Product Manufacturer: EPOS
Price: $329 RRP
Estimated Time With Gear: 4-6 hours
What Is It?: A USB microphone targetting streamers with four recording patterns
Compatible With: PC, PS4, PS5
EPOS Gaming has released their first microphone, marketed explicitly as a “streaming microphone” called the EPOS B20. It’s a solid USB microphone with several microphone capture points, a sturdy base, and it does look good in your set-up. But it lacks that one eye-grabbing feature or design choice that’ll make it stand out from the competition.
Out of the box, I felt the microphone was delivering a solid but unimpressive recording. It was a step-up from what a gaming headset would provide, and as a streaming mic, that’s the bare minimum any microphone should be reaching. But I wanted more, and with some fiddling, you can achieve better audio capture.
Installing the EPOS Gaming Suite software, you’re able to adjust the gain, sidetone, apply a noise gate and change several noise cancellation settings. Changing these settings makes a world of difference to the microphone audio as it is pretty bad for picking up background noise. My computer sits on top of my desk, and the slight fan noise that it produces was a prominent sound in the back of any of the recordings I made without changing any of the microphone settings in the EPOS Gaming Suite.
What made the most significant difference in my audio quality was moving my microphone closer to my face. On my desk, the stand wasn’t doing much for not picking up the bumps of my desk or the click-clacks of my keyboard and mouse. Sticking the B20 on a microphone arm or close to your face, you’ll not only achieve a better, deeper sounding capture, but you’ll also get rid of the background noise you’re picking up by having the microphone on your desk.
EPOS B20 Specs
- Frequency response 50-20,000 Hz
- Pick-up pattern Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo
- Sensitivity -37 dBV/PA
- Microphone Sensitivity Tolerance (dB) +/- 3dB
- Microphone technology Condenser Microphone (3 condenser capsules)
- Type Side-address Microphone
- Thread size 3/8″
- Recording sample and bit rate 24bit – 48kHz
- SPL 112dB, 2,5% THD
- Cable length 2.9 m
- Connector plugs USB-C & built in 3.5 mm headphone jack
Thanks to the USB-C to -USB-A cable, you’re also able to plug the microphone into a console to use as either a microphone or a streaming microphone if you stream directly from your PS4/PS5. However, this does mean you lose access to the Gaming Suite software.
The face buttons on the microphone are easy to find, and you have everything you’d want at your fingertips. A dial to switch between your standard four recording patterns (cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, stereo), a gain dial, and a headphone volume dial with a mute button. Neither the volume nor gain dials have any markers to let you know where they’re set either visually or something you could feel. This is fine for the volume, but when you may want to remember a gain position for a certain set-up you’re going to be winging it each time you set up or change the microphone.