Elgato Wave Neo review: Big performance for such a small device (and price)

Corsair's new budget Neo range has a lot to offer at a lower price.

Elgato neo mic review
(Image: © Windows Central | Chelsea Beardsmore)

Windows Central Verdict

The Wave Neo is a fantastic offering from Elgato that offers exceptional quality at a low price. Its design, build quality, and sound quality are all above par, and the white finish only makes me question why Elgato doesn't offer this color on all of its products.


  • +

    Elgato's cheapest microphone

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    Pop filter included with the option to purchase other colors

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    Easy to set up

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    Included software adds further customization

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    Environmentally friendly

  • +

    The color is sleek and appealing


  • -

    No on-board controls aside from tap to mute button

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Practically everyone in the gaming space has heard of Elgato. It's one of, if not the biggest, companies that deal with PC peripherals and, more specifically, streaming equipment. It's known as one of the best in the business for delivering exceptional quality and value for money, and its latest Neo range is no different.

For those unfamiliar, Elgato's Neo series is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly range designed to provide optimal quality at an accessible price point. But does it deliver on the latter? In short—yes. 

I've been actively using the Elgato Wave Neo as my primary microphone for a few weeks now, and I can't say I'm disappointed. It's a cheaper alternative (coming in at $89.99 at Amazon) that still offers high-quality sound output, but what about it is so great? Let's find out.


This review was made possible by a review unit provided by Elgato. The company did not see the contents of the review before publishing.

Wave Neo: Price, specs, and availability

The Wave Neo doesn't necessarily have eye-catching packaging, but it's certainly doing its part for the environment.  (Image credit: Chelsea Beardsmore // Windows Central)

Pricing highlights

  • The Wave Neo is priced at a very reasonable $89.99 in the US.
  • The Wave Neo has changeable pop filters (other colors sold separately), a built-in stand, and Elgato sound software, so you can create your perfect setup.
  • The Wave Neo is made from over 60% recycled materials. 

The Wave Neo is Elgato's cheapest microphone you can buy to date, and, understandably, some may be wondering what has been sacrificed for that lower price offering. Elgato's premium microphone, the Wave 3, is priced at $149.99, a considerably higher price point than the Wave Neo. 

The Wave Neo is designed to be a cost-effective product that is simple in its approach and isn't designed purely for gaming and/or streaming. It's the perfect starting point for anyone looking to get started in content creation, as well as for someone who takes a lot of business meetings or works from home—the Wave Neo is your guy. 

Add to the fact that the entire Neo series is made from over 60% recycled plastic, its packaging is made from 100% plastic-free, recyclable materials, and has been created with less color to conserve water; it's easy to see why the Wave Neo is a winner. 

The Elgato Wave Neo is available from Amazon for $89.99 or directly from Elgato for $89.99. Sadly, at the time of this review, it is not yet available to purchase from Best Buy or Walmart. 

The box includes the Elgato Wave Neo microphone, the stand, a black pop filter, and a nylon-braided USB-A to USB-C cable. 

Wave Neo: Design and build quality

Wave Neo looks stunning no matter how you have it set up. (Image credit: Chelsea Beardsmore // Windows Central)

Design highlights

  • The Elgato Wave Neo is the company's first white microphone, which looks stunning.
  • The Wave Neo feels exceptionally high quality for Elgato's cheapest offering. 
  • A sturdy metal base and pole accompany the Wave Neo.
  • Elgato has thought of everything with the Wave Neo, including a neat little space to clip the microphone cable for tidier storage. 

If there's one thing we know about Elgato products, it's that they look and feel premium, and the Wave Neo is no different. I would argue that it's Elgato's best-looking microphone on the market.

The Wave Neo is meticulously crafted from a combination of premium metal and high-grade plastic, ensuring exceptional durability. The included cable, wrapped in a nylon braid, can be conveniently secured within the dedicated cable holder at the rear of the device, maintaining a sleek and organized appearance. The stand base is adequately weighted to provide unwavering stability. The tap-to-mute button requires minimal pressure for activation, and the integrated LED can be effortlessly adjusted to suit individual preferences, enhancing user experience.

It's clear that a lot of thought has gone into designing the Wave Neo, and there's not much to complain about in the design department. The only thing I would have liked was a bit more customization with how the microphone sits on the stand. I would have wanted to be able to turn it slightly for a better angle that suits me and my setup, as opposed to just being able to tilt it, but that's just me.

