If you want to get serious about Twitch streaming, you're going to need a high-quality microphone.
But many of the best mics out there are pretty bulky, which is a problem for streamers who travel often -- or simply don't want a big microphone taking up a chunk of their camera feed. That's where Razer's new $99 Seiren X comes in.
Razer's latest microphone is 50 percent smaller than the original Seiren, sporting an adorably tiny design that looks more like a Coke can than a giant recording contraption. I wouldn't take my gigantic Blue Yeti with me to work, but I've been throwing the Seiren X in my bag nearly every day since I've had it.
The Seiren X is remarkably simple, sporting a mute button and volume knob up front, and nothing else. You won't get the multiple recording modes of the Yeti (which is the go-to USB mic for most streamers), nor will you have a gain knob for adjusting how much noise the Seiren picks up.
One of my biggest gripes is the fact that the headphone and power jacks are located at the bottom of the mic, which, given the short distance between the stand and the microphone, always makes me feel like I'm going to damage my wires when I plug them in. Fortunately, you can remove the Seiren X's small, circular stand completely, should you want to attach it to your own mount.
The Seiren X uses what Razer calls a "Super Cardoid" pickup pattern, which is designed to record your voice with precision while filtering out unwanted noise. However, when comparing voice recordings between the Seiren X and the Yeti's Cardoid mode, I noticed that Razer's microphone let in a lot more background noise. The Seiren X did pick my voice up with decent clarity, but it might not be the best mic out there for recording in noisy environments.
While the Seiren doesn't have all the features or overall quality of the $129 Yeti, it's also $30 cheaper. And its portability really is killer, especially for on-the-go streamers who want something a little more robust than, say, the $36 Samson Go Mic.
The Seiren X is launching alongside Razer's new Kiyo, which is the first USB webcam with a built-in ring light for illuminating your face (my colleague Andrew Freedman loved it; check out his review here). Between the Seiren and the Kiyo, Razer seems fully committed to solving some very specific problems for aspiring Twitch and YouTube stars, and we're eager to see what the gaming giant cooks up for broadcasters next.
Image Credit: Mike Andronico/Tom's Guide