Antlion Audio ModMic 4.0 Review
The name Antlion may well be familiar to some of you although the product ModMic may well be more familiar. Personally I have been aware of the existence of Antlion’s ModMic for quite some time, years in fact, but what is it exactly?
The Antlion ModMic put simply is a microphone for headphones! Meaning that when you have a pair of headphones that by default (as it’s not a Headset) has no microphone, the ModMic is the answer and to be fair (AFAIK) it’s probably the only answer. The ModMic is a microphone with boom that can be added to pretty much any pair of headphones, problem solved!
There are two main versions of the ModMic; one with an Omni-directional microphone (GDL-0430) and one with a Uni-directional microphone (GDL-0420). In addition to this both microphone versions can either come with or without an in-line mute switch. Today I will be taking a look at the Omni-directional version with mute switch.
The Antlion ModMic arrived at pcG in a simple cardboard sleeve with very little information on the outside of the box. Just the brand, product name and model number can be seen along with the tag line ‘KEEP YOUR HEADPHONES, ADD A MODMIC’.
There’s not much packaging as the ModMic and its contents comes packed in its own rather smart carry case, that does more than enough to protect the contents within.
Within the box (or is that case) other than the ModMic we find a basic guide, alcohol Prep Pad, additional base clasp, additional adhesive circle and a handful (five) of cable clips.
At the time of writing the Antlion ModMic is available from Overclockers UK for approximately £40 and comes with a 1 year warranty.
courtesy of Antlion
- Offers a sensitive Omni-directional capsule to serve needs of the true audiophile
- Captures sound over the full range of audible frequencies with very little distortion of the original signal
- In-line mute switch instantly silences your mic
- Easily attach or remove the microphone thanks to a novel, patented design
- Adjustable boom gives you flexibility to best position the mic for performance and comfort
- Ideal for use in controlled environments, such as casting or streaming and AV audio production
- A 3.3 meter coaxially-shielded copper cable with clips easily attaches to computer or console
- Standard 3.5mm jack for immediate plug & play on a PC; available adapters for Mac and console use
- Includes carrying case & extra clasps
- Jack: 3.5mm plated TRS for use with PCs
- Xbox One: works fine through controller via a CTIA/TRRS adapter. Will need latest firmware update! (as of 5/22/15)
- Play Station 4: works fine through controller via a CTIA/TRRS adapter. Sounds strange at times if used through mixamp.
- Mac/PS3/Xbox 360 headset jacks with proper adapter (Macs will need a USB adapter)
- Cable: 3.3 meters length, 2.5 mm diameter, coaxial shielding, mute button ~150mm from end of boom (about shirt pocket height)
- Boom: 175mm max length, very bendable with internal steel spine
- Clasp: 12.7mm (0.5 inch) diameter circle adhesive pad footprint, ~17.5mm total height of attached clasp assembly.
Microphone capsule specs:
Response: 30 Hz-17.5 kHz ± 3 dB
Sensitivity: -26 ± 3 dB
SNR: 58+ dB
Impedance: 2.2 K-ohms
Max current at 2.0V: 500 µA
Max input SPL: 110 dB
First impressions of the Antlion ModMic of course start with that rather nice carry case with its embossed ANTLION logo. On opening the zip we find that the contents are all nicely stowed and presentation is high, especially for a microphone! 😉
After carefully removing the ModMic itself (it is a little tricky) I was relatively impressed with what I now saw; after all to the uninitiated it’s just a microphone boom with wire, to the initiated, well, it’s rather similar actually! That’s not to do the ModMic any injustice as what’s here looks pretty good and it appears to be well made too.
At the back of the boom we find not only the magnetic clasp (more on that in a minute), but we also find a pre-bent section that helps to stop unwanted strain on the microphone boom itself. The clasp features a two part system held together by very strong magnets. Each section interlocks thanks to four interlocking teeth, this forces the boom into a specific position. The smaller detachable section (see below) simply adheres to your headphones of choice.
