I’ve been using the Elgato Wave: 3 microphone for a few months now and I can safely say I think it’s one of the best mics out for streamers and content creators.
The Elgato Wave: 3 is a condenser mic, like most others marketed for use with a PC but it has a few key differences that really make it stand out. These features all come together to make a microphone that’s not only very good at just being a regular mic but also excelling in a few particular ways very valuable for live content creation.
Elgato Wave: 3 Review
This mic has a super low floor, which means it will pick up everything. This doesn’t sound ideal, and at first, it really wasn’t. The stand the mic comes with isn’t really high enough to get it as close to your face as you need for it to work well. I found resting it on a jar of coconut oil a good help for a while, but there are better solutions.
You can get extenders to raise the height of the included stand, which isn’t a bad option. The stand’s base has a flat heavy circle at the bottom which means it’s very stable while still not taking up much space. From there a thin pole comes up to hold the mic. It takes up very little room on your desk and does a good job.
However, by far the best setup for this mic is attaching it to an arm if you can. I’m actually using the excellent Elgato multi-mount I reviewed earlier, but with the added flex arm. This configuration allows me to position the mic exactly where I need it. You don’t need them, but the shock absorbing holder for the mic and pop guard are really good additions as well.
With that complete set up you have a mic you can put close to your face, where it will work best. However, like I said, as long as you can get it somewhat close to your face the Elgato Wave: 3 Mic will do an excellent job.
This is in part thanks to the Wave Link software, which is really quite impressive. It’s a mixing system that lets you control and balance all your sounds before putting them out to a stream or video. You can actively control things like whether or not people can hear your music, or how loud your system sounds or voice chat are.
There are even settings on the mic so you can control the input gain and crossfade, plus the holy grail of muting options with a capacitive touch mute button. It’s all very easy to see and use, and definitely elevates the microphone as something you really do want to recommend to streamers and content creators. It’s clear that this is purpose-built.
But by far the coolest thing is the anti-clipping abilities of this microphone.
No One Can Hear You Scream
Setting it up you’ll want to talk at your normal volume and have all your settings appropriately scaled to get the best out of what’s comfortable for you. That seems obvious but in content creation, especially live content creation, things don’t always go to plan.
Maybe you get absolutely smashed by the enemy team, or that jump scare really took you by surprise. Perhaps you’re loud when celebrating victory, or just loud sometimes in general. This can be a huge problem for mics because they clip, and whatever you’ve said is distorted or totally deleted.
In some cases maybe this is for the best, who knows. But it’s not something you need to worry about with the Elgato Wave: 3 mic. Instead, you can yell, even totally randomly and it’ll just tone it down to stop any unfortunate peaking. It’s fantastic, and I think even if it wasn’t a very good mic in lots of other ways, this would be a super useful feature for most content creators.
The Elgato Wave: 3, just as a basic mic is as good as any condenser mic aimed at content creation in its price range. The sound quality is very good, it’s easy to set up, keeps a low profile, and pretty much just works.
The software and smart little touches push it far over the edge. The Wave Link mixer is super cool, the ability to scream like a madman, and the capacitive mute are some of my favourite features in a mic to date. I’m pretty convinced that if you want a mic for content creation, live streaming, or just like to yell a lot, this is the right choice.
The Elgato: Wave 3 was provided to PowerUp! for the purposes of this review.