Over the years, I’ve used my fair share of microphones to capture voices and pair them with videos. As soon as I sat down to write this review, I suddenly remembered, the amount of mics I’ve worked with since working in media production. There’s been lavaliers, handheld, studio, and boom microphones. All of them have their purpose but if I had to choose the best for creating content, I’d go with a studio every time.
That’s why when I first saw the BEACN Mic, I was curious to learn more. From its appearance alone, I had a good feeling about it and I’m here to say, I’m not disappointed.
Disclaimer: The BEACN Mic and BEACN Mic Create were provided by BEACN.
I cannot say enough good things about the company and thank them for allowing me to check out the equipment. Having done zero research into the gear beforehand, I jumped in cold and it was worth it.
Plug and Play
The BEACN Mic is a USB mic. Now, before anyone starts any discourse on USB mics, I won’t hear it. As a human being, I once believed XLR mics were the path all professionals should use and I swore by that. However, that is no longer the case. I’ve changed my ways like the ring light on the BEACN Mic changes colors. USB mics such as the BEACNs can be just as professional and high-quality as the XLR you find in voice actor booths across the world. Out of the box it comes with one USB cable for the mic and one for the Create that runs from the both to your computer. You don’t need a fancy external interface, but you will need BEACN’s app to run the mic and BEACN Mix Create.
I need to talk about the USB cables themselves, as they are sturdy and quite lengthy. Their size is by no means a negative, but rather a boon. Having extra cable length ensures you get the optimum reach required for your setup. Plus, you can always hide them or tie them up with zip ties. Like they’re really really long. It’s great.
The mic itself comes in a pill shape style with a changeable ring light in the center. It’s lightweight and easy to move around if you need to take it on the go or move it from room A to room B. And with the lengthy USB cable, you can move around your work area like a live reporter out on assignment. Yet, with all that moving you’d expect to get a lot of feedback or outside noise as you moved about. However, that’s not the case with the BEACN Mic.
Actual moving about noise
What really peaked interest in the mic, is how it handles noise suppression. When we first started our live streaming journey, we noticed a lot of external noises such as the computer fan, keyboard clacking, and game audio were being picked up by our mics. Having tested the BEACN Mic against the others, the sound quality vastly improved. The external noises were reduced or completely gone when using the BEACN equipment. Even without messing with anything in the app.
The addition of a ring light around the center of the mic is just fun. It’s a visually pleasing feature that offers entertainment to an already entertaining piece of equipment. It’s great for live streaming and adds a bit of flair and uniqueness to the streamer and the mic itself. The light can be changed 20 different colors, be a blend of two, rotate between multiple, or be configured to light up with your voice or specific audio. It’s a gimmick, but as Jeremy Clarkson said, “what’s wrong with a gimmick? That’s brilliant!”
BEACN App and Mix Create
The BEACN App is where you’ll find everything that fuels the microphone. It’s an all in one interface that gives you full control over sound quality, expander, compression, noise suppression, the color of the ring light, and other hardware you may be running. It really makes you feel like you’re in control of the audio production center at a recording booth. You know the ones, where the performer is standing in a soundproofed room behind a glass window. You’re the person making sure their audio is clear, pristine, and doesn’t peak.
You choose your own personal mix and audience mix. Basically this gives you access to where the sound is sent. You can either choose your headphones or another speaker to send the audio to and you can switch between them by moving the fader or holding down a knob on the Create for a few seconds. Whereas the audience mix is what the audience hears. You have full control of what goes out live to them versus what you hear. If you wanted to listen to your music without it going live over the air, you’re free to do just that. You’ll also be able to monitor audio levels from here to ensure they are correct.
On top of all that, you can control additional components in the app as well. Say, you’re streaming through Twitch and have a game running, music playing, and your mic audio. Once you’ve configured each into it’s own channel, you can control them through either the app or the BEACN Mix Create. The app uses faders to control audio levels for each component whereas the Create uses knobs. Both are seamless and simply, but the tactile feel of turning or clicking a knob to reduce or increase volume is a nice touch. Pun intended. If you’re running a larger more complex stream, the Create is probably more you’re style as it’s a physical addon you can set nearby your work station. Then again, both are equal in how they handle audio so it really depends on preference.
The BEACN Mic and BEAN Mix Create are versatile tools for streamers and content creators. If you’re looking to start streaming or creating videos, the mic and interface are great additions to any stream setup.