In the past, I’ve always used a gaming headset that came with a pre-installed microphone. Your Turtle Beaches, HyperXs, and such. Then, the microphone on my headset broke the week my warranty ended and I was in a tough purchasing decision. The headphones worked just fine, but being able to chat was pretty important. Luckily, Antlion Audio released their ModMic 5 attachable boom mic and saved me.
More accurately, I saw the press release for the ModMic 5 while wearing my fully functional headset and shrugged my shoulders. I am not saying that Antlion broke my mic telepathically to increase demand – I’m just asking questions. This is the most interesting thing about the ModMic 5 – it is not for everyone. If you have a great pair of headphones and don’t want to spend big bucks for an all-in-one set up, the ModMic 5 may be for you.
After a quick and somewhat painless installation (I did two obviously wrong things that were easily corrected), I hopped into the GeeklyInc Discord and started bugging people. Thank you to the fine folks who dealt with roughly two dozen “how do I sound” during my testing phase. I was told I sounded fine or even good. This was a huge weight off my shoulders since I had no idea if I was a peaking mess in my pals’ ears. After listening to myself, I would agree: the ModMic sounds fine. It is not a professional grade microphone, so when I need to record something more official, I will definitely keep on using my Yeti mic. Well, just listen here. See? Pretty good! It has background noise and interference, but I was told that you can’t really hear it in the chat programs. I did experience times when I switched from noise cancelling to studio modes and folks couldn’t hear me but I wasn’t always able to replicate the error. Once I picked one and stuck with it, everything was fine.
I also tested out the ModMic 5 on PS4 and had similar results. Fine for party chat but not super great for streaming and so forth. I thought I sounded fine when I ran my initial tests but after listening to the Twitch archive I was a little bummed by the output. I will mention that it sounded better than my previous headset mic on both the PS4 and PC, so that is a plus. You do need an adapter for the PS4 and Xbox One, which is a sadly standard bummer.
Let’s chat about the installation I goofed. To match the ModMic to your headphones, you need to take an adhesive magnet thing and stick it to your headphones. I did it way too fast and messed up the location. The second attempt actually included testing the location and was really easy. Since the mic is attached by a magnet, it is easily removable when you don’t want the other cord dangling around, which I loved. The other goof was a weird Windows 10 setting that kept auto adjusting my volume.
So, even though the ModMic is not my favorite or even the best microphone that I own, I have kept it plugged in and end up using it more than my other mics. Somewhat similar to having a cheaper camera versus an DSLR, the ease of use and convenience outweighs the audio loss in my opinion. Since the ModMic 5 is not for everyone at the outset, recommending it becomes a tough call. At $70, it is an even harder call. If you have a great pair of headphones already and want to chat with your pals on the net while playing games, I think the ModMic 5 is a great purchase. But, if you are planning on spending a bit more, an all in one gaming headset may be better for you. If you plan on streaming or recording podcast audio, I would suggest spending a bit more for a beefier USB mic. I am still going to happily use my ModMic 5 due to its convenience and adaptability while I spawn on my bros, co-op style.