The HyperX Quadcast S Is Our Go-To Streaming Mic

For some time, if you were looking for a USB microphone to start a podcast, stream on Twitch or even just have better Zoom calls, the only name anyone would say was Blue Yeti.

But in recent years, a challenger has emerged who has now almost taken over the market, at least on Twitch. That microphone? HyperX Quadcast S. Just like popular online gamers, I have loved it.

Comfortable design

Image: HyperX

I had only used the Quadcast S for an hour or two before I had the clear idea that the person who designed it must have spent a lot of time with other USB microphones. It’s not like I’ve ever been dissatisfied with my old one Blue Yeti, necessarily. But if I had had this HyperX microphone first, I might have been.

To begin with, on top of the microphone, there is a touch-sensitive pad that can mute the microphone. This is easily one of the most convenient features, especially if you need to quickly cut off your sound while on a livestream. Turning off the microphone also disables the colorful LEDs, giving you instant feedback that it’s safe to talk.

On the back (literally) there is a gain button built into the underside of the microphone. This made it easy to adjust the input level on the fly. The only small quibble I have with this is that there is no input level indicator on the microphone itself, or in HyperX’s software, to help position the gain.

This is not a big problem, as apps like NOTE usually already have them, but come on HyperX: The LEDs are there. Just turn the entire microphone into a level gauge while using the gain dial. Or at least blink red when I start peaking! Anyway, that’s fine.

On the back of the microphone there is a knob to switch between four polar patterns: stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid and bidirectional. These are pretty standard, and you’ll probably never have to change the pattern if you use a consistent setting and just record yourself, but it’s still nice to have the flexibility. The microphone also connects via USB-C, a welcome upgrade over the mini-USB from the previous Quadcast microphone (as well as some competing microphones, including the Blue Yeti).

Built to be seen (and heard)

The main event on the Quadcast S is the LED lights. Normally, I would not give a gadget too much credit for having RGB lighting – especially something aimed at gamers, where it is virtually legally mandatory – but HyperX has managed to do it tastefully. The lights inside the microphone’s core blend into a pleasant gradient that feels more like a subtle accent color and less like a frontal attack from Rainbow Road.

While the original Quadcast only had red LEDs, the Quadcast S has the full range of colors, which you can customize via HyperX’s Ngenuity software. There are options for solid colors, flash effects or the most appealing (in my opinion): wave, which slowly transitions over a spectrum of colors you choose.

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