Turtle Beach Multi-Format Stream Mic Review
Peter Donnell / 3 years ago
While many of us only need a standard headset with a simple boom mic, there’s a growing demand for higher quality microphones for both gamers and streamers, on Twitch, YouTube Live and much more. Turtle Beach are not the first to make a dedicated streaming microphone, but they are one of the more affordable options too, and their new Stream Mic comes with support for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, making it a tempting solution for the multi-format gamer and streamer.
“Stream like a pro directly from your Xbox One and PlayStation®4, as well as from a PC or Mac with the Turtle Beach® Stream Mic. With universal plug-and-play compatibility, adaptive mic patterns and customizable software, the Stream Mic will elevate your livestreams to the big time. A dual-capsule mic array with advanced digital processing supports multiple pick-up patterns while a zero-latency headphone output provides accurate monitoring. Hear the game/chat audio loud and clear through the headphone jack. Your Twitch, YouTube and MLG.tv streams will never sound the same again with the Turtle Beach® Stream Mic.”
From live streaming to those who simply want a more versatile microphone to use while gaming, allowing you to enjoy audio through your desktop speakers, surround sound, or even a separate set of dedicated headphones, there’s a lot of applications for a microphone that be mounted on either a desktop surface or a boom mount, and we’re eager to see how the Stream performs!
Console Livestreaming Made Easy – The first professional quality desktop microphone designed for gamers livestreaming directly from Xbox One and PlayStation®4.
- Universal Compatibility – Just plug it in via a single USB connection and start streaming on your Xbox One, PlayStation®4, PC or Mac
- Adaptive Mic Patterns with TruSpeak™ Technology – Customize your streaming set-up with multiple recording patterns and various mounting options
- Professional Processing Performance Sound amazing with this studio-quality digital processor that automatically balances EQ, gain and compression.
- Built-In Headphone Amplifier – Built-in voice level mixing lets you hear game and chat audio through the microphone when headphones are plugged into the Stream Mic (works via 3.5mm output
- Personalized Voice Tuning – Personalize your streaming session with the voice presets in the Ear Force Audio Hub software
- Multiple Mounting Options – Works with standard 5/8 inch microphone stands and booms (sold separately).
- All-in-one Recording Solution – Perfect for recording commentary, vocals, podcasts, voiceovers, interviews and more.
Packaging & Accessories
The box for the Stream is nice and compact, and has all the usual details on the front, showing hardware support and that it’s officially licensed for Xbox hardware too.
Around the back, a quick run down of the features, such as the universal console and PC support, adaptive mic patterns, TruSpeak, headphone amplifier, voice tuning and mounting system.
In the box, you’ll find a long and durable USB cable to connect the microphone to any compatible system, a heavy-duty stand mount, and boom mount adapter, as well as the microphone its self. Nothing too complicated here and the whole thing looks like it’ll take no more than a couple of minutes to get installed and ready to use.
A Closer Look
The base component of the microphone has a heavy weight to it, which is great as it’ll not only stop the microphone sliding around your desktop, it’ll also stop it from falling over when knocked, wobbling around, etc. It’s a plastic mould on the exterior, and there’s a durable screw mount in the top for the U-shaped mounting bar.
On the base, four rubber grips, pretty self-explanatory here.
The microphone is a nice size, with a design that mimics retro microphones, but throwing in a few modern touches at the same time. The exterior is plastic, which means it’s fairly lightweight, and that’s not a bad thing as keeping the mic light at the top and heavy at the bottom (The mounting base) will give it added stability. There’s a thick rubber mounting washer and hole on the left and right sides, which should help reduce any unwanted vibrations between your desktop and the microphone housing.
The grill is nice and large, with a huge opening on the back here, as well as two more along the top, and one more on the front, so it should be able to pick up sound from all angles easily with its dual microphone system. The recording pattern is tunable too, so we should be able to optimise the microphones to suit each environment fairly easily.
On one side of the microphone, there’s a nice big and easy to use microphone mute switch with an LED indicator ring around it, so you know for certain when you can and cannot be heard.
