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Ragequitters Reviews: Razer Seiren Pro Studio Grade Microphone

Audio

 

So, despite the Razer Seiren Pro being well presented and clearly a great looker, those are not really important features when reviewing a microphone. It’s what you hear (or perhaps what you don’t) that we’re really interested in. You may use the integrated boom mic on your headset to chat to your friends on Skype or TeamSpeak, capture some gameplay and upload to your YouTube channel and think the audio sounds just fine. Once you hear how different your spoken audio can sound with a high quality microphone though, it would be hard to go back. The differences can be staggering with crisp, clear audio, a good amount of bass and no distortion, interference or background hum.

While a high quality microphone can sound incredible, different recording scenarios require specific recording patterns that best accommodate the use case. The Razer Seiren Pro includes 4 different recording patterns which can be changed directly on the unit using the selector dial.

The table includes details of the patterns with example use cases for each of them:

 

Pattern ImagePattern NameExample Application
Cardoid IconCardioidStreaming, Podcasts, Voice-overs, Instruments
Stereo IconStereoVocals, Instruments
Omnidirectional IconOmnidirectionalConference Calls, Events
Bidirectionall IconBidirectionalInterviews, Instruments, Vocal Duets

 

High-Pass Filter

One of the killer features available only on the Pro version of  Razer Seiren is the High-Pass Filter. The inbuilt switchable high-pass filter is designed to remove low-end ambient noises (frequencies below 100 Hz) such as hums, rumbles, traffic and wind. This is ideal for streamers and audio / video content creators who don’t have access to a dedicated recording booth. This is particularly useful for our tests as this reviewer’s home is within shouting distance of a major train station and a river so background noise can be an issue.

 

XLR Output

Another Seiren Pro only feature is the addition of the analogue XLR Output.

Having an XLR connection option allows you to plug the Razer Seirēn Pro directly into a professional mixing board which opens up more recording flexibility depending on your environment. This also allows you to chain together multiple microphones and instruments to a mixing board. Live recording benefits from this due to the greater adjustments that can be made on the fly.

 

Optimal Recording Placement

When recording for a stream or when recording audio for videos you should have the Razer logo facing away from you and the OLED screen levelled and facing you. Do not record with the top of the microphone facing you as the condenser microphones inside the Razer Seirēn Pro are placed around the main upper section, while the top is a purely an aesthetic blanking cover .

The quoted optimal recording distance from your mouth when recording is 20cm (8 inches)

 

Audio Tests

In order to put the audio tests into context we opted to compare the Razer Seiren Pro with other microphones that we currently own. This lets you fully appreciate the difference in audio quality between a standard headset mic, a mid range microphone and the Seiren Pro.

The hardware used for creating the comparison recordings are:

  • Plantronics GameCom 788 Headset integrated boom mic
  • Blue Snowball iCE USB Microphone
  • Razer Seiren Pro using the USB interface

 

See / hear below the test recordings made using each microphone. No post processing or audio effects added. Just the raw unedited recording.

 

Plantronics GameCom 788 Headset Microphone

 


 

Blue Snowball iCE USB Microphone

 


 

Razer Seiren Pro Microphone (USB Interface)

All Razer Seiren Pro recordings done with a Bit Rate of 24bit, a Sampling Rate of 192kHz and the microphone positioned directly in front of the reviewer.

 

Cardioid Recording Pattern – High-Pass Filter Off

 

Cardioid Recording Pattern – High-Pass Filter On

 

Stereo Recording Pattern – High-Pass Filter Off

 

Stereo Recording Pattern – High-Pass Filter On

 

Omnidirectional Recording Pattern – High-Pass Filter Off

 

Omnidirectional Recording Pattern – High-Pass Filter On

 

Bidirectional Recording Pattern – High-Pass Filter Off

 

Bidirectional Recording Pattern – High-Pass Filter On

 

After listening to each recording over and over again we have made the following observations.

Plantronics GameCom 788 Headset Microphone

Its not surprising that the recorded audio quality for this was well below par compared to that of a dedicated microphone. While it’s adequate for casual multiplayer gaming while chatting with friends over Skype or TeamSpeak, if you plan to broadcast or record the your game play then your audience would be let down by your audio quality. The lack of audio depth, bass and overall clarity is noticeable.

 

Blue Snowball iCE USB Microphone

This is a huge upgrade in audio quality from the Plantronics headset as would be expected. The clarity and range of the recorded audio is very impressive for a microphone in this price bracket (less than £50). The custom condenser capsule inside is clearly doing its job well though the microphone is lacking from any hardware controls or alternative polar patterns.

 

Razer Seiren Pro using the USB interface

I’m sure it will come as no surprise that the Razer Seiren Pro came out on top in the tests. The recorded audio benefits from excellent clarity with great bass pickup and simply put, sounds very natural. The additional polar patterns available do make quite a difference to the overall audio quality, though as we tested only spoken word from directly in front of the microphone, our scenario didn’t make full use of the patterns aimed at different use cases.

The High-Pass Filter setting did struggle a little in our recording environment due to the constant background noise. While it did take away some of the low level ambient sound it did also affect the recorded voice quality, taking away some of the depth experienced with the this setting turned off.

Also as we didn’t have access to an XLR mixing board at the time of the review we can only comment on the ease of use and quality produced using the USB interface.

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themutsnuts

themutsnuts

RageQuitters Content Author at RageQuitters
www.ragequitters.co.uk
themutsnuts

2 comments

  1. JimmyJoeJimBob says:

    Standard XLR connectors have three pins. This has four. Does it need a proprietary cable?

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