Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Elgato Project Wave Review - USB MIC + GOXLR = WIN | Wave:1 vs Wave:3 Explained

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THE MYSTERY [voiceover, trailer, CES footage, b-roll]

At CES 2020, Elgato Gaming - the company best known for their popular and accessible video

capture cards, and more recently the Stream Deck - teased a new kind of product.

Something theyve never done before.

They called itProject Wave.”

It was mysterious, they tried to avoid making it obvious, they wanted everyone to guess

about what it was, they didnt want to come out and say it.

It was clearly audio-related, but what could it be?

A mixer?

A microphone?

A GoXLR competitor?

A red herring?

[cut to camera, up close]

Its a microphone.

Its clearly a microphone.

CES was mostly a blur, so I was originally remembering the product trailer being much

shorter and lessobvious of what the product was, but nope, they show the entire thing

plain as day.

All the articles questioningwhat ever could it be?”

feel even more silly now.

But the cool thing is - its not JUST a microphone.

It does have a lot more to it, functionality and tricks up its sleeve.

Despite going against a few things that I typically say areno-nosfor streaming

microphones in 2020, this thing has actually impressed me.

[nerd or die ad spot] What also impresses me is Nerd or Die, todays

video sponsor.

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Despite having custom-built assets from graphics designers, I still slip elements from their

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I can also finally announce that you can use coupon codeeposvoxto save 15% on your

orders.

Head to eposvox.gg/nerdordie to learn more.

What Nerd or Die WONT tell you, though, is what Project Wave actually is

[back to video]

THE REALITY

Well congrats, “captaincool31”, you were correct.

Project wave is kind of like a USB microphone and a GoXLR all in one.

Well, before I go much further, I guess its worth clarifying thatProject Waveis

not just ONE product, but two.

Possibly more later, but thats unclear.

And if you count accessories, then its closer to like 5 products, but lets not

worry about those for now.

There are twoProject Wavemicrophones, the Wave:1 and the Wave:3.

Theyre basically the same thing, though, and Im not sure the Wave:1 should even

exist, but well cover that later.

The main concept is actually a pairing of a wonderfully-crafted microphone with a LEWITT-made

capsule, with some pretty nice software to make your life easier as a streamer.

TheWave Linksoftware runs on your computer and works very much like the GoXLR

software.

This means you get a full, multi-virtual audio cable setup registered within Windows or Mac

OS.

So yes, its like a USB microphone and a VIRTUAL mixer all-in-one.

But theres no physical inputs on this thing, it doesnt qualify as an actual mixer.

But the software can still replace one - if you are a single PC streamer - well touch

on this in a moment.

[“thinkerb-roll]

IS IT A TOY?

The wave microphones as a physical product do not feel great.

Mostly made of plastic, its lightweight, almost cheap feeling - though theyve made

major improvements from the earlier test products from CES - but its not a toy and outside

of dropping one down a flight of concrete stairs, I dont anticipate any build quality

issues over time.

The mic shape and design resembles classic vocal mics, like youd see on the desk of

a late night talk show host, which is pretty neat.

I wasnt kidding about it being lightweight, though.

The mic itself is actually under the minimum weight limit for a mic arm like the Rode PSA1,

so youll want the pop filter and shock mount to help with that.

Cheaper mic arms should rejoice, though.

Theyll hold up fine unlike typically-heavy expensive microphones.

In the box, Elgato provides you with a USB type C to A cable - though this is only 2.0

mind you, you can use it on basically any USB port you have - a thread adapter for attaching

to boom poles, mic arms or mic stands, and the mic itself, pre-attached to the surprisingly

robust for its size desk stand.

But, as usual with USB microphones, this desk stand ismostly useless unless youre

a child?

Its so short, Im sure to develop neck problems or even WORSE posture trying to use

it like this.

That being said, it is a condenser mic and can be used from far away, so you can aim

it up a bit at you and keep it at a distance without much trouble - just keep in mind youre

introducing more room and desk noise as a result, well talk about this later.

My biggest complaint here.

Such an obvious one....

These mics only come in black.

While thewaveis supposed to be some sort of play onsound wave” - WAVE, PROJECT

WAVE, ELGATOS COLOR IS BLUE, WHERES THE OCEAN BLUE COLORWAY VERSION?!

COME ON, TEAM!

[shot in use at desk]

A TALE OF TWO WAVES

Depending on which mic you have, the interface on them might look a tad different.

