The Turtle Beach Stream Mic looks like a professional grade microphone. However, when you pull it out of the box, the microphone feels extremely light and cheap. The nice thing though, it includes a boom adapter and a weighted stand that does a great job at holding it steady.
Though this Stream Mic is better than a standard headset microphone in clarity, I wasn't overly thrilled with it. Straight out of the box, hooking it up to a Windows 10 PC it was recognized and after selecting it as my microphone device it worked as intended. I then joined some chat with friends and the first thing they mentioned was that they heard a lot background noise and I sounded very distance. I tried going through the different Adaptive Mic Patterns and changed the sensitivity from high to low and the only thing they noticed is that I was now quieter. As for the background noise, you could hear my computer fans even through the microphone is nowhere near it and as for distance, though it was picking up my voice, the sweet spot seems to be within arms reach on high sensitivity while it needs to be near your face, like on a boom, in low.
While I had it on the PC I decided to check out the Turtle Beach Audio Hub, which has a slight mention on the box for “additional Polar Patterns” and in the small manual about additional settings and firmware updates. Once installed you have to switch the microphone from PS4/PC to Xbox, which I found odd. You then may need to download drivers, which the link is provided at the bottom right corner of the application. Once loaded you find additional settings. Voice EQ, which has Natural Voice, Deep Voice, Deep and Bright Voice and Mid-Range Voice where each of these have a slight change to high/mid/low levels of input. There is also Mic Monitor Level and Mic Record Level. There are two optional polar patterns, Extreme Hyper-Cardioid or Super Cardioid. Once you select either of them, a new color, white, shows up on the ring on the front of the microphone. This now becomes a fifth option when you cycle through the patterns when pressing the button on the back. This setting did reduce a good bit of the fan noise that it was picking up in the first place, however it was not until I discovered the Automatic Noise Gate setting through this application that made it so much better. This option essentially removed all of the background noises when I wasn't talking. It didn't pick up my key clicking, like I had before and especially did not keep the sound of my computer fan running. There were times though that it sounded like it cut a word short here and there. A couple more options in the application include Clip Indicator, which turns the ring red if you get so loud that it clips the audio, and LED Blackout Mode, which turns the light ring off on the front. You can also updated the firmware, which mine was on the latest, see additional information and enable Live Test Mode, which is essential when testing the features as the PC does not see the microphone while it is in Xbox mode.
Hooking it up to my Xbox One was recognized as a headset. It picked up audio just as it did on the PC, however, now that I used the PC to make the necessary changes it didn't pick up all of the noise like it did to start with. The problem I had at first though was that the Xbox treats this completely like a headset, so that meant it was sending chat audio to the headset and I wasn't hearing the party till I plugged in headphones. Then I realized I could hear myself, instantly, so it wasn't causing me to stutter from hearing myself delayed, but it was loud. This is where having the PC application came back into play and the Mic Monitor Level had to be reduced. The nice thing though, the changes are applied to the microphone, so they remain when switched between devices. This also allowed for game audio you be passed through to the headset. Plus, since the USB cord is 10 ft long it basically allowed me to use my wired headphones to my Xbox instead of through the controller. Though I have a PS4, I don't use it often and would assume that it would work the same as it did on the Xbox.
The biggest issue with this microphone is that you have to have a PC if you want to get the best out of it. Just the ability to change the Mic Monitor Level and the Noise Gate literally changed my review from a 2 star to a 4 star. The fact that it is sensitive is great if you wanted to catch every sound in the room. However, for streaming or chat, you really don't need to hear the PC fans and keyboard clicking as it is a distraction. You also don't need to hear yourself louder than the other party members. As for the various Adaptive Mic Patterns, they do have slight variation, but even recording and switching between them, they weren't that noticeable. For a external started microphone that has a proffesional appearance, this one isn't bad, so long as you find your settings through a PC.