Audio-Technica BPHS2 Broadcast Headset Review / Test
Today we’re looking at the new updated broadcasting headset from Audio Technica, the BPHS2. This is the hyper-cardioid version, and not the condenser microphone version.
For this review, I have the microphone connected directly to the 18i20 (2nd Gen) with the gain set at ~95%, with a +3dB boost added in post. No other post processing was added to the microphone. For the test, I was recording in 24-bit, 48kHz.
What's In the Box
Leatherette storage pouch
3.5mm to 1/4” adapter for the headphones
Frequency Response: 50Hz - 14kHz
Polar Pattern: Hyper-cardioid
Frequency Response: 15Hz - 28kHz
Performance / Features
The build quality of this microphone feels like it will last a while. The majority of the headband is plastic, while the mount for the ear cups is made of metal, and the ear cups are plastic. The boom arm for the mic rotates so you are able to wear the mic on the left or right side of your head, and has a stiff enough arm to allow you to adjust the placement of the mic however you need. The headphones have a detachable cable which terminates into a stereo 3.5mm plug for the headphones (and it comes with the 3.5mm to 1/4” adapter), and and XLR port for the microphone.
As far as comfortability, the headphones are on-ear, but the don’t have excessive clamping force so they are rather comfortable in that department. There’s a lot of flex to the headphones so they should fit on any head size. The ear cups have a bit of rotation on two-axises to ensure they contour comfortably to your head. The headband has a small amount of very soft padding which remains comfortable over long periods of time. The ear cups have a huge amount of padding, and they did not create any pressure points on my ears, although they did get a little bit warm over long periods of time.
The microphone frequency response of the microphone is listed as 50Hz - 15khz, it has a very pronounced treble boost which adds a lot of clarity, however, there is quite an aggressive roll off in the lower frequencies to avoid proximity effect. With that being said, if you are not right on top of this microphone, it sounds very top heavy and a bit thin.
The polar pattern of this mic is hyper-cardioid which is ideal for use in loud environments as it mainly picks up your voice, and allows for a good amount of background noise rejection.
The headphone frequency response is listed as 15Hz - 28kHz, and you get a very mid forward sound out of these headphones with a narrow sound stage.
The overall performance of this headset is good for what it’s designed for. The headphones focus a lot on the mid frequencies, which is where the frequencies required for spoken word intelligibility lie. I imagine that’s intentional because this headset is intended to be used in loud environments for broadcast, and this will make it much easier to hear what is being said to you by your cohosts or hear yourself via monitoring.
While I think the microphone is thin sounding, and I wouldn’t recommend using it in the studio where you have more freedom to use a higher quality microphone, for loud environments, again it makes sense why it’s designed this way. The roll off of low frequencies allows you to avoid excessive proximity effect when the mic is right on top of your mouth, while also reducing rumble from loud crowd noise, wind noise, or plosives. The boost in the treble frequencies also assists in intelligibility in a broadcast situation.
Single detachable cable for the microphone & headphones
Good background noise rejection
Roll off of the low frequencies to avoid excessive proximity effect / crowd noise / rumble
Headset microphone allows consistent mic placement for those with bad microphone technique
Headphones make your ears warm during long use periods
Headphones aren’t something you’ll want to use for regular day to day listening due to the sound profile
The roll off in the low frequencies on the microphone leave it sounding thin
In the majority of cases I would not be reaching for this headset, however it is designed for a specific application and it seems like it would do an excellent job in that situation.
I think that the microphone is a slight improvement over the mic on the BPHS1 headset. The new BPHS2 sounds a little less muddy and has improved clarity which are things you would definitely want in a broadcast environment. The headphones are tuned to isolate the human voice which will be beneficial if you’re broadcasting from a very loud environment.
If you’re a gamer and you’re looking at this, I DO NOT RECOMMEND THEM, at all! The reason I say this is the extremely narrow soundstage which hinder your ability to location sounds in a 3d space. If you’re a podcaster in a studio, I also WOULD NOT recommend this because the microphone sounds a bit too thin, and I think you’d be much better served by any number of cheaper dynamic microphones that offer a much fuller and pleasing sound.
However, if you’re broadcasting / podcasting in extremely loud environments, or you just don’t want to deal with a guest having inconsistent and poor microphone technique, absolutely I would recommend them. The headphones do a decent job at external noise rejection and isolating the human voice via the tone of the headphones, while the microphone will allow you to reject a lot of background noise, have a consistent microphone placement, avoid excessive proximity effect, and reduce some of the crowd / wind noise around you.
If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP.