Skip to main content

Elgato Wave 3 microphone review: Giving the best mics a run for their money

Elgato is making waves with the Wave 3. I won't apologize for that pun.

After spending some time testing out the Yeti X microphone, I was able to try the Elgato Wave 3, another that came up frequently when I was researching what mics people prefer to use when game streaming. You'll find a lot of people swear by one or the other — someone even commented on a tweet regarding my Yeti X review to say that the Wave 3 was better — but I find them fairly comparable. I have a little less to complain about with the Wave 3, but they're both excellent in terms of audio quality.

The Elgato Wave 3 can easily stand beside the best microphones for PS5 and even just some of the best streaming equipment in general. If you're a professional or amateur streamer, the Elgato Wave 3 should definitely be on your radar.

Bottom line: The Elgato Wave 3 stands tall among the best USB microphones out there. With tap-to-mute functionality, sound mixing, and clear audio, it's definitely a winner for professional and amateur streamers alike.

The Good

  • Tap-to-mute
  • Gain, mix, and volume controls
  • Clipguard technology to prevent distortion
  • Excellent audio

The Bad

  • Only one polar pattern

$140 at Amazon $140 at Best Buy

Elgato Wave 3: Price and availability

A relatively recent product, the Elgato Wave 3, a successor to the Wave 1, was introduced in June 2020. It's available at most large retail chains like Amazon and Best Buy for $160. Occasionally you can find it on sale for $140. Sites that host a lot of third-party sellers are wild cards with their prices, with Walmart listing it for over $200. It only comes in one color, so what you see is what you get.

Elgato Wave 3: What's great

Category Spec
Weight 1.3 lbs
Dimensions 6.0" x 2.6" x 1.6"
Cable length 8.25'
Frequency response 70Hz to 20kHz
Condensers 17 mm Electret
Polar patterns Cardioid
Ports USB-C
3.5mm jack

In terms of presentation and design, the Wave 3 looks great. All in black aside from the logo, its thin, rectangular build is a welcome change compared to some of the market's stockier options. I can appreciate wacky colors or RGB lighting on the right product, but sometimes you don't want an accessory that immediately pegs you as a gamer. Though it's meant for streaming, the Wave 3 wouldn't feel out of place in a board room or office setting.

As for the most important aspect, its audio quality, you'll be incredibly pleased here. The Wave 3 delivers clear sound and even has Clipguard technology to prevent distortion when you get too loud. That's not to say it works perfectly — because you can definitely still yell loud enough for it to sound awful — but the threshold is much higher, so it won't happen as often.

Delivers clear sound and has Clipguard technology to prevent distortion.

What I think is an unsung feature on microphones is tap-to-mute. Plenty of microphones allow you to mute them by pressing a dial or button, but this almost always results in an audible click that I can't stand when recording a podcast. With tap-to-mute, you can mute it silently by simply tapping the top of the microphone. That little detail is underappreciated and something I wish more companies would consider when designing their products.

The front of the microphone below the grille also features indicators and a dial for your gain, volume, and audio mixing. This isn't uncommon on premium microphones like this, but sometimes you'll only find an option to adjust your headset volume or gain. Having all three makes it all the more more appealing.

Elgato Wave 3: What's bad

It's difficult to come up with any complaints here. While not as flashy or fancy as some other microphones may be, it's still a tremendous accessory. The biggest issue you may find is that it only supports one polar pattern (cardioid), limiting the type of recordings you can do. Sorry, ASMRtists.

Though not a problem with the microphone, its Wave Link app is underwhelming, especially compared to what the Yeti X offers with the Logitech G Hub. On the flip side, this does make the Wave Link more user-friendly as you can adjust your audio mixing between several channels.

Elgato Wave 3: Competition

Considering its price point and who it's marketed towards, I'd say the main competition of the Elgato Wave 3 is the Blue Yeti X. While the Yeti X is slightly more expensive, it also features real-time LED metering and a stellar companion app. The Yeti X's gain and mixing controls may be more sensitive, but you can't argue with its audio quality.

For a cheaper alternative, Razer offers a great microphone for just $100. The Seiren X is sleek and compact, making it a great candidate to take while traveling. Featuring background noise filtering and a Supercardiod pickup pattern, it also delivers clear audio for streamers and content creators. You can also pick it up in either black, white, or quartz pink to perfectly fit your aesthetic. It's not as fancy as the Wave 3 or Yeti X, but it's still an exceptional mic that'll get the job done.

Elgato Wave 3: Should you buy it?

You should buy this if ...

  • You value ease of use
  • You prefer tap-to-mute features over a button press
  • You want gain, mix, and volume controls on the mic
  • You want to deliver clear audio to your listeners

You shouldn't buy this if...

