Razer Carcharias Gaming Headset Review / Test

Today we are covering another gaming headset; the Razer Carcharias Gaming Headset. For this video/test, I connected the headset to my computer using a new Sabrent Stereo USB Soundcard which provides some voltage to the headsets microphone, ultimately improving the audio compared to connecting directly to a computer internal microphone input. I unfortunately do not own a computer with a built in mic input, so I am unable to provide a comparison.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $55 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Gaming Headset w/ attached cable
  2. 3.5mm to RCA Adapter
  3. 2.5mm to 2.5mm Mic Cable
  4. XBOX 360 Audio Cable Adapter
  5. Quick Start Guide

Performance / Features

The build of this headset is pretty good. It is an all plastic build, but it feels sturdier than it's cheaper rivals. The ear cups and the headband are extremely soft and very comfortable. However, they do not fit too tightly on your ears so they do allow a bit of outside noise to get in.

You can articulate the microphone to move it closer/farther away from your mouth, and it also offers 270-degree rotation so you are able to have the microphone on the right side or left side of your face. The cable is your standard rubber cable, which is kind of disappointing. The control panel offers 2 volume controls to mix between chat and game sound, a bass volume switch, a mic mute switch, and a 2.5mm microphone input jack.

The end of the cable has (2) 3.5mm jacks and a usb cable: one 3.5mm cable is for the microphone, the other is for the headphones, and the usb cable is to help power the headset and the lights on the side.

The headphones offer 40mm drivers and list a frequency response of 20Hz - 20kHz. When I tested the performance using a tone generator, I started to hear decent performance around 24Hz in the low end, and heard audio through the top of my hearing register. When listening to music, I was let down 100%. The headphones focused far too much on the low end and lacked any semblance of clarity. Even with the bass volume control, I was unable to tune the headphones to sound remotely acceptable. 

The microphone is listed as unidirectional and offers a frequency response of 50Hz - 16kHz. It has a sensitivity of -37dB +/- dB and a signal to noise ratio of 50dB. The performance of the microphone was lackluster. It did fine when ignoring background noise, however there is a HUGE issue with the microphone. When listening to music/gaming, the microphone picks up the audio from the headphones!!! 

Pros

  • Comfortable on the ears
  • Unidirectional mic
  • 270-degree mic rotation
  • Lots of adapters

Cons

  • MICROPHONE PICKS UP HEADPHONES AUDIO!!!
  • Headphones lack any clarity

Conclusion

Based on the Pro's and cons list, you might see that the pros outnumber the cons. However, the two main areas that this gaming headset is supposed to work (1) Reproducing audio and (2) Recording voice, it falls completely flat on it's face. The headphones audio is so bass focused and lacking in presence and clarity that I will most likely never listen to them again. The microphone picks up audio from the headphones which is just unacceptable!

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP.

Buy the Razer Carcharias:
US: http://amzn.to/2aGu1yc
UK: http://amzn.to/2aHH2cM

Buy the Soundcard
US: http://amzn.to/2api4xf
UK: http://amzn.to/2aUIkV7

AUKEY GH-S1 Gaming Headset Review/Test

Today I'm talking about the Aukey GH-S1 gaming headset. I do need to note that this headset was provided to me free of charge for the sake of this review. This is your standard gaming headset that splits into (2) 3.5mm cables, so keep that in mind when you are considering purchasing this mic. I also need to note that I connected this headset using the Sabrent Stereo USB Soundcard (AU-MMSA), which is available on amazon for approximately $5.00

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $20 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Headset (2.5-meter cable attached - splits into (2) 3.5mm plugs)
  2. Documentation
  3. Warranty Card

Performance / Features

The construction on this headset does not feel that good. It is an all plastic construction and it feels somewhat flimsy. There is leather (or pleather) padding on the ear cups and headband which provide somewhat decent comfort. The cable is your standard rubber cable, and it has a control module with a mic mute switch and headphone volume control.

The headphones offer 40mm drivers that perform better than you would expect out of a $20 headset. They list a frequency response of 20Hz - 20kHz, but I wasn't able to hear the headphones kick in until around 25Hz, and the audio didn't get powerful until we hit between 30-35Hz. These headphones are not going to win any award for performance, but they get the job done. They do tend to be a little more low-mid focussed than I would before, but all around I think they sound perfectly fine.

