In a world where streaming and YouTube get more popular by the day, one of the most important pieces of hardware one can have at his desk is the microphone. It can make all the difference between a professional and an amateur. Most of us have done this and no matter the awesome video we were witnessing – if the voiceover quality was lacking, we probably shut the whole thing off.
Thronmax looks to solve that problem by introducing their lineup of microphones marketed mainly toward streamers. As you can see, they definitely take the cake in the looks department, but how do they hold up in what is most important microphone feature – the sound quality? Let’s find out.
THE DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY
Mdrill Zero features a sleek, minimal and no-nonsense design. Picking it up, you’ll immediately notice its weight and build quality. It’s truly a sturdy piece of hardware that is sure to have no problem with remaining functional even with heavy usage. There is the rubberized stand at the bottom to keep it firmly in place during any sort of rotation or movement of the microphone if it’s placed on a table.
The bottom of the microphone features a 3.5 mm jack if you want to plug in a pair of headphones and a USB type C that’s used to connect it to a Windows or MAC PC and even a PlayStation 4.
|Dimensions||Weight: 2.29 pounds|
Dimensions: 8.3 x 4.3 x 4.3 inches
Going further up, there are two knobs that dominate the face of the microphone. The small, lower one is used to increase or decrease the loudness of your PC sound output. The upper knob is used to control microphone modes. If turned to the left, the microphone will be set in a directional mode. That means it will pick up only sound coming from the front. If turned toward the ceiling, the microphone will mute and pick up no sounds. And finally, the right side is used for omnidirectional recordings – ie. picking up sounds coming from every side of the microphone.
At first, I barely noticed the small icons around the knob that represent each of the three modes but I didn’t need to. Thronmax added a standout feature in the form of LED light that encircles the knob and its color changes depending on the mode. Blue is for directional, red for when the microphone is turned off and green is for omnidirectional. It’s a great and intuitive way of informing the user of the mode being used as well as something that makes the microphone look amazing.
Directional and omnidirectional modes can even be dialed up or down to encompass more or less space to pick up sounds from and the intensity of the LED light changes to reflect that.
Going a bit further up, you have the screws that keep the microphone on the stand. These usually need to be screwed almost all the way in because if they are not – the microphone will spin around and usually settle in an upside down position. You can, of course, unscrew them and unmount the microphone if you wish to place it on a different stand.
The upper portion of the microphone features its grille underneath which you can clearly see the black windscreen that is used to both protect the internals of the microphone and filter out peak sounds during recordings.
|Product Details||Microphone material: Plastic/Metal|
Compatibility: Windows and MAC PC’s and PlayStation 4
Connection type: USB-C
THE SOUND QUALITY
When it comes to sound quality the Mdrill Zero produces mixed results. The no-nonsense design of the microphone also translates to the recording options. With no dedicated software, using it is as simple as plugging it into the device of your choice. As mentioned, the recording modes are all controlled by the microphones central knob.
While this simplicity is Zero’s greatest strength, it’s also a source of its greatest weakness since you won’t be able to tweak any settings in the way it picks up or filters your voice.
When it comes to the sound quality – you’ll probably use the directional mode the most as it produces the best results. Setting a microphone on the table in front of you – it will have no problems clearly picking up what you are saying without you needing to lean toward the microphone itself. The grille combined with the internal windscreen does a great job of filtering voice pops or unwanted spikes that could potentially mess up your recording or damage someone’s eardrums. The microphone doesn’t pick up any background noise for the most part, although I did notice a faint white noise on some of my recordings. It’s not exactly a deal breaker and you won’t even notice it if you use the microphone for streaming or podcasts.
The omnidirectional mode, while still producing good sound quality is a mixed bag. When you get really close to the mic itself – it can sometimes produce better sound than when using the directional mode. But, as soon as you move half a meter away – your voice will be extremely quiet and drowned by all the other noises the mic will pick up. This entirely defeats the purpose of this mode as it should be used for multi-people podcasts or conference meetings which I don’t really see happening with the problems stated above.
In conclusion – Thronmax Mdrill Zero is a fine product for its price point. Even if you are not satisfied with some of the results it produces, you can take solace in the fact that you’ll have one sexy piece of hardware sitting at your desk since its design shames even some of the more expensive microphones out there.
It’s good at exactly the purpose its marketed for – voicing your streams. When you try to use it for any other purpose is when you start to notice a few of its shortcomings. It’s still a great choice for entry-level streamers or YouTubers that don’t have the need or money to use their upgraded Thronmax Mdrill Pro or microphones from other manufacturers.
|+ Ease of use||– Lack of customization|
|+ Sturdy build and awesome design||– Omnidirectional mode leaves a lot to be desired|
|+ Good sound quality, especially in the directional mode|
|+ The price|