Rode X revealed: Pro audio expertise comes to gamers and streamers

Rode announced the launch of its streaming and gaming division, Rode X. Rode is a world-renowned audio brand for content creators, podcasters, and studio musicians. The concept behind Rode X is a division of the company dedicated to developing high-performance audio solutions specifically for streamers and gamers. This is the first sub-brand ever created by the audio tech giant, and one streamers and gamers should be excited about. 

Along with the launch of Rode X, the company announced a new Unify audio-mixing application that allows for mixing audio from several sources. 

Rode wasn’t done with Unify; the company announced the release of the XDM-100 and the XCM-50 USB-C professional microphones that are styled to catch the eye of gamers and streamers while producing professional studio-quality audio. Let’s have a peek at what Rode X is bringing to content creators. 

(Image credit: Future)Rode X Unify

Rode X’s Unify is a virtual audio-mixing solution that’s custom-designed for streaming and gaming. Unify comes with the ability to intuitively mix and edit audio from up to four USB mics and up to six other audio sources, which is unheard of unless you’re using a physical mixing board. 

Unify is meant to consolidate the functionality requiring multiple applications into one easy-to-use solution. Unify allows for the routing and mixing of microphones and other audio sources, enabling users to create independent sub-mixes for different outputs. This includes their livestream, headphones, and chat; adding studio-grade audio processing to microphone channels; triggering on-the-fly voice and sound effects; multitrack recording, and more. 

“Unify is a huge step forward for streaming and gaming audio technology. Throughout development, we spent countless hours researching exactly what streamers and gamers need from audio software,” said Rode X Senior Product Manager Chris Beech.

Beech continues: “We worked tirelessly to implement every feature while ensuring it was as simple 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.”

The software comes free with all Rode X products or is available for purchase as a monthly ($5) or yearly ($45) subscription for use with any other USB audio product.

Let’s have a look at the mics.  

(Image credit: Future)Rode X XDM100

Rode X XDM 100 specs

Polar Pattern: Capsule: Cardioid Dynamic 
Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20kHz 
Connectivity: USB-C 
Analog Outputs: 3.5mm Headphone Output  
Sample Rate: 48 kHz 
Bit Depth: 24-bit 
OS Requirements: macOS 10.12 / Windows 10 
Net Weight: 1.54 pounds
Dimensions: 2.04 x  8.83 inches
Included Accessories: PSM1 Shock Mount, SC29 USB-C to USB-C cable, 3m Headphone Extension Cable, Pop Shield

The XDM100 ($249) is a professional-level dynamic USB microphone that delivers rich, broadcast audio ideal for streaming and gaming. The black with red accents of the USB mic has that “gamer vibe” that’s sure to be popular with streamers everywhere.

It features Rode’s ultra-low noise, high-gain Revolution Preamp, and high-resolution 24-bit/48kHz analog-digital conversion — ensuring pristine audio quality. The XDM 100 comes with a studio-grade dynamic capsule and tight cardioid polar pattern offering excellent clarity and superior rejection of room noise and keyboard or mouse clicks. It has a high-quality pop shield and shock mount to mitigate unwanted pops, knocks, and bumps. 

Our XDM 100 review unit just arrived, so stay tuned for an upcoming review. 

(Image credit: Future)Rode X XCM-50

Rode X XCM 50 specs

Polar Pattern: Cardioid 
Capsule: Condenser 
Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20kHz 
Connectivity: USB-C 
Analog Outputs: 3.5mm Headphone Output  
Sample Rate: 48 kHz 
Bit Depth: 24-bit 
OS Requirements: MacOS 10.12 Windows 10 
Net Weight: 1.08 pounds 
Dimensions: 2.4 x 1.65 x 4.64 inches
Included Accessories: Tripod 2, SC29 USB-C to USB-C cable, 3m Headphone Extension Cable

At first glance, the XCM 50 ($149) will remind you of the Rode NT USB mini mic we reviewed, which isn’t bad. Rode X designed the XCM-50 as a professional condenser USB microphone that’s optimized for streaming and gaming. It has a zero-latency headphone output with level control and mute functionality, a 360-degree swing mount for easy positioning, and comes with a tripod desktop mount. 

The XCM-50 also comes with a free download of Unify virtual mixing software, which unlocks advanced audio processing powered by internal DSP. Like the XDM 100, the overall design is meant to entice gamers, streamers, and content creators with its all-black with red accents style. Both mics combined with the Unify software should make creating amazing content easy.

We also got a review unit of the XCM 50, so watch this site. We will see if either of the new Rode X mics will land on our best USB mics list. 

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