The microphone does not have many specifications listed so we don't know what they were going for. We do know that it is omni-directional which has a set of pros/cons. The omni directional polar pattern picks up your voice better and has a better frequency response and tone for your voice. However, it does tend to pick up a bit more keyboard noise and background noise than a unidirectional mic would. I think that it sounds awesome though. 

Pros

  • $20!!!
  • Great mic sound
  • Decent headphone performance

Cons

  • Cheap build quality
  • Picks up background noise
  • Headphones are a little too low-mid focussed

Conclusion

If you are on an extremely tight budget, this might be the right headset for you. For gaming it won't give you the best audio playback, but it gets the job done, and it has a very nice sounding microphone when connected to a usb soundcard. However, it will pick up a bit of your keyboard noise. 

I think that this would be a GREAT option if you're having a guest podcaster recording remotely who does not have any recording gear. Buy them this headset and a usb soundcard, walk them through the set up and you'll have very workable audio for $25, and your podcast guest will feel like they matter since you bought them a headset, and you didn't break you bank account. 

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP.

Buy the Aukey GH-S1 on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2ajIxgA
UK: http://amzn.to/29DNjbN

Audio Technica AT2020USB+ Microphone Review / Test

Today I am reviewing Audio Technica AT2020USB+. This mic is not to be confused with the XLR Version (AT2020) or the prior iteration (AT2020USB). I do also want to note that this microphone is listed as compatible with Windows & Mac machines.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $150 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. USB Cable
  3. Mic Mount
  4. Desktop Mic Stand
  5. 5/8" to 3/8" Mic Stand Adapter
  6. Padded Carrying Pouch
  7. Documentation
  8. 1-Year Warranty

Performance / Features

The build quality on this microphone feels pretty nice. It has an all metal body, a metal grill, and some substantial weight to it. On the front of the microphone there is a blue LED light to indicate when the microphone is connected to the computer and receiving sufficient power. Directly beneath this are two new dials that were non existent on the prior model. The first dial controls the mix between the microphones audio and the computers audio. This will allow you to hear 100% of the mics zero latency monitoring, 100% of the computers audio output from your DAW, or any mix in between. The second dial is a simple headphone volume control. On the back of there is a single 3.5mm headphone port that allows you to plug in your headphones.

The built in audio interface offers a 16-bit bit depth and a sampling rate of 44.1/48kHz. When I tested the noise generated by the microphone, I didn't start to hear excessive noise until I got around 60% on my computer. Everything below that seemed to be fairly workable. 

The frequency response of this mic is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz and it sounded great to me. I did not notice any frequencies missing or sticking out which is always a good thing. Due to the nice response, I thought that the electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and voice all sounded very nice and full on this mic. I do want to point out that the 2020USB+ also improved it's frequency response compared to the 2020USB. The prior version only had a freq response of 20Hz - 16kHz. 

The polar pattern of this microphone is cardioid, but it seems a bit wider than most other cardioid mics I tested out. It picked up my voice fairly well all around the microphone and when I typed on my keyboard it picked up quite a bit of clicking. 

Pros

  • Nice build quality
  • Good sound
  • Full frequency response
  • Plug and play
  • Zero latency monitoring

Cons

  • No microphone gain control
  • Wide cardioid polar pattern

Conclusion

Overall, I think this microphone sounds great. It has a nice full frequency response and it performed very well on the acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and voice. The polar pattern is a bit wider than I would prefer and that is why I placed this in the cons section, however, this is not necessarily a bad thing. The wide polar pattern just requires you have a room that is treated (if you don't want reverb), or it means you should want some reverb in your recordings.

Because of the polar pattern, I don't think this is a good option for gamers because it will most likely pick up a lot of keyboard noise and mouse clicking. This seems to be designed for musicians who are looking to demo out music, or podcasters who do have the ability to record in a treated room.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the AT2020USB+
US: http://amzn.to/29wWjy0
UK: http://amzn.to/29r5cXJ

BSP-022: Dynamic vs. Condenser Mics & How to Improve Your Audio

On episode 22, I talk about running into a crazy hippy in the desert, as well as how incredibly stressed and busy I have been the last few weeks. 

