In multiplayer gaming, unhindered communication between your teammates is essential. You could, obviously, achieve that using regular gaming headsets but if you also care about quality, you should definitely consider independent mics. The challenges imposed by desktop mics or boom pole mics are space constraints and the additional cost for their setup. If you’re looking for a good quality mic that falls in between the category of a desktop mic and a gaming headset mic, the AntLion ModMic 5 should be your choice.
Sensitivity: -38 ± 3 dB (Uni-directional), -26 ± 3 dB (Omni-directional)
Response: 100 Hz–10 kHz (Uni-directional), 30 Hz–17.5 kHz (Omni-directional)
SNR: >50+ dB (Uni-directional), 58+ dB (Omni-directional)
Impedance: 2.2 KΩ
Operating Voltage: 1 to 10V
Having tested the omni-directional and uni-directional variants of the ModMic 4, we realised the difference in quality and the convenience it brings along. Before jumping into the review, we’ll be looking at the aspects which set the ModMic 5 apart from the previous iteration. We will also try to determine whether these changes are good or bad. The most important update over the ModMic 4 is the convergence of the omni-directional and uni-directional mic into a single module. Now, you’ll find both the mics built into the small boom pole. A switch on the pole lets you toggle between the two separate mics. This time, the boom pole is way stiffer than the previous one which is a good thing. You’ll still be able to unscrew the module holding the boom pole to adjust its length.
Another refreshing change or rather a complete overhaul is the modularity introduced in the cabling. The new mute module can be attached between the cables using standard 3.5mm jacks. Earlier, you had to rely on a completely different model depending on whether you wanted an in-line mute switch or not. When attached, the mute module is unnoticeable due to its lightweight. Although, the switch to toggle between mute and unmute seemed loose and it could have been sturdy like the one present on the mic mode switch. This time, AntLion went with cable options of 1m and 2m in length, both included in the package. The other upgrades include better quality cables, a fabric-coated hard shell carry pouch, glossier mic boom and more powerful magnets.
The ModMic 5 pouch ships with a few accessories that further makes it easier to use than the previous version. The regular magnetic clasps and a spare clasps are included that can be attached to your headphone. The mic can be snapped on to the headphone using the same magnetic clasps. For cable management, several clips are also included to hold both the mic and headphone cable together. A better cable management solution is the 2m long cable wrap or sleeve which can be used to cover up both the cables. There are alcohol wipes and a small manual as well.
While connecting to your PC, you won’t have issues since you have individual ports for your headphone and mic. If you have a Mac, then you will have to buy the USB adapter to connect the mic to your Mac. Also, if by any means your motherboard’s sound ports are damaged or are giving off a lot of interference, you should opt for the USB adapter. This essentially eliminates any form of analog interference caused by the motherboard. Console gamers can also use the ModMic with the Y adapter that lets users connect the mic to their controllers. The same adapter can also be used to connect the mic to your smartphones. You’ll have to buy these adapters separately since they aren’t included in the package and they’ll set you back by around Rs. 800.
We tested the ModMic 5 in both the omni-directional and uni-directional mode while comparing it to both the variants of the ModMic 4. As a subjective blind test using our recorded samples, we couldn’t tell them apart, in their respective pattern modes. Hence, we didn’t notice any difference in noise cancellation between the newer and older version in the uni-directional mode. In the midst of music playing in the background, we tried recording in both the modes but the noise cancellation wasn’t satisfactory. The mic is comparatively better in cancelling out the voices of people speaking nearby in the uni-directional mode, and also cancelling out ambient noise from your air-conditioner.
The inclusion of both the modes in a single mic module now makes it easier to switch between them on the fly depending on your environment and use-case. Other than gaming, if you’re into creating YouTube videos, you must have given a thought on having an audio setup including a mic. For beginners, the ModMic 5 can be your solution since it enables good quality voiceovers in the omni-directional mode.
In our gaming sessions, the mic sounded clear and our teammates had no problem in listening to our voice. Over TeamSpeak, channel members were able to notice the difference when we switched to the ModMic from a regular gaming headset. Essentially, you will be able to use the ModMic for gaming, voiceovers and even speaking to your mates.
Verdict: modmic 5
The ModMic 5 is priced at $69.95. The previous variant – ModMic 4 – was priced at $49.95 so you should expect a jump in the price. With the upgraded materials and cable options, the price doesn’t seem to be too expensive considering that there are no equivalent products in the market. Although, if you’re on a strict budget then, you should go for the ModMic 4. There’s no difference in the performance between the two, but going for the ModMic 5 is more of a luxury. If you wish to buy any of the ModMics, you can order it from their website itself.
Update: You can now buy both the variants of the ModMic 4.0 from Amazon. Do note, that these are uni-directional mics since the omni-directional ModMic 4 variants were discontinued. The uni-directional ModMic 4 with the mute switch is currently priced at around Rs. 3,675 whereas the one without the mute switch is priced at Rs. 3,186. The ModMic 5 hasn’t been listed yet, and AntLion has confirmed that they will consider it soon. If you’re still interested in buying the ModMic 5, then you will have to place an order on their website.
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Abhijit "BabuMoshaaye" Dey
This ape-descended life form believed that coming down from the trees was a bad idea until he was introduced to video games. Has spent endless hours playing Prince of Persia, Hitman, Assassin's Creed, Unreal Tournament, Half-Life and Left 4 Dead. This makes it three sentences, Half-Life 3 confirmed.