Elgato Wave XLR USB Microphone Interface for Streamers & Content Creators

hey everybody it’s lon seidman you’ve probably seen a lot of youtubers using fancy microphones like this one and these mics typically require an xlr interface to get into whatever production software they’re using and the other day elgato came out with a new product for these types of microphones called the wave xlr and what this lets you do is plug in those fancy mics and then attach it to your computer via usb and we’re going to be taking a closer look at this xlr usb interface in just a second but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that i paid for this with my own funds all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this device is all about now the price point on this is 159 the price point is a little less than some of the entry level professional gear that’s out there but it’s a little more than some of the cheaper devices that you might come across that will do the same thing i like the form factor quite a bit you’ve got a nice big knob here for adjusting your audio gain and when you push it you can change the knob to do different functions so when i pushed it there you saw that we moved from the mic gain to the headphones so this will adjust the headphone monitor output level and then if i push it again i can adjust

the mix of the loopback from the microphone along with audio from the pc and in the back here you have a headphone jack for connecting up those headphones to monitor so you’ll hear the microphone directly as it is going through the device along with audio coming back from the computer you have a usb type c port here this will interface to the usb port on your computer it comes with a nice long usbc to usb a cable so it’ll plug into one of the larger usb ports out of the box but of course you could get a usbc to usbc cable and do the same thing and then your microphone plugs in to the xlr port over here with an xlr cable and that’ll pop in here to the back like so and you are off and running i like the build quality on this quite a bit it’s very heavy duty plastic it’s got a good weight to it and they have a huge rubber foot here at the bottom that will keep it very well situated and anchored on your desk so it won’t slide around if you have to grab for the dial here mid-stream now one word of caution on this is that my device when i took it out of the box had 48 volts of phantom power enabled by default now for most microphones this shouldn’t cause any cause for concern however there are microphones that can get damaged by having phantom power coming down the cable so my advice would be to you is that when you first get this thing set up make sure that you know whether or not your mic needs to use phantom power and if it doesn’t disable the phantom power when you first

get going to do that you can go into the software which i’ll demo for you in a few minutes or you just hold down the button here i just turned phantom power on and if i hit it again here i turned it off and i found that it does retain the setting of where that phantom power should be even after you disconnect it from the computer but if you’ve got a ribbon mic or something that’s really susceptible to damage due to phantom power know that out of the box at least my experience was that the phantom power was enabled right out of the gate one other minor gripe that i’ve got with it as i’ve been playing around with the device is that the mute button here is a capacitive mute now that is good in some ways because if you need to cough or sneeze or something you can just tap the top of it real quick and you’re done the problem is is that if you do handle the device you’ve got to be very careful not to touch the top of it or you’ll mute yourself it’s very easy to set that thing off even with a light touch there’s no physical button to push so it’s got some convenience but some risk so my advice would be to train your muscle memory to grab it by the sides if you want to move it around now this will appear as a standard usb audio device on anything that

accepts a standard usb microphone a little bit earlier i plugged it into an android phone and was able to record off my fancy microphone on the phone itself that was pretty cool it also worked with my ipad pro although there’s one setting i got to show you in a few minutes to get it to work perfectly with the ipad i did try to plug it into my iphone 12 pro with its usb to lightning adapter it did not work with the iphone due to power issues but everything else i plugged it into worked just fine now they have some software that accompanies the wave xlr called wavelink and this works as a software mixer and allows you to bring in audio from a whole bunch of different applications on your computer and mix those sources independently and then feed it over to obs for example so you could have some music running in the background a game running and you can adjust the volume levels within the software here and then push that mix out to obs or whatever you’re using for live streaming they’ve got some great tutorials at elgato to show you how to use this it’s a really robust piece of software if you need a software mixer so definitely check those out we’re not going to dive too far into that today but there are some things that the software does to configure the wave xlr itself that i wanted to dive into real quick so i’m going to pull down the little carrot here next to the wave xlr on the mixer and as you can see here it brings up a lot of stuff that we can play with now there are some things that can only be configured through this

