In this age of being heard or branded hopeless, it goes without saying that a reliable microphone will give you an edge over the rest of the streaming rabble. A good quality microphone can make a huge difference in your setup, one that gives your followers a clear and lifelike representation of your voice, and maybe even lets you jump to the top of Twitch’s ASMR feed if you’re into it.
But for the budding streamer, finding a quality microphone isn’t always easy – we can’t all keep up with the income some Twitch streamers make. Most of the time, you want hundreds of your hard earned cash for a worthy one. output streaming microphone. So how can you get into the world of streaming without a wallet that’s practically bursting at the seams?
Let’s say you already have the high-end gaming rig of your dreams – or maybe a little more mainstream. Anyway, let’s say your budget is pretty much blown just to find out that your headset mic doesn’t quite cut it for streaming. Here the RØDE NT-USB Mini is a little lifesaver.
It was born from one of the most respected studio microphone manufacturers in the music technology industry. RØDE has been innovating and re-investing for decades, with most of the production taking place at the company’s headquarters in Sydney, and all these years of hard work have really paid off.
Our full RØDE NT-USB Mini-Review goes into great detail, but we wanted to break it down for you. To get streamers off to a promising start for less money, similar to those on the RØDE Twitch channel, Here are eight reasons this little cubic monster could be the perfect addition to any beginner streamer’s setup.
1. Smooth setup with no middlemen
There is so much to be said about a microphone that can be plugged directly into your PC without an audio interface. While generally considered to be much less versatile than your average XLR candidate, a USB-C connection doesn’t complicate your setup like an audio interface. And since the RØDE NT-USB Mini advertises via its own integrated digital signal processor (DSP), you don’t have to compromise when choosing the simpler option.
Noise Gate, Compressor, Big Bottom and Aphex Aural Exciter are located directly in the hardware – the effects of which are industry standard in radio studios around the world. And the ability to control all of these DSPs via the Rode Connect app makes it even more convenient.
2. Clear, professional audio
Inside the shell of this miracle in pill box sits a high-quality condenser capsule that provides warmth and presence for a clear, professional sound. Its well-rounded sound can rival that of some of the top microphones on the market, as Jorge shows in his tests.
With the RØDE NT-USB Mini you only have one directional characteristic: cardioid. And while that means it has difficulty picking up multiple voices from different directions, the audio-focused audio it picks up comes out crisp and clear.
While this is a microphone more geared towards solo streamers, vloggers and artists, multiple RØDE NT-USB mini microphones can be connected at the same time – you can set up an entire podcast setup if necessary. This is thanks to the multi-microphone supporting RØDE Connect software.
3. RØDE Connect is a streamer’s best friend
The RØDE Connect digital mixer software only lets you work with other NT-USB mini microphones, but the fact that you can jam up to four of them into your PC at the same time without the need for an external audio interface is pretty handy . No more messy audio streams, with uneditable recordings ruined by microphones sharing the same track.
The Connect software even works seamlessly, giving you complete control over the mixing between TeamSpeak, gameplay sounds and other audio sources. All of this is done by creating virtual channels that can be easily assigned and reassigned with a simple drag-and-drop function (as shown in the video above). It even has dedicated output controls for streaming apps like OBS and Xplit.
4. Completely shockproof
Nothing is more frustrating than noticing that you knocked your microphone over while recording, only to have to record the whole thing again. And during a live stream, it can be a real headache for viewers, enough that it could certainly lead to a mass exodus of perforated eardrums.
RØDE has become aware of this nuisance over the years, and with the NT-USB Mini’s internal shock mount, there is much less noise if you accidentally hit your microphone. Since it’s built in, it also means that setting up an external shock mount is less of a hassle and freeing up more space for other, more important peripherals – like one of the best gaming mice.
5. An anti-clutter pet
How RØDE has managed to pack so many goodies into such a small package exceeds even our most audiophile employees. But somehow the NT-USB Mini has all the fantastic features of a high-end microphone while leaving you with more desk space to work with when setting up your setup.
Nobody needs a bulky microphone that takes up all of the desk space, and the RØDE NT-USB Mini’s built-in pop filter and small magnetic stand ensure that you don’t have to scatter bulky devices around your play room to get in the way. However, the 360 degree adjustability of this little guy also means it can be used with a microphone stand or studio arm – RØDE recommends combining it with the PSA1 studio arm, for reference.
6. Popless phonetics
Reducing plosives also helps make your stream sound professional. These are the popping noises you hear when someone who doesn’t use a pop filter uses p, t, k, b, d, or g sounds. They can be very distracting and add great Ameter vibes to your stream.
The RØDE NT-USB Mini avoids this problem completely with its built-in pop filter. Not only does it reduce plosives and external noise very effectively, but it also doesn’t take up any extra space. Less junk in your stream is always a plus.
The pop filter also does a great job of filtering out background noise, but some background noise can slip through if you place it right next to a noisy gaming PC, for example. But that’s nothing that Nvidia noise canceling can’t handle.
7. No latency, no stress
Nobody wants to hear their own voice loop while trying to record. I think in some countries it is actually seen as a form of torture. And if you tried to stream live, loads of echo would confuse the best of us.
Thanks to the latency-free headphone monitoring of the RØDE NT-USB Mini, you are not distracted by the dreaded echo and can concentrate on the essentials: creating high-quality content for your followers.
8 pennies left
Compared to other professional sounding microphones, the RØDE NT-USB Mini has such a good price that it’s really worth screaming about. We named it “the best microphone for entry-level content creators” in our guide to the best microphones for streaming. This is not least due to the low costs.
All of this for under £ 100 really shows that you don’t have to break the bank to get great audio in a convenient little package. To learn more about the NT-USB Mini, visit RØDE website.
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