Much like the webcam, the USB microphone has become a rather indispensable tool in our day to day life. Professional musicians go for the most expensive model that can truly capture the fidelity of their audio creation but not everyone needs an expensive microphone. Such expensive microphone would be overkill for most of us. However, investing a good budget microphone is equally important as a good webcam in the virtual world that we live in that is filled with zoom calls and virtual meetings. Not to mention that content creators, streamers, or podcaster, a better sound quality definitely up their quality of work.
FIFINE is a relatively newcomer to the audio industry. However, the company has been in business since 2009. According to the company’s website, “FIFINE is not just a brand for selling microphones and making profits.”. They utilize “the advanced technology to produce the very best and user-friendly sound equipment. “
The company currently is selling products at Amazon and Walmart and also directly on the company website. Take a look at the company website and you can clearly notice that FINFINE products are priced affordable. The question that one would ask is that would it be any good despite its affordable price? Or is it cheap and trash? Let’s find out as we will take a look at the company’s $50 APLIGAME A6T.
FIFINE AMPLIAME A6T is an USB microphone targeted toward gamers and streamer. There are two versions available. The A6 comes with desktop tripod while the A6T is bundled with a boom ARM stand. Both models are available in four different colors: white, pink, blue, and black. We received the black A6T.
The packaging for the A6T is excellent as we see there is a cutout foam securely protecting each pieces of hardware
Inside, we have:
- A6T microphone
- A pop filter
- A boom Arm
- A C-clamp
- An USB cable
- User’s guide
Pretty standard fare here.
The cylindrical shaped A6T is fairly compact at 89mm tall and 50.8 inches diameter. The body is made with plastic with metallic grille at the front and the rear of the mic. Despite the plastic case, the A6T feels sturdy and well built. A detachable pop filter with a smiley face that is made of metal is included to help eliminate the plosives and also prevents saliva spraying to the microphone.
The top of the microphone is where we find the handy tap to mute button. The button is responsive to a light touch. The bottom features a knob for the volume control. This is a handy tool to have for gamers who need to quickly adjust the volume level in the middle of a campaign as oppose to use the keyboard or the mouse.
The rear of the A6T is where we find the USB-C port that let you connect the microphone to your system with the included 8 feet USB-C to USB-A cable. Having the USB-C port is great as it allows you use your own cable if your system only has USB-C port. It would also let you connect to a mobile device if you choose to do so where you could use the microphone to record audio for better sound. Despite the fact that the official website states that the A6T is compatible with PC, laptops, and game consoles (PS4 and PS5), I have no trouble using it with our Galaxy S22 Ultra.
No gaming peripherals would be without some sort of the RGB lights and the A6T has you covered. When in operation, the microphone cycles through four RGB patterns. The colors and the effects on the A6T is not overly extremely or bright, which maybe a good news for some who prefer a more subdued RGB effect. Especially since the RGB effect is not customizable so you cannot pick which pattern to use or the intensity of the light. If you are not a fan of the RGBs, there is no option to turn it off either. It would be nice that the microphone would offer some customization such as color option or effects just so you can have your own personal touch. We do like that the RGB lights doubles as microphone on/off indicator so when you tap the mute button, the light turns off, giving us a visual queue. Though, I would like to see that the visual queue also applies to the knob adjustment.
Like most USB-C microphone, the A6T is a condenser mic with a cardioid pattern. This means that the 16 mm capsule captures sound best on the front and rejects sound from the rear of the microphone. For gamers and streamers, this would help to reduce the keyboard and mouse sound as well as ambient noise. The internal hardware is capable of recording audio at 16-bit, 44.1 kHz sample rate. This is an area where the A6T is falling behind the more expensive units that are capable of recording 24-bit audio. Still, for what the microphone is intended for and the price, 16-bit audio sample should be sufficient. The microphone has a frequency response range from 60 Hz to 18 kHz. While the number may seem narrower than the 20 Hz~20 kHz for vocal recording, it really should be sufficient for most streamers and gamers. Unless, you are a professional artist that demands the fidelity of the sound, then you probably would be looking to spend hundreds of dollars for more professional equipment.
The installation of the A6T is a simple process, thanks to the fact that the microphone is already mounted to a shock mount. You simply secure C-clamp to the desk and attach the boom arm. Then screw in the microphone to the other end and attach the pop filter and the USB cable and you are ready to go. The entire process takes less than 10 minutes. I found that you would want to use the clamp with table that has straight corners as it has issue grasp table with rounded top edge. The rubber padding on the clamp is a nice touch as it prevents any damage to the table. However, on my unit, the tape already slides off the pad slightly. It appears that the glue used is not strong enough to keep the anti-slip padding in place. Despite this, it does still holds the arm in place. We contacted Fifine and was quickly offered a replacement ARM and so far the replacement ARM works much better. Though, only time would tell if it would hold.
There is a good amount of adjustments for the arm. The base of the boom arm has 360 degrees rotation. The arm itself can be extended to roughly 76 cm and scissor arm can bend up to 270 degrees. The microphone stand can be adjusted 360 degree via the knob. The arm is pretty stiff though overtime it may loosen up a bit. And we are glad to report that exposed spring does not creak or squeak when we adjust the arm. There is no cable management unfortunately but this is somewhat expected.
Consider the price, the A6T captures good sound. The A6T is not overly sensitive at picking up sound that is farther way from the microphone which means that I do have to speak close to the microphone to ensure that it captures full volume of the sound. On the flip side, it also means that less ambient noise is captured. Unfortunately, I did notice that the microphone still captures a good decent amount of the keyboard noise. I am using a mechanical keyboard that sits about 15 cm below and about 5 cm behind the microphone and the microphone does still pick up the clicking and clacking noise as I type.
I found the audio captured sounded warm and deep and pleasant. The vocal sounded clear and crisp. It sounded rich in the bass and slightly lighter in the higher notes. The pop filter works well to minimize the plosives.
There are plenty of budget microphones on the market. The Fifine A6T certainly offers plenty of features among such tight market. The included RGB, tap to mute, and gain control are all nice features to have. The build quality is solid even though it does not feel premium, it is not cheap or flimsy either thanks to the metal mesh. Sound quality is good though you do have to speak a little closer to the microphone. And for gamers that use loud mechanical keyboard, it does still picks up quite a little clicky-clacky noise as you are banging the keys. Furthermore, I did find the boom arm to be slightly weak its gripe over time so it needs to be tightened once in awhile and the C-clamp gripe tape has started to sliding off the base.
While it is not perfect, the Fifine Ampligame A6T it certainly is a good option for gamers and streamers who are looking microphone on a budget that can deliver a decent audio quality with a little bit of RGB flare.