We’re used to seeing plenty of officially licensed PS4 gamepads and more than a few gaming oriented headphones, but what if you’re after… a gaming microphone? Well, Nacon have produced something for your needs.
It goes without saying that this latest piece of hardware from Nacon joins an ever-growing range of products targeted specifically at content creators and streamers. Although you can use it for voice chat in-game or when simply hanging out in a PSN party chat, but that wouldn’t be putting this microphone through its paces.
There’s an evident quality to Nacon’s newest piece of kit; the device itself having a nice bit of heft thanks to its metal casting. The microphone sports a minimalist design with a simple matte finish, bearing the official PlayStation logo and blending in seamlessly with Sony’s own selection of official hardware and accessories.
Included in the box alongside the microphone is a sturdy tripod stand, a 3-metre USB cable, and a classic fuzzy microphone windscreen to slide over the top.
In terms of functionality, there’s nothing over-complicated about the microphone itself. Whether plugged into your PlayStation 4 or PC, setup is as simple as connecting it using the USB cable provided. There’s only one button – a handy mute toggle that will beam a red light when active, allowing you to instantly cut off your voice audio.
Casual streamers will be all set to go, but it’s likely that anyone splurging 80 Euros on a mic instead of just using a headset wants to up their streaming game. Producing great content requires excellent audio which, in some cases, is almost more important than the footage being broadcast on-screen.
As such, you’ll want to dive into those PlayStation 4 device options. There isn’t a great deal of customisation to be had here admittedly, this menu only allowing you to adjust the microphone level, as well as switching the audio input/output. In truth, you can do the same with most USB microphones, and this is overkill if you’re casually streaming games from your PS4 from your sofa.
Of course, the mic can be used with a PC streaming setup as well. Those who stream via a PC or produce video content will already know there’s a wealth of options available when it comes to modifying input audio via apps built into dedicated streaming platforms as well as the mass of third party software.
Nacon have opted for simplicity over customisation here. Compared to their Micro Streaming ST-200 there aren’t as many features, with no headphone jack or dials for gain control or volume, leaving you to tweak those settings via software instead. That said, the audio quality is great for those wanting an upgrade over using a headset, the mic’s cardioid design reliably picking up sound from the front and sides and at higher quality that the tiny boom mics you’ll get on a headset.
Another welcome part of the package is Nacon’s sturdy tripod. Again, it’s got that cast metal heft, cradling the weighty microphone perfectly as it screws into the base. The tripod can be easily positioned without tipping over or losing balance, the USB cable attaches to the bottom, making it easy to tuck away among the mass of wires trailing from your various devices. Even with the tripod fixed to the mic, it’s convenient to quickly stash away or move to one side without obstructing the rest of your setup.
That said, a tripod is only as good as what you can place it on. Those looking to stream seriously will be thinking of further accessories, from cantilever microphone arms to position the microphone so that it hovers naturally in front of your face, to a standalone pop filter that will help separate you and your plosives from the microphone, and even shock mounts to cut out vibrations.