EPOS B20 Microphone Review: EPOS’ First Streaming Mic Is a Standout
I recently got my hands on an EPOS B20 microphone to give it a review. Now, I’ve been reporting about EPOS products for years, and I’ve always heard that they are top-tier audio specialists. Now that I’ve got one sitting on my desk right now: the EPOS B20 USB microphone, I can confirm that this first major microphone offering from EPOS is worth the money. That comes with a slight caveat, though, I’m afraid. In my personal experience, I used it primarily in a room with a vaulted ceiling, hardwood floor, and no soundproofing. It picked up everything going on in the room. If I lower my PC fan settings and turn off the air conditioning, it’s a bit better. It also helps to use the cardioid setting on the mic. It does make it pick up less of the background sounds. But the actual quality of the mic’s sound? Delightful. It’s not a perfect mic for everyone, but it’s got a lot to love.
The Look and Sound
In the days of Sennheiser Gaming, EPOS had quite a few microphones, thanks to making great headsets. But this is the first EPOS mic I recall seeing, as far as one sitting on my desk. This mic set up incredibly easy – it was plug-and-play. No drivers to fuss and worry about. There is an app, though, where you can adjust most of your settings very easily. However, I did notice one small problem. I run a Bluetooth headset, and while it’s on, I can’t adjust the settings of my EPOS mic. Instead, I need a wired headset.
Fortunately, I had a backup headset that has a small wire I can plug right into my EPOS mic and do some adjusting. It is nice to do legless audio tests right there, but having to use a separate headset to do so is less enjoyable. Perhaps if I owned an EPOS/Sennheiser headset, this would be less of a problem. That said, the audio quality is still excellent. You can adjust the gain, noise gate, and noise reduction and set a few voice clarity filters in the EPOS Gaming Suite program.
Visually, the microphone is gorgeous. It’s small, sleek, and fits easily on a desk or a boom arm. Just a few knobs and dials. It’s easy to mute, adjust volume, change your pickup pattern (cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, stereo)and gain. The standard four patterns are here, so no matter what kind of audio you need, it will pick up as much sound as you need. I may be in the minority, but everything doesn’t need RGB coloring, which doesn’t have that.
I use this mic primarily for streaming and gaming (Discord chats, online gameplay), and my teammates and friends all report high clarity. It’s easy to hear me, and when the game audio is going, you don’t hear quite as much of the background. That was a worry for me, that’s for sure. The only time something stray got picked up was when my roommate talked a bit louder on Discord. When streaming, though? My in-game audio, while quiet, drowns out minor background stuff alongside the mic’s settings. The two work together to ensure clarity without a lot of background noise.
Where Does It Work, Who Is It For? Is It For You?
It also works excellently with the PS4 and PS5 alike, which is another boon. The cable is a long one, so you can easily stretch it to where you’re playing at. You can easily plug it in. Your PS5 will automatically pick it up. It sounds incredible and has a decent suite of settings to adjust. In this review of the EPOS B20 microphone, I also have to ask how it stands up to other mics, especially its price point. It is a little on the more expensive side ($199) but still not as expensive as a quality XLR mic and mixer. The whole point of using a USB mic, though, is you’re after the ease of setup and good vocal quality. I think this sounds better than mics in its class (Yeti Blue), but others have noticed a similar audio quality. As the first standalone mic for EPOS, it’s a solid offering.
This mic is for people who already have a nice, quiet setup and are looking for an excellent sound for their stream, podcast, or online gaming. While I love it, I don’t have a setup conducive to getting the most out of it. A Sennheiser headset with a microphone would probably be more my speed. That way, it picks up significantly less of the outside world in a room that is large and not soundproofed. Everything the EPOS B20 does, it does incredibly well, as I noticed in the review. Easy to set up, incredibly high-quality sound, and it looks aesthetically pleasing. It isn’t massive and fits perfectly on my desk, even with three monitors. It doesn’t get in the way of anything. For streamers and gamers, or even office workers who want to do meetings in a quiet place, this mic will not disappoint.
I’m personally looking forward to seeing how the standalone mics will evolve in the future for EPOS, but right now, it’s looking pretty good. You can find them on the EPOS website as well as other outlets such as Amazon.
*An EPOS B20 microphone was provided for the purposes of this review.