Rode has officially entered the gaming market, releasing an entire range of audio gear with streamers and gamers in mind. Leading the lineup is the company’s newest mixing software Unify, along with two new microphones – the XDM-100 and the XCM-50 – the first in the brand’s new Rode X range.
Having tackled microphones targeted to streaming before with the Rode NT-USB Mini, Rode X will have to square up against gaming heavyweights such as Razer, Blue and HyperX which all offer microphones that appear in our best standalone USB microphones guide. In particular, the Razer Seiren Elite and Blue Yeti set a high standard for plug and play microphones.
To take on this market, Rode has incorporated an entirely new research department dedicated to developing this product line, with plans to offer even more gear in the upcoming years.
Unify is the big focus of this release, with Rode labeling it as the “ultimate audio software for streamers and gamers”. Users will have the ability to mix up to four USB microphones and up to six virtual sound inputs including games, chat, music and more.
There’s also the ability to sub-mix for separate outputs including livestreams, headphones and chat as well as trigger sound effects (with voice FX to be available later in 2022). The advanced audio software is apparently designed to be as easy-to-use as possible, all the better for streamers to focus on their game.
While Unify is optimized to work with the Rode X line, it’s also compatible with any USB microphone. However, there are some caveats to this inclusion, with processing available on any Rode microphone through a simple on/off toggle but only offering routing and mixing for other brands. This is a big change from the launch of the brand’s free software, Rode Connect, which was only compatible with the Rode NT-USB mini.
Accompanying Unify’s launch is the XDM-100. This dynamic USB microphone comes packed with a PSM1 shockmount and pop shield, promising to deliver professional audio quality, particularly when used alongside Unify which is included. Offering high resolution audio while reducing unwanted noise with room noise rejection and zero-latency headphone output, you can plug-and-play this microphone from the get-go.
The final offering in this initial release is a standalone condenser microphone, the XCM-50. Accompanied by Unify and a tripod with a 360-degree swing, it can also be used directly out of the box thanks to its USB-C connection, and also offers zero-latency headphone output.
Priced at $249 / £269 / AU$439 for the XDM-100 and $149 / £170 / AU$259 for the XCM-50, both these microphones are available now. Unify will be included with the purchase of any Rode X microphone, but you can also access the software on a subscription costing $5 / AU$7.99 per month or $45 / AU$69.99 each year (UK pricing currently unavailable). Unify is currently only compatible on Windows operating systems, though Rode plans to bring the software to macOS later though with some feature limitations.
- Want to see if there’s any deals on microphones coming up? Keep an eye on our Black Friday hub for upcoming deals in this year's big holiday sales.
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Petra is new to the industry, but has had a long-time love of tech, gaming and entertainment, which she now gets to indulge by writing for TechRadar. She’s also keen on sharing news about deals and discounts in the APAC region – with a background in archaeology, she’ll dig deep to find the best deals and thanks to her long history in retail, knows what makes a good bargain. She also is a bit of a keyboard hobbyist, having found enjoyment with mechanical keyboards during 2020’s lockdown, and has big plans to build a fully custom matching keyboard and PC in the near future.