One issue you have as a VR content creator and streamer is getting a microphone that is perfect for capturing your voice while recording and streaming. For me the only VR head mounted display (HMD) that comes with a fantastic microphone is the Valve Index, and when you use a two PC set-up for recording or streaming, this becomes and issue. Antlion offer a wireless boom microphone to try to help with this issue, we have now tested this – is this the perfect solution for VR gamers?
Whats in the box?
Inside of the box you will get the ModMic Wireless microphone, ModMic wireless USB dongle, Foam pop filter, 2 adhesives pads, 2 magnetic base clasps, a cable anchor, hard carrying case with a zipper, micro-USB cable for charging the microphone, USB extension cable, an Alcohol prep wipe and User manual.
Installation of the ModMic is so simple, as the hardware is plug and play. All you need to do is plug in the USB dongle into your PC directly or via the extension cable. Once this is plugged in you have two ways to pair the microphone to the dongle. You can connect the microphone to the same PC as the dongle via the charging cable, or by holding the pairing button on the dongle and the microphone until they are flashing, they will both go solid as soon as they are connected.
In order to attach it to your gaming headset, you will need one of the adhesive magnetic base clasps – as on the microphone you have another magnetic base. You will just need to attach to the adhesive pad to your headphones on the right side – to allow the charging part to be on the bottom of the microphone. The team at Antlion also advise to leave to adhesive pad on the headphones for around 24 hours before using to allow it to bond fully and to make sure it does not fall off. However, I still gave it extra re-enforcement using black electrical tape.
The build quality of the Microphones its self is fantastic, at first when getting it out of the case with how light it was I was sceptical of the quality of the build – but this was soon as it was paired and testing it, those initial worries were removed.
The core of the microphone is made out of plastic and feels solid, even given how light it is in weight, and the button used to pair the microphone to the receiver gives feedback to let you know you have pressed it. The aforementioned magnets you attach to the headphones and the one on the microphone are strong, and you don’t need to have any worries of them detaching when in use. The boom arm is very flexible, but holds it’s shape once you have it set how you like or require it to get the best voice capture.
In an interesting move, with many wireless Microphones especially gaming headsets using unique wireless technology, the team at Antlion went for Bluetooth. I know you might be thinking… but bluetooth technology is old and kind of slow, but they have incorporated aptX Low Latency coding to make it fast. With them managing to get a response time of 34ms, and through the testing we had no issues with delay.
Testing the product
When it came to testing the product, I tested it against two other microphones, with the idea of this being a microphone for VR content creators or streamers. What this means was I did this with standing away from the computer in the play space.
Firstly I did this with my podcasting microphone, with the main issue of this being you really need to boost up the gain within OBS to make this pick up at a decent volume. But, what this ends up doing is putting a very faint buzz on the recording or stream when you are not speaking. Which is not ideal if you are trying to build a professional feeling to your content.
I then tested using the wireless microphone that is inbuilt into the PlayStation Wireless Headphones and I found the quality of that way was a bit hit and miss, with some breaks and tinny audio input especially when at the distance required and when moving about. Again these issues removing the professional feel to the content.
Then we moved onto the Modmic and the quality of the voice input was so clear and there was no issues in it dropping when moving about in the more active games. It also brings with it the option of uni-directional or omni-directional sound capture, and during testing I found for the use of VR games that uni-directional was a solid optional as it picks up less background noise. So, my first impressions when testing the product is that the ModMic Wireless is a solid solution, and it will certainly become my go to microphone for when I capture gameplay with commentary or live stream VR content.
With the impressive piece tech this comes at a cost, but one that is worth the outlay if you are looking for a solid wireless microphone.- with it coming in at $119.
reviewed using multiple hmd's
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a sample provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a review sample does not affect my judgement of the product.
From our initial testing to the complete testing of Antlions ModMic Wireless microphone, we could see the quality in both build and voice capture that it offers. If you are looking for a reliable microphone that is not going to tie you down with wires while you game, which is essential for VR, then I would look no further than the ModMic Wireless. With the adhesive magnetic bases allowing you to connect it to your favorite headphones or head-mounted display. However, one thing that might be a sticking point for some consumers is the cost of the product, but, if you can stretch the funds to cover one you will not be disappointed with the purchase. With it bringing the professional feel with the quality of the voice capture on your videos or streams. So, back to the question at hand for this review… is this microphone a perfect solution for the VR gamer? I don’t think you will be surprised to hear that I think it is. With it’s wireless approach it is going to remove those pesky wires, which are already and issue outside of the Oculus Quest. With a 10-foot range on the receiver it means you are get a reliable connection never mind how much you are moving around while in your favourite VR game. One thing I can say for certain is now that I have tried the ModMic Wireless, I certainly would not want to be without it for my content.