The ever-growing popularity of video game streaming has brought an increased demand for streaming accessories. Established gamer-centric brands like Razer and HyperX have capitalized on this momentum by offering impressive suites of gaming products. However, with far more options available, and even more brands, it can sometimes be tough to find the right fit for your situation.
Take, for example, the EPOS B20 Streaming Microphone, which I recently spent some time with. EPOS is the gaming spinoff of legacy audio production company Sennheiser, and the microphone was built from the ground up with streamers in mind. The B20 is a luxury offering from EPOS that packs loads of features into a sleek frame. This microphone might not be ideal for every user's setup, but this well-crafted, minimalistic device delivers premium audio quality and incredible portability.
Bottom line: The EPOS B20 Streaming Microphone is the ultimate USB option for streamers on the go, but for some, additional accessories may be required for the best experience.
- Sleek, tight design
- Amazing portability
- Remarkable audio quality
- Desk arm stand is rather short
- Microphone sensitivity may be an issue for some
EPOS B20 Streaming Microphone: Price and availability
The EPOS B20 Streaming Microphone is currently available through Amazon and Best Buy for $200. As this microphone is a newer release, it appears that the $200 price tag is currently set across all major third-party sellers. We'll be sure to update this review with any deals as they become available, but we wouldn't expect any deep discounts for quite a while.
EPOS B20 Streaming Microphone: What you'll like
|Frequency Response||50-20,000 Hz|
|Pick-up Patterns||Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo|
|Microphone Type||Condenser Microphone|
|Connector Plugs||USB-C & built in 3.5 mm headphone jack|
|Cable Length||2.9 m|
|Compatibility||PC, Mac, PS4|
|Warranty||2 years, international|
One of my favorite aspects of the EPOS B20 Streaming Microphone is its remarkably tight and flexible design. It's immediately apparent upon opening the packaging just how much care went into ensuring this product was slim and nimble. There are no frills or neon gimmicks here; just an elegant condenser microphone nestled atop a simple, yet effective rotating desk stand. If space is an issue with your current layout, the EPOS B20 offers an incredibly unintrusive solution.
Another huge perk stemming from the design sensibilities is just how straightforward it is to set up and control. With a sturdy USB-C connection and 3.5mm headphone input, essentially everything you need to get recording can be connected in under 30 seconds. To keep things well-contained and streamlined, all major controls are easily accessible from the sides of the microphone as well. You won't have to go far to adjust mic gain, pick-up patterns, volume, or mute.
The sleek frame and self-contained controls make this an impressive option for remote or mobile use. It was super easy to toss the EPOS B20 in my bag alongside my Surface Pro and get myself all ready to stream or record in just a few short minutes. For me, this offered premium portability other mics like my Blue Yeti or Rode Procaster simply can't compete with.
In addition to the excellent look and feel of the EPOS B20, the microphone quality is another glowing feature. The three condenser capsules engineered into the B20 capture beautiful high-end clarity, giving your voice plenty of shine as well as presence. You might need to spend some time tweaking the gain and pick-up patterns based on your positioning with the microphone, but once I had everything dialed in, I was quite happy with the sound and tone of my voice. Sennheiser has historically delivered excellent, studio-quality condenser microphones, and its latest entry in the EPOS gaming line seems to be no exception.
EPOS B20 Streaming Microphone: What you won't like
While I praised the EPOS B20 Streaming Microphone for its portability and ease-of-use, you're going to want some additional accessories if you're planning to use this as your primary home-recording microphone, specifically due to the noticeably short arm of the included desk stand, As you'll likely notice in most of the promotional materials for the B20, the microphone is fixed to a boom arm. This is because the height of the adjustable arm in the box just isn't realistic for the average full-size desk setup. In my case, I couldn't sit comfortably while maintaining the proper distance from the microphone.
Potential buyers should also be aware of the EPOS B20's microphone sensitivity. If you've used condenser microphones in the past, you're probably familiar with the struggles of balancing room tone and background noise, but even as an experienced user, it took a fair amount of tweaking to minimize the background noises in my recordings. Imperfections like this can easily be eliminated through post-processing effects such as noise gates or noise suppressors, but as a purist, I'd prefer to have the cleanest source audio possible. So again, if you are planning to use this at your desk, I'd highly recommend a boom arm to get that microphone closer to your mouth while recording.
EPOS B20 Streaming Microphone: Competition
As I mentioned, there's a great deal of competition when it comes to the best microphones for streamers, especially in the premium category. Tried and tested products like the Blue Yeti X deliver comparable audio quality and a slightly taller desk stand for only $170. When compared to the EPOS B20, there's no denying how much bulkier the Yeti X is, but if it's not something you plan on moving around, it's a solid option.
If you want something from another legacy audio production company, the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is another fantastic option for users not interested in fussing with XLR connections. This device is widely considered one of the best USB microphones and for $150 is certainly an incredible option if you want to save a bit of money.
EPOS B20 Streaming Microphone: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want a clean, minimalistic design
- Portability and flexibility are important
- You're looking for beautiful high-end audio quality
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want a USB microphone under $200
- There is a lot of background noise in your space
- You're primarily using it at a full-size desk (unless you get a boom arm)
If you're someone looking for an impressive microphone that's easy to pack up and move around, the EPOS B20 Streaming Microphone is a phenomenal option. The slim frame and simple design aesthetic allow this incredible-sounding microphone to sit inconspicuously in almost any setup. If you're planning to make this your at-home go-to, the addition of a boom arm and pop filter will easily improve the experience and get you all dialed in for your big streaming debut.
The EPOS B20 Streaming Microphone is undoubtedly an impressively-crafted product. The build quality, overall design, and recording quality are all worth celebrating in a product at around $200. I was thoroughly impressed by what the team at EPOS managed to pack into such a portable package. If you can overlook some of the minor flaws, like the short desk stand arm length and finicky microphone sensitivity, you'll find a great deal to love in the EPOS B20 Streaming Microphone.
Miles Dompier is a Freelance Video Producer for Windows Central, focusing on video content for Windows Central Gaming. In addition to writing or producing news, reviews, and gaming guides, Miles delivers fun, community-focused videos for the Windows Central Gaming YouTube channel. Miles also hosts Xbox Chaturdays every Saturday, which serves as the Windows Central Gaming weekly podcast.
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