Fifine has sent us their plug and play USB gaming condenser microphone — the Fifine AmpliGame A8 for review. It features plug and play via USB, RGB lighting and real-time headphone monitoring, for an affordable RRP of RM246.
Fifine AmpliGame A8 Specifications
|Model Name||Fifine AmpliGame A8|
|Shipping Weight||1.0 kg|
What’s In The Box
The box comes with everything you need to setup the microphone. You get:
- Fifine AmpliGame A8 USB Gaming Condenser Microphone
- Pivot mount with screw adapter
- 2m USB-C to USB-A cable
- Pop filter
No, your eyes didn’t fool you. The Fifine AmpliGame A8 bears a striking resemblance to a certain microphone from HyperX, especially the RGB lighting effect. You can get the microphone in three colours: black, white, and pink.
The microphone itself is suspended on a base with shock mount. Both the microphone and the shock mount can be detached from the base and mount onto any boom arm using the pivot adapter.
The housing itself is largely made of plastic, making it pretty lightweight. The plastic finish does not feel cheap, however, as the the housing has a matte texture to it, making it feel good to hold too.
You can install the included pop filter on the shock mount, which can come in pretty handy. It does have a red smiley face printed on it, but it is not as visible as what is shown in the illustrations.
On the top is a capacitive touch button for on/mute. It will light up in green when it is active, and red when muted. The RGB can be controlled with a touch button at the back, which can be a bit of a hassle to access. You get three lighting options here — multi-colour gradient, which cycles through colours via a top-down gradient motion, solid colour gradient, which changes colours every 3 seconds, and solid colour, where you can select between 9 static colours.
At the bottom rear, you will find the microphone gain knob, while the base has the USB-C output and headphone jack, allowing you to monitor your recorded voice in real time. It lacks an XLR output however, so it impacts the versatility somewhat.
The Fifine AmpliGame A8 is compatible with PC, Mac, Chromebooks and game consoles; just about any device with a USB connector. It is also plug and play.
The Fifine AmpliGame A8 is easy to setup. As the unit comes pre-assembled with the base, all I had to do was to install the pop filter, and connect the USB cable to microphone and the PC. It automatically detected my mic input without the need of any drivers, which is a win in my book.
While the included base in good enough for most users, but for my desk setup specifically I installed it onto my boom arm just so that it can get out of the way when I don’t need it. In that regard, the included pivot mount adapter comes in handy without having to buy another shock mount.
The buttons and knob layout of the AmpliGame A8 is practical, as I could mute my mic by gently tapping the button. One pet peeve would be the location of the RGB button, as it is blocked by the shock mount when I wanted to access it. I had to pull out the microphone arm all the way to the front just to get my fingers in there.
There is some latency when it comes to monitoring via the headphone jack, however it is mostly insignificant. Despite its size, the pop filter performed well at filtering out plosive sounds like ‘p’ or ‘t’.
Let’s first address the elephant in the room: USB condenser microphones had a bad reputation in the past. While they were handy and do not require expensive audio interfaces with 48V phantom power to work, they were often underpowered and prone to humming. However, modern technology allowed USB to deliver more power than before, greatly improving the sensitivity of condenser mics these days.
Now back to the Fifine AmpliGame A8, would I compare it to studio quality condenser microphones? No, and Fifine doesn’t think so. It is a gaming microphone, meant for recording a single person’s voice and no one else’s.
So how does it perform in this regard? To be perfectly honest, it blew me away. The AmpliGame A8 punches above its weight when it comes to sound quality, and when combined with the convenience of a USB connection, it is definitely good enough for applications beyond gaming, such as podcasts, voice recordings, game streaming and more.
Audio quality sounds great out of the box. I find the sound quality to be optimal at about 60% gain. The sound signature is more towards warm sounding, where there is a pronounced mid-bass and mid-range. High notes can sound a tad harsh at the extremities, but still impressive considering the price.
The AmpliGame A8 has a cardioid polar pattern, which means it is most sensitive at picking up sounds from up front. For best results, I had to point the microphone towards the sound source directly. But even when my head moved around while gaming, the volume undulations remain well controlled.
In regards to sensitivity, I find the optimal pickup range to be between 30cm to 60cm. Going beyond that would require me to turn the gain to max. However, despite that I have yet to experience any audio clipping from my recordings. As long as you don’t shout at the mic, you won’t have any audio clipping issues.
You can check out my audio recordings using the Fifine AmpliGame A8 below.
The Fifine AmpliGame A8 is a great microphone, and sounds like something more expensive than it is. As a condenser mic, it is far more sensitive than dynamic microphones in this price range, but it is still well controlled to not pickup much ambient noise, making it great for gaming, podcasts and amateur voice recordings.
To learn more about the Fifine AmpliGame A8, please visit the official product web page.
For international purchases, you can find them on AliExpress.