Streamers, I think that’s it – I think we’ve found this one: a minimalist, easy-to-use mic that’s not very expensive and delivers studio-quality sound. NZXT hasn’t been in audio or mic gaming for a few years, and the Capsule is a serious comeback that’s designed to compete with the best gaming microphones. At $ 129.99, this mic isn’t as budget-friendly as options like HyperX SoloCast, but with the ability to sit on a stand or pole and a cardioid polar chart, beginners and seasoned streamers alike can enjoy the Capsule.
NZXT capsule specifications
|Response frequency||100 – 20,000 Hz|
|Sample / Flow||24 bits / 96 KHz|
|Headphone amplifier impedance||16 Ohms|
|Dimensions (with stand, LxWxH)||115×131.3×252.8 mm|
|without support||60 x 65.1 x 170.2 mm|
|Weight||1.94 lbs / 883g|
|without support||.64 lb / 314g|
NZXT capsule design
If you like everything in black, you’ll be happy to know that the Capsule is available in a black or white colourway. Either option is very minimalist. There are only two buttons and a ring light at the bottom of the mic. The top knob controls the microphone gain and the bottom knob is the headphone volume knob.
At the very bottom of the mic there is a USB-C port, a wire to connect to a boom, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The rubber-coated cord connects to a USB C port on the microphone and has a USB-A port on the other end.
The thread at the bottom of the mic is for an adapter that connects it to a three-eighth-inch boom arm or the stand included in the box. The microphone gain knob has five ascending circles from small to large – because this version is black, the circles are harder to see. The same goes for the volume knob, the shiny black notches are difficult to see except when they glimpse light.
The good news is that no matter what the orientation of the mic, whether it’s on a stand sitting on the desk or on a pole rotating the dials clockwise, it always means more gain and more power. volume. But both buttons scroll endlessly, which isn’t the best, and there aren’t any ticks or bumps or other feedback to indicate how far the dials are turned.
The microphone is covered in a matte finish and a light encircling the microphone is integrated into the bottom of the case. The light is a visual indicator to be on a material mute. It turns red when disabled and white when not disabled. Press the volume button to mute and unmute the microphone.
The support supplied with the microphone is weighted. The two together weigh 1.9 pounds, and the mic weighs 0.64 pounds on its own – the stand is heavier than the mic. The stand is connected to two sprockets on both sides, which are connected to a strap that nestles into the microphone. Loosening the cogs followed by pressing a button on the back of the strap removes the mic from the mount. The stand isn’t only smooth, well-built, and heavy – there’s also a built-in shock mount to minimize sound if you accidentally bump into your mic.
Sound quality on the NZXT capsule
That’s what really matters about NZXT’s new mic. The company claims it’s designed to be simple to use, minimize background noise, and with a cardioid polar pattern.
When I first plugged in this mic, I thought I was skillful in a Zoom meeting. I started to hear a shrill cry through my headphones and had to stay calm in front of the camera while internally panicking while hosting and recording the call. I can only hope the recording didn’t catch the screams. I did some troubleshooting after finishing the Zoom call and found that you can’t use this mic with a USB extender because it doesn’t give it enough juice.
I had to ditch my usual headphones, which use USB Type-C to connect to my computer, as the Capsule provides audio output through a 3.5mm jack. Having the volume knob nearby made it easier to adjust the headphone output if needed.
Testing this mic on Zoom calls when my husband was 25 feet away was a bit of a letdown. Like me, he works from home, so when he gets loud or excited about something, everyone on a Zoom call will know it. I even tried to test the noise gate; I said something, then asked her to say something 2 seconds after speaking. It was cut off a bit but was still audible – which sucks.
My next experiment was via Google Meet, I just had to tweak the gain a bit. However, this is annoying because depending on where my meeting is taking place, my microphone needs different settings, so I will always adjust. Windows volume menu bar automatically turned off and muted every time I tried to drag it all the way up to 100.
This mic works best when it’s directly near you. A convenient way for enthusiasts can be to have an arrow arm. The closer I was to the microphone, the more sensual and full my voice was. You can’t tell I have high ceilings and the train roars, but disappears. However, if I stray too far from the microphone, my voice may sound shaky and distorted. When I found the perfect gain setting, I always had good studio sound when I was within two feet of the mic. I did not see my voice drop or cut. Even though I started whispering and trying to give my listeners an impromptu ASMR, everything turned out fine. When I was just at the microphone and talking, it looked like butter smeared on a hot brioche bun.
More importantly, the audio in my game stream is much sharper. The audio from my YouTube videos doesn’t sound like echo, clipping or void, quite the contrary.
Software on the NZXT capsule
The problem that NZXT set out to solve is the steep learning curve of audio software and minimizing errors. While no software is required to use the Capsule, don’t think for a second that this minimizes pilot error. Here is the proof, because there is no software of which I do not see where the gain is adjusted. Since the knobs don’t have any indicators on how far they are turned, the only way I can tell is by asking the person on the receiving end or to monitor my levels by plugging the headphones into the mic. Using different software will require different gain levels.
Many mics like the Razer Seiren Emote come with software to help you visualize gain and volume. XLR microphones with interfaces like Focusrite give you much more control over gain and volume.
NZXT doesn’t come with any software, so any adjustments I need to make happens with the gain knob on the mic and in the device properties in the audio settings in Windows 10. This is actually how i found my sweet spot. I lowered the mic to 54% and turned the gain dial clockwise to increase the gain and get more detail in my voice – that’s perfect.
Even with the mics that came with the software, I still find that I have to adjust Windows settings to get the best quality, so this is by no means a problem.
I really enjoyed using this mic once I started finding the highlights with gain and volume in Windows 10 settings. I seamlessly went from a Twitch live stream to a Facebook live stream and Discord voice chats without having to touch any dials.
The microphone is stylish whether you prefer a black and white or all black look, and the metal stand is solid. The knobs, however, which spin endlessly without much feedback, weren’t up to the mark.
But if you’re a streamer looking for something more or less plug-and-play, this is one thing to keep in mind.