The Multifaceted Monoprice Dark Matter Sentry Streaming Microphone

Manufacturer: Monoprice The Multifaceted Monoprice Dark Matter Sentry Streaming Microphone

In the long ago time of 2015 Monoprice sent each of the members of the PC Perspective Podcast a 600801 condenser USB microphone to try out.  Members have come and gone, and others have swapped microphones over the years, but ever since then that microphone is what Josh and I have used on every podcast.  When Monoprice recently approached me to try out their Dark Matter Sentry streaming microphone, I decided to try something different.

The years have changed the features common on USB microphones and the Sentry streaming microphone offers a few more tricks than the old 600801.  The microphone does not simply offer cardioid pickup, and can be toggled into stereo, bidirectional and omnidirectional patterns as well.  It sports a monitor out for headphones with a volume knob, as well as a gain control for the microphone’s levels.   It also has the ability to glow in a number of different colours, something very important for streaming microphones now.

Product Specifications
  • Model Number: 43906
  • Microphone Type: Back electret condenser
  • Pickup/Polar Patterns: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Stereo, Omnidirectional
  • Audio Connection: USB 1.0 or 2.0
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz ~ 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: ‑36dB ±2dB (0dB=1V/Pa at 1kHz)
  • Maximum SPL: 130dB
  • Microphone Gain: ‑12dB, 12dB maximum
  • Output Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sampling Rate: Up to 96kHz
  • Bit Depth: 24‑bit
  • LED Accent Lighting
    • Colors: Pink, yellow, white, blue, green, off (no lighting)
  • Compatible Operating Systems: Windows, macOS 10.x or later, Linux

$99.99 USD list, currently $74.98

Manufacturer Description

“The Dark Matter Sentry Streaming Microphone is the perfect addition to your gaming desktop or studio setup. It features four different pickup/polar patterns, which are well‑suited to different recording conditions. A single USB‑C cable connects the mic to your PC and provides the needed power, as well as the digital audio connection. The metal housing provides long‑term durability and is visually appealing, especially when using the built‑in LED accent lighting. A standard 5/8″ threaded mount point on the bottom of the mic allows you to connect it to any standard mic stand or to the included adjustable spider mount for desktop use.”

Hit Record

There are several things which immediately differentiate the two microphones, the first of which is under your audio properties.  Instead of the percentage volume of the 600801 the Sentry Streaming Microphone offers proper gain levels measured in dBa.  That level is completely independent of the physical gain control on the mic itself and allows fine adjustments to your levels, if your signal is getting compressed or coming in a little hot.

There is also something to be said for having a headphone jack on the mic itself, with a physical volume control.  You can skip out on an external headphone DAC and it is convenient for the cable to have a short distance to travel instead of going all the way to your PC.  It won’t mean much if you are using wireless headphones, but if you are on a tether it is handy to have everything in hand’s reach.

The RGB glow certainly exists, assuming you don’t disable it, but it is subtly hidden in the body of the mic to ensure you won’t have a glaring LED in your recording; a pleasant background glow is be superior to a blatant light for some.  The LEDs on the top which indicate the mode you are in are both bright enough for you to easily see when needed, and also point away from the camera so it doesn’t show up in your streams. 

It is also hard to capture on camera.

We’ll Do It Live!

The only way to test a streaming microphone is to use it on a stream, which is exactly what the Monoprice Sentry Streaming microphone was doing not long after it arrived.  It was hooked up just prior to the start of PC Perspective Podcast #720 and used ever since.  The setup was immaculate, the standard 5/8″ thread mounted on the old microphone stand and USB microphones are immediately connected without needing software.  It is the work the person on the other end has to do to balance the new audio source in the stream that really shows the quality of the mic.