Oh yeah, and Wave:3

(thats strange to say out loud) is a tad taller.

The Wave:1 microphone just has a single knob on the front to adjust monitoring volume to

the headphone jack and can be pressed in to mute the microphone.

The Wave:3 on the other hand has many more lights.

Thats where the3and1numbers come in.

The Wave:1 only controls one level adjustment, monitoring, whereas the Wave:3

controls 3 different levels - monitoring to headphones, gain for the microphone, and a

balanceof the mic between real-time monitoring of the microphone and sound being

output to it via USB.

Pressing the knob in on this mic will switch between modes, with muting being delegated

to a capacitive button on the top of the mic.

The mic capsule itself in both microphones is exactly the same, so overall the sound

qualityachieved from both will be basically identical.

The only real difference here is that the Wave:3 can operate up to 96khz, while the

Wave:1 is limited to 48khz.

Both mics operate at 24-bit.

The back of both mics is also the same.

You have a USB type C connector - but again it only needs a USB 2.0 port - and a 3.5mm

headphone jack for real-time monitoring and USB audio playback.

Theres a $30 pricetag difference between these two devices.

While I personally feel they should have gone all-in on the one microphone and having one

without all the fancy features feels a tad non-committal, I also feel theres plenty

of people who will want the mic itself and the cool audio routing software without actually

using anything ON the mic itself, so saving $30 while doing so isnt a bad deal.

Thankfully, their software makes it easy to not use the onboard tools.

[b-roll of both mics together]

CONDENSER DISPENSER

As I mentioned at the start, Project Wave goes against two rules I usually have for

my audio recommendations for content creation: Its both a USB microphone AND a condenser

microphone.

I have long spoken against using condenser mics for desktop streaming setups due to the

issue of background noise and controller or keyboard and mouse noise.

Without a heavily sound-treated room, moreso than you think it should be, once you start

EQ-ing and adding compression, its gunna start sounding bad.

Dynamic mics are almost always a superior way to go when it comes to noise rejection,

thats why virtually all broadcast mics are dynamic.

That being said, condenser mics do have a place, and plenty of streamers use them with

finely-tuned noise filtration without issue.

And RTX Voice makes that even easier, assuming youre not on the new Windows 2004 May update.

[joke R_T_X its in your voice]

Weirdly, Elgatos reviewer guide spent time justifying the condenser capsule choice for

higher qualityand other weirdness, which is technically true, but if your mic

track is way more full of keyboard or ambient noise, most of that is moot.

I also frequently suggest viewers dont invest in USB microphones because they always

come with compromises and dont allow for much of an upgrade path and limit what additional

audio gear you can add to your chain.

You cant plug a USB mic into analog-based audio hardware - I mean, you CAN with the

headphone out, but thats just terrible practice.

BUT theres also a massive market of people who want something more plug and play and

easy to use while still having some flexibility.

I think Project Wave provides that.

In fact, that ties in with why I consider the use of a condenser capsule ok in this

context, too.

Overall, condenser mics - good ones at least - dont really need anupgrade path

like dynamics.

There can be some pretty big jumps in what you can do going from cheaper dynamic mics

to the big boys, but good condenser mics can kinda just be used indefinitely without a

compelling reason toupgrade”.

Just evolve your processing skills over time.

So with the kind of audience that wants this mic - mostly a single PC streaming setup with

all the audio routing features - this is one of thoseset and forgetkind of setups

where you never have to worry about upgrading.

As long as you dont want too complex mixing, hardware processing, things like that.

For Project Wave the condenser mic capsule - which, again, was developed by LEWITT, a

legendary audio company - is still pretty nice.

Its not going to reject much background noise at all, but the sound you get from it

is lovely.

In fact, this entire video, voiceover and all, has been recorded using the Wave:1 and

Wave:3

microphones, albeit with some post-processing applied.

Heres how it sounds unprocessed compared to a couple competitors using my usual Lord

of the Rings quote: [Three Rings for the Elven Kings under the

sky, seven for the Dwarf Lords in their Halls of Stone, Nine for the mortal Men doomed to

die, one for the dark lord on his dark throne.

In the land of Mordor, where the Shadows lie.

One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them.

One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

In the land of Mordor, where the shadows lie.]

Overall, I like the sound you can get out of this microphone.

