Review Elgato Wave: 1 USB Cardiod Microphone

hey everybody it’s lan seidman we’re taking a look at some more elgato stuff we got in the wave one microphone the other day this is their lowest cost microphone and it looks pretty cool and we’re going to be taking a closer look at this comparing it to the wave 3 which costs a little bit more and of course doing some audio checks a little bit later in the video but before we get to this i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that elgato sent this to the channel free of charge to review however all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this microphone is all about now the price point on the wave one here is about 125 dollars the wave 3 microphone looks very similar to this wave 1 mic and it only has a few differences that we’ll take a look at right now so on the wave 1 you do have a control dial here but this will only control headphone volume or the input gain and nothing else and you can’t actually change the function of the dial unless you go into software and do it on the wave 3 that dial has a little more functionality in that it can control the headphone volume the input gain or the mix for its onboard monitoring jack all on the unit itself without having to drop back into the software to make those changes that might be a little more efficient if you’re constantly adjusting

things in the middle of your presentation or podcast or whatever else you’re doing additionally the wave 3 mic the more expensive one can sample at a higher sample rate of kilohertz versus 48 kilohertz on this one so if you are an audiophile or producing you know some of what they call the high definition audio if you will 96 kilohertz might make a difference for people that are listening for that i think for most people especially people watching a stream or a youtube video it’ll probably be harder to discern the difference in sample rate between those two things this debate between 96 and 48 kilohertz has been raging forever i’m not going to get into it because for me it all sounds good but if you are looking for the 96 kilohertz sampling this mic isn’t going to do it for you the wave 3 though will the other difference is that the wave 3 has a capacitive mute button and you can mute this mic by pushing in its control dial which i actually prefer because you’re less likely to accidentally trip it you have to actually push the dial in here to activate mute but if you wanted a quicker way to mute your mic the wave 3 will offer that beyond that though these microphones are pretty much identical they have the same cardioid mic built in now one of the things that i love about cardioid microphones is that they have a very directional pickup pattern which means that if you’re in an environment

that’s a little noisy like a convention or something if you and your subject are both talking into these mics relatively close it’s going to really filter out a lot of the background noise to the point where your voice and your subject’s voice will be very nicely isolated against that background noise it sounds really nice and professional but you do have to have the mic close to get that to work the best and i’ll show you some distance examples of how this mic sounds at different distances away from my mouth but i do prefer cardioid mics for spoken word over something with a more omni-directional pickup pattern and again this mic and the wave 3 have the same microphone on board and because the wave 1 and the wave 3 have the same microphone they have the same frequency response these mics will pick up anywhere from 70 hertz to 20 kilohertz now the hardware here is really nicely designed it looks a lot like a classic late night talk show host microphone it’s just got a really cool look to it the base here comes with it so this is what you’ll get out of the box the base is nice and heavy it’s got a nice big rubber foot at the bottom to keep it from sliding around and you can also take the microphone off the base and put it on a mounting arm which we’re going to do in a few minutes but you want to make sure that you don’t lose this little part that comes in the box because you need this to get it on a mounting arm so just make sure you find a safe place to this if you plan to move the mic back and forth between its stand and an arm the mic itself has just one control on the front the control dial that we mentioned earlier and i’ll show you how that works in a little bit you do have some range of movement here on the stand you can also tighten things up

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or loosen them if you want to prevent the mic from moving around too much and then on the back here you’ve got a usb type-c port this only requires a single connection to the computer the computer will power it through the usb port and it comes with a really nice long usbc to usb a cable but of course you can bring your own usbc to usbc cable into the mix if you prefer you also for monitoring have a headphone jack on the back here and you can choose to listen to the microphone’s output in real time and or your computer’s mix coming back out of the pc if you want to do that and that’s pretty much it for the hardware so what we’re going to do now is get this connected to my computer i’m going to show you the software after we get through that software overview we’ll do a couple of different mic tests to see how this sounds at different distances so let’s get to that now this is the wavelength software this is what you use to configure the microphone and it’s also a software mixer so what you could do is actually run all of your audio through the wavelink software get all the levels to where you want them and then output that audio stream as a single audio output into obs or vmix or something like that we’re not going to cover that today but elgato’s got some really good tutorials about how you can use it for that purpose but let’s take a look now at some of these settings so we can see exactly what we can configure on the microphone now one thing i would look for when you first get this thing going is to make sure it’s on the most current firmware when i got mine there was a firmware update available and when i installed it i got a new function for my dial because apparently the dial here initially only changed the headphone output volume but now they give you the choice as to whether or not you want that dial to be input gain or output volume so i set mine to be input gain i think that’s more useful for what i

