EPOS B20 Streaming Microphone Review

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅02-06-21

Product on Review: B20 Streaming Microphone
Manufacturer: EPOS
MSRP: £179.99 (inc. V.A.T.), €199 (inc. V.A.T.), $199 (excl. Tax)

The future of Sennheiser as a brand is complex indeed, made muddier still by its recent acquisition by medical audio firm Sonova earlier this month. As a result there’s no better time for EPOS, a spin-off of the older company's Enterprise-grade and Gaming audio divisions, to strengthen their own name and presence in the consumer market.

Most recently EPOS launched the H3, a design that ticked all the right boxes for a headset that’ll be critical to enjoying long sessions comfortably. This week however they’re aiming a little higher by venturing into the streaming audio peripherals segment, leapfrogging the entry-level to offer more rounded functionality at a higher price point.

Enter the EPOS B20 Streaming Microphone. This cylindrically shaped discrete microphone is fitted with three ECM mics for variable pickup pattern on a hardware level, and is pitched at the growing band of plucky streamers and content creators who wish to improve the quality of their broadcast setup without compromising gaming features.

The EPOS B20’s main claim to fame is in offering ‘studio broadcast quality’ audio (24bit, 48kHz sampling) for streaming via a USB interface on PC, macOS and Playstation 4. Plug and play like most of the competition, it’s further augmented by their Gaming Suite software to help you tweak the output to a level that’s best for your channel. Other features, including adjustable pickup pattern, poseable mounting point (to the supplied base or 3/8ths inch thread comptable stand) and integrated gain control, clearly set it apart from many mainstream alternatives.

At £180 the B20 sits just above the Elgato Wave 3, a more advanced variant of the Wave 1 we reviewed in June 2020, and on par with the RODE Podcaster. At the top end of the consumer broadcast market is the Shure MV7, £40 more than the B20 but with a currently unmatched industry pedigree. Each has their own trade-offs, driven by their position in the market and the brands they're backed by, and that also influences less obvious boons and drawbacks.

The B20 in the words of EPOS:

One microphone to rule them all

The B20 is a broadcast quality studio microphone designed not only to be sturdy and durable but also look great on stream. The design team chose to house the delicate electronics inside in a solid aluminum housing that protects against damage while feeling great in the hand. The controls are easy to access and mounted symmetrically, giving the steamer instant and intuitive access to all the most important controls – the mute button and volume on the front with an LED indicator that clearly shows when the microphone is active, plus the microphone gain and polar pattern dial around the rear. It’s simple to use and feels just right when you’re making adjustments.

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