By default, it sounds MOSTLY natural - though feeling a little muddy on my voice and still

carrying some of thatcompressedsound that every USB mic seems to have - but can

be EQd to clean up and really fill out and sound great.

[Retro room LCT440 PURE] Granted, it doesnt compete with some of

the big boy mics from LEWITT, but for a fraction of the cost I wouldnt entirely expect it

to.

[back to main take] The defaultmuddinessI feel doesnt

allow for the naturalwarmthto my voice that I aim to re-create, something you hear

IRL but not so often over microphones, like the 440 PURE mic picks up.

But its super clear in the high range and not boomy at all, which is great.

This is how a microphone should sound.

You can get a nice, clear presence to cut across your background music bed, gameplay

sound, and so on.

Theres a couple settings you should be aware of with this microphone in the Wave

Link software, though.

By default (at least for my installation) there are two checkboxes enabled for the microphone,

labeledEnhanced Lowcut FilterandClipguard.”

Im not sure what is enhanced about the lowcut filter, but since the mic is already

not very boomy and I dont have any low frequency hum in my room, I leave that unchecked.

With it enabled, I feel like I lose even more warmth and start to have acoldortight

feeling to my voice.

Clipguard is this mics secret weapon.

I absolutely love this.

Clipguard is a technology that Elgato have implemented within the analog-to-digital converter

of the mic, very similar to how some of the more expensive audio recorders operate with

asafety track”.

Two different audio channels are run from the microphone, with the second one running

20db lower than the first.

The microphone, then dynamically switches between these tracks to circumvent any peaking

or clipping.

This means you can basically get as loud as you want without distorting.

The main mic track has 95db of dynamic range, but you get the extra 20db of range via Clipguard.

This is a KILLER feature for this microphone and makes the lives of basically all streamers

instantly better.

Im so tired of hearing distorted, clippy and peaky audio on streams, its so exhausting

on the ears.

This isnt the first time weve seen this - as I mentioned, audio recorders can do this

quite well - and I discovered during my HyperX Quadcast review that it seems to have some

sort of limiter running on it to prevent clipping, and the GoXLR has one, too that cant be

disabled - but this might be the best execution of the idea for streaming-specific gear.

Color me impressed.

[screaming into mic samples]

Heres what that looks like in waveforms compared to it being disabled.

Now, you should still manage your mic gain appropriately to your distance from the mic,

as cranking up the gain to max and relying on Clipguard to avoid clipping just means

youll have a massive noise floor compared to what you could have.

Also, this will have no impact on the tone of your voice, just levels.

Heres a quick white noise test to see how the noise rejection feels.

Heres a quick test while typing to hear cherry MX blues with O-rings behind this microphone.

Heres a test from up close and far away to test for proximity effect.

Both microphones claim on the box to have a built-in pop filter.

Yet they sell a pop filter as an added accessory.

What gives?

Well heres some plosives testing.

Now with the pop filter on.

I do appreciate that Elgato committed to the primary cardioid pickup pattern for this mic.

Many USB mics coming out from gaming companies today take the Blue Yeti clone approach of

having like 5 different pickup patterns and dual capsules in it, which no one is using

for that kind of product, and I feel it just requires more cost-saving corners to be cut.

Plus the extra controls to do all of that switching.

No such nonsense here.

So yeah, its a pretty solid mic.

Am I still waiting for a streamer-focused USB microphone thats dynamic?

Yes.

Though I know one is in the works but I cant say more than that.

BUT do I think a condenser mic is a solid choice for this product?

Also yes.

THE SOFTWARE

The main superpower of this mic that makes it stand out from all the otherjust a

USB micsout there is the Wave Link software it ships with.

Now, this software doesnt runonthe mic or anything, it is just software with

the mic basically acting as a hardware license key to activate and use it, but its very

powerful and intuitive for what it is.

When you plug in the mic and install the software, it registers about 7 virtual audio devices

to utilize for routing your sources through.

On Mac, this actually allows you to capture desktop audio sound to OBS and other streaming

programs - which isnt possible by default, even with Apples own Quicktime screen recorder,

and some alternatives to set that up could cost you a hundred bucks.

Using the software and operating system routing settings you can completely separate and balance

sound from your games, music, browser, voice chat, and so on.

You have complete control over your audio mix.

Plus, you dont even need to use the virtual audio devices they provide - you can remove

them from the queue and add other devices registered to your computer - including other

microphones and output devices.

