There are a lot of “streamer grade” microphones out there on the market that are directly designed for streaming and video production, but then again that is the function of just about any microphone when you think about it. So what makes the Razer Seiren Elite stand out? Well, that’s what I decided to find out.
Name: Razer Seiren Elite
Release Date: Out Now
MSRP: $299.99 AUD
The Razer Seiren Elite is a nice and compact unit, a lot smaller than most other microphones on the market. But unlike other small microphones that sacrifice the technology inside to make things smaller and cheaper, the Razer Seiren Elite keeps all thing at a high grade while keeping it all compact. What this means is that you are going to get some high quality sound out of the Razer Seiren Elite while it sits anywhere up to 3 or so feet away from your person, leaving it to hang (or sit) outside of most camera ranges so that you can still be heard without having to worry about where the camera sits and getting the microphone in the way of your live shots.
The Razer Seiren Elite also features two key features that streamers should adore. The first is a built-in High Pass Filter (HPF). This filter cuts out white noise, like the sound of case fans or other high-frequency drones that you might hear in the background. The sound of your PC is the most obvious, but in forced air heating or even the sound of box fans in the middle of summer can be cut down with a nice HPF, When you’re shooting for professional quality in your recordings, background noise literally makes the difference between sounding professional and amateur. I use a silent PC case, so the effects were less pronounced in day to day use for me, but I was impressed at the difference this toggle button can make without compressing the sound of your voice.
- Sample Rate: min 44.1kHz / max 48kHz
- Bit Rate: 16bit
- Capsule: Single Dynamic Capsule
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
- Connectivity: USB only
- Max SPL: 120dB
- Headphone Amplifier Impedance: ≥ 16Ω
- Headphone Amplifier Power Output (RMS): 85mW (at 16 Ω)
- Flat Frequency Response: Yes
- Zero-Latency Monitoring: Yes
- High-pass filter switch for ultra-clean recordings
- Digital/analog limiter to reduce distortion
- Zero-latency 3.5 mm headphone monitoring port
- Flat frequency response for accurate recordings
The other neat feature is the vocal limiter. We all know how volumes can change mid-match, like when you earn that chicken dinner, but the Razer Seiren Elite will intelligently prevent you from clipping by dropping the recording volume. This only happens when peaking and signals you with a red ring around the mic, so you don’t have to worry about your levels changing mid-stream. It’s a nice feature to eliminate distortion and take one more thing off your mind when performing for your audience.
At the same time, honing in on streamers has caused some features to get the axe. The most notable would be that the Seiren now features a single microphone capsule set to capture in a cardioid (unidirectional) pattern. This has been getting pared back with successive models, going from multiple modes on the original Seiren, to cardioid and super cardioid on the X, the only cardioid here. Likewise, the sample rate has also been limited to a 16-bit, 48kHz maximum, down from the lofty 24-bit 192kHz maximum on the original.
It’s hard to be too critical of these changes. While it was nice to see those higher rates and different recording modes, the reality is that it was largely overkill for even professional streamers. A 24-bit, 192kHz rate, for example, is wonderfully suited to recording instruments with a wide tonal range. Streamers are like radio broadcasters, though. They’re sitting in one place and talking at one volume (mostly), not breaking out the piano for a mid-match serenade. 44.1kHz and 48kHz are popular standards because vocal capture really doesn’t need anything more.
At the end of it all, the Razer Seiren Elite is a nice and compact little microphone unit that delivers exactly what it says it will do. The ease of use thanks to the High Pass Filter makes less time in the editing bay once you’ve finished recording a video or if you just want to stream for hours. While this is a big bonus for streamers, it makes people lazy and reliant on the High Pass Filter to solve all the background noise issues, something that can easily be done with barely any audio editing experience that I personally think is essential for anyone wanting to get into the media field. Outside of the couple of small features that are put into the Razer Seiren Elite, it provides the same type of sound that you can get out of the much cheaper Turtle Beach and Yeti brands.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to how much effort you want to put into your audio or if you just want to shortcut it from the get-go.
Review Disclosure Statement: The Razer Seiren Elite microphone was provided by Double Jump Communications for our review. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
Decent mid-range mic for a premium price
The Razer Seiren Elite Microphone is a nice compact unit that delivers a fairly decent sound for what you need it for. However, needing to buy a bunch of extras like a microphone arm in order to get the complete experience with the unit doesn't lend itself to newer and budget consonance streamers.
At a $300 price point, you really need to ask yourself if you're going to get the most out of this microphone or do you just want Razer branded stuff.