Streaming has become a serious business in the last couple of years. With that in mind, it’s only natural that the equipment needed for streaming has followed suit. Sound is probably the most important aspect of a good streaming setup and a good microphone is the first thing many aspiring streamers invest in. Thronmax is a China-based company that knows this and has endeavored to bring us some great and versatile audio recording equipment.
We decided to test their newest offering since we know they can produce some great devices, having previously tested their Mdrill Zero and Mdrill One microphones. So today, we bring you Thronmax Pulse microphone made especially for streaming and we are pairing it up with their Thronmax Caster boom arm which will make your setup look like a true professional studio. So without further ado, let’s get right into it.
Thronmax Pulse is a step away from the usual design aesthetic of previous microphones from the company. First of all, it’s their most compact microphone yet, being only 11,5 cm tall and weighing a measly 130 grams. Even its three-legged, adjustable mount included in the box weighs more. Together, they fulfill the primary purpose of Pulse, and that is to be a compact, highly portable microphone that you can position wherever you like during recording or streaming.
Being very light, it’s easy to assume that Pulse is made out of plastic, but that’s not the case. In fact, the entire exterior of the microphone is fully made out of aluminum which makes it feel like its more expensive than it really is. Additionally, this makes the microphone much more durable than Thronmax Zero or One as it won’t be scratched as easily and will even survive accidental falls.
The front side features the grille inside of which the filtering is clearly visible. The same grille pattern can be seen further down on the microphone and this opening mitigates any potential issues caused by the closed design of the microphone itself. The back end features the LED ring that changes depending on the selected recording mode. This LED is something that was present, in one form or another on previous Thronmax microphones and it’s something that not only adds a bit of flair but it somewhat advertises the gaming aspect of their devices.
|THRONMAX PULSE USB MICROPHONE SPECIFICATIONS|
|Size/Weight||11.5 cm/130 grams|
|Recording patterns||Cardioid/Active noise cancellation|
|Frequency response||20Hz – 20kHz|
|Compatibility||PC/PS4 with USB port Windows 8/Windows 7/Windows Vista/win10 /32-64 Mac OS X (10.7-10.9)|
It’s here that you can also turn the microphone on or off, plug in some headphones via the 3,5mm jack and adjust the volume of the Type-C connected device. This can range from a PC, laptop and even game consoles. Pulse is completely plug-and-play so there’s no complicated setup or drivers to speak of in order for the device to work as intended.
If you do decide to take the way you use Pulse or any other microphones to the next level -- there’s the Caster boom arm. This is a fully aluminum, highly adjustable microphone arm that you can easily position on any flat surface to great effect. The high-build quality is evident as soon as you first handle the arm and is only matched by how premium it looks.
The c-clamp mount is rock solid and doesn’t shift at all despite the relatively weighty build of the arm during rotations. The arm itself has three hand-adjusted hinges and can rotate a full 360 degrees. The hinges themselves are reliable and persistent once tightened so you don’t have to worry about the arm shifting position on its own as long as you don’t exceed its 1.2 kg maximum weight load. Having three hinges also means you can easily set it at nearly any desired angle with its max reach coming in at 32 inches. Build quality is further evident in the fact that the arm doesn’t produce any sound during movement so you can do it even during recording.
It’s compatible with all standard shock mounts and features the standard 5/8” threading and comes with an adapter for 3/8” threading. Fans of neat cable management are also in for a treat since the type-c cable is hidden inside the arm itself for a clean, studio-esque look. There’s even an option to purchase one with an XLR cable if you plan on going full pro with the microphone of your choosing.
|THRONMAX CASTER BOOM ARM SPECIFICATIONS|
|Size/Weight||32” reach/1400 grams|
|Maximum load||1.2 kg (including mic and shockmount)|
|Cable management||Hidden cable management C Type or XLR|
|Compatibility||standard 5/8” threading, adapter for 3/8” threading|
Either way, using Caster arm is a great experience, both from a practical and a visual standpoint. Be it because you have a small desk with no room for a table microphone or just because you want to add some style and professionalism to your setup.
When it comes to the quality of the sound using the Thronmax Pulse -- it’s surprisingly good, especially when considering its small frame and low price. However, there are a couple of things to have in mind when considering the Pulse. The first one is that it’s made with streaming and gaming in mind. The microphone really lacks versatility and customization options that would make it viable for other purposes.
You can’t really adjust the gain of the microphone and you only get two recording modes. Thronmax went all-in with this being a simple one-purpose microphone and it’s in that purpose that it truly excels and where its strength lies. Whereas higher-end microphones come with all sorts of options, recording modes and even software that you have to play around with for optimal results -- the Pulse sounds great right out of the box.
It’s really amazing how its cardioid mode immediately records sound that’s just a level below the higher-end Thronmax One or something like a Blue Yeti. The sound is very clear and there’s a substantial amount of noise cancelation occurring so you can go all out during streams or while having some multiplayer fun with your friends. The only problem is, the microphone requires you to be very close to it and talking at a front-facing angle. Move away and you risk being drowned in the noise cancelation and sounding very very quiet.
Beyond that, there’s even the active noise cancellation mode which dials the noise reduction to eleven. I personally didn’t find a use for this mode as it’s made for busy, shared rooms with a lot of background noise that you’d want to eliminate. Unfortunately, in order to do so, it will also somewhat cancel out your voice, producing results that are a far cry from what’s on offer from the cardioid mode.
The Pulse comes with a small three-legged mount with rubberized endings so you can position it however you like on your table. Seeing as the recording range is quite narrow, it’s best to position the microphone directly in front of you. Unless you are using the Caster arm in which case you can have it always sitting at an ideal position in relation to you without paying any mind to the possibly overcrowded table.
All in all, buying either one of these products is essentially a safe bet. While the Pulse may lack some options of higher-end microphones, it’s literally without competition when it comes to any price vs quality discussion. Caster boom arm, on the other hand, is a product without any drawbacks that is both a visual and practical treat for a recording setup of any kind.