If you are a streamer, gamer, content creator, or anyone who needs a mic for chat audio, you might already know that on a laptop, the built-in mic usually isn’t the best and if you’re on a desktop, the webcam mic isn’t either. Instead, a lot of you probably have your own headset that you use with a built-in mic. However, what if you don’t want to wear a headset and you use speakers and want a mic you don’t have to wear? That’s where something like the Monoprice Dark Sentry Streaming Microphone would be used. This is a high-quality, plug-and-play USB-C microphone that features four different pickup/polar patterns, a 5/8″ threaded mount, built-in LED accents, and a full metal housing for long-term durability.
DESIGN & SPECS
The first thing that caught my eye with the Dark Matter Sentry Streaming Microphone is its sinister good looks. It literally looks like a sentry drone of sorts with three legs ready to attack anyone who comes into view. These three legs are part of a stationary mount that you would use if you want to use the mic on a table as opposed to on a swing arm like what most streamers have. You don’t have to use it, but I think it’s part of the charm and makes the Dark Matter Sentry Streaming Microphone look so cool. It’s also finished off in matte black paint but does have built-in LEDs which allow for five different color accents – pink, yellow, white, blue, or green.
Controlling everything is super simple too with a button o the top to change pickup/polar patterns, two knobs on the front for gain and volume when plugging in headphones, and a button on the bottom for choosing colors for the LED lighting. The USB-C port is also located at the bottom of the mic as well.
The most important spec I’ll mention here is the four pickup/polar patterns you can set. This makes the Dark Matter Sentry Streaming Microphone well-suited for several different recording conditions. You get Cardioid, Stereo, Bidirectional, and Omnidirectional. If you’re using the mic for just streaming on your own, you’ll want to use the Cardioid pattern which will only pick up sounds coming from your direction. All other patterns are for picking up sounds around the microphone.
The rest of the specs listed below are for tech spec junkies:
- Microphone Type – Back electret condenser
- Audio Connection – USB 1.0 or 2.0
- Frequency Response – 20Hz ~ 20kHz
- Sensitivity – ?36dB ±2dB (0dB=1V/Pa at 1kHz)
- Maximum SPL – 130dB
- Microphone Gain – ?12dB, 12dB maximum
- Output Impedance – 32 ohms
- Sampling Rate – Up to 96kHz
- Bit Depth – 24-bit
- Compatible Operating Systems – Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, macOS 10.x or later, Linux
The Dark Matter Sentry Streaming Microphone was super simple to set up and required no additional software downloads. All I had to do was install the spider base, and plug one end of the USB-C cable into the microphone and the other end into my computer. That was pretty much it. After that, just select the pickup/polar pattern you want to use and adjust the gain for the mic. If you want the LEDs to be on, just press the button on the base of the mic and keep pressing until you find a color you like.
After that, you really don’t need to do anything else to the hardware. You just need to set the Dark Matter Sentry Streaming Microphone as your default mic on your system and that’s it.
In terms of voice quality when using the mic, I tested it out with a few online buddies I had joined in Destiny 2 and all of them said the Dark Matter Sentry Streaming Microphone sounded really good. I’m in a room by myself so there isn’t much other noise besides my speakers and they said all they could hear was my voice. The same goes for a Zoom chat I joined for work and none had any issues hearing my voice either.
I think the best part of this mic is that you don’t need to wear a headset to use it which means you can work and play a bit more comfortably than you would with a full gaming headset on.
I love my gaming headset, but sometimes, I just want to be able to chat in-game or join a meeting without having to put it on. The Dark Matter Sentry Streaming Microphone makes it so much easier to chat when I need to and it also allows me to hear what’s going on at home, which is something I can’t really do with a headset on. Aside from that, this mic apparently sounds pretty good to those on the other end so there are no complaints in the audio department. I’m pretty impressed with the quality of the build and the materials used because this thing isn’t expensive at all. In fact, it’s pretty darn affordable.
So with that said, I would recommend the Dark Matter Sentry Streaming Microphone to anyone who wants a high-quality, affordable streaming mic that gets the job done.