Rode has officially entered the gaming market and has released a slew of audio gear with streamers and gamers in mind. Leading the lineup is the company’s latest mixing software, Unify, along with two new microphones – the XDM-100 and the XCM-50 – the first in the brand’s new Rode X range.
Having previously tackled mics aimed at streaming with the Rode NT-USB Mini, Rode X will be pitted against gaming heavyweights like Razer, Blue and HyperX, all of which offer mics featured in our best stand-alone USB microphone guide. The Razer Seiren Elite and Blue Yeti in particular set a high standard for plug-and-play microphones.
To conquer this market, Rode has established a brand new research department dedicated to the development of this product line, with plans to offer even more equipment in the coming years.
Unify is the big focus of this release, with Rode labeling it as the “ultimate audio software for streamers and gamers”. Users have the option of mixing up to four USB microphones and up to six virtual sound inputs, including games, chat, music and more.
There’s also the ability to submix for individual outputs, including live streams, headphones, and chat, as well as trigger sound effects (with voice FX to be available later in 2022). The cutting edge audio software is apparently designed to be as easy to use as possible, all the better for streamers to focus on their game.
While Unify is optimized to work with the Rode X line, it is also compatible with any USB microphone. There are some caveats to this recording, however, with processing available on any Rode mic via a simple on/off switch, but only providing routing and mixing for other brands. This is a big change from the launch of the brand’s free software, Rode Connect, which was only compatible with the Rode NT-USB mini.
The XDM-100 is part of the launch of Unify. This dynamic USB microphone comes with a PSM1 shock mount and pop shield, which promises to deliver professional audio quality, especially when used alongside the included Unify. By providing high-resolution audio and reducing unwanted noise with room noise cancellation and a zero-latency headphone output, you can plug in and play this mic from the get-go.
The final offering in this first release is a standalone condenser microphone, the XCM-50. Accompanied by Unify and a tripod with a 360-degree swing, it can also be used right out of the box thanks to the USB-C connection, and also offers a headphone output with no latency.
Priced at $249 / AU$439 for the XDM-100 and $149 / AU$259 for the XCM-50, both mics are available now (UK price not yet available). Unify is included with the purchase of a Rode X microphone, but you can also access the software with a subscription that costs $5 / AU$7.99 per month or $45 / AU$69.99 per year (price in UK currently unavailable). Unify is currently only compatible with Windows operating systems, although Rode plans to bring the software to macOS later, albeit with some feature limitations.