  • You record audio that could make better use of multiple polar patterns
  • You want an app that offers a greater variety of customization options

If the Yeti X doesn't appeal to you for some reason, but it's within your price range, this is a perfect alternative. Only have one polar pattern might hurt its versatility, but it will still work wonders for game streaming. Elgato is a company largely built on the game streaming community, so you know it's its top priority.

4.5 out of 5

I wouldn't say the Wave 3 is leagues above the competition, but that's not an indictment on the Wave 3; rather, it's just that the competition is really good. It would go well with anyone's streaming setup, especially as it's stream-ready to work with Stream Deck and OBS Studio through Wave Link. Given its price and its features, it's one of the best USB microphones you can get.

Bottom line: Make waves with the Wave 3, Elgato's latest and greatest microphone for game streamers. It's not as flashy as some others on the market, but it's got it where it counts.

$140 at Amazon $140 at Best Buy

Source: androidcentral

Popular posts from this blog

iPhone 14 Color Options: Which Color Should You Choose?

The iPhone 14 models are available in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both sets of devices, as well as some popular classics. The ‌iPhone 14‌ and iPhone 14 Pro lineups have different colors to choose from, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you may not be able to get your preferred model in that color. Check out our guide on the ‌iPhone 14 Pro‌ color options for more information about those devices. The ‌iPhone 14‌ and ‌iPhone 14‌ Plus are now available in a total of six colors, four of which are new shades. Although previous standard iPhone lineup color options have tended to be bolder and brighter, in 2022, Apple chose to offer a slightly more muted color palette, with the exception of a brighter PRODUCT(RED) and Yellow. The ‌iPhone 14‌ and ‌iPhone 14‌ Plus's six available color options are: Midnight Starlight PRODUCT(RED) Blue Purple Yellow Midnight and Starlight were carried over from the iPhone 13 lineup,

T-Mobile to Acquire Ryan Reynolds' Mint Mobile Brand

U.S. carrier T-Mobile today announced that it plans to acquire Mint Mobile, the affordable smartphone brand that is promoted by and backed by actor Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds and T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert teamed up for a video letting customers know about the coming acquisition. The deal is for Ka'ena Corporation, the parent company of Mint Mobile, Ultra Mobile, and Plum, with T-Mobile paying up to $1.35 billion, split into 39 percent cash and 61 percent stock. The final purchase price will be settled later this year after the deal closes. T-Mobile plans to continue Mint Mobile's $15 per month pricing option, which provides 4GB of high-speed 4G or 5G data along with unlimited text and talk. T-Mobile is purchasing Mint Mobile's sales, marketing, digital, and service operations, and says that it will use the T-Mobile supplier relationships and distribution scale to help Mint Mobile grow. Mint Mobile's "industry leading" marketing expertise will be incorpor

New MacBook Air Rumored to Launch in April With These 5 New Features

Apple plans to release a new MacBook Air with a larger 15-inch display in April , according to display industry analyst Ross Young. The laptop is expected to be powered by the M2 chip and will likely support Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. While we wait for the new MacBook Air to be announced, we have recapped five new features that have been rumored or are likely to be included. 15-Inch Display The new MacBook Air is expected to be equipped with a larger 15.5-inch display , which would be the largest ever for the laptop. The current MacBook Air has a 13.6-inch display, and the laptop was offered in an 11-inch size many years ago. While a new 13-inch MacBook Air with an OLED display is rumored to launch in 2024, the 15-inch model is expected to have a traditional LCD. M2 Chip Like the 13-inch MacBook Air, the 15-inch model will reportedly be available with the M2 chip . Apple says the M2 chip has up to an 18% faster CPU, up to a 35% faster GPU, and up to a 40% faster Neural E

Apple's First OLED iPad: All the Rumors So Far

Apple is developing OLED technology for the iPad , and the new displays are expected to come to the iPad Pro models as soon as next year. This guide aggregates everything we know about Apple's plans for the OLED ‌iPad‌. Sizing Apple is expected to offer the first OLED iPads in sizes that are similar to the current ‌iPad Pro‌ sizes, providing one smaller 10.9 to 11.1-inch model and a larger 12.9 to 13-inch model (rumors vary slightly on target display size). In the future, OLED ‌iPad‌ models could be as large as 15 inches . Rumors suggest that Apple supplier BOE is developing OLED displays as large as 15 inches, which could be used for a larger-sized ‌iPad‌. According to Bloomberg 's Mark Gurman , Apple is considering iPads that exceed 12.9 inches, and in 2021, he claimed that larger sizes were a "couple of years down the road, but could be scrapped all together. OLED Improvements Compared to the mini-LED technology that Apple uses for the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