A good microphone can take your gaming experience to a whole new level. From the audio clarity to canceling out background noise, a good gaming mic is built to ensure you and your gaming friends have the audio support you need in a game of any scope or magnitude.
Because a microphone is an input device, it won’t provide you with any control over the output channels (speakers and earphones). However, the audio quality will be affected if the source signal is weak. Therefore, a high-tech microphone will certainly provide more audio excellence than a low-quality and structurally lacking one.
You’ll have to consider this, and many other factors, when making your next microphone purchase. To help you choose a gaming microphone that’s truly deserving of your gaming talents and passions, here are some pointers to nudge you in the right direction:
- Plug-and-Play Compatibility
Setting up a gaming microphone should be as easy as ABC. You shouldn’t need accessory hardware or software to make it functional. Even in cases where your mic comes packed with proprietary tech, it shouldn’t require any advanced science to set up. Rather, it should ease you into the process of audio mixing, mic patterns, recording, and other technicalities.
Console compatibility is also another huge factor to consider. PC is supposedly the predominant platform of the gaming community. However, the community of multiple platforms and ‘cross players’ is also growing. If you’re a part of this group, make sure your mic is compatible with Xbox, PC, Mac, Xbox One, and of course, the imminent PlayStation 5.
- Sound Sensitivity, Latency, And Pick-Up
You don’t want your mic to be extra sensitive to the extent that it picks up the faintest noise in the background, especially when you don’t have a dedicated spot for your gaming rig, and are often met with distractions. Ideally, you want your mic to receive sounds within a five to six inches radius, excluding heaving and breathing sounds, and excess feedback from your teammates.
In case you’re purchasing a desktop mic, make sure it isn’t too receptive to keyboard clicks and other nagging desk noises–knocks, vibrations, and such. You can deafen these sounds by padding the stand, but the better solution is finding a mic that caters to this issue, so there’s no need for adjustments, to begin with.
Mic latency is another important factor. You need to make sure you can hear your voice while simultaneously staying up to speed with the game’s audio levels. Your attention should be focused on the game, instead of draining the voice out of your lungs to get a single word through to your teammates on the other side.
The ideal microphone is perfect for close and long-distance listening. Your mic should sound great whether it’s close to your lips or at a bit of distance. It also shouldn’t obstruct the usual set up of your gaming console or PC.
If you have a lot of room on your desk, this problem takes care of itself on its own. However, if this is not the case, your desk microphone is likely to come in the way of your screen and impede vision.
As a solution, you can try out some maneuvers such as using a clip-on mic. However, it’s still bound to compromise some level of fidelity. No matter how minor the obstruction, even a slight nuisance can ruin your gaming experience. The key is to find a spot to hang a good quality mic from where your voice will be heard loud and clear without compromising audio quality.
No one likes a hideous looking microphone. Especially in the fashion world of video gaming, where tech design holds the same status as peacock feathers, you need to hold the aesthetics of your future mic in high-esteem. Especially if you’re a streamer, you’ll have a huge audience analyzing the aesthetics of your gaming set up while you stream your gaming sessions. Allow them to know that you’re not just another gamer but one who takes pride in assembling a visually arresting gaming rig and catering to the minutest detail.
Furthermore, the right mic won’t just look good, it should also complement the colors and designs of your gaming rig. In the end, this decision mostly boils down to your ‘gaming persona.’ For example, if you’re into ‘gothic’ or ‘dark’ games, a jet-black mic will serve your online avatar best.
The game you’re into will play a pivotal role in helping you decide a microphone best suited for your needs. If you’re more of an ‘adventure gamer,’ who mostly likes to roam free and play single player, a cheaper option will suffice. However, if you’re into strategy games, like DOTA, that require a lot of back and forth communication, you’ll need to upgrade your old analog handpiece that came with your antique PC with a respectable mic model.