Who Is The HyperX QuadCast S USB Microphone For?

  • The HyperX QuadCast S USB microphone is all about the looks, making it an ideal microphone for video game streamers
  • The QuadCast S is incredibly easy to use, and pretty much just needs to be plugged in to get started
  • The audio quality on the QuadCast S is more than fine
The HyperX QuadCast S is more than capable of being a great USB mic for streamers, but its cool looks put it over the competition

In the world of products, there is a common phrase about how certain products put "form over function." This just means the product puts more emphasis on how it looks compared to how well it works. While its visual appeal is certainly evident, the HyperX QuadCast S microphone has instead combined both form and function to create an eye catching device that also is easy to use and works wonderfully.

All About The Looks

Let's be honest here, there are tons of options for USB microphones right now. From the Blue Yeti line to Movo to Audio Technica and even Rode, if a company makes microphones it's very likely they have a USB option available. That means it helps to have a microphone that can stand out from the competition, which is what HyperX did with the QuadCast S.

Not only does the HyperX QuadCast S have a somewhat unique shape, it is also packed with RGB lighting. I'm not going to say that the QuadCast S has thrown away audio quality and bonus features in favor of aesthetics. This microphone works great, and we'll talk more about that in a bit. However, it's clear the QuadCast S was built to be visually appealing first.

I could stare at the colors for hours

By default, the lights on the QuadCast S are set to rotate through a set pattern of colors. This can be completely customized with HyperX's NGENUITY software. The QuadCast S also comes with a pop filter, but unlike other microphones out there, the pop filter on the QuadCast S is built in. This means that the QuadCast S doesn't need an additional screen hanging in front of it to block the light show.

Even the included shock mount and stand look kind of cool. The QuadCast S doesn't need to use the stand, as the shock mount can be screwed into a boom arm with its 3/8 -inch and 5/8 -inch threaded setup if wanted.

The shock mount is pretty cool looking too

Incredibly Easy To Use

The HyperX QuadCast S is incredibly easy to use. For the most part, it just needs to be plugged into a computer. There are no additional programs that need to be installed or accounts that need to be created. The QuadCast S works on Windows and Mac, and interestingly is also compatible with PS4 and PS5 consoles. It should be noted that the QuadCast S does not work on Chromebooks.

Of course, there's more to using the QuadCast S than just plugging it in. The microphone has a 3.5mm headphone jack in the back to plug in headsets, which allows for real-time audio monitoring. The top of the microphone is a touchpad that toggles the mute on and off with a tap, and the LED lights also turn off when the microphone is muted.

The top of the microphone is home to the mute touchpad

Finally, there are two dials on the QuadCast S that require ever-so-slightly more advanced knowledge. The first is a polar pattern knob. This knob has four different settings. The most used setting for those playing and streaming games is the cardioid pattern, which focuses the microphone to pick up audio in front of it. If two people are recording face-to-face with the microphone, the bi-directional pattern is best. The stereo option makes recording singing or instruments easier. The last is an omnidirectional pattern, which picks up audio from all sides equally. This is ideal for a multi person podcast recording or video call.

A closeup of the polar pattern knob, with helpful illustrations

The second knob is located at the very bottom of the QuadCast S. This knob is used to adjust the amount of gain with the microphone. Gain is a way to amplify a microphone's input volume. It doesn't necessarily make the volume on a video or stream louder, but does increase the volume of the audio that is being recorded. Getting the right level of gain takes some experimenting, but that shouldn't take more than a few minutes to dial in how much is needed based on the microphone's placement and how loud a person is.

While the QuadCast S is very easy to set up and use, there are some incredibly minor pain points along the way. The most egregious is plugging in the power cable and a pair of headphones. When the QuadCast S is on its stand, the power and 3.5mm ports are both partially covered by the stand. This means users either need to snake the cables through the hole in the stand, or have them get pretty bent when pushed to the side. The power cable in particular can't fit through the hole in the stand and needs to be pushed to the side. Like I said, it's a minor annoyance, but that doesn't mean it isn't annoying.

But How Does It Sound?

The sound quality with the HyperX QuadCast S microphone is great. Audio can be clearly heard without having to dive into settings. I will say when recording my voice I do sound a little bit tinny, but it isn't anything too noticeable and does not make audio unlistenable.

The gain knob is found right at the bottom of the microphone

However, gamers might need to really take into consideration where they are setting up the QuadCast S. The microphone did pick up on my typing and mouse movements pretty clearly, though that was using a mouse on a solid, unpadded tabletop. That said, even just putting the microphone on the other side of the keyboard from my mouse helped reduce these sounds.

Is it the best of the best microphones out there? No, but that's OK. Generally, microphones that use an XLR cable do a better job of accurately recording audio to make it sound more natural when playing back. However, XLR microphones will require additional hardware to get running on a computer. They are nowhere near as easy to use as the USB-powered QuadCast S.

It's possible to thread a headphone cable through the stand into the port on the microphone, but the power cable gets pushed to the side

Final Thoughts

The HyperX QuadCast S is very popular with game streamers for a reason. It sounds great, it's easy to use, and best of all, it just looks awesome. The QuadCast S isn't going to become the go-to microphone for professional audio recording, and that's OK. The aesthetics are the important thing here, and I cannot overstate how cool the QuadCast S looks, especially compared to other microphones on the market. It's like a little lava lamp right on my desk.

The QuadCast S is a little on the pricey side at around $160, but the inclusion of the shock mount does make this price a little more bearable. If it is still too high, the original HyperX QuadCast offers all of the same great features and audio quality for a little less, though it only lights up with red LEDs instead of the full color spectrum found on the QuadCast S.