Antlion’s ModMic line at all times appealed to me in idea. Forget shopping for a gaming headset of questionable reputation. Acquire a high-end pair of headphones as an alternative—hell, perhaps you have already got that—after which merely affix a microphone to the aspect. My interior audiophile rejoiced on the concept.
But I discovered the then-current ModMic 5 a bit awkward once I reviewed it in 2018. Picture it: You’re already utilizing wired headphones, after which you want to run a second, separate wire from the ModMic itself to your PC. It was kludgy, even with the cable sheaths Antlion included to bind the 2 wires collectively—a prototype greater than a product.
Enter the ModMic Wireless. It appears so apparent, proper? If cabling is the issue, merely get rid of one of many cables. Could Antlion clear up the issue so simply although? I just lately spent a while with the ModMic Wireless to seek out out.
Putting within the work
ModMic set up remains to be as nerve-wracking as ever. Remember, the ModMics are designed to mount on any pair of headphones. That means adhesive, within the type of 3M tape. You peel off the backing, eyeball the place you need the microphone to relaxation, after which affix it.
It feels everlasting. It’s scary. Like final time, I made a decision to make use of my Sennheiser HD 280s, which aren’t even that costly. They’re $100 studio headphones I’ve had for almost a decade now. Even so, it’s unnerving to make such a drastic—and admittedly considerably ugly—modification. I can’t even think about doing this with some $1,200 ZMFs or what have you ever.
Actually, I can think about it, and I don’t suggest it.
Assuming you’ve gotten some headphones which might be nice-but-not-too-nice although, the excellent news is the ModMic is extra “semi-permanent.” What you’re really affixing to your headphones is a small magnetic disc. It’s nonetheless a little bit of an eyesore, however the remainder of the ModMic, the precise bulk of the gadget together with the microphone and management unit, detaches.
That’s important, actually. If you’re utilizing a ModMic, likelihood is it’s as a result of you’ve gotten a pair of headphones you love. You love them a lot, you’ll be able to’t bear the considered utilizing a gaming headset, even for the added comfort. It follows that you just’d wish to maintain utilizing these headphones exterior the home, and having the ability to take away (most of) the ModMic makes that doable.
And the ModMic Wireless is infinitely simpler to take away than its predecessor. Once I’d hooked up the ModMic 5, I principally left it in place. Removing it entailed undoing all of the cable sheaths, untangling the 2 cables inside, after which detaching the precise ModMic itself. It wasn’t well worth the effort. But the ModMic Wireless? It simply pops on and off. Easy.
My solely criticism about set up is that I felt “forced” to take action on the appropriate earcup. Why? Because doing so meant the MicroUSB charging port was correctly oriented going through down. You may mount the ModMic Wireless on the left, and I wished to take action as a result of that’s the usual for many (if not all) gaming headsets, however it leaves that port pointing into the sky, which is…bizarre.
Anyway, as soon as it’s mounted it’s pretty straightforward to get the ModMic Wireless paired up. Plug the USB dongle into your PC, after which it’s as straightforward as holding down the button on the dongle and on the ModMic itself to set them looking out.
And that was it! I can’t stress sufficient how a lot less complicated the ModMic Wireless set up was versus the ModMic 5. The equipment even included a second rivet, so you might theoretically switch the ModMic Wireless between two pairs of headphones—one thing I by no means would’ve completed with the ModMic 5.
Still, there are some drawbacks. Going wi-fi undoubtedly improves the ModMic expertise general, however it does imply you’re battery-reliant. Antlion claims you’ll get 12 hours of battery from the ModMic Wireless, which must be sufficient for even an extended day of back-to-back Zoom calls and gaming. It’s another gadget you want to bear in mind to cost although, or else you’re again to 2 cables dangling out of your headphones.
I additionally want the ModMic Wireless was smarter about powering down. It’ll accomplish that routinely if the receiver loses energy (i.e. you place your pc to sleep) however in any other case you want to bear in mind to manually flip it off if you’re completed speaking.
The ModMic Wireless additionally consists of standing LEDs on each the microphone unit and the USB receiver. Blue means the ModMic is linked, pink means it’s muted, and yellow means it’s charging. Problem is, the location of those LEDs is awkward. The three on the ModMic itself are arrayed on the exterior, which means when you’ve gotten the headset on you’ll be able to’t see them. This is particularly problematic within the case of the pink “Mute” indicator.
Antlion’s resolution is to direct your gaze on the USB receiver. That works tremendous on most laptops, however on a desktop? A protracted-term peripheral like this, I wish to put the receiver on the again of my tower, besides then you’ll be able to’t see the lights. Antlion features a USB extension cable, so you’ll be able to both plop that in your desk someplace in view or clear house in your entrance I/O. Neither’s an ideal resolution, for my part—however hey, a minimum of it’s cleaner than the ModMic 5’s in-line mute toggle.
The final knock towards the ModMic Wireless is that the audio is much less spectacular than with the ModMic 5. There’s a value to pay for going wi-fi, even if you’re going made-for-audio-snobs wi-fi.
You nonetheless get two microphones right here, a cardioid pickup for noisy environments and an omnidirectional microphone for higher-quality recordings. When you A/B check with the ModMic 5 although, the ModMic Wireless dishes up a thinner and extra nasally sound than its wired sibling on each settings. This is just not a microphone I’d wish to file music with or perhaps a critical podcast.
That’s solely disappointing coming from the ModMic 5 although. If you’re coming from a regular gaming headset, particularly a wi-fi gaming headset? The ModMic Wireless undoubtedly sounds hotter and extra flattering than (as an illustration) the HyperX Cloud Flight S or Astro A50.
I suppose the query is whether or not “better than a gaming headset” is sufficient to justify the ModMic Wireless’s $120 value. If you’re in love with a selected pair of high-end headphones, the reply is probably sure—however the ModMic Wireless gained’t pull double-duty as a podcast microphone or something just like the (considerably cheaper) ModMic 5.
Price is the one cause to present the ModMic 5 any consideration although—and even then, I’d nonetheless go for the Wireless. Sure, the ModMic Wireless nonetheless isn’t almost as handy nor as elegant as a headset with a built-in microphone. It’s a “hack,” a workaround designed for a passionate area of interest of audiophiles. But the ModMic Wireless does what it claims, and does it with a hell of so much much less fuss than the unique wired ModMic. This is the closest Antlion’s ever come to its objective.
I nonetheless assume a correct gaming headset might be a greater funding. As I mentioned, the ModMic Wireless is $120 by itself, dearer than the HyperX Cloud Alpha and nearly as a lot as Logitech’s G Pro X and G533—and that’s earlier than you consider the price of headphones. (See our roundup of PC gaming headsets for our prime suggestions in any respect value ranges.) But when you’re decided to go down the audiophile rabbit gap, the ModMic Wireless is your best choice by far.
Just be warned, it’s a deep rabbit gap.