.
The underside is kept in black and provided with a logo of the manufacturer. Except for the plastic end cap, the lower part is completely made of metal, which makes it very stable. This is what sets it apart from many competing products, which are largely made of plastic for cost reasons. The already mentioned end cap is not only available for aesthetic reasons, but also has a practical function – it serves as a rotary knob with which the microphone gain can be adjusted. A USB port and a jack slot are located on the back of the lower microphone section. The latter can be used to connect headphones. The placement of the two connectors is practical because they are easy to reach, but not too much in the foreground. Connected cables can thus be elegantly routed largely outside the field of view, which should be conducive to the overall aesthetic experience.
The microphone holder marks the end of the lower part – this division into lower, middle and upper part is of course completely arbitrary and only serves to structure the test report. The bracket that we have defined as the limit serves in any case as a seal against disturbing ambient noise. It is therefore protected against vibration and impact – if this were not the case, it would rather produce additional noise. If the microphone is to be used with a tripod or microphone arm, the holder must be unscrewed. In the test we succeeded without any problems and within a few minutes. All you need is a suitable screwdriver, which should be available in almost every household. If you don’t want to use a tripod or microphone arm, you can get started right away, because the HyperX Quadcast USB microphone is delivered already mounted on a stand on which the microphone can also be moved flexibly.
The middle part of the microphone – the short area between the holder and the honeycomb structure – is equipped with an additional rotary control. The directional characteristic of the microphone can be adjusted with this knob. The Quadcast offers the possibility of stereo, omni- and bidirectional recording as well as cardioid recording.
The upper part is characterized by the honeycomb structure mentioned several times. Here, too, metal dominates. The red fabric behind the honeycomb structure, which is very attractive visually in interaction with the black metal, not only serves to brighten up the microphone, but also acts as a pop screen. When the microphone is switched on, it is illuminated by LEDs located behind it. The upper end of the microphone, like the lower end, has a plastic end cap. The upper end cap serves as an on/off switch. With a single push on this switch, the microphone can be muted.
All in all, the Quadcast has a very high quality finish and makes an extremely robust impression. The fact that HyperX mainly relies on metal is something we would like to emphasize. This is by no means a matter of course in today’s world.
After this really in-depth examination of the design and workmanship, we naturally wanted to test the functionality of the microphone as well. But before that, we had to set it up. That, in turn, was much easier than we initially thought. After connecting the microphone to a Windows PC via a USB cable, the necessary drivers were automatically installed. The quadcast was then recognized by the PC and displayed in the bottom right corner of the Windows bar. With a right click on the microphone symbol we got to a small menu. There we selected the point “Sounds”, over which we arrived at the setting options concerning the microphone.
Under “Playback” as well as under “Recording” the microphone can be defined – if desired – as standard device. All other settings concerning the handling of the microphone by Windows can also be edited here. As a rule, the default settings can be adopted, so that hardly any work is required here. In concrete terms, this means that the microphone is ready for use immediately after connection.
Now we come to the core of the test. The best production and the best design are of little use if the main purpose of the microphone cannot be fulfilled. The overall rating depends on the recording quality of the microphone.
Once the quadcast is connected and set up, it can be used. It’s a good idea to turn up the level on Windows. A gain can then be set using the knob – remember the lower end cap. The middle knob can be used to switch between the different directional characteristics. We tried all four options in the test and were largely satisfied.
The HyperX Quadcast convinces in all four modes. Disturbing ambient noise is largely eliminated, which makes the recordings sound relatively professional. The fact that the microphone delivers attractive results with all four polar patterns is particularly noteworthy. Many other microphones in these and higher price ranges don’t even offer four modes. To counter this, it can be said that these other microphones usually shine in the offered modes, which is not the case with the microphone we tested. However, we are of the opinion that brilliant recording is not necessary in most cases. Even the demanding semi-professional will hardly notice a difference between an almost perfect recording and only a very good one.
If you want a good all-round microphone, the Quadcast is the perfect choice. If, on the other hand, you have the highest expectations and are only satisfied with the very best, then you should refrain from buying it.
The Quadcast is one of the best microphones in its price range. In addition, it scores with the by no means usual versatility.
All in all we have tested the Quadcast by HyperX*, an excellent microphone that is not one of the absolute world elite, but in its price class it is at the top of the class and allows very good recordings. It is not only very robust and professionally manufactured, but also convinces with a modern design and its recording versatility. Especially the latter is a big advantage of the microphone for us. It doesn’t just offer four directional characteristics, but manages to guarantee consistently high quality in all these four modes. Another advantage is the easy setup of the USB microphone. If you are looking for a high-quality all-round microphone, the Quadcast is the perfect choice.
Value for Money
A very good all-round microphone.
HyperX Mikrofon »QuadCast« price comparison
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