For a time, if you were looking for a USB mic to start a podcast, stream on Twitch, or even just have better Zoom calls, the only name anyone would utter was Blue Yeti.
But over the past couple of years, a challenger has appeared that's now all but taken over the market, at least on Twitch. That mic? The HyperX Quadcast S. Just like popular online gamers, I've been loving it.
I had only used the Quadcast S for an hour or two before I had the distinct thought that whoever designed it must have spent a lot of time with other USB mics. It's not that I was ever dissatisfied with my old Blue Yeti, necessarily. But if I'd had this HyperX mic first, I might've been.
For starters, on the top of the microphone, there's a touch-sensitive pad that can mute the microphone. This is easily one of the handiest features, especially if you need to quickly cut your audio while on a livestream. Muting the microphone also disables the colorful LEDs, so you get instant feedback that it's safe to talk.
On the (literal) flip side, there's a gain knob built into the bottom of the microphone. This made it easy to adjust the input level on the fly. The only minor quibble I have with this is that there's no input level indicator on the microphone itself, or in HyperX's software, to help position the gain.
This isn't a huge problem, since apps like OBS usually have them already, but come on HyperX: The LEDs are right there. Just turn the whole mic into a level meter while the gain knob is in use. Or at least blink red when I start peaki...