RØDE announces RØDE X – an all-new streaming and gaming audio brand from Australia’s top tech company

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The RØDE name is well known in broadcast and audio circles, but until now it wasn’t a name most people associate with gaming and streaming. However, at a time when esports is so massive, it would be folly for any high-end audio brand to ignore this booming market.

The maker of high-end microphones, mixers and video mics has launched RØDE X, a new streaming and gaming division. Building on the company’s reputation as the leading audio brand for content creators, RØDE X will develop high-performance audio hardware and software for streamers and gamers.

The launch of RØDE X is the first time the Australian company has launched a sub-brand and is an important step in the evolution of the company. The company says RØDE X will have all the passion for innovation, accessibility and manufacturing on which RØDE has built its reputation. RØDE X will feature innovative audio solutions designed specifically for streamers and gamers.

The new division will have an R&D department dedicated to streaming and games to develop new products. Today, it unveils three new products to excite the streaming and gaming market. The first is UNIFY, a virtual mixing solution tailor-made for streamers and gamers; the other two products are professional USB microphones. The XDM-100 dynamic USB microphone and the XCM-50 USB condenser microphone are the first two hardware launches in the RØDE X range.

Damien Wilson is CEO of RØDE: “We are extremely excited about the launch of RØDE X. RØDE has been the go-to audio brand for creators around the world for over three decades. We’ve made it our mission to provide professional audio solutions for musicians, filmmakers, podcasters and broadcasters. Listening and learning from creators is what we do and it has led to the development of groundbreaking products such as VideoMic, RØDECaster Pro and Wireless GO. Now we’re doing the same for streamers and gamers. »

The flagship of the new RØDE X range is UNIFY. Designed as the ultimate audio software for streamers and gamers, UNIFY has functions that would otherwise require multiple applications, including routing and mixing for up to four USB microphones or other audio devices. It can manage up to six virtual audio sources (including game, chat, music and browser apps) in an intuitive interface. Users can create independent submixes for different outputs, including their live stream, headphones, and chat; add studio-quality audio processing to the microphone channels; trigger voice and sound effects on the fly; multitrack recording and more.

According to RØDE, UNIFY is the most advanced audio software for streamers and gamers, offering innovative, easy-to-use features. The software comes free with all RØDE X products, or it can be purchased separately as a monthly or yearly subscription for use with any other USB audio product.

“UNIFY is a huge leap forward for streaming and gaming audio technology,” said Chris Beech, senior product manager. “Throughout development, we’ve spent countless hours researching exactly what streamers and gamers need from audio software. We’ve worked tirelessly to implement every feature while ensuring it’s as easy to use as possible.From professional streamers with complex technical requirements to casual gamers who want to take their audio to the next level, UNIFY is the perfect solution.

Alongside UNIFY, RØDE X is releasing two new microphones. The XDM-100 is a professional dynamic USB model that delivers rich, broadcast-quality audio with sound suitable for streaming and gaming. It features high-end circuitry utilizing RØDE’s high-gain, ultra-low-noise Revolution preamp and high-resolution 24-bit/48kHz analog-to-digital conversion.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of the first XDM-100 review units and I can tell you it’s a beast of a microphone. Even when used without the UNIFY software, it has a deep, compelling presence and is built like the proverbial tank. This mic is a winner if you want a classic broadcast mic with a great front and side pickup pattern, allowing the presenter to move around more than with some other super-cardioid dynamic mics. The XDM-100 also has excellent noise rejection. The level of gain is fantastic; you can call it back and hardly pick up any unwanted sound.

Incorporating a studio-grade dynamic capsule and tight cardioid polar pattern, the XDM-100 is clear and rejects room noise like keyboard or mouse clicks. It features a high-quality pop screen and shock mount to cut through plosives and unwanted knocks and bumps. A high-powered headphone output enables latency-free audio monitoring and playback, with convenient level control and microphone muting.

The XCM-50 is a professional USB condenser microphone optimized for streaming and gaming. This mic sounds a lot like a pumped-up RØDE NT-Mini. Thanks to its full-frequency response, it produces detailed sound with warmth and presence that feels far larger than its compact size. The XCM-50 features a high-powered headphone output with level control and mute button for those difficult times when you need to shut the mic down quickly. There’s also an internal pop shield and capsule shock mount to reduce pops, knocks and bumps. For easy handling, the XCM-50 comes with a desktop tripod and features a built-in 360 degree swivel mount for flexible mic positioning.

Both new RØDE X USB microphones feature powerful internal digital signal processing (DSP), which can be unlocked using UNIFY software. This allows the user to add advanced APHEX audio processing to vocals, including compressor, noise gate, high pass filter, as well as the legendary Aural Exciter and Big Bottom effects. You get complete granular control over every parameter with UNIFY and the DSP.

For those already familiar with the RØDE product line, the new UNIFY software is an enhanced version of RØDE Connect, a software package that can be used to mix audio from up to four RØDE USB microphones on a single PC. The two new RØDE X microphones are not yet compatible with RODE Connect, but RØDE assures me that this is in the works. UNIFY is Windows only at launch, which makes sense since most gamers use this operating system. That said, RØDE has assured me that a macOS version of UNIFY is on the way and I can’t wait to try it out on a Mac.

These three new products are the first in the RØDE X lineup, with more expected to be released in 2023 and beyond. CEO Damien Wilson says the launch of RØDE X marks an exciting new era for the Sydney-based company. “In addition to these two incredible microphones and UNIFY, we have a suite of groundbreaking products currently in development that will shape the future of audio for streaming and gaming. This is just the beginning.”

Price and availability: The XCM-50 USB Microphone is available now for $149 and the XDM-100 is $249. UNIFY can be downloaded from rodex.com/unify. It comes free with any RØDE X microphone or can be purchased separately on a subscription basis for $5 per month or $45 per year, for use with other USB audio devices.

More information: rodex.com

Technical specifications:

RØDE XCM-50

  • Polar pattern: Cardioid.
  • Capsule: condenser.
  • Frequency range: 20Hz – 20kHz.
  • Connection: USB-C.
  • Output: 3.5mm.
  • Sampling frequency: 48kHz.
  • Bit depth: 24 bit.
  • Operating system: macOS 10.12 / Windows 10.
  • Weight: 492g.
  • Dimensions: 52 x 213mm.
  • Accessories: PSM1 shock mount, SC29 USB-C to USB-C cable, 3m headphone extension cable, pop screen.

RØDE XDM-100

  • Polar pattern: Cardioid.
  • Capsule: Dynamic.
  • Frequency range: 20Hz – 20kHz.
  • Connection: USB-C.
  • Output: 3.5mm.
  • Sampling frequency: 48kHz.
  • Bit depth: 24 bit.
  • Operating system: macOS 10.12 / Windows 10.
  • Weight: 700g.
  • Dimensions: 62 x 42 x 118mm.
  • Accessories: Tripod 2, SC29 USB-C to USB-C cable, 3m headphone extension cable.

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