This lets it play nicely with the GoXLR, too!

Though somehow the software overrode the icon for the GoXLRsBroadcast Stream Mix

with the Wave Link icon, even though they dont use the same device names, its

weird.

The software UI is mostly intuitive, but lets run through it quickly.

The main window presents you with your audio channels.

This is the main fader section of the mixer, if this was physical.

You can add and remove audio devices to the list, change the levels, and tweak mic settings.

Youll notice theres actually two faders per microphone.

The awesome thing about Wave Link is theyve actually implemented a main mix and a submix

- or two different mixes that you can manage.

One is your monitoring mix - how loudly you hear things to your headphones or speakers

- and the other is your stream mix - how loudly the stream will hear everything.

This is super powerful, as it allows you to set up audio devices that only you hear in

your headphones, or only your stream hears and not you.

So if you want to play music you dont have a license to but dont want it going to

your stream so you dont get DMCAd, you can just mute that device going to your stream.

Or if you play sound effects to your stream but dont want it interfering with your

ability to hear your game, you can mute them to your headphones.

Plus you can manage the audio balance of each.

I cannot understate how powerful and important this is.

This is also super useful for managing your voice chat, such as from Discord, and controlling

if your stream hears it or not, balancing it against your voice, etc.

You can change the name of each track to better identify what theyre for.

Theres a chain link icon above the level faders which allow you to always keep the

headphone and stream levels in sync so when you change one, it changes both.

You will want this for some devices, but not all.

You can click the headphone or stream icons to mute the devices to those specific outputs.

Below thisInputssection is theoutputssection, where you adjust the master volume

levels for your monitor mix and your stream mix, respectively.

You have audio meters to view how close you get to clipping for your full mix, just like

your individual devices.

Theres a dropdown forMonitor Mixwhich allows you to actually choose which

output audio device on your system that your monitor mix actually goes out to!

So if you dont want to use the headphone output on the mic itself, if youre using

a wireless headset or other DAC/AMP combo, you can output everything to that with minimal

added latency.

Do note that the actualrealtime zero latencymonitoring of the microphone can only be done

on the mics physical headphone output, but thats fine.

In my testing, there is a fair bit of latency on the mic going to another output - so using

it to another pair of headphones might result in a kind ofstadiumsounding effect

where you get the delayed feedback.

Wont bother some people, but will be a problem for others.

Weirdly enough, its more latency than the GoXLR originally had that I complained about,

and its like its just enough to not be quite as disruptive to speech as the original

GoXLR latency was.

Its weird.

Theres also an ear icon next to the outputs.

You can use this to quickly check your stream levels in realtime, itll route the stream

mixs balancing out to your monitoring device instead of the monitor mix, so if you use

different levels for each, you can make sure your stream is sounding how youd like.

This is neat.

Elgato will also be adding a third output device to the Wave Link software, which will

basically act as a voice chat-specific mic, like theChat Micdevice on the GoXLR.

This allows you to mute and deafen Discord interaction completely separate from the rest

of your stream - useful for responding to new subs and follows during your stream, or

other stream-specific interactions that might disrupt your game buddies in the middle of

a match.

Good stuff.

At the top-right corner of the software, the gear icon just opens basic preferences to

check for software updates and change if the software opens at startup.

The speaker icon opens the Windows sound routing settings so you can change which programs

route to which audio device.

This is how you assign your game to the game output, music app to the music device, browser

to browser, and so on.

If you havent seen this feature in Windows 10, its pretty great.

Once you have your mix all finished and balanced, you then simply add theWave Link (Stream)”

device to your streaming app as the main microphone device - much like theBroadcast Stream

Mixdevice from the GoXLR and youre good to go!

Its that simple.

Unfortunately this highlights a hope I had for the Wave Link software that never came

to be: Theres no support within Wave Link for post-processing on your microphone like

the GoXLR has - albeit its doing so on dedicated DSP hardware - and theres no

support for adding VST filters to Wave Link either.

So if you want to do any EQ, compression, or just noise removal on your voice, you cannot

have it run through the stream mix.

You need to mute it to the stream mix, then add theMic InWave device to your streaming

app and apply VSTs there.

(Or run it through RTX Voice first.)

Thankfully this workaround is supported, but I have to admit I was disappointed to not

see direct support for this in the software.

