The Razer Seiren Emote microphone is a piece of tech that asks more questions than it answers. It’s a condenser style mic which is pretty popular for streams, podcasts, and tonnes of other recordings folks do on the net. It’s also an LED display and that’s where things get a little questionable.
It’s not that I can’t see the purpose, it’s a neat little feature and when you’re streaming anything to set you apart and build interactivity is a bonus. It’s just that it doesn’t quite work how you might expect.
The good news is the microphone does, so what you have is a good microphone with a weird quirk rather than just a gimmick on a stick.
Razer Seiren Emote Microphone Review
So the lights.
I’m not sure I’ve scratched my head more about a feature of a product in my life. When I reviewed the Razer Nari Ultimate headphones I paused over the vibrations but I was able to work it out, understand, and even appreciate it in the end.
With the Razer Seiren Emote, I’m halfway there but it seems Razer isn’t quite ready to meet me halfway.
The LEDs are an 8×8 grid of pixels. This isn’t going to let you display a detailed image but it’s pretty good at showing off simple emojis or little reactions in a cute, pixel style. It definitely has a charm to it and all the customisation options within the Streamer Companion App let you set up some cool effects.
You can tune it into Twitch to change when you get a follower, subscriber, host, and heaps of other things. This means you can have an animated heart show up whenever someone follows you and that’s actually a super cute touch – it’s just a shame no one can see it.
The Blinding Lights
Unfortunately, the lights themselves are so bright that no webcam I’ve tried can actually pick up what it is they’re displaying. I even have the Razer Kiyo ring lit cam which you’d think would do the job being the same brand and all.
I even tried to take pictures of it with my phone and the LEDs are just too bright. Who knew cameras don’t respond well to having bright lights pointing directly at them!
Trying to fix this, I spent a long time in the Razer software fiddling with the emote options for the Razer Seiren Emote. I found that if I made emotes using colours that were so dark I couldn’t even tell what they were in the program, they showed up beautifully on the webcam. This was incredibly difficult to do though because I couldn’t really tell what colours I was using. They also don’t emote at all and are just blank images.
None of the default emotes are anywhere near that dark so they essentially don’t work for purpose. Every other Razer device I own has a brightness setting for the LEDs except for this mic.
I was so baffled I contacted Razer to confirm and while the company says a setting is in the works; there straight up isn’t one for now.
Again, this is just incredibly weird to me that they release a product with such a specific purpose that won’t do it for 90% of people. If you’re using a camlink set up with a really good camera MAYBE you’ll have some luck but given my phone couldn’t bring out the colours I’m not convinced.
It’s a huge shame because the emojis actually look really nice in real life and I think all it would take is a brightness slider to totally fix the problem. I love watching the crackling pixel fire just do its thing off to the side but I’m sad none of my viewers can tell what it is.
The Defending Sounds
How it works as a mic, on the other hand, is totally admirable. It picks me up nice and clear even when I’m not too close to it. The model out of the box doesn’t have any kind of pop filter so if you’re hard on your Ps or any other particularly dramatic consonants you might need to rectify this.
The condenser style does as really good job of picking up only what’s in the front area of the mic which is exactly what you want. This helps to eliminate any computer sounds and even does it’s best to ignore things like keyboard clacks depending on your positioning.
It also means if you want to look at the pretty light itself it will barely hear you, which is actually a pretty good indication that it’s working perfectly. This mic is no good for moths, unfortunately.
I was pleasantly surprised with the overall quality as well. It seems to be on par with my Rhode NT-USB mic which is about $50 cheaper but doesn’t come with the pretty lights. The Razer Seiren Emote microphone has a smaller platform so it takes up less space on my desk, so it could even be a better solution than the Rhode style depending on what you’re looking for.
I found it clear for streaming and for recording my voice just generally speaking. It’s slim, easy to set up, and even comes with two different height options for the stand. Honestly, it’s a really decent microphone just on its own – though you might be able to get better for your needs in the same price range.
The video below is a snippet from one of my streams where you can get a decent idea of the quality of the mic and how it looks with different emotes during Stream.Watch Highlight: Casually playing when I get 300+ people raided by Wyld! from hope_corrigan on www.twitch.tv
Why The Hell Not
It’s a hard thing to judge as it is.
The Razer Seiren Emote microphone is a tool with two main features and one is very good while the other is almost unbelievably broken. It’s especially hard to say as there could be a fix any day which grants a brightness slider and takes all my LED criticisms away.
As it stands right now it feels like a blunderous oversight that simply baffles me.
If you’re after a mic that sounds pretty damn good while taking up not much real estate on your desk straight out of the box, the Razer Seiren Emote microphone is a pretty good choice. You can find equal or even better products for the same price for just doing this but it’s easy to use, accessible, and slim and those are nothing to sneeze at.
If the emote idea intrigues you then I suppose for now it’s a bonus. It doesn’t really work but you can still play with it to some extent and get some joy out of the product.
At some point it may even be viable for general use and then you get cute little emojis popping up during your stream.
Until then it’s a weird gimmick and even though it doesn’t work, I don’t hate it. It’s a good mic with a weird twist and in the end, why the hell not.
The Razer Seiren Emote microphone was provided by Razer.
Product Name: Razer Seiren Emote
Product Description: Wow your followers and take your showmanship to new heights with the Razer Seiren Emote—the world’s first USB microphone that uses emoticons to interact with your audience. Keep your streams fresh and fun, and have them coming back for more with an extra level of entertainment that lets you stand out from the rest.
- The built in emoji are cute and add a nice touch
- The LEDs are too bright for any camera I own to pick up
- Microphone is surprisingly good
- Takes up very little desk space compared to some other mics
- Easy to set up and use