If you strip away all the marketing, there are just two significant differences between the best microphone for streaming contenders like the all-conquering Blue Yeti and a studio mic: connection and latency. It’s the sheer ease of use that makes ‘gaming’ mics so attractive: you plug it into a spare USB slot and it picks up your shrieks while you open FUT packs. End of.
And that has traditionally sidelined XLR mics to the realm of studio, or ‘pro audio’ kit. XLR mics like – and you might want to imagine a dramatic zoom here – the Avermedia Live Streamer Mic 330.
Today’s best AverMedia AM330 deals
Yes, there’s a bit more setup involved, specifically an audio interface into which you can actually stick an XLR lead, and a boom arm or stand, since there isn’t one provided here. But the payoff it promises is a lower latency, and potentially higher fidelity recording. That opens up the potential usage way beyond Discord bickering and shouting at people to stop playing the bloody hurdy-gurdy in Sea of Thieves; we’re talking broadcast-quality vocals, and amplified or acoustic instrument recording too.
Design & Features
Let’s start by singing the praises of the 330’s construction. Weighing in at 530g, it feels reassuringly sturdy and conveys quality. While we’re not in a hurry to drop it and test out how well protected the membrane is inside that capsule, we’d bet it can certainly survive a few heavy knocks wired microphone price.
Our test setup isn’t anything unobtainable: it’s just a Focusrite audio interface running through Ableton. So there’s an added outlay here for anyone without the prerequisite hardware, which is worth keeping in mind. With only a boom arm mount provided, you’ll also need to shell out for that.
The rest of the streamer kit market might be drowning its mics with RGB, emojis (yes you, Razer streaming gear) and dials, this model has a single control – an on/off slider functioning as a mute control. It’s certainly not noiseless to operate, but that’s partly down to its positioning. You have to reach under the mic body to find it, which produces some rustle. The quality of the switch and circuitry both sounds fine, however, without too much ‘pop’ when you operate the slider.