Some of you might know that when I’m not making videos for the YouTube machine or putting my graphic design degree to good use, I use my spare time to be a co-host on the NAG Podcast. The NAG Podcast is a weekly episode that highlights all the latest news and happenings in the world of gaming. With that explained, I can get into what today’s post is about.
Podcasting and good audio go hand-in-hand which is why Asus got in contact with me to review their new microphone, the ROG [Republic of Gamers] Strix Magnus Gaming Microphone. I think brands have caught on that if they send me glowing things I’ll love them forever.
The Magnus has been designed specifically with streamers in mind, and it definitely shows. I tested this mic “in the field” by recording episode 44 of the NAG Podcast with it… The podcast was recorded via TeamSpeak and I wasn’t running the audio through anything fancy to make me sound better. The audio you hear is the mic doing all the work.
Now Chani, you mentioned glowing, tell us about the glowing
Yes, the Magnus does glow. It can glow in 16.8 million colour combinations, but the glowing doesn’t stop there. You can choose the way your Magnus glows from four choices.
Static – One single solid colour
Breathing – One colour that pulsates.
Colour Cycle – Rainbow mode, for your mic, it’s amazing.
Music Effect – Pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a name like that.
That’s not all you can do with the glowing though. Because the Magnus is controlled via the Aura sync app, any and all of your other ROG peripherals that work with Aura can all be synced up together to all glow in unison. It’s quite the thing of beauty really.
The technical stuff
*If you’re not into the tech-techy, skip down to “My takeaways”.
Let’s start off with what’s on the inside before chatting about what’s on the outside (since inner beauty is important too)
The Magnus is fitted with three studio-grade condenser capsules. Many condenser microphones only have one. These are there for enhanced clarity and sensitivity. Now I know you must be thinking that with the additional two condensers, that’ll make the mic pick up all the background noise even more?
Not with the built-in environmental noise cancellation [ENC]. This means you can achieve studio-grade recordings without having to invest in all the expensive (and bulky) sound-absorption additions that you find with most streaming setups.
The Magnus also has three specialised recording modes. The above-mentioned ENC mode, Cardioid and Stereo.
- ENC – I know I’ve spoken about this a little already, but what I wanted to highlight here is that because of the ENC system and the way the mic is physically designed to look, background noises such as mouse clicks and keyboard strokes are cancelled out. Which is great keeping in mind this mic is made for streamers.
- Cardioid – The mode I used when recording the above-mentioned podcast episode. This is intended for most one person/audio source scenarios typically found in a streaming/podcasting environment… It’s basically the general-purpose mode that would fit most scenarios.
- Stereo – This is the better choice for when there are two or more audio sources or people speaking.
The Magnus is about 50% smaller than the average compressor microphone currently on the market. I know in comparison to my regular podcast mic (Samson C01U Pro USB Studio Condenser Microphone) it looks like a small spaceship.
Looking at all the buttons found on the front of the mic, we can see again just how much thought went into developing this microphone for streamers. Everything you might need is right there at the touch of a button.
Button functions include
- The all-important mute button.
- AURA RGB lighting On/Off button. Which toggles through the glowing light options or turns it off completely (if you’re boring and don’t like glowing things).
- A headphone monitor output.
- An aux input that can be used to plug in a musical instrument to record or play live music.
- Recording mode switch. This allows the three above-mentioned modes to be readily available at all times.
- Two knobs. One for volume control and the other for mic sensitivity. These are great since they allow the streamer to adjust mic settings on the fly without having to minimise what they’re doing to go into any microphone settings windows.
- Additional USB port. This microphone is powered by a USB, which would usually mean sacrificing one of your ports to be your dedicated mic USB. However, with the built-in USB port on the microphone itself, you don’t really lose that port. Smart move Asus.
*Side note that the additional USB port will only work if you’re running your mic through a USB 3 port. Anything less won’t provide enough power needed to run it.
The Magnus is a really good looking, powerful little microphone that I would love to invest in for several reasons;
- Unlike my regular mic, I don’t need to sit right on top of the Magnus for it to sound great. The podcast was recorded in a normal seated position, with the mic based in front of my laptop keyboard.
- The noise cancellation is great – I often have an issue with crickets in my garden on podcast nights, but the Magnus didn’t pick anything up.
- The various specialised modes make this the perfect “multi-purpose” microphone.
- The mic takes a USB port from you, so it gives you an external one – how generous is that??
- It glows. I shouldn’t need to say more than that, but I will for those of you who aren’t on team glow-in-the-dark
- It makes the mic unique in that every streamer / YouTuber / Podcaster can have their Magnus personalised to their liking… I personally love the rainbow colour cycle.
- The unfortunate part, however, is that the Aura sync app is not supported on MacOS. Which is a little sad seeing as though I am based on a Mac (graphic designer and all). What did impress me was how when I fine tuned and dialed my settings in on the Magnus over on my Windows machine, the settings were stored when plugging the Magnus into my MacBook for Podcast recording. Apart from that, the Aura App is easy to use, with a good UX [User Experience] and makes it easy to fine tune your settings, allowing you to get that perfect shade of pink.
All in all a fantastic microphone, over and above the fact that it glows. We can hopefully expect the ROX Strix Magnus to be available at the end of July, with a price tag of R2899. My heart is a little sad that I need to return the Magnus to Asus now. I also have a video review of the mic that sums everything up on my channel
And an unboxing… Since I’m such a YouTuber.