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Antlion Audio ModMic 5 (Review)

This piece of kit made me scratch my head. Let me get this straight: it’s a streaming quality microphone that you can attach…to your headset? I mean, aren’t most gaming headsets already equipped with a microphone? I reached out to, Joseph Lieberman, the Director of Marketing for Antlion Audio to get his thoughts on what I have to imagine a lot of gamers having the same question:

“Never buy gaming headsets. Typically “gaming headsets” range in price from super cheap (20 dollars) to 300+ USD. Gaming headsets tend to include the ever popular “gamer tax” – paying extra for all kinds of stuff that doesn’t do anything. Some examples include RGB lighting, “7.1 surround sound on headphones” (Google this for how stupid it is), software packages that bloat your PC, and nearly universally have TERRIBLE Mics.

If you’ve only got 20 dollars in your pocket, we’re not the solution for you. However, if you plan on spending around $100 USD or more on your next headset you will end up with better quality headphones you can use to listen to music and take outside and a better sounding mic that you can use for professional level streaming/recording as well as simple gaming, or even business calls.

Remember this: Gaming is really only 3 components. Graphics, Input, and Sound. We tend to put a lot of emphasis on the first two, often leaving sound to a 10 dollar webcam mic and a 5 dollar pair of earbuds… but a good sound experience can transform your experience just as much as a new graphics card and a new monitor.”

Okay, that makes sense, so I decided to give the ModMic 5 a spin. I was having issues with my PC audio on my mixer board using an XLR microphone and rocker arm and thought to myself, “If this headset mic is truly the revolutionary product that it is and I can replace all this gear with something that I can attach to my headphones? HUGE win for me.”

I have a pair of wired Astro A40s that I’ve been using for what feels like the better part of a decade, so I decided to set up the ModMic 5 on this headset.

And set up, I had to. When I opened the box, I was a little…unnerved. A pile of doohickeys and parts came falling out of the box, immediately causing me to have a mild panic attack. “Oh, god, do I have to actually WORK to make this function?” After I started pawing through the pieces, I realized it made a little more sense than at first glance and calmed down a bit. The ModMic5 is simply a boom microphone that you can stick to the side of whatever headset you’d like to use. The pack comes with a wet nap to clean the surface of your headset earcup, and then a powerful magnetic coupler which you can stick to the side of your headset.

The instructions were somewhat overly dramatic, but basically, you wipe all the fungus and dust off the side of the desired headset, dry it off, then stick the microphone to the side of your headset with an extremely effective magnetically seated mount with the attached adhesive. You then put the microphone in the mount, which is held in place with the magnets. It’s surprising how effective the magnets are at holding the headset in place. As effective as the magnets are, though, make sure use cable management system of some kind, as you’ll have a new wire coming from your headset and running to your computer, and I lost count of the number of times I’ve accidentally yanked my microphone off my headset because I got stuck on the surprise microphone wire until I ziptied them together. The nice thing was that because it was magnetic, the microphone went right back into place and never yanked the adhesive mount off the side of the headset (thank god). Very clever design.

So how does the Modmic5 sound? Don’t take my word for it, check out the effects on stream.

Here’s my original XLR microphone set up (I just never got it working properly):

Here’s my old Astro A40 headset mic (don’t mind the bad green screen :P)

And here is the ModMic5 headset mic:

And there you have it. Turns out you can turn any headset, with a mic or not, into everything you need to be an effective streamer. Also, saves you the grief of having to pay for a brand new headset if your microphone gives out on your gaming headset (because let’s face it, they all have microphones now). The nice part is now I can ditch the mixing board, microphone stand, and full microphone from my extremely cramped stream set up. The price tag may have been a bit steep, but the space saving difference for me is undeniable, and the quality is there.

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