There’s a lot going on around this side, with a headphone jack and volume dial, handy if you’re hooking up monitoring headphones and the built-in amp in the microphone will take care of audio processing for you too, giving you lag-free listening pleasure. There’s also a profile switch, format switch and the USB jack. The USB jack doesn’t seem particularly well placed though, as it means the cable will be sticking out the back, I’d likely invest in a cable with a 90-degree jack on one end to help route it more easily down towards the base.
Mounting the microphone on the stand only takes about two minutes to do, it’s really very simple. Use the silver screw to fit the U-shaped component to the base, easy enough, then use the two rather huge looking thumb screws to mount the microphone in between it. No tools are required and it can be easily taken apart again quite quickly if needed. It’s not very tall, but the mounting system looks stylish enough that you’ll be happy to have it on show in your live stream, and it allows for some level of angle adjustment.
There’s a built-in headphone jack, which is awesome for monitoring your chat levels. Sure you can run your sound through your speakers, but with a built-in headphone amp and the ability to keep a tab on sound levels while streaming, you can ensure that you’re giving the best quality to your viewers with relative ease.
You can tilt the microphone to get the best angle for your streaming, and the rubber washers, combined with the screws on the side, mean it’ll stay locked in place at the angle you require. Of course, angles and levels are one thing, but the quality of the microphone is the absolute most important thing here. Deploying Turtle Beach TruSpeak Technology, their adaptive voice pickup tech, as well as studio-quality digital signal processing, the Stream Mic delivers exceptional acoustic performance. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got it right in front of your face or beside you on a boom, the TruSpeak will use the dual-mic setup to ensure it locks in on your voice, and it’ll help tune out a bit of unwanted ambient noise in the process. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to put it right next to your mechanical keyboard anytime soon, but pop it off to the side and it’ll still work as well as it does right in front of you.
Ear Force Audio Hub is a great bit of software too, allowing you to tweak a whole range of settings to suit your needs. Admittedly we were very happy with the stock performance out of the box, but more options never hurt. There’s a bunch of profiles to flick through as well as custom settings, but depending on what you play, how you play, where you place the microphone, or even the manor which you like to communicate will make each react differently per-user, so have a play around and find what best suits your taste. The fact that it was as simple as plug and play is certainly appealing, but the extra options will no doubt please the pros out there.
The Turtle Beach Stream Mic is available for just £49.99, which is exceptional value for money given the performance and features on offer. It has enough features to please the pro users out there, but a ticket price then will be encouraging to those just starting out or on a tighter budget too.
I’m a little bit in love with the Stream Mic, as it’s a fantastic product to use for a wide range of scenarios. You can use it for streaming, for recording your podcasts, or even just use a decent microphone while gaming with friends. It’s a big step up from the smaller boom mics that come built-in to most headsets, and unless you’ve got some seriously high-end headset, it will be an upgrade in audio quality for you. It has a good frequency range and the fact it doesn’t need to be right in front of your face to work perfectly is a welcome treat.
The included stand looks great, and you’ll certainly have no shame in having this mic on show while doing your stream. It’s a stylish design, and while quite big it’s also not so big that it becomes impractical. You could easily box it up and chuck it in your backpack if you’re heading out to a gaming event. Mounting options are limitless too, with the ability to mount it on a boom, so you can have it overhead if you so desire, giving you a lot of flexibility based on your setup preferences.
Build quality is pretty decent. Yes, there are a lot of plastics here, but when you take into consideration the wallet-friendly price tag, it’s pretty much futile to make any complaints here. You can pay more for something that may have even more robust build quality if you need to, but you’ll be spending an awful lot more before you hear any noticeable improvement in audio quality
- Chunky and durable design
- Weighted adjustable stand
- Can be mounted on boom
- Easy to set up on any compatible device
- Customisable performance via software
- Built-in headphone amp for monitoring
- Easy to use controls
- Wallet friendly price
“The Turtle Beach Stream Mic is as simple or as complex as you need it to be. Able to plug it in and play on multiple formats, it’s perfect for gamers, streamers, podcasts and much more. It’s sure to leave you viewers happy, and at this price, we’re certain you’ll be happy with it too!”