Whats also interesting to note is that the Monitor Mix and Stream mix both show up

as separate audio devices in Windows, so you could route them to different recording tracks

for different purposes.

There is no ASIO driver included here, in case you specifically wanted that for your

DAW software or something.

As far as comparing Wave Link to the GoXLR software, when you compare how they handle

just the routing alone, they mostly do the exact same thing, but with different approaches.

Wave Link uses a traditional mixer layout with just faders for the two outputs for routing.

The GoXLR, however, has 4 separate sub mixes PLUS the sampler I/O to route, so they went

with a routing table instead.

This makes sense given the additional complexity of the I/O, but since the Wave has less complex

I/O routing, its approach makes sense and is probably more intuitive for new users to

grasp.

It wouldnt be an Elgato product without Stream Deck integration, right?

Wave Link installs a Stream Deck plugin which gives you basically full control over the

Wave Link software.

You can toggle monitoring between stream and monitor feeds, you can mute specific channels

to either the monitor or stream mix, you can mute your microphone to the stream or monitor

mix, you can mute your individual output mixes entirely, set volume levels for input and

output channels, as well as adjust mic settings such as gain, volume, low cut, and clipguard.

Good stuff.

I have two main complaints about the software.

Overall, Im very impressed with it - it doesnt like the mic being unplugged and

plugged in while open, and its had some hangups sometimes - but they spent basically

all of 2020 working on polishing the software, which is a nice step forward, given that I

usually complain about their unreliable software with most of my other Elgato reviews.

Thankfully one of my complaints is fairly benign: I cant resize the window to view

all 8 channels at once.

For avirtual mixerits imperative that I have access to all of it at a glance,

not scroll to reach it.

And theres literally no reason to not let me do it.

My second complaint could be a real frustration for many people, though.

If you unplug the microphone, the audio devices disappear from Windows.

The mic acts as a hardware key to let the software work, so I get that its not going

to let you do anything without the mic being plugged in, but to completely remove the devices

from Windows means that your entire audio configuration could be reset if the mic gets

unplugged for any reason.

Im the kind of guy that wishes Windows would let you lock audio devices so it never

changes whats active on its own, so that part is kinda annoying.

Along with that, if you close the app itself, the audio devices remain, but the mix stops

functioning.

Youll stop hearing anything.

This affects your ability to hear anything whether you use the headphone output on the

mic or another monitoring device.

It wont affect the real-time monitoring of the mic directly to its headphone output,

though.

That is always running.

Also, there seems to be some conflict with the GoXLR driver.

Not in a bad way, but just a minor inconvenient one.

I mentioned that the GoXLRs broadcast stream mix device got a Wave Link icon already.

Well for monitoring in Wave Link, theSystemoutput device for the GoXLR is missing.

Weird.

Even weirder, the actual headphone device for the Wave microphone is labeled as a GoXLR

device when its not.

ThisHeadphones (4- TC Helicon GoXLR)” device is NOT a GoXLR device, but is the headphone

output on the Wave mic.

Super weird.

I do wish they would develop a SDK or whatever for users to work with, as being able to pair

it with a MIDI controller, instead of just the Stream Deck, to control levels on basically

a fullmixerpresentation for cheap would be sick.

USABILITY

This mic is incredibly intuitive to use.

We just covered the software, but the physical device is just as easy, too.

Especially if you have the Wave:1 where you only have a single dial and button to worry

about.

USB and headphones go in the back and youre good to go.

On Wave:3, lights indicate everything you need to know.

Click the knob to change modes, turn it to change levels or balance, and tap the capacitive

spot on top to mute.

But this is what I dont like about many microphones: Handling the mic to make these

changes is a very clunky way to go.

This is one of the big appeals of a mixer layout like a GoXLR or an actual mixer.

The shock mount would help with some of the handling noise, but it would still be there,

and at least on the Wave:1 using that dial to mute brings back flashbacks of terrible

Blue Yeti experiences.

CA-CHUNK CA-CHUNK.

Thankfully the Wave:3

upgrades you to a quieter button, but you have to be pretty careful and precise to use

it smoothly anyway.

Although they did develop a Stream Deck plugin so you can use that as your control surface

instead.

One of the major theories after CES and their original teaser was that it was a mic with

a separate control surface - due to the outline teased at the end.

