Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Rode makes a play for streamers with gamer mics

One of Australia’s biggest names in recording is pushing into an area where recording quality matters, as Rode tackles gamer sound.

Whether you’re a podcaster or someone who just wants a better sound than what your laptop can typically do, there’s a possibility you’ve jumped into a using a better microphone with your computer, with much of this pushed on by the work from home movement. A dedicated external microphone can just deliver so much more, and while they can come attached to a pair of headphones as a boom mic, if you’re looking for that sweet specific and clearer sound of your voice, a dedicated microphone is where it’s at.

But they don’t have to just be for work, with play very much a part of that. In fact, if your work is your play, and you’re a gamer or someone who streams your games, the dedicated microphone might make all the more sense.

It’s an area Australia’s microphone specialist Rode looks keen to jump into, and after supplying microphones not just for recording, podcasting, video work, and the work from home world, it’s diving into gaming, as well.

There’s a new division for the company it seems, as “Rode X” becomes the gamer-centric variation of Rode, releasing two microphones and a bit of software that may look familiar and like their non-gaming editions, but are also different.

To start, there’s the XCM-50, a microphone that looks a lot like a red variation of the NT USB Mini, but instead uses a different sound signature and a special chip to work with Rode’s gaming microphone controlling software, arriving with accessories focused on gamers and streamers in the box.

Next is a slightly bigger microphone, the Rode X XDM-100, using a larger body more like a professional microphone, complete with a pre-amp inside, a studio-grade capsule, and a signature and pattern that can reportedly deal with mouse clicks and the sort of background noise you might expect a gamer to have.

Both are an attempt to focus the microphone on the important part of what gamers and streamers use them for — their voice — and then let them use software to control what comes into their feed.

That last one will happen courtesy of something Rode calls “Unify”, a piece of software that can work with up to four USB inputs and six virtual audio sources including games, creating a sense of a broadcast control for gamers and streamers, complete with effects and recording. Unify sounds a little like Rode’s app from last year for mic control, but with a little more for gamers.

“Unify is a huge step forward for streaming and gaming audio technology,” said Senior Product Manager Chris Beech, Senior Product Manager for Rode.

“Throughout development, we spent countless hours researching exactly what streamers and gamers need from audio software and worked tirelessly to implement every feature while ensuring it is as simple to use as possible.”

Unify will be free with all Rode X products, and the chip inside both the XCM and XDM microphones will be made to work with the software, but it won’t need a Rode product to work. If you have a microphone you’re already happy with, Rode’s Unify will be available for monthly and yearly subscriptions, costing $7.99 per month or $69.99 each year.

Meanwhile, Rode’s new gear is in stores and online now, priced at $239.99 for the XCM-50, while its big brother in the XDM-100 is $399 in Australia.

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