might want to do with it so that works great but again you have to jump into the software to change that back to a headphone output setting whereas on the wave 3 you would have the ability to make those changes on the unit itself and as i change the dial here you can see that input gain changing here each time i go a stop on the dial there so that is what you can do with that and it’s your choice as to what works best now again if i had the headphone volume level here set on the dial function the headphone jack would be adjusted with that dial and then you have three audio enhancements here one is a low cut filter and what this will do is kind of get rid of some of the lower bassier kind of things that might be running in the background like a fan or something that might be kind of cutting in under your audio this will get rid of some of those lower frequency sounds so if you turn that on it would get rid of that this is a feature that we’ll test in a few minutes called clip guard and what this will do is prevent your microphone from peaking so if you are a gamer and your volume of speech might change if you’ve done something really cool in the game this will prevent audio distortion by automatically lowering the volume level so that your screen will sound great but not distorted and again i’ll show you how that works in a minute be prepared for that and then you also have a setting here called wave gain lock and this is something that you might want to use if you’re plugging this into an ipad i did try it with an ipad earlier it works fine however i found that on the ipad every time the mic re-initialized itself it reset the input gain level so if you have the wave gain lock here set the

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device you’re plugging it into won’t be able to adjust the input gain unless you go back to your dial here or into the software to change it now it’s nice is that once you make a setting change on the software it is saved onto the microphone itself so if you don’t want to have the elgato software running in the background while you’re doing your stream you can get it set up on one computer unplug it plug it into the other computer and whatever you set on these settings will become the default for what happens when the microphone is plugged in now if you have the wavelink software installed you have two choices for how this is going to work with your particular production setup i’m in vmix right now but the vernacular here will be the same on obs and other software packages as well now what you’re going to see right here is a mic in output for the elgato wave and that will bring in the microphone by itself and that’s what i think most people might use now if you are using the wavelink software as a mixer then what you want to select here is wave link stream and that will bring in the microphone here along with everything else that i’m running through that wavelink mixer the latency on it is super low there’s really no penalty for using the mixer but if you don’t need to use the mixer’s features i think it’s best to just select the microphone itself and manage everything in your production software so that is what we’re going to do right now so i’m going to configure a couple of things to get my audio into this production and when i come back you’re going to be hearing the audio out of the microphone directly and not out of my lavalier and the mic is about probably two and a half feet or so from where i am seated at the moment so we’re going to start here and then

we’ll move over to a mic arm where i can get it a little bit closer all right so now we are on the microphone again about two to two and a half feet away from where i am currently seated it does sound like i’m a little distant and i can maybe try to turn up the input gain like i just did here but it’s going to not sound as good as it will when the microphone is up closer now another reason why you might want to get your microphone off the desk is that it’s going to pick up a lot of typing noises so right now i’m typing on my computer here you’re hearing those keys type partly because i have the gain turned up on the microphone to pick me up from this distance but also because the shock against the desk here is going up the mic stand as well now what we’re going to do to rectify this is move the microphone closer to me with a mic arm now elgato sells mic arms you can also get cheaper ones like the one i have here with exposed springs and everything they all generally have the same screw in connector on the end of them and for that of course we’re going to need to use the adapter and so what i’m going to do next is unscrew the mic from the stand here get it up on the arm and we’ll see how much better things sound when we bring the mic closer all right so now i’ve got the mic a lot closer and as you can hear it sounds a lot better and you can see also that my mic gain is pretty low right now because the mic is so close to my face before we were about right here on the input gain so you can see how moving the mic closer is not only going to improve the audio quality but will also reduce a lot of the background noise that you might have in the environment that you’re in and if we do that keyboard test again you can hear that the combination of the mic arm and the proximity to my face has really reduced those key presses being audible in the stream so the closer on this mic the better that is true of most cardioid mics and you will really get i think some really good sound out of it i’m not getting too many issues here with my peas popping uh that’s an issue that happens with my other mic quite a bit uh here it doesn’t seem as bad elgato does sell a windscreen for the mic so if you do have a lot of

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popped peas going on that will reduce those a bit i believe so that might be worth looking into as an accessory now you’ll note earlier we enabled the clip guard feature and what i’m going to do here as a warning is scream into the microphone now to kind of replicate an awesome moment in a game i’m playing so prepare yourselves three two one oh my gosh i did it i defeated the monster everything is great yeah and as you can hear uh it doesn’t peak the microphone when i start screaming into it again this is an optional feature you don’t have to have it on but if you do see yourself changing your tone of voice throughout the course of your stream this is a nice safeguard because you can have those moments without really disturbing your audience too greatly overall i think this is a really nice microphone like other elgato products it’s simple if you prefer to use your own microphone but just like what elgato has put together i purchased and reviewed the wave xlr product that works very similar to these microphones but allows you to plug in any xlr mic that you might want to connect so there are some really good audio options out here from elgato and i really just like their product line because again it is simple they’re kind of designed for people like me that don’t need super fancy high-end gear but want something nice and i think the price point is pretty reasonable for what you’re getting here that’s going to do it for now until next time this is lon seidman thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters chris alegretta tom albrecht jim callagher hot sauce and video games and brian parker if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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