This wouldve actually been a cool concept and potentially allowed them to release different

kinds of microphones to pair with it, but perhaps a silly venture since itd either

have to be a direct GoXLR clone or competitor, or be a closed in ecosystem of products with

no expansion or upgrade paths.

The knobs on the side of the mic allow you to tighten and adjust the angle of the microphone.

Though whether its on a mic arm or the stand, you can only control the angle a tiny

amount before the USB C cable hits the frame.

Perhaps a super low profile thin USB C connector could solve this.

To attach your wave to a mic arm or stand, unscrew it from the base, and screw in the

bigger thread connector included in the box.

Then attach to your mic arm or stand.

On top of the handling concerns with the on-microphone interface, having the headphone cable connected

to your mic can be an issue, too.

On the desk stand its probably fine, but on an arm or higher stand, you just have your

headphone cable dangling and thats not a way to go.

So for these reasons, Id imagine most people arent going to actually use these features

and rely on software and monitoring to a different output device instead.

Which totally contradicts my statement that the Wave:1 shouldnt exist and maybe changes

it to maybe most people have no real reason to invest in the Wave:3 for the extra $30.

Huh.

Well, its your call.

ACCESSORIES

You might want to save that $30, too, as theyre going to get you with the accessories.

They sell a shock mount and pop filter separately, for $39.99 and $29.99 respectively.

The pop filter isnt necessary but will definitely help make your viewers ears have

an easier time and help teach you proper practice with microphones.

The shock mount isnt entirely necessary at all unless you have a really noisy desk

or bang it a lot, BUT it makes mounting and angling the mic on an arm a LOT easier and

more how you want it to be.

Both of these look quite nice, too.

They also sell an extension rod kit to raise up the mic.

This should have just been included in the box.

Its too short.

I have to wonder if this was thought up after packaging and everything was done.

Just throw it in.

ITS DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE

So what about dual microphone or dual PC setups?

Obviously these are completely different situations, but both are tricky.

Lets start with dual microphones.

What if you have multiple hosts, a guest, or just generally want to use more than one

Wave microphone on a single system? Uhhh, Im going to say for now, dont.

Officially, two mics arent supported in the Wave Link software, but it was suggested

to me that you could still use two okay with OBS or something.

However, at least the first time I tried this, things went real bad real quickly.

Windows and Wave Link both got REAL confused and once it un-froze, everything broke.

Even after multiple Wave Link restarts, I was unable to get system sound out to my monitoring

device and it was no longer reading any microphone audio from either mic.

Plugging in the second mic registers an entire set of new audio devices to go with it - which

is kinda useless since you cant use any of them.

I was able to get both mics working in OBS, though, so thats a plus.

Now heres a little Elgato Wave ASMR.

Because why not?

Because youre worth it.

I dont know what Im doing.

I just know this is a thing people do.

Somewhere, somehow, somewhy.

And you can do it with two Elgato Wave microphones, just not using Elgato Wave Link software.

But thats okay, right?

Ill try pushing to 4 soon.

I was hoping that since the second mic just registers as a normal device in Windows that

Id be able to just add it into Wave Link, but Wave Link seems to use some sort of more

strict whitelist of devices, so it doesnt show up and many of my input devices are also

missing.

What about dual PC streaming setups?

How would you utilize this?

Well, theres 2 approaches you could use, depending on how you want to set it up.

Either the Wave mic and Wave Link software exist on your gaming PC, or the streaming

PC.

If you wish to apply post-processing to the mic as a separate device in your streaming

app, then you really have no choice but to run it on the stream PC, so well start

there.

This all works as weve already covered in the software section.

But in Wave Link, youll wanna use one of the spare channels to add in your gaming PCs

audio - either via a capture card HDMI input, or a direct Line out to Line in 3.5mm cable

run from PC to PC.

Then you can monitor and balance it for your stream and be good to go.

If youre running the mic on your gaming PC, youll need a workaround.

They could make this easier by allowing the dropdown next to Stream Mix to let us select

a secondary output device that the mix is sent to - i.e. your HDMI out to your capture

card.

You could also pair it with Elgatos older Sound Capture app to maybe get what you want.

Alternatively, however, you can set up your balance and monitoring as normal, but then

go to your Sound Control Panel, and find the Stream Mix device under the Recording tab.

Right click it - go to Properties.

Go to the Listen tab, and enable listening and choose your HDMI output to your capture

card as the output device.