wavelength software even if you’re not using the mixer one of them is the sample rate so as you can see here right now it’s set to 48 kilohertz which is the default i’m going to turn that off there real quick and you can switch it to 96 kilohertz if you want so that’s where you would make that change there’s no place on the hardware to do that that i could find another feature that you have to configure through the software is the audio enhancement section here so your low cut filter is configured here you can set it for 80 hertz or 120 hertz this will cut out kind of low humming kinds of things like fans running or something that might be in the background it’s not foolproof but it might get you to where you might want to be so experiment with these two settings to see what sounds best they also have a feature called clip guard that will prevent you from clipping the mic if you happen to scream into the mic while you’re playing a game or something like that now the next option is something that i had to enable for my ipad to work properly with the wave xlr and that is the wave gain lock and what was happening when i was recording on my ipad earlier is that i would have the gain set to the midpoint here and then every time i stopped or started recording it would bring it back down to a really low setting automatically and that was getting quite annoying because i had to remember to turn it back up every time so in the setting here this wave gain lock will lock the

gain where you leave it and that will solve your problem if you’re having some issues on an ipad or another device that continually changes the gain on this thing without your intervention and then there are some things that you can configure that you can do from the hardware directly so for example i can adjust the input gain here with this dial you can see that moving there and likewise if i i start moving the dial here it will also correspond here on screen you can also adjust what the headphone jack does for its volume and also the mix of the mic and pc out of that headphone monitor but again the sample rate and the audio enhancements have to be set here in wave xlr now if you don’t like the color of the lights here on the front they do allow you to customize that so let’s jump back real quick to the software and i could change the general color here for example maybe to let’s do like hot pink and i’ll hit okay and now you can see that everything is hot pink and if i want to change my mute color uh to i don’t know maybe we’ll change it to green i can do that here and now when i tap on the thing here as you can see it changes the color close to what i had set in software there so you do have some degree of customization if you want to go that route but it is fairly limited as to what these lights will look like and then when you are done setting up all these settings you click save settings to hardware and what that will do is send all of the settings you just configured into the hardware so if you were to unplug it from the laptop

that it’s plugged into right now and just plug it into any computer those settings will be retained so that that will become the default behavior for the xlr so although there are things that you can only configure in software you are able to make those changes on a computer that’s maybe not in your production environment get this thing set up exactly the way you want it and then plug it into your production pc so you don’t have to have any other software running in the background now we’re going to do an audio check in a minute with our fancy microphone here but before we do i wanted to jump into obs and show you how this thing appears on your computer so you know which option to select to get it going in obs here i’m going to jump over to settings here and then i’m going to go over to audio and what you’re going to look for here is mic auxiliary audio here and if you just want to use the wave xlr directly then select mic in elgato wave xlr and that’s going to give you the audio directly out of the box here over the usb now if you did decide to use wav link and its software mixer then you’ll select wave link stream and that will give you your microphone and then all of the other audio sources that you are mixing through wavelink and i found in my testing earlier that it doesn’t introduce much latency so there’s really no penalty for using wavelink other than getting some control over audio sources that might otherwise be very difficult to configure here in obs but if you don’t need to use it keep things simple and just bring in your mic directly from the xlr hardware here all right so let’s do an audio check now

i’ve got my shure sm7b here running through the wave xlr i can adjust the gain here as you can see so i have a lot of tactile control over audio levels here which is really nice i don’t have headphones attached right now but i can of course monitor if i do plug them in so that seems to work well now right now we have this configured at the gain setting that you can see here i turned that low cut feature off but i did turn on the feature that prevents clipping and i’m going to warn you right now i’m going to scream into the mic here so you might want to turn your volume down but we want to listen for here is that the mic doesn’t clip so let’s give it a shot three two one oh my gosh he won holy mackerel wow so as you can hear even though i screamed into the mic it was able to keep things from clipping even though it might have made a little bit more noise on your end and i apologize for that but i did want to show you that that feature works through hardware without having to have the wave xlr software loaded now on the specification side you can find the full specs on the product listing but the frequency response of this unit runs from 20 hertz to 20 kilohertz it has a sample rate as you saw of 48 or 96 kilohertz back over the usb the gain range is 0 to 75 db so that should give you some of the basics as to what this can do but i think for a lot of people that are doing basic streaming like i kind of do i think this is a good addition if you want a simple way to bring in a high quality mic into your production so that’s going to do it for the wave xlr and until next time this is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by supporters including gold level supporters chris allegretta tom albrecht jim kalliger hot sauce and video games and brian parker if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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