Wave Neo: Sound quality

Premium audio sound for a cheaper price, what's not to love? (Image credit: Chelsea Beardsmore // Windows Central)

Sound highlights

  •  The Wave Neo delivers premium sound output for a much more affordable price point. 
  • The included pop filter really helps to deliver crisp and clear sound.
  • The included Wave Link software really helps to perfect your audio. 

As I have previously stated, the Wave Neo is Elgato's most affordable microphone offering, but does that mean its sound output is the worst? Well, the simple answer is no. I was extremely surprised by how premium the Wave Neo sounded, and I think you would be pleasantly surprised, too.

Let's get into the nitty-gritty of it, shall we? The Wave Neo isn't too dissimilar to it's Wave counterparts, using a cardioid polar pattern mic with a 96kHz sampling rate along with a max 24-bit resolution. It offers a 20-20,2000Hz frequency response with a sensitivity rating of -23dB mid gain and 7dB max gain. 

But what does all this mean? In short, it means that the Wave Neo is capable of capturing a wide range of frequencies with good sensitivity and minimal background noise. Is it the best on the market? No, but it's not trying to be. That being said, this is the best budget microphone I've ever had the pleasure of using. 

The included Wave Link software can be used with all of Elgato's Wave line and is a fairly simple way of enhancing your audio output, allowing you to fine-tune every little detail. You can also add effects to your voice, such as many different Fallout voices, so that's a win in my eyes. 

Wave Neo: Competition

Such a clean looking microphone. (Image credit: Chelsea Beardsmore // Windows Central)

There are so many microphone options out there that it can be hard to tell which are the best for you. Unsurprisingly, there are few decent offerings within the same price range as the Wave Neo. The HyperX QuadCast is a little cheaper due to its age and offers a similar sound quality, but it's all up to your preference. For me, the Elgato Wave Neo is the clear winner, as I prefer the crisp white color and minimalistic look. 

However, if you're willing to spend a little more, you can get the Elgato Wave 3, the company's studio-quality condenser microphone, for around $160. However, some argue that there isn't that much difference between the two microphones for the giant leap in price. The Wave Neo has a broader frequency response but is less responsive. Again, it comes down to personal preference. 

I would also recommend the SteelSeries Alias USB microphone. It is a lot pricier than the Wave Neo, selling for around $179.99, but if you're looking for a professional-grade microphone that will fit nicely in your set-up, this could be your guy. This mic is an all-in-one software solution that puts audio mixing, app routing, and AI noise cancellation all in one place for easy customization. It also has a 3x bigger capsule to capture a wide range of vocal ranges. 

Wave Neo: Conclusion

A lot of power for such a small device. (Image credit: Chelsea Beardsmore // Windows Central)

You should buy this if ...

✅You're new to content creation and need a starting point

If you're looking to get into content creation and need a cheaper alternative to get you started, look no further than the Elgato Wave Neo. It doesn't sacrifice sound quality for that cheaper price, and it's environmentally friendly. It's a win-win. 

✅You're looking at creating content or partaking in meetings on the go

The Elgato Wave Neo can be used with an Apple iPad or iPhone using a Lightning adapter cable. This means you don't need a fancy PC set up to enter the world of content creation. 

You shouldn't buy this if ...

You're a hardcore gamer looking for the best-quality microphone

I touched upon this earlier, but if you have the funds to spend a decent amount, then you can get a much better quality microphone for whatever you need it for: content creation, streaming, or just talking to friends in-game. 

Overall, the Elgato Wave Neo is an incredible microphone for its price point. Everything about it is almost perfect: its design, the build quality, the color, the sound quality — I genuinely have very little to complain about. 

Yes, you can get much better microphones when you spend more, but isn't that the same with anything? Elgato has really outdone itself here, creating a budget microphone with the best sound output possible. 

The Elgato Wave Neo is definitely a device that I'll be keeping in my set-up for the foreseeable future, and I cannot wait to test out their other products in the Neo range.

But, please, Elgato, make a white color alternative to all of your products.

Chelsea Beardsmore

Chelly is a part-time writer. She loves all things gaming, building LEGO and spending an inappropriate amount of money on silly things she can’t afford. Some of her favourite games are Monster Hunter, Borderlands and Pokemon. When she’s not writing, she’s probably adding another game to her ever-growing backlog.

With contributions from