A High-Quality Value Entry from the Maker of the QuadCast
The SoloCast is a smaller, less expensive USB mic option from the company that produced the excellent QuadCast (and updated QuadCast S), and while it doesn’t have flashy RGB effects it retains the handy tap-to-mute functionality and still offers the flexibility of stand or boom mounting.
I’m hoping that the sound quality with the SoloCast is comparable to the QuadCast mics, as this is a $59.99 USD MSRP product (which is actually selling for only $49.99 on Amazon as I write this).
Features of the SoloCast USB Gaming Microphone (via HyperX):
- Plug N Play audio recording
- Tap-to-Mute sensor with LED status indicator
- Flexible, adjustable stand
- Boom arm and mic stand threading
- Multi-device and program compatibility
- Power supply: 5V/100mA (USB)
- Working current: 47mA
- USB Specification: USB 2.0 (full speed)
- Sampling rates: 48kHz, 44.1kHz, 32kHz, 16kHz,8kHz
- Bit-depth: 16-bit
- Compatibility: Windows 7 & above, Mac OS, PS4, PS5
- Cable length: 2m
- Microphone: 261g
- Microphone stand: 125g
- Total with USB cable: 429.9g
- Element: Electret condenser microphone
- Directivity pattern: Cardioid
- Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz
- Sensitivity: -6dBFS (1V/Pa at 1kHz)
- Noise (RMS): ≤-74dBFS (A-weighted)
$59.99 USD list
“For video editors, streamers, and gamers looking for a USB microphone with great sound quality, the HyperX SoloCast is a must have. It’s Plug N Play, making it simple to use, with some of our fan-favorite conveniences like the tap-to-mute sensor and LED mute indicator. The versatile microphone has a flexible, adjustable stand and is also compatible with most boom arms, so it can either sit on your desk or work mounted. Certified by TeamSpeak and Discord and compatible with OBS, XSplit, Streamlabs OBS and a number of other programs, it’s an extremely streamer-friendly microphone. “
The HyperX SoloCast
The SoloCast is small and fairly light, though it does not feel cheap. The mic stands 7 inches tall on a desk when it is mounted to the included stand, with the mic itself about 5 inches tall.
The mic weighs 261 g (9.2 oz) and the stand adds 125 g (4.4 oz). The stand is pre-attached out of the box, and you may notice that it does not have a shock mount like the QuadCast; the bracket is directly bolted to the stand.
The included stand offers a good range of adjustment as far as the angle is concerned, and while this is a small mic with a small stand (though proportionally correct), there is enough weight to keep it stable.
The top of the microphone features the Tap-to-Mute sensor button, with a corresponding red LED on the front of the mic that is solid red when the mic is active, and blinks slowly when the mic is muted.
Around back there is simply a USB-C port for the included USB-C to USB-A cable; no headphone output like the QuadCast.
And finally, the mic is threaded for use with standard mic stands and booms, should you decide to deviate from the included stand:
Having established that this is a no-frills design without the sound card functionality and physical gain dial of the QuadCast, we move on to the sound quality portion of this written review. And yes that looks funny to me, too.
Subjective Audio Quality Assessment
The Short Version
The SoloCast sounds great. Rich, full-range sound with plenty of bass, good detail, and some background noise rejection.
The Long Version
The SoloCast is outfitted with a cardioid (unidirectional) pickup pattern, and as this was the only pattern I ever selected with my QuadCast I appreciate this choice. I think the SoloCast strikes a good balance between background noise and pickup range.
I’ve used a Heil PR 40 quite a bit, which does a great job rejecting ambient noise, but it has a narrow pickup area and you’ll have dropouts unless you keep your head very, very still. The slightly wider pickup of this SoloCast means your voice will be more consistent as you move, but you’ll pick up a little more background noise.
As to the rich, full sound I mentioned above, HyperX lists this SoloCast as having a 20Hz-20KHz frequency response – though I have no idea what the tolerance (+/- dB) of that range measurement was. Still, it sounds full and clear.
As to sensitivity, this is listed as -6dBFS (1V/Pa at 1kHz) in the specs, and while I’m not an expert (I did skim this article on the subject) this seems very high, and could also explain why I ended up having to turn the mic input down to 50% to keep from clipping.
I chose not to get any proprietary software involved in my testing, using the OS-level sound control to set the gain. I did some quick test recordings (Audacity, default 48 kHz sample rate) with the aforementioned 50% input volume and I was really impressed. This sounds like a much more expensive microphone, and should do well for something like podcast recording when closed mic’d with lower gain.
There are some benefits to the small overall size of this mic on the included stand, such as portability and small desktop footprint, but the low height means you will likely have it a foot or two away from your mouth, and will thus need a little more gain and pick up more background noise. I’ve used a QuadCast for our weekly podcast off and on for about three years now, and I think it sounds best with the gain rolled off and mic’d close. This was the same.
The HyperX SoloCast sounds far better than I was expecting, with a full, rich sound that will be very hard to match at this price level.
The SoloCast carries a list price of $59.99 USD, and as I mentioned in the intro it is currently selling for $49.99 on Amazon. At around $50 this is a no-brainer, and if you add a boom and can position it closer to your mouth (with lower gain) it might surprise you how close it can get to the sound of much more expensive studio mics. Recommended.
This is what we consider the responsible disclosure of our review policies and procedures.
How Product Was Obtained
The product is on loan from HyperX for the purpose of this review.
What Happens To Product After Review
The product remains the property of HyperX but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.
HyperX had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.
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