Streaming software is finicky, to say the least, but in mere seconds and with a slight gain adjustment the Sentry was ready for broadcast.  The quality is at least as good as the old 600801, which was dedicated solely to cardioid recording so there are no sacrifices in making this a multipurpose microphone.   The signal went out loud and clear, though it could still manage to capture some of the noise from the clicky keyboard just behind and below it.  A press of the gain button can solve that, muting the microphone completely.  There may be some adjustments need to the pop filter in front of your mic if you use one, but there is more than one way to mute a microphone.

standard 5/8"

Stream It Loud, Stream It Strong

That wraps up the tests the cardioid mode’s quality, but there are three other modes to try out.  With the help of chinchilla nightmares and a Yamaha FG180 Red Label guitar, the other modes were given a chance to show off what they could do.   We recorded in the same tiny room you see in the podcast, with Chris roughly 3′ from the microphone.   It’s not exactly a studio, but a proper studio mic won’t cost $100 and so this is more likely to be the usage scenario for the Sentry streaming microphone.  They also wouldn’t be using Audacity to record either.

In stereo mode the left and right channels definitely meet in the middle, with some crossover but still maintaining a bit of separation.  That is exactly as advertised and in most cases it is what you want in your recording, it positions your listeners right in front of the audio source as they would generally expect.

In omnidirectional mode you definitely get a feel of the room, and audio which is bouncing off the walls is captured nicely.  If you have more than one instrument or want to make your listener feel like they are in an open space.  It is also just generally a nice sound overall.

Bidirectional mode was tested with the microphone twisted so the active pickups were pointed vertically.  That capture a sound much more separated than the stereo mode.  That is not always the effect you are aiming for, but if it is then there is a definite difference between bidirectional and stereo modes.   It would also obviously be useful in interview situations, as the same separation would be present during the discussion.

Sentry Streaming Microphone Stereo mode

by chinchilla nightmares

Sentry Streaming Microphone Omnidirectional mode

by chinchilla nightmares

Sentry Streaming Microphone Bidirectional mode (twisted)

by chinchilla nightmares

We’re Clear

The Monoprice Dark Matter Sentry Streaming Microphone, to use it’s full name, is a great value for $100 and even more attractive when it is on sale!  A headphone mic is just not going to cut it if you are hoping for viewers to take you seriously.  That quality of mic can handle Teamspeak and in game voice chat just fine but if you are going to stream you need a dedicated microphone.  The popular Blue Yeti X, which Monoprice is targeting with the Sentry will run you $120 and for the exact same features.

I would be curious what a more modern USB interface could do to the microphone; a USB-C adapter cable on a mic limited to USB 1/2 bandwidth is unfortunate, however USB-C plugs are becoming ubiquitous on peripherals.  You don’t need an insane bit depth for recording audio but given the choice wouldn’t you like to try?  If the old time radio aesthetics of the Yeti are worth the extra money to you, it will do everything this microphone can.  On the other hand, the more modern look of the Sentry streaming microphone might appeal to your audience, it has a more interesting looking stand to boot … and it will cost you less money to get a product that does everything just as well, if not better.


Yamaha FG180 Red Label

Review Disclosures

This is what we consider the responsible disclosure of our review policies and procedures.

How Product Was Obtained

The product is on loan from Monoprice for the purpose of this review.

What Happens To Product After Review

The product remains the property of Monoprice but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.

Company Involvement

Monoprice had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.

PC Perspective Compensation

Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by Monoprice for this review.

Advertising Disclosure

Monoprice has not purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.

Affiliate Links

This article contains affiliate links to online retailers. PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases through those links.

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About The Author

Jeremy Hellstrom

Call it,, or PC Perspective, Jeremy has been hanging out and then working with the gang here for years. Apart from the front page you might find him on the BOINC Forums or possibly the Fraggin' Frogs if he has the time.


  1. Tony Neville

    “The signal went out loud and clear, though it could still manage to capture some of the noise from the clicky keyboard just behind and below it. A press of the gain button can solve that, muting the microphone completely.”

    That last sentence makes no sense at all. How did you eliminate the sound from the mechanical keyboard?

    • Jeremy Hellstrom

      In cardioid mode, it should only detect audio from directly in front of the microphone. The clicks aren’t loud enough to echo so there must be some bleed over from the rear.


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