The microphone on your gaming headset may be good enough for chatting with your friends, but many gamers who are interested in content creation on places like YouTube and Twitch have found that these platforms benefit from a higher degree of sound quality. A good USB microphone can be a great middle ground between a headset and investing in expensive condenser mics and mix boards.
HyperX has made some very competitive mics in this category, from the budget SoloCast to the high-end QuadCast S. Now, they’ve come out with a new model that occupies something of a middle ground. The brand-new HyperX DuoCast has many of the same features and design qualities, but offers two polar patterns — cardioid and omnidirectional.
HyperX sent us one of these so we could give it a fair and unbiased review. Here’s what we found.
Zoom In: Specs
- Polar patterns: 2 (cardioid and omnidirectional)
- Tap to mute sensor with RGB LED status indicator
- Anti-vibration shock mount
- Internal pop filter
- Built in headphone jack
- Volume control dial
- NGENUITY Software
- Compatible: PC, Mac, PS4, and PS5
- Price: $99.99
HyperX DuoCast Build Quality
The HyperX DuoCast is built similarly to the QuadCast S, but slightly smaller and with a few other noticeable differences. It’s black in color, cylindrical in shape, and has an RGB ring just below the receiver.
The microphone features a tap-to-mute sensor on top, a headphone jack for listening to your own audio in addition to your system audio, and a volume dial. It comes with a USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable for connectivity, but it also works with a Type-C to Type-C cable if you would prefer to invest in one for a faster connection.
The DuoCast also has a built in pop-filter for reducing plosives and includes a low-profile shock mount for reducing the amount of surface vibration picked up by the receiver. The mic comes with a short, adjustable stand and an adapter for those interested in mounting it on a boom arm.
Overall, it’s an attractive and fairly functional design, but it is missing a few features. Gain and polar patterns cannot be adjusted directly on the microphone and instead must be changed through the software.
HyperX DuoCast Audio Quality
We have found that HyperX produces one of the better sound qualities found in the USB microphones in their price bracket, and the DuoCast is no exception. It has a very clean sound that does an excellent job balancing low, mid, and high tones without the need for an abundance of post-production editing.
Keeping the gain low prevents the microphone from peaking even when the user raises their voice, and it doesn’t seem to have an issue picking up low speaking voices, either. The built-in pop-filter does a decent job mitigating hissing and plosives, although some have noticeably managed to get through. This microphone would not be ideal for recording the booming sounds often found in music, however. For that, we recommend finding a good dynamic microphone.
What Kind of Recording Is It Good for?
The cardioid and omnidirectional polar patters are the two that are most commonly used in content creation. Cardioid is ideal for single-source recording. It isolates sound coming from directly in front of the receiver and blocks out sound from every other direction, reducing reverberation and white noise. If you want to record yourself speaking into the microphone for things like Twitch streaming, voice over, podcasting, or even just talking with friends online, cardioid is the polar pattern you want.
The omnidirectional polar pattern records sounds coming from all directions in a 360-degree radius. This is good for any time you want to record multiple people in a room, like a group of friends sitting around a table to record a podcast or do a conference call.
This microphone does not have the stereo or bidirectional polar-patterns, which are present on the QuadCast S.
The HyperX NGENUITY software adds a few necessities and a few extra features. Mic gain and mic output through the headphone jack are both adjusted here. There is a High Pass filter for those who choose to use it, and it’s also the only way to switch between the two polar patterns.
On the more aesthetic side of things, the software can also be used to control the RGB and there are a surprising number of options here. Users can choose from up to six different lighting effects, adjust opacity, and even layer them in order to make new effects. They can also adjust the color palette on each individual effect so that it matches whatever else they might have in their set-up
Is the DuoCast Worth the Money?
The biggest competition for the HyperX DuoCast is probably the Blue Yeti Nano. Blue has a reputation as one of the best microphone brands on the market, and their line of Yeti USB mics has been popular for years. Both of these microphones offer cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns and share many other similar features. They’re also the exact same price.
The main advantage that the Nano seems to have over the DuoCast is that it has a dial for switching polar patterns built into the microphone. Meanwhile, the DuoCast has a programmable LED ring that functions as a mute indicator and uses a faster USB Type-C connection. For many, this will come down to design. The Blue Yeti is more professional looking, while that DuoCast is more gamer-y.
Zoom Out: Verdict
The HyperX Duocast occupies a middle ground between cheaper cardioid-only microphones and more expensive four polar pattern mics. It is well-built, attractive, and records good-quality vocal audio. Its greatest weakness is that it relies on software for many of its adjustability features.
- Includes shock mount and internal pop-filter
- Attractive gamer design
- Good middle ground between cardioid-only mics and high-end USB microphones
- No gain dial
- Polar patterns have to be switched through software
- Price matched to older hardware