Rode X XCM-50 review

Rode X XCM-50 Review

Under its new “Rode X” sub-brand, Rode has started to launch products aimed at gamers and streamers. One of the two microphones leading the charge is the XCM-50, a stylish condenser microphone that packs a lot of punch, despite its small size. Out of the two new Rode X mics, this one is my favorite. Here’s what it gets so right.

The complete package

Rode X XCM-50 review

Inside the Rode X XCM-50 box, there’s the mic itself with its internal pop filter and shock mount, a tripod, a headphone extension cable, and a USB-C to USB-C cable. It’s everything users need to get started, which is always great to see. While XLR mics rarely come bundled with anything, (the best) USB mics include plenty of bonus goodies.

Buy the Rode X XCM-50 on Amazon here.

Introducing UNIFY

Rode X XCM-50 review

Rode’s new app, UNIFY, can be used to fine-tune the sound of the XCM-50, while also giving users the power to split audio channels and further customize the listening experience of both the user and their audience.

With UNIFY, Rode goes beyond just handing a user a mic and expecting them to get on with the show. Instead, there’s an optional app that users can install for a truly enhanced experience. It’s impressive to see and the bar has been raised when it comes to companion apps.

Rode X XCM-50 audio example

In the audio example above, I’ve included demonstrations of both the neutral and tweaked sound. Out of the box, I think the XCM-50 sounds perfectly fine, but the options available in the UNIFY app make it shine. There’s a High Pass Filter, Noise Gate, Compression, and EQ. By clicking “Advanced,” users can fine-tune what each setting does, setting certain affected frequencies, increasing and decreasing the strength of each effect, and so on. It’s surprisingly comprehensive and I’m excited to see what future updates add or improve.

Looking the part

Rode X XCM-50 review

The XCM-50 looks good on camera, too, which can be important for livestreams looking to achieve a certain “aesthetic.” It’s red and black, which are traditionally considered “gamer colors.” While I think it looks great, I think an all-black version would be more desirable to the masses.

XCM-50 review sample was provided by Rode.

Final Verdict

At $149, the Rode X XCM-50 has impressed me with its design, included accessories and software, and great sound quality. I think it’s a definite contender for those looking for a gaming/livestreaming mic and have a treated or quiet enough space to enjoy the advantages of a condenser. The nearest competitor would be the similarly-priced Elgato Wave 3, though I’ve yet to test that one out for myself.

Positives and Negatives

  • Small size is easy to manage.
  • Included accessories are great.
  • Microphone sounds fantastic.
  • Companion UNIFY app works wonders.
  • Headphone audio monitoring is easy, even with my 80 Ohm headphones.
  • Red and black color may put some potential buyers off.
  • Click of the mute button is loud for the audience.


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