RØDE X XCM-50 Condenser USB Microphone Review

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RODE Logo
Company: RØDE
Type: Microphone
CGM Editors Choice

RØDE has made a huge move in the content creator space with a new line of microphones (one dynamic and one condenser) and accompanying software under the name RØDE X. The condenser microphone in this new line is the XCM-50. It has a familiar, albeit updated look.

The RØDE X XCM-50 looks a lot like the RØDE NT-USB Mini in almost every way, with the RØDE X branding and some colour added in the form of some red that comes from under the mic’s grill, the ring on the end of the capsule and headphone volume knob. In the box, you get the XCM-50, an adjustable tripod stand for the mic, a 10-foot USB-C to USB-C Cable and a long 3.55mm extension cord for your headphones. The long cables are a welcome addition to the kit because it helps with cable management in a big way to help keep your setup nice and clean.

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On the mic itself, you have your USB-C port and headphone jack on the rear of the mic and a single knob for headphone volume that runs flush with the front of the microphone but protrudes a bit from the bottom to be adjusted. The knob clicks in, but there appears to be no function behind it. I was hoping it would mute the microphone, but that wasn’t the case. The top of the RØDE X XCM-50 is just flat with RØDE branding, seemingly a missed opportunity at having a capacitive mute button on the top, which could have been a big upgrade from the original NT-USB Mini design.

“The RØDE X XCM-50 sounds really nice.”

On the mount that is built into the XCM-50, there is a small rubber plug covering up the threads that you use to mount to either the stand or a mic arm, so its existence is a little perplexing other than the fact that it existed on the NT-USB Mini, where the stand didn’t require screwing in the mic.

The stand is well-built, with a ball joint at the head for maximum microphone adjustment. Its long legs spread out wide (arguably too wide to be useful as it lowers the microphone a lot and takes up a ton of space on your desk (even if you position the legs strategically), but an adjustment can be made by twisting the textured piece just above the legs stopping them from spreading all the way out. This keeps the microphone higher up and gives the stand a smaller diameter at the base, but not so small that you can tip it.

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In terms of out-of-the-box sound, it is a RØDE microphone. They have their reputation for a reason. The RØDE X XCM-50 sounds really nice. What was also a pleasant surprise was the small amount of noise

As with most condenser microphones, they have a tendency towards more mid to high tones on my voice. The higher tones add a beautiful clarity to my voice. I usually end up doing a little processing to up the lower frequencies and scoop out the mids just a little bit to round out the tone of my voice. It’s an easy process that can be done at the production or post-production level, or in this case, a new option in the form of potentially the best mixing software on the market.

That’s right, RØDE X is not just a couple of new microphones packaged with a new look. It is also a completely revamped streaming software that takes the best parts from some of the most popular software solutions in the space and combines them into one user interface that is equal parts beautiful and powerful. You can add multiple microphones as well as your game, music, browser and other audio sources in one spot.

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Now that isn’t new. We have seen that with multiple other mixers that are available, but when you add in the record features and soundpad from the RØDE Connect software, you basically have a complete Rodecaster Pro on your desktop. On top of that, the software unlocks the onboard Aphex Processing on the RØDE X microphones. RØDE X Unify takes a microphone you thought you knew and turns it into a powerhouse for streamers, podcasters, and any other content creators.

As of this writing, we don’t know the price of the XCM-50, but with a sleek new look and incredible software, I can comfortably tell you that you are getting value without seeing the price tag.

Final Thoughts

REVIEW SCORE

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