The Razer Seiren X is the gaming peripherals entry into the inexpensive USB microphone market. Being from that world, the Seiren is heavily marketed towards gamers, streamers and vloggers who are looking for a quick and simple way to upgrade their sound. Many gamers - and I speak as one myself - have got by using headsets that combine headphones with a small stork mic at the front. These are fine, but as the technology has improved - and prices have subsequently gone down - having a dedicated mic is no longer the preserve of the pro setup.
Upgrading to a dedicated external mic has a number of benefits, not least in the instant boost in sound quality you’ll enjoy. Your voice will be clearer, ambient sound (i.e. chair movements) will be reduced and that signature mouth-breathing sound that plagues headset mics will be infinitely more controllable. You all know what I mean. All of which adds up to a higher level of presentation for your listeners or viewers, and a better user experience for you.
What we’ve got is a small, nicely designed USB condenser mic that will work with just about any device with a USB input. It does have one specific feature which makes it ideal for the lone gamer/streamer over, say, music applications - more on this later - but, as a cheap, general-purpose mic, it’s not bad at all. Let’s take a look in more detail at what the Razer Seiren is, and at the situations in which it will come into its own.
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Performance & verdict
With the Razer Seiren X sitting very much at the entry-level end of the price spectrum, you’d be forgiven for thinking the quality isn’t the best. We certainly weren’t expecting great things, which is why we were pleasantly surprised with what we found. The case isn’t all metal, as you’ll see with mics higher up the scale, although this isn’t so much of a problem when you consider the Seiren X is only ever likely to be perched on a desktop. It’s not a mic you’ll be taking out to do field recordings, for example, but it’s perfectly suited to the environment it will most likely reside in. Even without a rigid metal body, it’s still a very well designed mic. Everything from the unboxing, through to the ball-jointed stand gives the impression of a well-made, nicely considered bit of kit.
Being a gaming mic, we were expecting all manner of customisable RGB elements but Razer has opted to keep things a bit more subtle, with a green-lit mute button on the front of the microphone as much as there is in the way of colour. Other than that, it’s a slick, matte black finish, although there are white and pink versions available if they suit your aesthetic more.
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The main feature that the Seiren X offers is its pickup pattern. This dictates from where the mic will ‘accept’ incoming audio, and will ensure sound is rejected from elsewhere. With the Seiren X, there is a super-cardioid pattern, meaning the mic will only take in sound from a specific axis, i.e. right in front of it. This is ideal for desktop speech applications, where the mic does a great job of picking up the voice while rejecting sounds coming from outside that area. While this is great for static desktop locations, it does hamper its suitability for music. It’s not, for example, a mic you’d put in the middle of a room to capture a band rehearsal. But then it doesn’t claim to be.
With so many USB condenser mics available, including models from brands like Shure and Rode, Razer was always going to face a battle to be heard. With the Seiren X, however, it’s found its niche and has built up a lot of goodwill over the years for the quality of its gaming peripherals. For music production, honestly, we’d look elsewhere. The Shure MV7 or Audio Technica AT2020USB+ will deliver superior results in those situations, but if you’re looking for a way of boosting your voice, and aren’t too fussed about music, then the Razer Seiren X is a solid choice and represents great value for money.
We Do Tech
- Type: Condenser
- Frequency range: 20 - 20,000 Hz
- Resolution and sample rate: 16 bit up to 48 kHz
- Connections: Mini USB, 3.5mm headphone input
- Controls: Input gain, headphone volume
- Contact: Razer