For PC gamers looking to stream or create content, a good microphone is one of the most crucial elements of your setup, as the improved audio quality it delivers will help take your content to the next level. Whilst sound can often be overlooked in gaming scenarios, content creators need to make sure their audio and visuals are both crystal clear in order to meet the high standards that modern audiences expect. The first upgrade any gamer branching into content creation should make is to invest in a high-quality microphone. After all, one of the main reasons why viewers will be tuning in is to hear what you have to say.
However, it can be difficult to figure out what audio systems you should pick up to get your videos, podcasts, or livestreams sounding the way you want them to, especially for those with little knowledge on the subject. Luckily, a lot of manufacturers have developed plug-in USB microphones, which helps content creators receive high-quality audio with minimal effort.
In this review, we’ll be taking a closer look at the latest USB microphone from AverMedia – the Live Streamer MIC 350. We’ll be diving into the design, performance, and features of this premium offering to see whether it is a worthy investment.
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Do You Need a USB Microphone?
Before getting into the details of the AverMedia Live Streamer MIC 350, it is important to discuss whether a USB microphone is the best option to enhance your audio quality.
If you plan on creating content, such as YouTube videos, a podcast or live-streaming then a microphone that plugs into any desktop or laptop with ease is certainly worth considering. For conference calls and meetings, USB microphones make a lot of sense too, as they provide the clarity, consistency and increased level of professionalism that ensures others can hear everything you have to say. Unlike an XLR microphone, USB mics do not require an external DAC either, which makes them particularly handy for travelling and users after a plug and play solution.
Design & Aesthetic
From the design of the AverMedia Live Streamer MIC 350 alone, it’s clear that this is a premium USB microphone that looks to bridge the gap between USB and XLR microphones. As a result, this unit positions itself as an option that is ideal for content creators that want to invest in high-quality audio, without having to dive into the intricacies and expertise required for pro-grade audio devices.
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After getting the Live Streamer MIC 350 out of the box, the overall build-quality immediately grabbed my attention, as this microphone looks and feels great. Made primarily up of aluminium, the Live Streamer MIC 350 feels incredibly durable, whilst the metallic exterior adds a glossy shimmer that resonates class. Like most AverMedia products, this microphone is mainly black, with a red ring around the top providing a subtle accent to the design.
The Live Streamer MIC 350 comes with an included stand, making it easy to prop this microphone on a desk or table. Additionally, the included 5/8″ bracket and 5/8″ to 3/8″ adapter allows you to easily attach this to a mic arm or boom. Although, you will have to pay extra for this privilege, with AverMedia’s accompanying mic arm coming in at a lofty price.
Just from the look and feel of the Live Streamer MIC 350, it is clear that AverMedia intend for this microphone to be amongst the best USB options on the market. However, the only way to know how it truly stacks up against the competition is by putting it to the test.
AverMedia Live Streamer MIC 350 Specifications
The AverMedia Live Streamer MIC 350 is certainly equipped with all of the tools needed to provide a premium audio experience. The Live Streamer MIC 350 is a condenser microphone, which means it is has a higher sensitivity, for a greater frequency pick-up than normal mics. Because of this, condenser mics are often used in studio environments with minimal sound.
This is ideal for most content, as it leads to a clear sound that is true to the source, meaning you won’t have to shout into the mic. However, these microphones are prone to picking up surrounding sounds that may be unwanted, making them less than ideal for streamers playing games in a more noisy home environment. In this case, a dynamic microphone like the Logitech Yeti GX might be a better option, as they are much better at dealing with unwanted noise or interferences.
|AverMedia Live Streamer MIC 350
|20Hz – 20000Hz
One neat feature found on more premium microphones such as the Live Streamer MIC 350 is the ability to switch between multiple polar patterns, allowing you to dictate where the sound is picked up from. This microphone lets users switch between cardioid or omnidirectional patterns. Cardioid focusses on picking up sound from a single direction, making it ideal for those recording on their own, while omnidirectional opens up the sound input to 360°, which is ideal for calls or recording sessions with multiple people in the same space.
