The microphone market is fairly cluttered these days with most peripheral companies having one that seemingly offers the same specs as many others. What I tend to look for when choosing a microphone is ease of use, a simple design and great sounding audio out of the box and that’s exactly what the EPOS B20 delivers.
Right out of the box, I loved the design of the EPOS B20. It’s all black, made of a nice aluminium material, no over the top lights, so it’ll be perfect for both streaming as well as taking work calls (something that I’ve come to use my microphone more than anything else). The stand simply screws into the bottom of the microphone and does allow for a bit of movement, but doesn’t allow the microphone to go up or down. As far as input goes there’s USB-C (always welcome) and a 3.5mm headphone jack for real-time monitoring which is always great to have.
The next most important thing to me with a microphone are the controls and this is often an instant make or break. Thankfully, the EPOS B20 has everything you’ll ever need right on the microphone. You can control the volume coming through the microphone, your gain, and and easily mute yourself complete with an LED indicator. It always surprises how that some microphones still seem to lack a mute button. It’s key to me to be able to visibly see right in front of me that I’ve muted when on calls or gaming.
There’s also the ability to change between four microphone patterns, which provides great versatility. Cardioid is probably what you’ll use most of the time, great for podcasting and general calls, bidirectional is great for recording conversations or podcasts (when you only have one microphone) whilst omnidirectional will just record everything around you. Realistically, most people won’t use all of these, but it’s great that a $300 microphone can work well in any situation.
Plugging in the microphone, it was instantly recognised and ready to go. I always like to test microphones without playing too much with the gain and software, and the EPOS B20 sounded really nicely with a nice fullness to my voice without picking up too much background noise. There’s a little bit of magic to finding the speed spot in terms of what gain to set and how far to distance yourself from the microphone. The gain knob is an endless loop control which doesn’t make things too easy in terms of making minor adjustments either.
The microphone can be paired with the EPOS Gaming Suite, which I recommend doing. It unlocks the ability to customise your vocal tones with custom presets, as well as adjust things like gain, your noise gate and noise cancellation. I would say compared to the likes of the Elgato Wave, the software does leave you wanting more, so hopefully EPOS work a little bit more on the software side of things. An example of this is requiring the microphone’s headphone jack to be set as the default speaker in order for the microphone to show up in the software.
All-in-all, anybody can buy this microphone knowing that it’ll satisfy their audio needs no matter what the environment. Most microphones these days only offer to serve one purpose, whilst the EPOS B20 is really versatile and easy to use.