Tom's Hardware Verdict
The HyperX DuoCast is a mid-range microphone with two polar patterns, hi-res 24-bit bit-depth, and great sound, but is that enough?
Tap-to-mute is well-designed and works perfectly
Nicely-designed low-profile shock mount
Doesn’t stand out, but isn’t designed to
Only comes in black
$99 price approaches QuadCast sale prices
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It feels like HyperX took a look at its microphone lineup and thought it might be able to carve out a mid-range niche with its new HyperX DuoCast.
The $99 DuoCast sits right in the middle of HyperX’s existing mic lineup: It’s a step (or three) up from the brand’s basic, budget-friendly SoloCast — and a half-step down from the flashy, high-end QuadCast/QuadCast S (which remains one of best gaming microphones we’ve tested).
Like the SoloCast and QuadCast, the DuoCast is named for the number of selectable polar patterns it features (two, in this case — cardioid and omnidirectional). The DuoCast also supports 96kHz/24-bit recording, and has a built-in pop filter, user-friendly controls, and comes with a low-profile shock mount. The DuoCast sports a slim RGB strip that will satisfy your craving for pretty lights, without shoving a blinding neon festival in front of your face.
The DuoCast might be the perfect compromise for gamers, streamers, and podcasters who want QuadCast-quality at a slightly lower price. But its $99 price might’ve felt more mid-range if the QuadCast wasn’t already a few years old (the QuadCast S was mostly an aesthetic upgrade). A $99 DuoCast isn’t quite as enticing when the company’s premium flagship product is often on sale for $20 more (or even $10 less).
HyperX DuoCast Specifications
|2 Electret Condenser Capsules
|20Hz - 20KHz
|'-6dBFS (1V/Pa at 1kHz)
|Dimensions (H x W)
|8 x 4.5 inches / 203 x 114mm (with stand)
|0.53lbs / 243.2g (microphone only); 0.96lbs/433.7g (with stand)
Design of the HyperX DuoCast
The HyperX DuoCast lands squarely in the middle of HyperX’s product lineup,in both function and form. It’s even medium-sized, measuring 8 inches (203mm) tall (including the stand) — larger than the 7.1-inch SoloCast and smaller than the 9.5-inch QuadCast.
Design-wise, the DuoCast looks like a smaller, less flashy, slightly-cheaper version of the QuadCast. It sports the same honeycomb-perforated capsule-shaped body (in matte black plastic, rather than the QuadCast’s more-premium aluminum), and comes with a low-profile version of the QuadCast’s shock mount.
The DuoCast is all-black, minus the slim RGB lightstrip wrapped around its middle — a toned-down version of the QuadCast’s full-body pop filter light show.
The top of the DuoCast features a touch-sensitive tap-to-mute button — one of HyperX’s best design features. Tapping this button mutes and unmutes the microphone flawlessly — with none of the audible popping and shuffling that often accompanies a physical mute button/switch. Muting the microphone also shuts off the RGB lightstrip for easy visual confirmation.
The DuoCast also has a gain control adjustment knob, which, when pressed, doubles as a multi-function button for switching between the mic’s two polar patterns. This knob is located on the back of the mic, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB-C port. The DuoCast comes packaged with a mount adapter that supports both 3/8-inch and 5/8-inch thread sizes, and a 6.5-foot USB-C to USB-A cable.
Performance and Sound Quality on the HyperX DuoCast
When it comes to sound quality, the DuoCast doesn’t disappoint — it does an excellent job of capturing clean, crisp audio (vocal or otherwise). I tested the DuoCast alongside the QuadCast. Most of the people I spoke to couldn’t tell I was switching between two mics, and my husband — who has probably written sonnets to the original QuadCast — thought I sounded better with the DuoCast.
The DuoCast is built around dual electret condenser capsules and features a built-in pop filter, a 20Hz - 20kHz frequency response, and two polar patterns — cardioid and omnidirectional.
Cardioid, or unidirectional, is best for picking up sound from one direction — directly in front of the microphone. You’ll use this polar pattern if you’re alone and talking directly into the mic (podcasting, singing, intimate heart-to-hearts over video chat). Omnidirectional, on the other hand, picks up sound from all directions. You’ll use this polar pattern if you’ve got sound coming from multiple sources — a multi-person podcast/stream, multiple musical instruments, etc.
You can switch between the DuoCast’s polar patterns by pressing and holding the multi-function dial on the back of the mic. The RGB light strip will light up briefly to indicate the current polar pattern — a full circle of light to indicate omnidirectional, or a single light at the front to indicate cardioid.
The DuoCast supports 96kHz/24-bit hi-res recording, which will provide “high quality” and “crystal-clear voice capturing” and “capture accurate, low-noise recordings,” according to HyperX. It’s a step up from the QuadCast, which is now the only microphone in the lineup limited to 48kHz/16-bit recording (a recently-released firmware update also upgraded the SoloCast to 96kHz/24-bit hi-res recording).
Software on the HyperX DuoCast
The DuoCast pairs with HyperX’s NGENUITY software suite, where you can configure audio options and customize the DuoCast’s RGB lightstrip. You only need to download NGENUITY if you want custom RGB colors and effects; you can configure the DuoCast’s audio options using the mic’s physical controls (which are easier to use and more intuitive to navigate than the NGENUITY software, anyway). NGENUITY isn’t terrible, as far as companion software goes — the lighting section lets you pick custom colors, adjust opacity, and add and layer effects, which is fun to play with but not exactly functionally essential.
The HyperX DuoCast checks all the boxes: It’s sturdy, well-built, delivers excellent sound quality, has intuitive controls, dual polar pattern versatility, hi-res 24-bit bit-depth, etc. It’s even pretty attractive — sleek, black, minimalist — but I’m just not sure it’s a necessary product. It doesn’t stand out (probably because it’s designed to fit in).
It’s an excellent microphone, but its $99 price tag feels a little too high when you can pick up a higher-end, more feature-rich microphone for $10 - $20 more. The broadcast-friendly MSI Immerse GV60, for example, features four polar patterns, a hi-res 24-bit/96kHz sample rate, and frequently goes on sale for less than $120.
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware covering peripherals, software, and custom builds. You can find more of her work in PCWorld, Macworld, TechHive, CNET, Gizmodo, Tom's Guide, PC Gamer, Men's Health, Men's Fitness, SHAPE, Cosmopolitan, and just about everywhere else.
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