Technology is built on the idea of masking limitation. Take any new phone or computer component, no matter how advanced and it starts to show its shortcomings within a couple of years. Whether it’s planned obsolescence at play, the speed at which new technologies adapt, or a combination of both, the point is that most tech isn’t built to last. That’s why the concept of Antlion’s ModMic USB is intriguing, as it’s made to provide more value for your current headphone technology, as opposed to redirecting you to buy a new headset altogether.
As the name suggests, the main purpose of the ModMic USB is to add a mic to a pair of headphones that don’t have a mic built-in. The ModMic USB comes with a magnetic nub that features a sticky residue which is used to attach it to your headphone of choice. The residue takes an hour to set and is effective, which is a double-edged sword. I ended up having to remove it with a knife and it left a slight mark behind on my headphones, so make sure that the spot you choose is the perfect one. Once it has set, the nub is locked in and you can attach the magnetic mic easily. The mic connects to your computer via USB and it has a useful Velcro attachment that you can wrap around your headphones cord so that the wires don’t get tangled. That being said, it still added to my mess of wires and the recently announced ModMic wireless seems like a better choice for those who dislike wires.
Build wise, the ModMic USB is lightweight and fairly resilient. The mic rests on a flexible rubber line which allows you to maneuver its placement and get it in the right proximity to your mouth. There is a mute button that lights up red when in use which is a nice touch and there is a slider at the base of the mic that shifts between two presets.
Those two presets are broadcast and noise cancellation mode and there is a noticeable difference between the two options. Broadcast mode picking up background noise, while the noise cancellation mode manages to focus on whatever it is being pointed at ModMic USB does a good job of reducing peaking and clipping, and even in the most frantic of Apex Legends rounds, my levels remained palpable. There isn’t much bass to it, but its consistency and ability to filter out background noise make it a solid communication companion.
If you’re someone like me who owns mostly gaming headsets, then the ModMic USB may not seem like the most appealing piece of tech. The fact is that if you have a dedicated gaming headset with a solid mic then there really is no reason to buy the ModMic USB. That being said, I was able to attach it to an old pair of Logitech headphones that had a busted mic and it works like a charm. Being able to breathe new life into old tech is a great feeling and the ModMic certainly delivers on that front.
The ModMic USB retails for $119.99 CAD ($79.95 USD) which is somewhat pricey, especially since you can buy a dedicated gaming headset like the Steel Series Arctis 3 for around the same price. That being said, if you’re someone who owns a premium pair of headphones and wants to add a good mic to it then the ModMic USB is of great value.
Overall, the ModMic USB is a refreshing piece of tech that manages to improve the lifespan of headphones and headsets, while delivering a top-tier mic experience. It’s unfortunate that the attachment process is so permanent and its reliance on wires isn’t ideal. All that said, once it’s on and running the ModMic USB is a great piece of tech and a must-have for headphone users looking for great communication options.