To demonstrate the quality of the new Antlion USB Sound Card we've had James put together a series of clips recorded with his ModMic 5. We tested:
2) The old Antlion USB Adapter
3) Directly plugged into his motherboard (GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-USB3).
Before we dive into the sounds and graphs, lets talk about the hardware. Both the New Antlion USB Sound Card and the older Antlion USB Adapter use the C-media CM119b chipset. This is in stark contrast to most of the other similar USB sticks, which use the cheaper HS100b or CM108B chipset. However, with the new USB sound card we changed the firmware settings to optimize microphone clarity and changed materials and form factor to make our USB compatible with PS4, AND to stop it from blocking nearby USB ports. Sadly our previous fat design was good at durability but was unable to fit into certain setups.
We did our best to test the same output volume, which means we adjusted the volume and settings to get us very close to equal footing and normal recording volumes for all three devices. In the image below you can see the similarities in Audacity's waveform. If you're curious what volume settings were used for each device you can click on the Mixcloud link and the description has the settings information.
To best experience the results, turn your volume up above what you'd normally listen at, but still within tolerances of your headphones.
Round 1: Uni-Directional Mode
As you can hear, clearly the motherboard is suffering from EMI, that high pitch static sound. Our older model USB did a good job filtering the harshness of the sound, but there's actually still a lot of noise in the lower frequency, which you can see in its level graph in Audacity:
Round 2: Omni-Directional Mode
Omni mode has a much lower frequency response. As a result it will sound much deeper and rich, however, it's also going to pick up more background noise. In the case of our test, this is a fan in the background which you'll hear as a low hum. Your rig is likely to have similar background noises, be that ceiling fans, PC fans, or the rarely-seen-outside-Cleveland, Browns fans.
What is most interesting to hear here is that the old USB seems to add more bass than the new one or the motherboard. We don't know why this would be, but there you have it. As you would expect, the overall background noise is much louder outside noise-canceling uni-directional mode. However, we once again see the new USB many steps below the output of the others.
Winner: New USB Soundcard by Knockout!
We know that a 10 dollar USB Sound Card is not going to be the professional solution to every audio problem, but as far as impact per dollar spent, we believe our new USB is a major milestone in any rig upgrade. Get one today!