The Roccat Torch Should Be On Your Desk!
Roccat is one of the leading PC peripheral makers, with an excellent range of award-winning mice, keyboards, and headsets. But they’ve never had a complete ecosystem for the most demanding gamers, streamers, and content creators because they’ve never made a microphone.
Not content to just copy the features of other popular mics and call it a day, the Roccat Torch brings some true innovation to the desktop USB mic space, and it does so at a reasonable price.
Note: Roccat kindly sent me a final retail unit of this microphone to review. I don’t receive a kick back if you buy one and I had full editorial control over this article. None of the links here are affiliate links as I don’t believe in the practice. My full reviews policy is right here.
The Roccat Torch desktop USB mic sells for just $99 (official site here), which is surprising because its features put it right up against more expensive models. It has AIMO RGB lighting, it’s compatible with boom arms, and it includes a mixer base/stand with full controls for pickup pattern, gain, lighting brightness, touchless mute sensitivity, and a built-in headphone amp with volume control and optional real-time mic monitoring.
In addition to the unique base and the Torch microphone, the box also includes all the cables you’ll need to hook it up inside its eco-friendly package. You’ll get a USB-C to USB-A cable for your computer, and two different lengths of USB-C to USB-C cable for attaching the mic to the mixer base. You’ll need to attach the two together via cable whether you mount the mic on the base or use a support arm. The cable connections are a little recessed and the Roccat plug includes some special notches to help them click firmly into place, but they’re not so proprietary that you’ll have a ton of trouble finding replacements if you ever need to.
The two capsules inside the Torch provide three different selectable pickup patterns. All three patterns are more sensitive than I was expecting them to be, with plenty of volume even when I wasn’t quite in the ideal “sweet spot.”
First, on the left side of the adjustment dial, is a true stereo mode. This activates both capsules and gives you a dynamic stereo recording with a wide sound field. It’s perfect for capturing multiple people, music, or just general room ambience.
Next is a standard cardioid mode that has the warm, rich, focused sound that most users would expect from this sort of microphone. It has a nice accurate tone that’s only a little bit thin and bright when you’re not really eating the mic.
Finally, there’s the Roccat exclusive “Whisper” mode. This further tightens the cardioid pattern and boosts the sensitivity dramatically. You’ll be able to sit a lot further back and still be heard with only minimal additional noise, which is perfect for nighttime gaming. Or, if you’re an ASMR producer, you’ll likely appreciate the extra intense level of vocal and sound detail. Just make sure not to max out the gain.
All three of the pickup patterns have clear uses, and all three sound wonderful and in line with what I’d expect from a more expensive ~$150 microphone. Compared against the HyperX Quadcast S, the Torch sounds exceptional, with slightly more clarity throughout the range and a bit more sensitivity over all.
The whisper mode really stands out here and is perfect for those that can’t sit right up against the mic, or want to start out using it on a desktop and get a larger stand down the road. It produces powerful, clean audio, and while the background does get a bit noisier, it’s still perfect for voice chat or other specialized recording tasks.
If you’d like to hear some samples of the different capsules, you can listen to a vocal test I recorded here.
The industrial design of the Torch perfectly matches the Pyro and Magma keyboards recently released by Roccat, with a brushed top plate and textured plastic bottom housing. The whole thing is bigger than it looks in pictures online, with a size profile that’s typical of larger mics in spite of the smaller price.
Design-wise, the mixer stand is a complete winner. It has a nice flexible mic mount on it that offers a tight connection and a gentle tilt mechanism so you can get the mic perfectly placed without having to buy a boom arm. The control knobs are sturdy and easy to use, and feel just like the controls on a standard audio mixer.
You don’t need to install Roccat’s Neon software to control the mic; all of the controls live right on the mixer base. If you do install the software, you can use it to sync the lighting with the Roccat Syn Pro Air, the other device currently supported by the package.
The control flexibility here is impressive. On the back of the mixer stand, Roccat includes controls for changing the brightness of the lighting, or disabling it entirely for those moments where you just want to focus on your screen. There’s also a physical switch to control the sensitivity of the mute sensor on the top of the capsule. And you can turn the mic off entirely with the last setting on the pattern selector.
Some other desktop mics include touch-sensitive buttons for mute, but the Torch goes much further with a motion sensor. Simply wave your hand above the mic, and it mutes. I thought this seemed a little weird at first, but it’s strangely fun, and if you’re a streamer you can make a little show out of muting your mic and it’ll look cool every time.
Not content to simply release a well-performing mic at a reasonable price, Roccat also packed in a nice headphone amp. Some other microphones also include an amp for monitoring, but you usually have to route the cable weirdly through the stand into the capsule directly. Thanks to the base here, it couldn’t be easier to plug in your favorite pair of headphones as long as their plug isn’t dramatically thick.
I threw a ton of different headsets and headphones at the Torch and it was able to power all of them well. It even provided plenty of volume and audio performance to the notoriously cranky and hard-to-drive Fostex T40RP headphones, so it’ll have no issues powering whatever listening device you’d like to use.
You can route your game audio to the amp, and it’ll sound clean and powerful. It also provides optional real-time mic monitoring that’s precise and accurate to what’s coming out of the capsule. It’s perfect for adjusting your mic gain level and making sure you’re coming through clear.
The Roccat Torch is the complete desktop audio package for a great price. It’s a wonderful microphone, a convenient mixer, and a solid headphone amp all bundled together for less than much of the competition. Roccat could charge fifty more dollars for this and it would still be awesome.
If you’re looking for the best deal in desktop gaming USB mics, you’ve found it. It offers more features and performance than the cheaper bare-bones models, and edges out models that cost much more thanks to its new features. It has the best price/performance ratio of any gaming microphone I’ve tested so far.
The only complaint I could reasonably make is that it might be a little cumbersome to connect the mixer base if you’re using a boom arm depending on your room configuration, or if you’re trying to use the mic for some content creation on the go. But that’s a small nitpick and I think Roccat made the right choice enforcing the mixer base in all setups as it’s a big part of what makes the mic special.
The Roccat Torch is absolutely worth its $99 asking price, and its whisper mode, mixer base, powerful amp, and fast software-free setup are all brilliant benchmarks for the industry.