Rode is a brand best known for its audio and recording gear, but today it is launching its new dedicated gamer division known as Rode X. Looking to deliver products custom-tailored to the gaming and game streaming community, the new Rode X lineup is launching today with a pair of new USB mic models and some dedicated software to better accommodate the streaming and recording process. Head below for a closer look at the new Rode X mics and more.
New Rode X game streaming mics and more
First up, we are looking at the new XCM 50 Rode X mic – the more affordable of the two new releases. It is “optimized for gaming and streaming” with a condenser capsule and what Rode refers to as a tight cardioid polar pattern “for focused sound.”
From there you’ll find an internal pop shield and capsule shock mount, a 360-degree swing mount, and the usual onboard level and mute controls. The USB-C mic supports 24-bit/48kHz resolutions, and ships with the tripod as well as USB and headphone cables.
Next is the higher-end dynamic solution known as the XDM 100 Rode X mic. Rode positions this model as its more professional-grade option with “rich, natural audio without any unwanted background noise.” It is said to have “superior” room noise rejection, a built-in revolution preamp, the same 24-bit/48kHz USB-C connectivity as the XCM 50, and the expected headphone output with level control and mute button. This one ships with the pop shield, USB and headphone cables, and the shock mount, but you’ll need to supply your own mic stand or tripod.
Alongside the built-in DPS APHEX voice processing support found on both models, they also work alongside the new Rode X UNIFY software that is launching today as well. It is essentially a software hub for your audio streams with support for up to four USB microphones with built-in virtual background noise reduction options and FX like compressors and EQ. It can also help to mix up to six audio sources at one time, like a game, chat, music, and more. The UNIFY software is included free with the purchase of the aformentioned Rode X mics, but will require a subscription otherwise: around $5 a month or $45 per year.
Rode has been a staple audio brand for years, but it’s not without its competition and the game streaming space is a busy one. With so many brands vying for attention when it comes to microphones – it seems as though just about everyone even mildly attached to streaming has a USB mic up for sale – the new Rode division has a steep hill to climb. I’m sure the new models will deliver solid audio capture, but they don’t really seem to bring anything overly remarkable or unique to the tablet we haven’t seen from others in the past.
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