AverMedia Live Streamer MIC 350 Performance
After testing the AverMedia Live Streamer MIC 350, I was very happy with the output from this device. As someone who generally speaks quite quietly, this mic had no issues picking up my voice, and I never felt as if I had to crank up the volume or mess around with settings for the playback to sound clear and precise.
For a full demonstration of the Live Streamer MIC 350, take a look at the footage, in which I recorded a brief summary of AverMedia’s VibeEngine software in Streamlabs OBS. During the recording, I was roughly 50cm away from the microphone and projected my voice slightly more than in normal conversation.
As you would expect from any device targeting the premium market, the Live Streamer MIC 350 comes with a plethora of features that gives users the opportunity to tailor the experience to suit their needs. Here is a list of some of the key features that I believe will make this microphone an appealing – or not so appealing – addition to your setup.
It’s fairly common for a microphone to include built-in controls to dictate the volume of your system and toggle a few settings. However, the excellent build quality on the inputs of this design makes it easy to adjust settings on the fly. The dual volume dials allows users to control the volume of both the microphone and system, whilst also doubling up as a mute button and toggle to switch the audio output. Another nice touch is that the mute button comes with an LED indicator, which lets you know when the mic is muted. Finally, the cardioid and omnidirectional switch on the base of the microphone means you don’t have to deal with software at all.
The simple plug-and-play nature of USB microphones makes them very easy to use, and the Live Streamer MIC 350 is no different. With a single USB-C port on the bottom of the microphone, the Live Streamer MIC 350 can be easily plugged into a desktop or laptop. Plus, the microphone comes packaged with a USB-C to USB-A cable, as well as a USB-C to A adapter, which means you should have a way to plug it into most devices without any issues. The Live Streamer MIC 350 also comes with a 3.5mm Audio Jack, which can be used to plug in a headset for real-time monitoring for instant audio feedback.
Included Stand & Mounting Support
Just like the rest of the design, the included stand is very durable while boasting a premium look. This makes it very easy to prop this microphone onto a desk or table, giving users everything they need to start recording. However, those looking to make their microphone easy to manoeuvre will be happy to hear that the Live Streamer MIC 350 can be mounted to an arm or extremal mount. Naturally, the attached bracket comes with a 5/8″ mount, but the 5/8″ to 3/8″ adapter allows you to use a wider range of third-party mounting hardware, which isn’t always guaranteed, as lots of manufacturers would rather force you into buying their expensive proprietary accessories.
Despite the questionable name, the AverMedia VibeEngine software is one of the strongest software integrations I’ve seen for any PC hardware. The software includes a variety of customisation options, all of which are very easy to find and navigate between, along with plenty of clear indications of when each setting or feature is active. VibeEngine also gives you a real-time monitoring of your vocal levels, allowing you to adjust the settings to alter the sound until it is right for you. There are also some fun and convenient effects, such as voice changer and pre-set scenarios, giving users plenty of reasons to download the software and see what this microphone can truly do.
AverMedia Live Streamer MIC 350
Product Name: Live Streamer MIC 350
Value For Money
On the whole, the AverMedia Live Streamer MIC 350 is a great USB microphone that does exactly what it set out to do, provide content creators with easy access to premium audio. With a durable design, clear and crisp audio, and extensive customisation options, there aren’t many glaring flaws that would make me want to stay clear of using this microphone for voice overs, podcasts, or live streaming. Whilst the AverMedia LiveStreamer MIC 350 won’t be the perfect product for everyone, a lot of the weaknesses will be down to personal preference, rather than a major absence of fundamental features.
That being said, there is one major downside of this microphone, and that comes with the pricing. Though it may be justified with the features provided, the steep price tag puts this mic amongst the most expensive USB microphones on the market. As a result, a lot of content creators and live streamers won’t be able to give this device a chance, opting for a more affordable option with less bells and whistles instead. Whilst the Live Streamer MIC 350 is an excellent choice for those willing to invest, it lacks the distinctive features needed to convince users to pick it up over the already established competition.
✅ Premium build quality
✅ Top-tier audio
✅ Lots of customisation
❌ Very pricey
❌ Increased sensitivity
❌Lacks distinct features