The traditional gamer gear – a headset with a microphone that sounds like it was dredged out of a 1970s basement – isn’t going to cut it when it comes to video content. That’s why Rode, a big name in podcasting, has launched Rode X, a new brand of streaming gear that features higher-end microphones and software to make you sound more like a sports announcer and less like an AM radio.

The gear includes the XDM-100, a dynamic USB mic and the XCM-50, a condenser mic in a more podcaster-friendly format. The Rode X software, called Unify, is a mixing solution that lets you bring in “up to four microphones and six virtual audio devices – including game, chat, music and browser – into one intuitive audio mixer.”

The XDM-100 costs $249 on sale but retails for $345. The XCM-50 is a mere $149. The dynamic mic comes with a shock cage to reduce noise while the XCM-50 sits on its own little stand. Both should be sufficient for the average game. I personally prefer the XDM-style microphone but your results and budget may vary.

By John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.

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