Roccat Torch microphone under test

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With the Torch, Roccat wants to do a lot differently than the competition with its own microphone. For this, the manufacturer has integrated important control elements into the base, which should enable better operation during podcasts or streams. It’s refreshingly different, but it has its pitfalls.

Design and workmanship

The strikingly unusual thing about the USB microphone from Roccat, which is offered for an MSRP of 100 euros, is its mixer-like stand, which should offer the torch a solid stand and the user good operation. For this purpose, the manufacturer has made all the necessary elements for using the microphone directly accessible.

The Roccat torch is suitable for various application scenarios The Roccat torch is suitable for various application scenarios

The small display on the lower edge of the base should also catch the eye, which should provide information about the current status of the microphone – i.e. whether it is muted or open and is used by software. Above that, the foot houses an ensemble of three controls with which the most necessary settings can be made. The left pattern control is used to select the characteristics of the condenser microphone: the typical cardioid polar pattern is particularly suitable for recordings with only one speaker, for which there is also a version with amplification with simultaneous compression of the input signal using the “Whisper mode” According to the manufacturer, it should enable good recordings with a low voice even late in the evening. In addition to these two, the Roccat Torch also has a stereo mode that can be used either for recordings with two callers or those where space is important. The microphone can also be switched off using this switch.

The base of the Torch houses many necessary controls The base of the Torch houses many necessary controls

Many options for your own settings

On the right there is again the gain control, with which the input level can be adjusted. It is interesting that the alignment of the signal strength is independent of the Windows settings, which therefore have no influence on the volume. In the middle, on the other hand, is the controller for the headphone output on the back of the foot. The microphone can be muted by pressing the controller.

The connections and other controls are located on the back of the Torch The connections and other controls are located on the back of the Torch

On the back, the manufacturer has added additional connection and setting options, including the USB input to connect the microphone to the home computer, and the USB-C connection between the foot and the microphone, which must always be connected – without it can do that Microphone cannot be used. On the outside there is the brightness setting for the small display already described, with which it can light up in four different levels, and the sensitivity of the mute sensor, which will be described in more detail.

With a height of 18 cm, the microphone itself is one of the larger representatives of its guild and is surrounded by a combination of metal grille and frame and strips made of plastic. While the front also shows the activity status with the RGB lighting embedded in the plastic strip, the connector for the USB-C connection to the stand is located on the rear. Using the 3/8 ” thread at the lower end, the microphone can be conveniently attached to the stand or a microphone arm, a longer USB cable for the further connection between microphone and stand is included in the package – in contrast to the otherwise usual 5 / 8 ” adapter. Due to its design, however, the torch cannot be placed in a universal spider for decoupling, which means that vibrations from the microphone arm are quickly transferred to the recording. Roccat does not offer its own decoupling option for the Torch, as is the case with Elgato’s Wave: 3 (test), for example.

With the Torch, the input level is displayed via LED columns on the side With the Torch, the input level is displayed via LED columns on the side

Mute without touch

Connected to its own stand, the microphone can also be tilted backwards by around 35 ° in order to obtain a better angle to the speaker. The gesture-controlled quick mute function, which is supposed to ensure that the microphone can be used silently, is also interesting: while other sound pick-ups have a simple switch or, in the best case, a sensor button, torch mute does not even require a touch – Simply swiping your hand over the sensor is enough to silence the microphone. For this purpose, the sensitivity of the sensor and thus the distance between hand and microphone for triggering the function can be set in three stages using a slide control on the back of the foot.

A sensor on the head of the torch ensures contactless muting A sensor on the head of the torch ensures contactless muting

Connected to the PC, the Torch is immediately ready for use, so no drivers are required. The neon software provided by the manufacturer can be used to influence the color design via the Aimo lighting system from Roccat – at least in theory. The software is currently still in the beta stage, in which the torch is recognized, but otherwise no settings are possible. Additional functions such as a noise filter, an equalizer or other tools are therefore also not available.

If the microphone is connected and activated, the type of characteristic (purple for stereo, green for cardioid and blue for whisper) is also displayed in color on two side light strips. Their height also provides information about the input strength of the signal.

On the next page: Sound and conclusion

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