/ Product Review: Antlion Audio's ModMic 5 - Events for Gamers

Your source for conferences and other game industry events from around the world

Product Review: Antlion Audio’s ModMic 5

The ModMic series is a microphone product line by Antlion Audio, an audio products and accessories company. The ModMic attachable boom microphones line splits into business and gaming products. Of course, we’re going to look at the gaming product, which brings us to the ModMic 5.

Front and back of ModMic 5 box

Front and back of ModMic 5 box (photo credit: E4G)

The basic idea behind the ModMic series is that they are an attachable and detachable microphone that can be mounted to any pair of headphones, thus making it ready for gamers and content producers, who might need voice access, in a pinch.

The package deal: 

Out of the box, the ModMic 5 comes with a branded zippered carrying case, with most of the “stuff” inside and two meter coil of cable wrap outside.

Closed ModMic 5 case with cable wrap

Closed ModMic 5 case with cable wrap (photo credit: E4G)

First impressions are not necessarily everything for a device like this, but it doesn’t hurt that all the items are bundled neatly in a functional carrying case. Inside the case is the ModMic 5 attachable boom mic; a separate mute switch; a foam pop filter, one 3.3 foot cable and a 6.6 foot cables, both sporting the near-ubiquitous 3.5mm jack; base clasps; extra adhesive “spots”; the aforementioned cable wrap; and ten cable clips to keep any wire spaghetti in control.

Open case with ModMic 5 and accessories

Open case with ModMic 5 and accessories (photo credit: E4G)

Lastly, there’s the instruction pamphlet to connect the dots. In spite of all the accessories, the manual is a small-ish, folded two-sided piece of paper suggesting that assembly and customization is a relatively easy thing to do. Fortunmately, it is.

Setup:

Attaching the mic to on a pair of headphones or a heaqdset should not take more than a few minutes. There’s an alcohol wipe in case you need to pre-prep the earcup with a little extra cleaning. Aside from that, the adhesive can be peeled right off and attached to the side of any headphones. The adhesive may attach the mic, but the magnets in the detachable mounting base have enough pull to comfortably help keep it there. It’s worth mentioning the kit comes with two bases, so the mic can be switched easily between two different headsets.

I mounted the ModMic 5 to a pair of Axceed over-ear headphones, and affixed it to the semi-gloss surface of the earcup. I admit, in spite of the instructions’ assurances otherwise, I was a bit concerned the adhesive might peel away the semi-gloss finish, but I’m glad to say that was not an issue.

ModMic 5 mounted on Axceed headphones

ModMic 5 mounted on Axceed headphones (photo credit: E4G)

The boom itself is rather stiff, and it will take a willingness to flex it to adjust it to more comfortably fit. Whether you have the luxury of a mic port on your headphones or headset or just need to use a splitter, the cable clips to bundle the microphone and headphone cables together into one bundled cord will make it much less messy to use the ModMic 5.

Once I had the ModMic 5 mounted, plugged in, and adjusted for comfort, the next major consideration was whether to first try the unidirectional microphone or the omnidirectional microphone. As the name might suggest, the omnidirectional style of audio pickup is for casting a wider net and broader frequency capture, which means it’s more likely to pick up ambient sound in the area of the microphone, like a computer fan or keyboard clicking. Alternatively, the unidirectional style is better for voice pickup, especially in a noisier environment (such as competitive gaming), since it’s focused on one direction and has an emphasis on the mid-range of audio where the human voice lives. When sound pickup of any kind is the last thing desired, the trusty mute button can be found near the head of the 3.5mm plug.

The specifications by the numbers are below.

Specifications: 

  • Pattern: Uni-directional
  • Sensitivity: -38 ± 3 dB
  • Response: 100 Hz–10 kHz
  • SNR: >50+ dB
  • Impedance: 2.2 KΩ
  • Operating Voltage: 1 to 10V
  • Max current at 2.0V: 500 µA
  • Max input SPL: 110 dB
  • Pattern: Omni-directional
  • Sensitivity: -26 ± 3 dB
  • Response: 30 Hz–17.5 kHz
  • SNR: 58+ dB
  • Impedance: 2.2 KΩ
  • Operating Voltage: 1 to 10V
  • Max current at 2.0V: 500 µA
  • Max input SPL: 110 dB

(Specifications from Antlion Audio)

Performance:

After testing it against it the similarly priced Razer Kraken Pro headset, the sound quality of the ModMic 5 was decidedly louder, clearer and more emphasized, even in the omnidirectional mic mode. The pop filter did it’s work well, ensuring the plosive sounds, which can sometimes cause a popping sound effect, were almost totally neutralized. The unidirectional mic minimized (albeit not entirely) sounds like keyboards, my laptop fan, and other ambient noise so that the focus was on voice, not distracting noises.

Given the sound quality in this mode, many podcasters, voice chat-only streaming, and even competitive gamers should find the ModMic 5 unidirectional mic a match to their needs.

The omnidirectional mic is equally capable within its strong suit, picking up a broader range of sound than the human voice alone. Testing this mic on recording music when played through my phone’s speaker was surprisingly accurate and much less tinny than I expected when using the broader-ranged omnidirectional mic.

During the course of the testing, ModMic 5 mic stayed in place on my head and did so even when I gave the headphones and the mounted mic a light shake to see how well they might stay put.

Pros:

  • Good, neatly organized packaging
  • Easy-to-assemble and adjust
  • Mic stays mounted in place while in use
  • 3.5mm plug by default makes it useable to more folks than a USB plug
  • Very solid, clean voice performance, and the foam pop filter does the job well

Cons:

  • A bit pricier than comparable solutions — and many entry-level headsets.
  • One or two extra dongles may be necessary to achieve connectivity on certain set-ups, which adds to the buy-in price

Ideal for: 

Antlion’s ModMic 5 currently weighs in at a $69.95 price point at MSRP and on Amazon, so buying this might seem unnecessary for someone on a budget or who has a headset or mic setup they’re satisfied with. Still, the performance is very good and just might be strong enough to justify adding or replacing it as a go-to audio accessory.

The ModMic 5 is optimal for that podcaster, competitive gamer or streamer who already has a favorite set of cans or wants to try a new mic on their headset, but also wants the option of attaching a solidly and cleanly performing microphone. As an attachable mic, the ModMic 5 is also a strong on-the-go choice for someone who might want to “mic up” while at an event or otherwise on the road. Overall, the ModMic 5 microphone kit is versatile, capable and travels well.

Updated: May 7, 2018 — 4:20 pm

Leave a Reply

Events For Gamers © 2018 - Contact Us
%d bloggers like this: