Review: Antlion ModMic Wireless (Hardware)

Reviewed by Tim Larsson, posted Apr 19, 2019
Apr 19, 2019
Have you ever wanted to speak with your friends and enemies while playing the hottest new competitive games, but just never found a headset that could rival your current headphones? The solution is here. The Antlion ModMic Wireless is the latest model of standalone microphones from Antlion.
Tim Larsson

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If you have struggled to find a headset to satisfy your needs because your current headphones are just too good to swap out, now you have the chance to transform them into the ultimate headset! All you need to do is to follow 3 ridiculously easy steps: clean the surface with the included alcohol wipe, align the microphone to find the position where you want to attach it, remove the protective strip from the base magnet and tape it to the cup.

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Before and after adding the magnet, this is the only "permanent" change to your headphones.

This wireless model removes any extra cords that might get in your way, which also adds to the ease of use. Just pull the microphone away from the strong magnet you applied while setting it up, and you’re back to your regular headphones. Re-attach it for an instant headset.
The microphone comes with two magnets, so you can use the same microphone on several headphones for different uses or users with ease. They also offer extra magnets if you have more than two headphones, or just need spare parts.

When you turn on the microphone, it usually connects to the dongle within a matter of seconds, though I did experience the dongle and microphone got unpaired once during a couple of weeks of heavy use, with me removing the dongle from the computer every day. Luckily, re-pairing is just a matter of holding a button on both the dongle and microphone, and waiting about 15 seconds. Everything is clearly visualised by informative lights on both the dongle and the microphone, so you never have to wonder if everything is working as it should or not.

The button on the side of the microphone is used for all the features: start the device, turn it off, re-pairing, and muting. When you mute the microphone, the light shines red on both the microphone and on the dongle, so you won’t forget that it’s muted.

When you have spoken for several hours during a few days, you will notice another light will start to blink yellow, which is a warning that the battery is running low. The battery lasts for 12 hours of use, but if you would need to use it for longer or just forgot to charge it - rest assured that it works perfectly fine to use while charging with the included USB cord.

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The microphone is dark grey, almost black, and suits most headphones perfectly. There sadly are no color variants if you really want an all white setup, for example. The microphone is made out of plastic, but feels in no way cheap. It's solid and feels like it will last a long time, and at the same time doesn't add too much weight to the headphones. For me, the weight of the microphone on the right ear cup counter the weight of the cord on the left side of my headphones, so it felt perfectly comfortable to use for extended periods of time. My longest session was 5½ hours of continuous talking, and I felt no fatigue added from the microphone.

There is one more detail you will notice on the microphone, and it's a switch near the tip. This is to switch between two modes: a unidirectional cardioid microphone that has a slightly lower quality sound, and an omnidirectional microphone that sounds absolutely fantastic but also picks up more of your surroundings. So if you are playing games clicking away with your mouse and keyboard, maybe you should stick with the unidirectional mode, while changing to the omnidirectional mode when speaking with your friends, recording podcasts or maybe even singing a song.

How does it sound? Antlion thought outside the box to bring high sound quality to wireless microphones, by using the bluetooth technology “aptX”. aptX is used to output high quality audio wirelessly, and was never intended to be used for audio input, but what a great idea it was since this allows for excellent sound quality. Regular wireless headsets have a sampling rate for the microphone of 8,000 Hz. This approximately translates into a frequency response of up to 4,000 Hz, not that far from a regular telephone in quality: 300 - 3,800 Hz

Thanks to the aptX technology regular wireless headsets would have used for the audio output, the ModMic Wireless has a sampling rate of an impressive 48,000 Hz. This translates to a frequency response of 20 - 20,000 Hz, allowing you to record not only the full range of your voice (80 - 14,000 Hz), but also record other sounds, like instruments, snapping your fingers, clapping, or anything else you might want to record. The quality of the recorded audio far outclasses regular wireless headsets, and is even comparable to good wired microphones.

Another benefit of this technology is the reduced latency: only 34ms compared to regular bluetooth technology of about 150ms. These numbers comes from Antlion themselves and I have not been able to verify this myself, but if they were using false numbers I would assume the people of the internet would have been vocal about it already.

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The mic comes neatly packed in this hard case, making it convenient to bring it along in a protected manner.

The microphone doesn’t require any special drivers, it’s all plug-and-play. Works with Windows, Mac, Linux and PS4. Since it uses aptX, the dongle is required which means it won’t work with other bluetooth devices, like your smartphone. It’s worth noting that on the PS4, you will need to use the included USB adapter for the dongle if you use the front ports, because of the size of the dongle and the design of the PS4. It does not work with the Xbox One sadly.

It's worth noting this microphone is pricey. However, if you already have a really good set of headphones that you just don't want to swap out, chances are they too were expensive. If that is the case, you are probably willing to pay extra for the outstanding quality when it comes to audio input as well!

Verdict
Pros
+ Outstanding audio quality
+ Ease of use
+ Simple and clean design that fit any headphone
Cons
- Price
10
out of 10
Overall
A highly recommended wireless microphone for those who care about audio quality. You definitely get what you pay for.


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