AVerMedia Technologies is best known in gaming communities for its capture cards, but they have recently started branching out into other kinds of streaming gear. Now, they’ve just released a new USB microphone called the Live Streamer 350 that’s specifically designed to fit the needs of content creators on sites like Twitch and YouTube. It has several features built into it that make it easy for streamers to have full control of their audio, without needing to purchase a bunch of expensive hardware that takes up needless space on their desk.
The high-end USB microphone market is extremely competitive, but we were nevertheless curious to see how these features set the Live Streamer 350 apart from the rest. Here’s what we found.
Zoom In: Specs
- Condenser Microphone
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid and Omnidirectional
- Connectivity: USB Type-C
- High-power neodymium capsule
- Sensitivity: -41 dB
- Frequency Response: 20Hz- 20kHz
- DIRAC audio tuning
- Mic volume and mute dial
- System and mic volume monitoring controls
- Built-in pop-filter
- 3.5mm headphone input for mic and system monitoring
- VibeEngine Software
- Price: $199.99
Unboxing and Build Quality
Inside the box, you will find the microphone itself, a quick start guide, a USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable, a USB Type-A to USB Type-C converter, and a mounting plate. The microphone itself is fairly compact. It has a cylindrical shape with a metal grate at the top, a built-in pop-filter, and an all-black design with the exception of the metallic red ring at the top.
There are two dials on the front of the microphone. The top one controls the microphone’s pickup volume and mute, while the bottom one controls mic and system monitoring. The USB outlet is located on the bottom next to a 3.5mm headphone jack and a switch that can be used to manually switch between cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns.
Having all these switches and dials physically available on the mic itself is a big deal for live streamers. It means they will be able to make adjustments on the fly, without having to open the control software in a separate window.
Our only criticism of the microphone’s physical design is the swing arm, which it uses to attach to either the included mounting plate or an arm mount. It’s a little loose, and it doesn’t appear that it can be tightened.
The sound quality in the Live Streamer 350 is quite good. It’s a condenser microphone, which are typically more sensitive and have an edge when it comes to recording the subtleties of human speaking voices. The high-power neodymium capsules, coupled with its metallic housing, give the microphone a warm pickup. This makes it good for most voice-based recording such as streaming, podcasting, and voiceover recording. It’s not quite as robust as the audio quality from some other high-end microphones, but its performance is more than adequate.
Because it isn’t a dynamic microphone, it isn’t the best option for recording audio with wide ranges of sound. It therefore wouldn’t be our first choice for most singing and instrument recording use cases.
Raw audio quality is just the beginning though. There are all kinds of customization features available through the software.
The VibeEngine software is where the real magic happens for the AVerMedia LiveStreamer 350. To start, there are four different pre-set ‘scenarios’ for using the mic: Chat, Podcast, Singing, and Instrument. These pickup modes are designed to give the user tailored recording settings for each of these different use cases. Podcast seems like the one people will end up using the most. It has a much richer and fuller sound than Chat and seems ideal for most content creators who are the target demographic for this microphone.
Then there are all the different mic effect settings. The VibeEngine software provides settings for Noise Suppression, Noise Gate, Echo Cancellation, Compressor, Clip Shield, Pitch, Echo, Amplify Effect, De-Esser, Reverb, Limiter, and full EQ control. Each of these settings comes with pre-sets that were tailored by AVerMedia, but also allows users to fully customize them.
Finally, it also grants users access to a catalog of voice modulation effects. These are a little gimmicky but can be a lot of fun for users who are doing live streams or podcasts and are looking for fun ways to spice up their audio.
Is the Live Streamer 350 Worth the Money?
The AVerMedia LiveStreamer mic 350 MSRPs at $199.99. That’s definitely on the expensive side for a USB microphone, but the price seems reasonable given the quality of the mic itself and the litany of customization options that users get with the VibeEngine software.
Its biggest competition is probably from the Rode X XCM-50 and XCM-100. Both of these microphones are in a similar price range to the Live Streamer 350 and they both have extensive audio mixing software functionality. They might even have better built-in pre-amps. They are cardioid-only, however, while the Live Streamer 350 also has an omnidirectional polar pattern.
For these reasons, we think that the Live Streamer 350 is reasonably priced, even if it is considerably more expensive than the average USB microphone.
Zoom Out: Verdict
The AverMedia 350 LiveStreamer Mic is a solidly constructed microphone that produces a warm and robust sound. While it doesn’t necessarily have the best raw sound quality at its price point, it compensates for this with a suite of audio control features targeted specifically at content creators.
- Audio mixing through the VibeEngine software
- High-power neodymium capsules and metal housing
- Cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns
- More expensive than most USB microphones
- No XLR output
- Wobbly swing arm