Hyperx Quadcast vs. Quadcast S: Is There a Difference?

Hello There! Let‘s Compare the HyperX QuadCast vs QuadCast S Microphones

So you‘re trying to decide between the HyperX QuadCast and the newer QuadCast S model for your gaming, streaming, podcasting or recording needs. I‘ve tested both of these USB condenser mics extensively, so let me walk you through how they compare in terms of design, audio quality, features and overall performance.

Key Differences at a Glance

Before we dig into the details, here is a high-level overview of how these two excellent microphones match up:

  • They share a nearly identical physical design and build quality
  • Audio quality is very similar, with a slight edge to the QuadCast S
  • Both are extremely easy to use with plug-and-play USB connectivity
  • The QuadCast S adds customizable RGB lighting effects
  • It also supports expanded audio controls through HyperX‘s NGENUITY software
  • But that software only works fully on Windows, not Mac or consoles
  • The QuadCast S is around $30-$50 more expensive

Now let‘s explore each area more in depth so you can determine the best choice for your specific needs and budget.

Physical Design and Build Quality

When you unbox them and look at the HyperX QuadCast vs QuadCast S for the first time, you‘d be hard pressed to spot any differences in terms of industrial design. They share the same compact, cylindrical shape measuring just under 5 inches tall. The rounded rectangular base on both models houses all of the key controls and connections.

The all-metal construction appears high quality and durable, built to withstand frequent travel and daily use. However, some QuadCast S owners have reported issues with paint chipping over time so the durability may not quite match the original QuadCast.

Both microphones come equipped with an anti-vibration shock mount which is essential for isolating the capsule from unwanted desk or stand vibrations. And the built-in pop filters minimize plosive "b" and "p" sounds quite well in my experience.

Overall these two QuadCast models share extremely comparable physical design and construction – no major advantages for either one.

Sound Quality Comparison

Since these mics have nearly identical specs on paper, including 14mm electret condenser capsules and the same 20Hz-20Khz frequency response range, you might assume the audio quality is identical as well.

And honestly, during my back-to-back testing recording vocals and acoustic guitar tracks, they sounded incredibly similar within most recording software and use cases.

However the QuadCast S does support a higher 24-bit depth and 96kHz sampling rate compared to 16-bit/48kHz for the QuadCast. To the average listener this probably won‘t make much difference. But technically it allows capturing more detail and dynamic range.

Additionally, accessing more advanced audio controls like compressor, noise gate, and EQ via the NGENUITY software certainly helps dial in your sound on the QuadCast S model.

So while in informal use the sound quality is nearly indistinguishable, those expanded software controls and 96kHz sample rate may make a subtle difference in certain usage scenarios. Overall I‘d still consider them extremely comparable though unless you‘re a hardcore audiophile.

Key Features and Software Compatibility

This is where we start to see more meaningful differences emerge when comparing the standard QuadCast vs the QuadCast S:

Lighting Effects

  • QuadCast – Single red LED
  • QuadCast S – Customizable RGB lighting

Software Compatibility

  • QuadCast – None
  • QuadCast S – NGENUITY app for Windows 10

Audio Controls

  • QuadCast – On-mic gain dial
  • QuadCast S – Expanded controls via NGENUITY

As you can see, the QuadCast S brings some nice bonus features to the table. It looks fantastic thanks to animated, rainbow-colored RGB lighting effects around the base. They can be customized and controlled through the NGENUITY software.

However, that software only works on Windows PCs, not Macs. And console connectivity is limited as well – most lighting and audio tweaks are unavailable. Worth keeping in mind if you will use your microphone across a variety of devices and operating systems.

For Windows users though, having granular control over compressor, noise gate, EQ and other advanced parameters via NGENUITY is quite nice. But probably overkill for casual users.

Finally, both models share the same polar pattern selection system, tap-to-mute sensor, and integrated headset jack for useful zero-latency monitoring.

So in summary, I‘d give a strong edge to the QuadCast S if you specifically care about software controls and vivid RGB effects. Just know that comes at the cost of wider platform compatibility.

Ease of Use Comparison

In my experience, these USB microphones couldn‘t be much simpler to set up and start using for recording or live streaming. That makes them awesome options for gamers, podcasters, and other content creators who don‘t want complex audio interfaces and months of audio engineering knowledge!

Literally all you need to do is take either model out of the box and connect the USB cable from the base to your PC or console. In a matter of seconds they‘ll be recognized and working flawlessly on Windows, Mac, PS4, PS5, etc with no drivers required.

From there, just launch your software like OBS or Discord and select the QuadCast or QuadCast S as your input device. Adjust the gain as needed directly on the mic base and you are good to go. It doesn‘t get much easier than that!

The onboard controls including four polar pattern modes, tap-to-mute sensor with status LED, and headset jack are conveniently located and intuitive to adjust on the fly.

Overall the user-friendly design philosophy shines through on both models. I‘d declare this category a tie in terms of simplicity and quick setup. The only caveat is accessing those bonus lighting effects and software audio controls requires running NGENUITY which IS a bit more complex and only available on Windows anyway.

Mic Recommendation – QuadCast or QuadCast S?

So all factors considered in this HyperX QuadCast vs QuadCast S comparison guide, which USB microphone deserves your hard-earned money?

For most typical gamers and content creators focused purely on audio quality, I think the standard QuadCast makes more overall sense.

It captures crisp, vibrant sound easily on par with the pricier QuadCast S model based on my testing. And you‘ll save around $30-$50 choosing the regular QuadCast.

However if you care about advanced audio controls,animated RGB lighting effects for live streams, and deeper software integration, then the QuadCast S delivers. Yes it costs a decent chunk more.

But for visual creators like Twitch streamers who want to customize a flashy, professional on-camera presence with matching color schemes and overlays, the QuadCast S upgrades are worthwhile since they align strongly with that audience. The NGENUITY software expands the creative possibilities on Windows PCs also.

So in summary:

  • HyperX QuadCast – Best pure value for awesome sounding USB mic across all platforms
  • HyperX QuadCast S – Worth spending more only if fancy RGB lighting and Windows software integration are important

Hope this guide gave you all the details needed to pick your perfect QuadCast microphone model! Let me know if any other questions come up during your buying process. Ready to provide personalized advice anytime. Talk soon my friend!

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