In 2011, I reviewed the AntLion ModMic, a boom microphone that you attach to your own headphones. The latest version is the ModMic 5, which now includes a mute switch, selectable omni/cardioid pattern, and more. How does it sound? Let’s find out.
The latest ModMic comes in a much more polished package vs. the paper tube of the original. This is something you’d expect to see on a store shelf.
Inside is a very nice zippered case with ANTLION embossed on it. There’s also a long section of split mesh wire cover to tame your tangled mess.
Here’s a closeup look of the split mesh wire cover. Antlion suggests carefully treating the cut ends with a lighter to melt off the frayed tips, or clear nail polish. For tips, read their blog here.
AntLion also offers these optional adapters: A USB-to-mic/headphone adapter, and a non-USB version of the same.
The inside of the pouch is neatly organized with elastic. Plenty of room for everything.
There are two lengths of microphone cable and a handful of cable clips and a spare magnet.
The microphone itself has a short section of cable attached.
Now the ModMic 5 includes an optional in-line mute switch. It’s totally up to you.
Here’s the mic, mute switch, and short cable attached together.
This is a closeup of the microphone selection switch. Look closely and you’ll notice two circular patterns. The heart-shaped one on the left is the cardioid pattern, which tends to ignore sounds in one direction and favor another. The circular one on the right is for the omnidirectional pattern, which as the name suggests, has a spherical pickup pattern in all directions.
The attachment system is still the same with the two-part magnet. Let’s attach it to some headphones!
Simply peel off the adhesive backing from the loose magnet, and the ModMic 5 snaps into place.
The million-dollar question is: How does it sound?
This YouTube recording starts off with the mic built into a laptop, then the ModMic 5 in cardioid pattern, and finally in omni.
Note: Somehow, YouTube has messed with the pitch of the video at the beginning so my voice sounds a little higher than normal as if I’m on a low-dose of helium. I’m not sure why this is.
The cardioid pattern seems to reject sounds away from my mouth, which results in a reduction of room noise (echoes). The laptop and ModMic 5 omni pattern seem to pick up more of everything else. The cardioid pattern is a good choice if you wish to reduce background audio.
If there’s anything I could improve on the ModMic 5 is the star-shaped tooth pattern on the microphone. Once again, if you need to make an angle adjustment with the magnet, there are only so many positions available. It’s a good thing the boom is flexible. Still, a more fine-tooth arrangement might be nice. Otherwise, the included cable management (clips, wire loom) and the selectable omni/cardioid patterns are fantastic upgrades from the original.