Mics: Two electret condenser capsules
Polar patterns: Cardioid, omnidirectional
Frequency response: 20Hz–20kHz
Sensitivity: 6dBFS (1V/Pa at 1kHz)
Weight: 0.53 pounds
Size: 7.9x 4.6 x 3.74 inches
HyperX brings another quality offering to the USB mic space with its DuoCast, and I’m here for it. For just $99, you get a solid-performing mic, fun lighting, a sturdy lightweight stand with a built-in shock mount, and excellent software to round the experience out.
HyperX is an excellent peripherals company that fuels the gaming and streaming ecosystem with quality, affordable products. The USB-powered DuoCast microphone joins its lineup of stylish broadcast-ready mics. Featuring easy-to-use controls, a cool customizable RGB strip light, a built-in pop filter, and its shock mount, the DuoCast gives the burgeoning streamer all they need to get right to it. The DuoCast works across multiple platforms such as Mac, Windows, PS5, and PS4, covering the gambit of gaming setups. The DuoCast brings a lot to the table for just $99. Could it find its place on our best USB microphones page?
Go to the fridge, snatch a cold one, and let’s see if the HyperX DuoCast can be the cross-platform USB mic you’ve been searching for.
HyperX DuoCast USB mic price and availability
The DuoCast features a simple yet elegant gaming/streaming mic design that combines function, gaming elements, and plug-and-play capability. The HyperX DuoCast USB mic costs $99 and is available now at HyperX. In comparison, the MSI GV60 will run you $129, and the JLab Talk Pro costs $107.
HyperX DuoCast USB mic design
The DuoCast is similar in design to its lineup sibling, the HyperX Quadcast, but it has some elements of the SoloCast as well, making it the perfect combination of both. The DuoCast is primarily made of hard plastic and feels sturdy when held in my hand. The included desktop stand and shock mount create a secure feeling against accidental bumps or sudden movements, keeping the DuoCast steady and stable.
The gain control and selector for polar patterns are located on the back of the microphone. There’s a headphone jack on the back for monitoring and audio playback. Looking at the top, we find a touch-sensitive tap-to-mute button connected to the RGB light strip that indicates the status of the mic.
Oddly, there is no threaded hole for mounting a mic arm. However, I’m guessing from the look of things, it could be possible to unscrew it from the stand hinge and connect it to the hinge mount on a boom arm. It features an RGB lighting strip around its center above the shock mount.
You can customize the colors via the HyperX Ngenuity app.
One other cool design feature I noticed while recording is that the RGB ring light is used to indicate when you change your feature settings. For example, if you adjust the mic gain, the light will temporarily change color to indicate the level of gain you’ve added or subtracted. The same holds true when you switch polar patterns; you will notice that it will briefly display a different color to indicate the pattern change. Finally, when you tap the mute button at the top of the mic, the ring light will go dark to indicate your mic is now muted. All of this just adds to the overall cleverness of the design.
The DuoCast measures 7.9 x 4.6 x 3.74 inches and weighs 0.53 pounds while sitting in its stand, making it super lightweight, portable, and much lighter than our overlord of USB mics, the Shure MV7, which comes in at 1.2 pounds and measures 6.1 x 3.6 inches.
HyperX DuoCast USB mic audio quality
The DuoCast is a nicely packaged USB mic with some excellent features and performance. Setup was a breeze, with both my PC and Mac instantly recognizing the mic, allowing me to plug it in and get recording. I plugged a pair of headphones into the 3.5mm monitoring audio jack and got to it.
You have to control your headphone monitoring volume via the HyperX Ngenuity app. If you’re on a PC and a Mac, you have to use the system's volume controls, so no worries, it’s hyper plug and play — and good to go right out of the box.
The DuoCast also comes with two polar patterns for you to choose from. The cardioid focuses on capturing the audio produced right in front of the mic when you’re using the mic by yourself. This works best when you’re alone creating a stream, podcast, Google Meet, or recording a voiceover. The cardioid pattern excelled as I recorded a test podcast while sitting directly in front of it. The deep natural tones of my voice were warmly reproduced during the recording, and I was impressed with the quality.
I found the omnidirectional pattern excellent for multi-person podcasting and interviews when I tested it with a friend. The DuoCast picked up our voices and crisply reproduced them during recording even as we sat back in our seats. There was a little more background noise, and while that's to be expected, the results were superb. Switching between polar patterns is easy, thanks to the gain control knob that can swap patterns by pressing down on it.
I chatted with my daughter over Google Meet, and she loved the light ring and the audio quality so much that she tried to get me to give it to her. After saying no, I thanked her for her time and offered her a raise in allowance. We both won, and the HyperX DuoCast performed nicely during the exchange.
The Ngenuity software download is free and adds impressive functionality to the overall experience. Although the DuoCast is very plug-and-play and doesn’t require the use of software, I suggest downloading it on a PC, as it levels up the experience. Ngenuity lets you fine-tune your audio settings and manipulate your RGB lighting.
On the audio side of things, Ngenuity is very user-friendly, clean, and offers users an excellent interface to modify the mics settings. You can easily adjust the mic gain, monitor volume, mute, engage the high pass filter, and switch polar patterns. The RGB lighting adjustments are fun, and there are many effects and patterns to choose from. Lastly, you can create presets for both lighting and audio, so your favorite settings are easily turned on and ready to go.
The HyperX DuoCast is a perfect budget-friendly USB mic for gaming and streaming with solid to superb audio performance, thanks to its two polar pattern options. For $99, its build quality, features, and Ngenuity software are a winning combination. This is a great choice for gamers on a budget who have perfected their thumb-powered athletic skills and are ready to stream content.