First of all I would like to thank Antlion for reaching out and sending me the ModMic 5.0. After having reviewed both the Uni-Directional ModMic 4.0 and the Omni-directional ModMic 4.0 (which I used on a daily basis), I was intrigued to see further developments from Antlion.
The new ModMic 5.0 can be found from AmazonUK for £60 and AmazonUSA for $70, which given the ModMic 4.0 prices currently stand around £35-45, it’s a significant price increase. You can find more information about the ModMic 5.0 on Antlion’s website.
Pros: Combination of both ModMic 4.0 omni- and uni-directional mics, modular design, accessories
Cons: Expensive, still needs a (cheap) soundcard to work without static noise, cable weight, no improvements over MocMic 4.0 recordings
Review date: February 2017
Review price: £60
Overall score: 8/10
Here’s my video demonstrating the recording of the ModMic 5.0 and a comparison to the ModMic 4.0:
Let’s get on with this written review!
Antlion ModMic 5.0 review: Accessories
Over the ModMic 4.0, I found the package contents within the 5.0 are very similar, you get the following:
- One ModMic 5 modular microphone set
- Mute switch
- 1m and 2m cables, each with 3.5mm jack
- Durable carrying case
- Two base clasps, one top clasp with cap
- One foam pop filter
- One 2m cable wrap and 10 cable clips
- Extra adhesive pads
- Instruction manual
Over the 4.0, there’s of course the modular design, which results in a separate mute switch and two separate cables. The main thing that has changed is the inclusion of the 2m cable wrap and the 10 cable clips – this helps you attach the mic more permanently with your headphones. It’s a nice touch to say the least, but it’s not something I’d use, given the whole point of the ModMic is to be detachable, easily taken apart from the headphones – rather than sticking with them. Either way, I can’t complain of its inclusion.
A small, yet noticeable change was the carrying case being upgraded from a plastic-esk material to a velvet-type of material. It’s nothing too special if you’ll be using the ModMic on the regular, but adds that small touch of class, which is duly appreciated.
On the whole, I can’t complain about the accessories included, and I’m actually impressed Antlion could improve on what they previously offered. However, I would have liked to see the inclusion of the USB soundcard, to be included for free within the package.
Antlion ModMic 5.0 review: Build quality & design
The build quality is drastically changed on the ModMic 5.0. Starting from the cables, you’ve got 1m and 2m cables to connect up to your mic, where you could combine both for a total of 3m. Each cable has a male and female connection, where they connect to your soundcard/PC, while the other plugs into the mute switch.
You could also opt to bypass the mute switch (although I find it useful to have), and for it to plug in directly to your microphone – which coincidentally has a ridiculously short cable.
This is where I feel Antlion have been in two minds – they want a more modular design, but still want to retain the mute switch, which resulted in a very short cable coming form the mic.
This might not seem like an inherent problem, but when compared to the ModMic 4.0’s weight on your headphones/ears, you’ll find the 5.0 that tad bit heavier, making it bear down on your headphones – this especially applies if your headphones are light.
The biggest change in terms of build quality is the memory wire found by the mic itself. It’s a lot more stiffer. I didn’t have any problems with the ModMic 4.0, so I’m unsure why it was changed, but in the 5.0, I felt it can lead to problems in the long run.
Due to a stronger construction, if you were to adjust the wire from the head of the mic, it’ll start to open the mic unit itself, rather than actually re-position the memory cable. This means you could accidentally break your mic, without even realising it. On the plus side, this does make the 5.0 a lot more sturdier.
Now comes the most interesting part – the multi-mic capabilities. With a flick of a switch, you can alternate between an omni- or uni-directional mic. This one ups the ModMic 4.0 mics, as it combines both of them in one stem. However, this still means you have to switch between the two, and in all honesty, I don’t see the point. It’s either one or the other, and from my prior experience the omni-directional is the way to go if you want the best recording quality. The only time you’ll use the uni-directional mic is when it’s very noisy in your household and you want the mic to be more concentrated on you. Thus, I find the switch a little bit pointless, as it’s still one or the other – but instead of having to buy and switch to another mic, you have it all in one unit.
I should also mention, just like the ModMic 4.0, the 5.0 attaches to your headphones in the same way – you have a 3M adhesive, which then has a magnet that clasps the mic and mount together – resulting in your headphones turning into a headset. Through its ingenious design, you’ll be able to quickly flip up/down the mic, while it still being attached to your headphones.
Another positive, but taken from the uni-directional ModMic 4.0, is that the soft, non-tangle cable is back. It was missed with the omni-directional ModMic 4.0, and I’m glad Antlion brought it back.
Antlion ModMic 5.0 review: Recording Quality
Of course, the most important thing here is the recording quality, and given the mics are identical to both the omni- and uni-directional ModMic 4.0s, there’s not much to say in comparison to the older generation.
Just like the 4.0, both mics are fantastic, but do require a USB soundcard if you’ll be using a poor mic source. The mics both suffer from the same static noise problems, which can be solved by using a cheap and cheerful USB soundcard – such as this one on AmazonUK. For this reason, I would have like to see Antlion’s own USB soundcard to be included within the package.
To quickly describe the recording quality of both mics on the 5.0 – I would say that they’re both fantastic for gaming and do offer a superior, more concentrated recording input over a conventional USB microphone.
The omni-directional mode offers a wider soundstage, good depth in the sub- and mid-bass frequencies, whilst offering a decent mid-range and high end extension for vocals.
In comparison, the uni-directional offers a more concentrated sound, which results in a narrower soundstage, but localises your voice better than the omni mode.
The ModMic 5.0 is like its younger brothers, it provides a fantastic recording quality, as long as you have a USB/on-bard/ dedicated soundcard to back it up.
Antlion ModMic 5.0 review: Conclusion
In all honesty, the ModMic 5.0 is a healthy step forwards for the company, but I don’t quite see the point in investing more than the 4.0 and/or upgrading from the ModMIc 4.0. At a heightened price, you get more for your money, granted, but will you really utilise that? That’s up to you to decide.
In my case, I’ll be sticking to my omni-directional mic, as I rather have single, non-modular cable, and a mic that I won’t fear in breaking when adjusting its position.
Hope you enjoyed my review!