How a microphone looks is probably the least important element, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about how striking the Endgame Gear XSTRM microphone is.
The Endgame Gear XSTRM mic’s triangular design sets it apart from the crowd, but it’s the built in RGB lighting that really makes it shine. Literally, we suppose. There are 12 pre-set colour schemes, allowing you to customise its output to suit your desk setup. Or it you want a more understated look, turn them off completely. A black frame and attached pop filter finish off the mic, making it look both stylish but professional. This really is a nice-looking bit of kit.
Of course, looks aren’t everything if it doesn’t perform well. Thankfully, we can say that the Endgame Gear XSTRM is one of, if not the, best quality microphone we’ve used. In terms of recording, our voice sounds crisp and clear. We don’t need to run audio through software to make it usable. Its built-in sound reduction is top-notch, clearing out any unwanted background sounds automatically. You can hear the mic in action in one of our video reviews by clicking here.
Gain is easily adjusted with a knob at the front, where the level it’s set to will be clearly illuminated. A simple function nicely prioritised; we’ve used a mic before where there was no way of knowing what the gain was set at – the knob would simply keep on turning. And so this sort of attention to detail can’t be taken lightly. There’s also a touch-sensitive tap-to-mute panel at the top. Again, simple stuff that’s been nicely implemented.
Even better, there’s no software you need to install to unlock features of the XSTRM. This truly is plug and play. Attach it to your PC via USB, ensure it’s your chosen recording device within Windows, and you’re ready to go. The microphone itself does all the heavy lifting, and so it doesn’t need to rely on software hacks to improve its quality.
For a single streamer or single person recording, then, this really is one of the best microphones on the market. It’s not the cheapest – its RRP is £120 – but it’s a competitive price point at least. You get what you pay for, and we truly think the Endgame Gear XSTRM delivers.
For the most part, anyway. Depending what you use it for, the Endgame Gear XSTRM might not be suitable. This is a cardioid pattern mic only, designed to pick up sounds from the front. Other mics may allow you to change the pattern to omnidirectional or bidirectional, for instance, better for group or face-to-face recordings. And so if you’re wanting something that will record multiple speakers adequately, this probably isn’t the best purchase.
If you’re wanting something to record only yourself, though – the most common usage for a streaming microphone, we’d imagine – we can’t recommend the XSTRM enough. It looks great, its recording quality is fantastic, and its build quality is second to none. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s worth every penny if you take recording quality seriously.