Review time again here at Iamthink.com! Now we have an awesome accessory for you, the ModMic 4.0 from Antlion Audio. A stand-alone microphone designed to be attached to any pair of headphones you want!
The concept of the ModMic is simple. It looks very much like any boom mic you would see on a gaming headset, however it attaches to a magnetic base that will stick to any pair of headphones (or other surface if you want to be creative) to turn it into an all in one headset. The two main uses for this are for people who have a good pair of headphones and just want the convenience of an attached microphone rather than needing a separate one, or a whole new headset, and for people who want to replace the microphone on their current headset.
The ModMic comes in 4 combinations. First, you can choose Uni-directional, or Omni-directional, depending on your needs, and then each one has the option of an in-line mute, or no mute. The no mute option is a bit cheaper if you don’t need it. The model we’re looking at specifically is the Uni-Directional, with Mute, but most of the information here should be the same for the other 3 variations. All the variations end with a standard 3.5mm jack, although USB adapters are available through the official website if need be.
First off, everything comes in a very nice travel case, which is perfect for those of you who plan on traveling with your headset, as the magnetic base is so small it’s mostly unnoticeable if you decide to remove the ModMic for travel.
There really isn’t much to say about the ModMic’s looks. It’s all black, simple, understated, and will match with pretty much any headset that isn’t white, and even then the contrast may look nice depending on the headset.
So that leaves the two big selling points, ease of use/convenience, and sound quality. Let’s start with the easy one first. The sound quality is fantastic. I own 3 different headsets ranging from around $30 to $100+, and this mic is far better than the mic’s on any of those. It offers a crisp and clear sound, with almost no background noise to speak of, including hiss and other interference. The people I talked to at first thought it was about the same as my higher end headset, but after a minute or two of talking they realized they were hearing me much more clearly, as if I had moved to a different room, without a fan, computer, and 3 year old. It’s something you don’t notice at first, but once you hear a comparison, there’s no question how good this microphone is. The only thing I have that performs better is a $100 stand-alone microphone I use for my day job, and this is half that price, and many times smaller and more portable.
That leaves the question of how does it work? Is it a pain to use? Well, the initial setup takes some time, but isn’t difficult by any stretch. It does require finding a location in advance, cleaning that spot on the headset, and being sure everything is oriented the way you want to allow the ModMic to rotate correctly. Once that is done, there is some cable management that needs to be done. As this is a stand-alone mic, you need to run the cord to a microphone input, be that on your computer itself, or somewhere else. In my case I used an adapter to plug the ModMic and my headset into a USB audio adapter. However cable management is pretty easy, you’re given some clips to work with, where one side is for your headphone cord, and the other for the modmic, keeping them close together, acting as much like one cord as possible.
Once the mic is set up, and the cables are managed, it’s near flawless to use. The design of the base allows you to rotate the mic 90 degrees with one hand effortlessly, and although it CAN rotate a full 360 degrees, the cord placement makes it a two handed affair should you ever need to do that, although I can’t think of why you would. The magnet holding the ModMic to the headset is also very strong, with it only coming off if the cord is pulled too hard, never from normal use. The most common issue I had was the weight of the extra cord pulling down the back of the ModMic, causing it to rise into the up position when I turned my head, but this is largely due to my setup, and when I’m not lazy and kept my cords in a different spot it’s not an issue. The adhesive that holds the magnetic base onto the headset is also fantastic. I’ve been using this for almost 2 weeks straight and there is no sign of any movement from the base. On top of that, there is a second base included, so you either have a backup, or you can swap the ModMic between two pairs of headphones. They also include spare adhesive pad for the bottom of the base, in case you only need to replace the adhesive. Basically you’re given everything you need for quite some time, all included.
So, is the mod mic worth it? Although I can’t say everyone NEEDS this, if you DO have a use for it, you really can’t go wrong. If you have a great pair of headphones, or just one that you love, that need a mic, for any reason, then you can’t do much better than this. Even if you HAVE a headset mic, and want to upgrade or replace it, this will certainly do the job for you and will be an improvement in almost all cases. At $50 ($43 without the mute) this is not only a great quality mic, but one that nails the use it was built for, and includes everything you could ask for.
You can pick up your own ModMic, and see what else Antlion Audio has to offer here!