EPOS B20 Streaming Microphone Review

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅02-06-21
Technical Specifications

Dimensions (inc stand):- 111.8 x 239.3 mm
Weight:- 495g
- USB-C for power & data
- 3.5mm for headphone
Microphone Pick-up pattern:- Uni-directional ECM Microphone (3 Microphone Array)
Frequency Response:- 50 - 20,000 Hz
Analog to Digital Sampling:- 24-bit @ 48kHz
Temperature Range:- 0C to 50C / 32F to 122F
Relative Humidity:- 10 to 80%
Warranty:- 2 yrs
Cable:- 2.9m USB-A to USB-C
Plug-and-play Compatibility:- Windows PC, macOS, Playstation 4
Software Compatibility:- Windows 10 Only

The EPOS B20 utilises a design that incorporates three unidirectional ECM microphones, combining their output such that the signal can be modulated to match four different pick-up patterns: Stereo, Omnidirectional, Cardoid and Bidirectional. Each has a particular use-case, which EPOS details as follows:

Cardioid is perfect for solo recording as sound is picked up from the front of the microphone, while background noise is dampened. Stereo opens up a wider sound field and makes for more immersive, natural sounding audio. Bidirectional records from both the front and back of the microphone, while dampening sound on either side of the microphone, making it optimal for casting with a partner, while the omnidirectional pickup pattern picks up sound from every direction, making it suitable for collaborative game streaming.

Selection of the pick-up pattern is via a dial on the side of the unit rather than a software control mechanism, aiding it in their claims of plug and play functionality.

The microphone utilises a USB rather than analog connector to the PC. There’s therefore no need for an external DAC, but by the same token the B20 is not a suitable match for a prosumer mixing desk.

An ADC sampling at 24bit/48kHz is good, but not the highest available on the market. Both RODE and Elgato have solutions that sample at 24bit/96kHz within a similar price bracket. There are arguments over whether 96kHz sampling is meaningfully better than 48kHz for faithful vocal recording, but it's one for sound engineers and audiophiles primarily; we mention it merely for completeness without taking a stand either way.

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