Starting at $46.99
For anyone not privileged enough to make a living podcasting, streaming or making ASMR content, there can be gulf between the quality of recording equipment and an upfront investment necessary to get a career off the ground. Fortunately since the pandemic the emerging “affordable” market for microphones continues to produce viable alternatives such as the FIFINE AmpliGame A8Plus.
Odd naming convention aside, the A8Plus is a fun alternative to the likes of Blue Yeti, Audio-Technica and even some Sennheiser options as it offers focused cardioid, omni, and bi-directional recordings, a no-fuss setup, and an RGB lit ambience for under $50.
|Output Connection||USB Type-C (mic end) to type-A 2.0 (computer end)|
|Power Consumption||USB 5V power|
|Shipping Weight||1.0 kg|
Look and Feel
The A8Plus looks sleek in its matte black appearance but can feel a bit chintzy next to metallic tanks such as a Blue Yeti, Shure, or Rode microphones. Fortunately, the plasticy feel works in the A8Plus’ favor for users who tend to be a bit more mobile with their recording set ups. The weight of the A8Plus is rather light and the overall surface area it takes up is relatively small as well, so users can toss it into a backpack and barely notice it is there, or plop it on desk, coffee table, kitchen counter top, set of books or dinner tray and not have to worry about their recording area feeling cramped.
Furthermore, when the A8Plus is mounted and in view of any camera its slimmer profile of the mic makes way for a fuller view of the content creator for greater interaction with viewers.
FIFINE also do a great job of packaging all the amenities necessary to get great out-of-the-box recording, such as the Suspension Shock Mount and Detachable Pop Filter being included with the purchase. Both attachments to the A8Plus come in the same matte black as the microphone and are preassembled for easy-to-use first experience for customers.
Perhaps the biggest physical selling point of the A8Plus is the RGB lighting feature which allows users to either choose or cycle through 7 color profiles. While most mics may offer a few accented lighting features around the power button, microphone status indicator or connecting port areas, the body of the A8Plus lights up entirely in vivid soft neon lighting.
Another bit of consideration FIFINE took in assembling the A8Plus is giving the microphone capacitive directional and mute buttons to help deafen any additional pops or sounds that might get picked during a recording when interacting with the device. The directional capacitive button does feel like it takes second to react to touch, so be patient or you might find yourself in an annoying selection loop for minutes when trying to change where your mic is picking up sound, the same goes for the button.
Looks aside, the sound of the A8Plus is great. It does not pack as much bass in its unfiltered recordings as I prefer but out of the box it does a good job of deadening frequencies below 200Hz to prevent the pickup of excess movements around the microphone, as well as softening the sibilance in speech. The harsh “S” test proved a piece of cake for the A8Plus, saving me from any post-production editing necessary to flatten out the peaks when s-sounding words were picked up.
The A8Plus also did well with “plosen” test where “P” pronunciations, when not properly flattened, can blow out the sound for audiences listening with headphones. Typically, I run to my hard-limiter and Equalization settings in Adobe Audition once I’m done recording a session with a standard Blue Yeti microphone and I found myself not having to bother with those settings with the A8Plus.
For gamers, the A8Plus does pick up keyboard clicks, but tends to do a good job of muting controller-based noise. While keyboard clicks are picked up from the back of the microphone when its place around 5 to 6 inches away from the desk, voices are pronounced and clearer than the background noise.
When testing the off-axis mic pick up, the left and right side of the microphone do an excellent job of noise rejection when voices are picked up dead on, but when attempting to record from the top of the microphone can sound muddled, be aware of mic placement before recording.
With a few pre-recording tweaks in any recording software the A8Plus can pass for a $300 plus microphone as far as audio output. Out of the box it’s great for conferencing meetings and podcasting. For streaming games and more audience interactions, noise rejection, directional audio pickup and pop filter often exceed the performance of similarly priced microphones.
The only shortcomings of the A8Plus that I can nitpick about are the length of the USB-C cord, the sensitivity of the capacity buttons, where the color change button is too sensitive while the directional control almost feels timed, and lastly that FIFINE should include more mounting accessory options. While the A8Plus does offer a passable desktop stand, FIFINE might do better with providing several mounting elbows instead. However, I get that straight out of the box, customers can plug-and-play right away.
For less than $50, most recording enthusiasts would be hard pressed to find a better deal to start their next hobby or career.