Since its purchase by Corsair a few years ago, Elgato has been cementing its place as among the most popular game streaming peripheral makers, with a lineup of video capture devices, a just-launched webcam (Elgato Facecam), lights (Elgato Key Light), control decks and now USB microphones. The company offers two variants of its Wave microphones, the Wave 3 and the Elgato Wave 1 that we’re looking at in this review.
The Wave 1 is the cheaper option compared to the Wave 3 and comes with a reduced feature set, but its lower price doesn’t mean any drop in build quality. The mic itself has a tough metal mesh cover with a sturdy and elegant body that’s made of a mix of metal and plastic. The included stand is a solid metal affair too, with knurled metal knobs providing tilt tension adjustment.
It’s an elegant-looking and compact device too, making it a smart and unobtrusive addition to any desktop. The included stand is relatively short, though, with the address portion of the mic (the middle of the grille with the Elgato logo) reaching to just 16.5cm. There’s also no built-in vibration reduction or wind reduction, other than the metal grille and fabric dust filter behind it.
However, Elgato offers a compatible boom arm, pop filter, and anti-vibration mount, the latter two of which make for a notably very compact setup, as compared to the mess of elastic and bendable arms that can result from using 3rd-party pop shields and vibration mounts, and as we see with the Trust GXT 241 Velica. The base of the stand unscrews and an adapter can be attached to fit the mic to standard 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch mounting points.
For connectivity, you get a USB-C port and 3.5mm headphone socket, which is about all you’d expect at this price. There’s also just a single dial on the front for controlling headphone volume and it will mute the mic when pressed. A ring of white light around the dial will turn red when the mic is muted.
The mic itself (made by Lewitt audio) offers a relatively basic feature set too. It uses a single capsule to deliver a single cardioid pickup pattern (a wide, front-facing pickup pattern that largely ignores what’s behind the mic), so you don’t get the versatility of setup of some other mics, such as the Blue Yeti. Its rated sample rate of 48KHz and maximum bit depth of 24-bit are entirely adequate, though.
In our tests, the Wave 1 provided excellent clarity, though lacked a little in bass. For streaming voice recording that’s generally going to be somewhat preferable but it reduces the mic’s appeal for broader recording uses.
One of the best aspects of Elgato’s extensive streaming peripherals selection is its excellent integrated software that makes it very easy to control all its many products. Its Wave Link software, for instance, makes it really easy to manage all the audio inputs on your machine (microphone, game audio, stream audio) and link them up with the buttons on its Stream Deck, for instance. It’s not the most open platform for use with other products but it’s a slick system if you stick to Elgato.
Elgato Wave 1 pros and cons
- Stylish, compact design
- Versatile with compatible extras
- Solid audio quality
- Basic feature set
- Middling value
- Lacks bass in recordings
Elgato Wave 1 specs
The Elgato Wave 1 specs list is:
|Dimensions (mm)||x x mm (W x D x H)|
|Weight||(kg stand, kg microphone)|
|Sample rate||Sample rate 48KHz|
|Capsules||1 x condenser capsule|
|Frequency Response||70Hz – 20kHz|
|Extras||Headphone amp with 3.5mm output, headphone volume, and mic mute button|
Elgato Wave 1 price
The Elgato Wave 1 price is $120, making it mid-price streaming microphone, though it offers a decent amount for its price.
Price: Expect to pay $120
Elgato Wave 1 review conclusion
The Wave 1 appears relatively poor value compared to the far more feature-rich yet similarly priced Roccat Torch and Blue Yeti. However, it offers excellent quality audio for voice and does so in an impressively stylish and compact package. If you’re only after a mic for basic streaming and self-recording purposes, it’s more than up to the task.
For more USB microphone options, check out our best USB microphone guide.
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A simple feature set and middling price define this streaming microphone, but it does what it needs to well.