Danish audio experts EPOS is best known for their top tier gaming peripherals; previously under the Sennheiser brand, they have now branched out and are expanding their gaming offering separately under the EPOS name.
Part of the Demant Group, EPOS have over 115 years of experience with cutting edge sound, and that knowledge has been applied to their latest product, the B20 studio microphone.
The B20 is a microphone aimed squarely at content creators such as video game streamers on Twitch and YouTube, but is also great for those involved in podcasting, music, or voice-overs.
Firstly, the B20 is a fantastic looking condenser microphone; the cylindrical, metal, matte black design is all business.
The microphone is comprised of a very lightweight but solid aluminium shell, offering superior build quality while coming in at only 1.1kg – making it excellent for podcasters or recording audio on the go.
Due to its sleek and professional look, I would feel comfortable using this in the office or in public, as well as on a stream.
With minimal flourishes, no RGB, no stickers or colours, and minimal branding, EPOS have laid out their intentions very clearly; the focus is all on the audio quality.
The mic features 4 external dials – mute, volume, gain and recoding pickup pattern – so adjustments can be made quickly and easily on the fly, in theory.
However, the dials have no numbers or indicators on them, so you can’t see at a glance what any of these are set to.
There is only one subtle LED light on the front of the mic that indicates if it is in use, but I do wish there were a couple more to indicate which pickup pattern is active like on the Trust GXT 258 Fyru.
It also includes a no-latency 3.5mm headphone output, which is important for lag-free mixing and allows you to monitor your voice and game audio with no delay, which can happen when your output is processed through the computer.
It comes with a simple but solid ring base that surprisingly doesn’t use much space on a desk as it measures 9.41 inches tall and 4.41 wide and 4.41 deep.
It can also be mounted to a boom arm with a standard 3/8” thread, adding further levels of customisation to its set-up.
As a plug and play USB device, the B20 is simple to use and can be ready to go straight away. It connects via USB C to a standard USB port and is supplied with a long 114-inch cable.
Nonetheless, you get the most out of the B20 companion software; the EPOS Gaming Suite is essential.
The software includes noise cancellation features, equalizer adjustability, reverb controls and an adjustable noise gate. It also gives some real-time indication of where your voice is registering in Hz, which is helpful for really tailoring the sound specifically to your voice.
There are also some voice enhancer pre-sets, which in combination with the noise cancellation further enhance the audio.
However, Gaming Suite does require some tinkering; setting the B20 to your primary audio output device on your computer is a little annoying.
Offering impressive clarity, the B20 records at 24-bit – 48kHz which is equivalent to studio broadcast quality.
The B20 is incredibly sensitive to ambient noise – even after tweaking my settings and lowering gain I still would often pick up the unwanted hum of my PC fan or other noises in the background.
Its design does reduce some plosives, but I would still recommend use of a pop filter.
The B20 is a versatile device that is great for different types of recording, with operators easily able to adjust how it picks up sound for different situations by changing the pickup pattern dial.
There are four different pickup patterns to choose from:
Cardioid is best for single users, – such as streamers, or those recording voiceovers – as it focuses on one sound and ignores ambient sound.
In omnidirectional mode, the B20 picks up sound from all directions and is best for conference meetings and content that has multiple voices speaking.
Bidirectional is better for picking up two audio sources simultaneously; this would be your go-to choice for things like interviews, or podcasts with two hosts.
Stereo uses the left and right channels to give a more natural sound that mirrors how our ears process sound.
The B20 is primarily a PC device, but PS5 compatibility will be coming later down the line via a firmware update. EPOS hasn’t yet given a timeframe for this update stating it will be posted via official EPOS channels.
While it has no gimmicks the EPOS B20 absolutely nails the most important aspects of a great microphone.
The B20 can hold its own against mics like the Blue Yeti and Elgato, delivering the exceptional recording quality that EPOS is known for.
Its impressive versatility adds a level of convenience that streamers will certainly appreciate.
EPOS Gaming Suite can also be used to further, enhance your recording making the already impressive B20 even better.
With its stylish, elegant, minimalistic, premium build quality in addition to killer audio, this latest addition to the market is a great option for content creators.
So if you are willing to pay a little more, you are getting extraordinary recording quality.
The EPOS B20 microphone is out now and available online via eposaudio.com/gaming and from select retailers for £179