At the business end of the boom we find the omni-directional microphone. Omni meaning that it’s designed to face the source of the sound you wish to pick up and therefore should provide a more specific/accurate result without picking up too much background noise. Antlion also do an uni-directional version that will pick up all of sound around the microphone (not ideal for a busy office!). As you can see the mic also sports a foam bobble in an aide to keep peaking/unwanted noise (breathing) and moisture to a minimum. Just behind the bobble there’s a small microphone sign and this should be visible on top when the mic is in use for the best pickup.
Approximately 175mm from the microphone boom there’s a small in-line control for muting the microphone. It’s a somewhat simple device that works well enough, but it’s difficult to see if the mic is muted or not as it’s all black. A little colour indicator (red/green) beneath the switch would work a little better perhaps…
At the end of the 3m non braided plastic cable there’s the usual 3.5mm Jack plug.
As you can see the end result looks pretty darn good and even looks like part of headphones. As these headphones are wireless I didn’t use the supplied clips that allow you to clip the microphone’s cable to the headphones cable. By loosening the screw at the end of the mount the boom can be moved forward and back, although to me it’s a little short so I left it at the maximum length. Also the boom is of the pipe-cleaner variety and can be bent into any position and even stays there! The magnet that holds the boom to the mount is extremely strong and works very well. Now it’s time for some testing or is that talking…
In testing the ModMic performed extremely well, in fact it’s probably the best microphone that I’ve tested, although hat’s when comparing it to other microphones found on the many many Headsets that I’ve seen (or is that heard) over the years. Of course the best evaluation of how the microphone sounds comes from others who know me. Comments from on-line friends were very positive with many noting the clarity of my voice and how much it sounded like me! 😉
I also found that there was no setting up required in Windows the ModMic worked perfectly straight out of the box. Boom positioning was good with the mic just to the lower left of my mouth. It was also noted that the boom simply detaches if put under too much strain when placing the headset down for example. All in all there’s very little to fault here in fact it could be considered as an upgrade to almost any standard Gaming headset!
Simply put the Antlion ModMic should be admired as it is one of those products that has found a niche/requirement that it fulfils perfectly. If you need a microphone on your headphones the ModMic is the answer and in fact it maybe the only answer.
The ModMic arrived at pcG in a rather minimalist cardboard sleeve, but the carry case, complete with embossed Antlion logo, was very smart indeed. The contents were found to be both well packaged and protected and also nicely presented.
The ModMic itself here in its omni-directional with mute switch form (other models available) consists of a high quality microphone found sat at the end of a 130mm flexible boom. This in turn is attached to a 3m plastic cable with a single 3.5mm Jack plug at the end. Everything is also well made with the microphone, boom and accessories featuring quality materials.
Installation of the ModMic to my chosen headset couldn’t have really been much easier. Simply clean the area where you wish to place the mount with the supplied alcohol wipe and attach once dry. BUT: It’s important to ensure the microphone is orientated correctly before you position it, as the microphone boom is angled at four specific positions only, due to the interlocking teeth. The instructions themselves are quite good, although I’m no lover of the cryptic looking pictures with no text…
Once attached it was easy to position the microphone thanks to that flexible boom and easy to clip on/off thanks to a very impressive magnet. In testing the ModMic performed extremely well and is probably one of the best Microphones I’ve comes across, that’s when comparing it to Headsets that is. Comments from my online friends praised the clarity and the fact that I sounded more James like than normal (although I’m unsure if that’s a good thing!).
The only thing that’s likely to hold the ModMic back is the asking price, £40 at the time of review, which is indeed a lot of money for a boom style microphone. But as I’ve already said you really may not have a lot of choice if you need a microphone for your headphones. Luckily for you it would appear that Antlion have already got the perfect product for you.
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Many thanks to Antlion for providing this sample for review