IK Multimedia iRig Mic Studio Review

Today I'm reviewing another microphone from IK Multimedia, iRig Mic Studio.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to my 2017 iMac with the input gain set at 10:00. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $150.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Mount
  3. 5/8" to 3/8" Stand Adapter
  4. Desktop Tripod Stand
  5. USB-A Cable
  6. Lightning Cable
  7. Micro-USB Cable
  8. Storage pouch
  9. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: ~-42dB
  4. Max SPL: 133dB
  5. Self-Noise: 11dBA
  6. Bit Depth: 24-Bit
  7. Sample Rate: 48kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone doesn't give me anything to complain about. It has a metal body construction and a metal grill that feels sturdy. It is also a bit on the light side. These are all good attributes for a travel microphone. On the front you'll find a gain dial to adjust the microphone's gain, a multi-color LED light for metering, and a headphone volume control. Lastly, on the back of the microphone you'll find a 3.5mm headphone jack, which does not offer latency free monitoring.

The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. They do not have any frequency response published, but while listening to the audio samples it sounds as though this mic has a significant treble boost which gives it too much clarity, to the point that it starts to sound unnatural. Additionally, this mic has a rather prominent proximity effect, so if you mic any source closely, you will get a slightly scooped mid tone. 

The polar pattern of this mic is cardioid. It didn't do a good job at background noise rejection. There was a slight volume decrease as you move around the microphone, but the ambient noise, keyboard noise, guitar noise will be apparent in your recordings. 

The overall performance of this mic is fine, but I'm becoming pickier, and more curmudgeonly. First, the preamp is relatively quiet all the way up to 100%, the main noise introduced was ambient noise. The tone of this mic is overly bright, and this adds too-much clarity in my opinion which leads it to sound somewhat unnatural. As I already mentioned, if you mix this frequency response with the proximity effect, you will likely end up with a slightly scooped mid tone. Also when I compared this mics samples against flatter mics like the NT1, it had a minimal nasal tone.

Pros

  • Convenient since it's compatible with multiple OS (Mac, Windows, iOS, Android)
  • HD Recording (24-bit, 48kHz)
  • Relatively quiet preamp
  • Fairly good job at rejecting plosives

Cons

  • Overboosted treble frequncies
  • Lacks latency free monitoring
  • No specs included in documentation

Conclusion

This microphone is perfectly mediocre. Nothing really sticks out to me as a reason to buy it except for the almost universal compatibility. Other than that, I do not think that I can recommend it. This is mainly because the overly boosted high end leads to a unnatural tone which I am not a fan of.  I am also turned off by the lack of zero latency monitoring.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the IK Multimedia iRig Mic Studio
US: https://amzn.to/2qF7X0O
UK: https://amzn.to/2HEi4v3
CA: https://amzn.to/2H8ig8U
DE: 

HyperX Cloud Stinger Gaming Headset Review / Test

Today we are talking about the brand new HyperX Cloud Stinger Gaming Headset. What is really cool about this headset is that it is listed as compatible with PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, as well as your Smartphone. What's even cooler is that it's also certified to work with the following apps: Teamspeak, Discord, Skype, Ventrilo, Mumble, Raidcall. That means that no matter what system/software  you are using, this headset will likely work for you.

If you are interested in this gaming headset, it will set you back $50 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Headset (1.3m Cable)
  2. Extension / Splitter Cable (1.7m Cable)
  3. Quickstart Guide
  4. 2-Year Warranty

Specifications

Headphones

  1. Drivers: 50mm
  2. Frequency Response: 18Hz - 23kHz

Microphone

  1. Polar Pattern: Unidirectional
  2. Frequency Response: 50Hz - 18kHz
  3. Sensitivity: -40dB

Performance / Features

The build quality of this headset is better than I expected. It is a plastic build, however, the plastic feels high quality and provides ample flexibility. The foam on the headset/headband is made of HyperX's memory foam and is among the best I've felt on any gaming headset. The controls are simple; you will find a single volume rocker on the right ear cup to control the headphone volume, and that's it. And lastly, the microphone arm can articulate, and in order to mute the mic you just tilt it upright and you will hear a click to indicate the microphone has been muted.

The headphones are what truly stand out on this product. There is plenty of boomy low end while maintaining the presence in the high end. I typically do not enjoy bass heavy headphones, but that is because "bass-heavy" headphones are usually plagued by muddy lows that sacrifice high frequency performance; this headset does neither of those things. You get crystal clear highs and booming lows.

The microphone on the other hand is bad, and it just sounds like your typical gaming headset mic. When I saw the unidirectional polar pattern I knew that we would lose some quality in microphone performance compared to an omnidirectional microphone, and I think that it is a smart trade off to make. This is a gaming headset, and while gaming you want people on the other end to hear your voice instead of the fan blowing in the background. This unidirectional microphone will help with that. Do not get me wrong, you will still hear background noise, but it will not be as pronounced as it would be if the microphone was omnidirectional.

Pros

  • Universally compatible
  • Great sounding headphones
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Well built
  • Articulating Mic Arm
  • Unidirectional Mic

Cons

  • Bad sounding microphone

Conclusion

Even though I think the microphone is bad, I would absolutely recommend this headset. The recommendation stems from the headphones performance and comfort. While gaming, what's most important to you is going to be the audio you hear, and the comfort of the headphones; this headset excels in both of those areas. Your friends will also be able to hear you perfectly fine through this microphone while talking to each other on teamspeak, discord or any other chat service; you just won't win any awards for audio quality.

On the other hand, if you are going to be recording voice overs or gaming commentaries with this headset, I would recommend looking elsewhere because this microphone will not cut it for professional audio recordings.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy it on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2gspgik
UK: http://amzn.to/2gOlQ7K

A Brief History of Esperanto (A Universal Language)

Greetings Earthlings. On this episode, I talk about Esperanto. A language that was developed in the 1800's by Dr. L.L. Zamenhof to hopefully become a universal language. The story is incredibly interesting and at certain points a bummer. Hope you enjoy it, and I hope you learn something. Go check out some Esperanto, and check out the 1965 film Incubus staring William Shatner. A film in Esperanto.