Then as the main topic, I discuss one of the most frequently asked questions, the difference between dynamic and condenser microphones, and then what are some of the best ways to improve your audio quality that most people don't do.

On this episode, I answered questions provided by ZacIsDolan, Super Sapp, Ahmet Kahraman, NerdCharacter, and Jay Snippety.

On episode 22, I talk about running into a crazy hippy in the desert, as well as how incredibly stressed and busy I have been the last few weeks.

Then as the main topic, I discuss one of the most frequently asked questions, the difference between dynamic and condenser microphones, and then what are some of the best ways to improve your audio quality that most people don't do.

On this episode, I answered questions provided by ZacIsDolan, Super Sapp, Ahmet Kahraman, NerdCharacter, and Jay Snippety.

Follow BSP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bandrewsayspodcast
Follow BSP on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bandrewsays

http://www.geeksrising.com

00:00 - Intro
00:50 - Stressed Out
08:58 - Comedy Bang! Bang! Tv Show is BACK!
10:27 - Podcast Recommendations
QUESTIONS
11:11 - ZacisDolan-Road to 50 Subs: Why did my old mic pick up radio waves?
12:03 - Super Sapp: How mandatory in your opinion is it to get audio treatment? Does it effect the sound a lot?
14:52 - Ahmet Kahraman: How you buy lots of microphones
20:25 - NerdCharacter: What is the difference between dynamic mics and condenser?
25:25 - JaySnippety:  What are some of the simplest ways to improve audio that most people don’t do?
31:45 - Outro

Antlion Modmic 4.0 Omni & Unidirectional Review / Test

Today I am testing some headphone peripherals. The Antlion Mod Mic 4.0's. I will be testing out both the Omni-directional and Uni-directional mics, as well as the Antlion TRRS Y-Splitter, and USB Soundcard.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $55 on Amazon for a mic with a Mute switch or $50 for a mic without a mute switch.

What's In the Box

  1. Modmic 4.0 (with 3.3m Cable Attached)
  2. (2) Base Mounts to mount to multiple Headsets
  3. Additional 3M Adhesive Pad for Base Mount
  4. Pop Filter
  5. 5 Cable Clips
  6. Instructions
  7. Carrying Case
  8. 1-Year Warranty

Performance / Features

The build quality of the mod mic is nice, but nothing outstanding. It has a standard rubber cable, so you will have to be careful about stepping on it, and general wear and tear. The base mount is plastic, but it has a nice strong magnet so the mic will not fall off your headset. Lastly, the carrying case is very nice and seems to provide ample protection when you're transporting your mic.

The omnidirectional version clearly has an omnidirectional polar pattern, and the unidirectional version has a unidirectional polar pattern. 

The omnidirectional mic has a frequency response of 30Hz to 17.5kHz, and it sounds excellent. The unidirectional mic has a frequency response of 100Hz to 10kHz, and sounds a bit hollow, and like it's missing a lot of frequencies.

Both mics have an operating voltage between 1 and 10 volts so you need at least 1 volt to get the mic to work, and if you go over 10v, you risk damaging the microphone.

Pros

  • Omni sounds awesome
  • Uni is great at eliminating background noise
  • Allows adding mic to high quality headphones
  • Nice carrying case

Con

  • Uni missing lots of frequencies

Conclusion

These mics are a great idea. The omnidirectional mic will excel in a situation without lots of background noise in a treated room. The unidirectional mic will excel in a gaming situation where you need to worry about avoiding background noise. I would highly recommend these mics to anyone who has a top of the line set of headphones that do not have a microphone. You can get which ever version fits your situation, and get a great mic.

If you have any additional questions about this mics, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the Modmic 4.0 Omnidirectional
US: http://amzn.to/1VbWRLV
UK: http://amzn.to/1YBRjbH

Buy the Modmic 4.0 Unidirectional
US: http://amzn.to/1So5RNz
UK: http://amzn.to/1YBRjbH