Whether you are playing a game session, podcasting or recording a vocal performance, you need a decent microphone. Elgato is about to launch its Wave 1 and Wave 3 devices and wear it on a USB microphone ring, which is not shocking because Corsair has been using the brand to cater to streamer since acquiring the company a few years ago. However, since these are the first attempts by Elgato to use a USB microphone, the results are surprisingly convincing.
Wave 1 and Wave 3 are both condenser microphones-as opposed to dynamic microphones-the sound is generally more favored by the sound than artists, studio vocals and podcasts because of their ability to capture small volumes of sound. The design of the two Wave microphones looks sturdy and modern, and there are many features to be found.
On the front of Wave 1, there is a headphone volume dial that can be used as a one-touch mute button at the same time, and there is a capacitive sensor on the top of Wave 3-just press and hold it with your finger to cut off the signal. Both have a multi-function dial on the back that allows you to adjust the volume and gain, as well as the fade-in and fade-out function between the microphone and the PC-all these functions are very useful when you need to adjust the controls from the computer. And they all have a 3.5mm headphone jack for zero-latency monitoring. Wave 1 has a typical sampling rate of 48kHz, while Wave 3 provides a more detailed 96kHz specification.
Elgato’s Clipguard anti-distortion technology is one of the best. If you speak too loudly and overload the microphone input, the signal will be routed to another path through the gain pad. This will limit your volume and prevent clipping (aka distortion). This means that you-or your sound engineer-don’t have to ride a fader when streaming or recording.
Both microphones can now be purchased through Elgato or at retail stores. These prices are $130 on the first wave and $160 on the third wave, which puts them on par with Blue’s similar product line of Yeti microphones. If you buy a USB microphone on the market, it may be worth a try.