Then your final mix is sent along with your gaming PC video output to your capture card,

ready to be streamed.

But its probably best to run this on the streaming PC.

CONCLUSION & PRICING The mystery of Project Wave may have subsided,

but my curiosity as to how users will take to it and utilize it still remains.

As a project, it was successful, but Im left wondering what other exciting things

Elgato has planned for this bizarre year.

Well, this has been a ride.

Ive been playing with these mics basically since CES and its great to finally talk

about them, as keeping something hidden while my entire desk and workflow is regularly on

display is quite tough.

I did have a slip-up or two, whoopsie!

Im impressed with the Wave mics.

I cringe every time I see a new gaming peripheral company release a microphone, as its usually

either a meh Blue Yeti clone or something totally bizarre like the deodorant stick mic

from ASUS.

Even better, those mics usually cost MORE than the Wave mics.

I hadnt thought about it much, but while the usual naysayers who expect anything streaming

related to magically be dirt-free or cheap, $130 is actually incredibly competitive not

just for a USB mic, but the full package you're getting.

I already thought the GoXLR Mini was a phenomenal value for the interface/mixer tech you got,

but for those looking for a more plug and play or all-in-one solution, Wave has it beat

by a long shot.

But, its not for everyone.

Ultimately I think buyers need to take the time to make the right decision as to whether

this is the right product for them or not.

Streamers just getting into the game with no audio experience, or those with slightly

more simple needs and who are tired of messy cable setups - this is a perfect fit.

Having spent years running multiple sound cards and hum destroyers and cables everywhere

to achieve what the Wave Link software now replicates in software, I WISH this or the

GoXLR were around 5 years ago.

Wouldve made my life easier.

The simplicity here really makes it stand out as an option.

Theres been quite a few cases where I had to go take a meeting or business call on a

computer or setup that I dont normally use or have my typical audio setup for, and

the Wave:3 is what I grabbed for it.

It allowed me quick setup for all-in-one audio mixing, balance and listening and was the

quick, convenient option I wanted.

If youre looking to do podcasting, voiceover work, game streaming, YouTube content creation,

or just some slightly advanced presentations, webinars, or meetings, Elgatos Wave mics

are a great option.

Also invest in acoustic treatment for your environment, and watch my video on getting

optimal audio quality with basic physics first, too.

If you are doing voiceover work in particular, you may want to invest in the Wave:3

specifically for the 96khz support.

For streaming this is completely irrelevant.

However, if you wish to loop in any other sort of analog audio hardware or processing,

this is not the right choice and you definitely need to invest in an XLR microphone.

I have a full microphone reviews playlist linked in the description if you want my recommendations

there.

If you compare these within the current USB microphone market, it really seems like this

might be the best option here.

Wave is very price-competitive against the flagship Yetis and Quadcasts on the scene,

and brings the Wave Link functionality that it would be silly to ignore.

Even if you dont think theres anything too unique about the sound of the mic, you

wanna choose the one that brings you all this extra functionality and convenience, right?

The Clipguard, the virtual cables, its a solid package.

Ultimately, Wave serves a couple different audiences here.

Its a great plug and play microphone for content creation, but its also a virtual

mixer for audio routing and balancing for streaming.

As separate parts, theyre not that special.

Elgato releasing this mic on its own as a USB mic with no software really wouldnt

have stood out.

Wouldve been boring.

Elgato releasing the Wave Link software as a virtual cables option wouldve been neat,

but not anywhere near as robust or polished as a dedicated, paid app would need to be.

If youre looking for the best vocal microphone you can get for your money and dont care

about all the other stuff, I might suggest investing elsewhere.

If youre looking for great virtual cable software and that alone, look at Voicemeter.

But if the pairing of these two concepts are what youve been waiting for, this is it,

chief.

I am surprised at how polished and fleshed out the software has gotten for Elgato, though

- I imagine selling the microphones with it help to cover development costs.

I do hope this is Elgato turning over a new leaf, however, as Ive long complained about

their software and wished they would invest more in it.

Affiliate product links to the Wave:1 and Wave:3 will be in the description below.

I cant believe Im recommending a USB condenser mic in 2020, but they done did good.

This is how you enter a new product market and do it right.

No more Yeti clones, please.

Im EposVox, your stream professor.

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The Description of Elgato Project Wave Review - USB MIC + GOXLR = WIN | Wave:1 vs Wave:3 Explained