Antelope Audio Edge Go Mic Review / Test
Today we’re looking at the most expensive USB microphone ever released, the Antelope Audio Edge Go. A USB Modeling Microphone which allows you to model a handful of classic microphones.
Full disclosure: I purchased this microphone directly from Antelope Audio at a slight discount in order to conduct this review.
For this review, I have the microphone connected directly to my Mac computer, with the gain set at ~70%, with a +6dB boost added in post. No other post processing was added to the microphone. For the test, I was recording in 24-bit, 48kHz.
As I mentioned this is the most expensive USB microphone, so if you’re interested it will set you back around $1300, but at the time of posting this review, the price is at $1000. You can learn more at Antelope Audio’s site: https://en.antelopeaudio.com/products/edge-go/
What's In the Box
Very sturdy hard shell storage box
~10 foot USB-C to USB-A Cable
Shock mount (with 5/8” to 3/8” adapter)
Desktop Microphone stand
Metal mesh pop filter
Documentation (Download Codes / Activation Codes)
Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Figure-8
Max SPL: 116dB
Self Noise: 19dBA
Bit Depth: 24-Bit
Sample Rate: up to 192kHz
Performance / Features
The build quality of this microphone is superb. It has an all metal construction that feels very well engineered. The metal mesh grill is fairly sturdy as well but does have a little bit of give to it. There are no buttons or switches on the microphone (everything is handled via software). On the bottom you’ll find a USB-C port and a 3.5mm Headphone Jack which does offer latency-free monitoring as well as computer playback.
The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. Analyzing the response is extremely difficult as this is a modeling microphone. In the software when we are on the “Edge Go” setting, which is the microphone’s original tone, it is a very transparent sound, which allows for them to add EQ to model the classic microphones (we’ll discuss this a little later)
The polar pattern of this mic is cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-8. Again this depends on the microphone model you select. There are some microphones that are only cardioid, there are others that are only figure-8, and then there are others that have all 3 polar patterns, with multiple options in between allowing for wide-cardioid, or super-cardioid.
The overall performance of this mic is excellent in some departments, and leaves a bit to be desired in others. This is an insanely versatile mic, with all the models that are available (U87, U47-Fet, C800, C414, C12, & more). Being that this models classic (also read: expensive) microphones, I only owned one of the microphones it was modeling. I compared the Neumann TLM103 against the Berlin 103 model. It gets in the general ball park but does not do an exact job at emulating the on/off axis performance of the TLM103. I can only speculate that the remainder of the models are close, but not exact emulations of the originals.
My basic understanding of how the mic emulations work is that they take measurements of the original microphone at all sorts of different angles. Then you have the Edge Go which has two capsules (one facing the front, one facing the rear). This allows them to determine where you are around the mic based on the level being picked up by each capsule, allowing them to emulate not just the on-axis, but off-axis response of the original microphone. As I just said though, this isn’t perfect. It gets close, but it can’t create an exact replica of the original.
As far as the onboard FPGA processing, I had zero issues with this at all. It was able to handle the microphone modeling, 4 plugins (compressors, preamps, eq’s, gates) and reverb without any issues. The software is also very full featured allowing you full control over the polar pattern, gain, all the parameters of each plugin, and a mixer for the computer playback and zero-latency monitoring.
The main issue I had with this microphone was the noise floor. I understand that this is a flaw of all USB microphones, but I was hoping for some kind of magic solution. This issue stems from the fact that the microphone contains the Capsule, preamp, headphone amp, FPGA chip, A/D converter. I found the noise floor to be a bit excessive once we exceeded around 80% on the gain.
It allows you to model some classic/expensive microphones that are simply out of many of our budgets. Although it’s not a perfect copy, it is very close.
Records 24-bit up to 192kHz for those looking to record hi-resolution
Real time processing via FPGA, means zero latency monitoring of the effects/emulations as well as no additional work being offloaded to eat up your computers resources.
You get a handful of effects for free with the microphone (Preamps/EQs/Etc) which are sold separately if you purchase one of Antelope Audio’s interfaces.
Noise floor excessive once you exceed around 80%
I think this microphone is an awesome piece of technology, but I’m not sure who it’s for.
The mic is marketed for gamers, podcasters, and musicians. For most gamers & podcasters, this is a hobby, meaning they don’t allocate a large amount of disposable income for their audio. Simply put they don’t have $1000-$1300 for a microphone. Musicians, I hate to say it, typically live a life of poverty raking in $16,000/year. So again, a microphone at this price simply isn’t in the card.
However, if you are an an outlier in the field of podcasting, gaming, or music, and you have a desire to play around with some classic mics like the U87, C800, or C12, but don’t have $3,600, $10,000, or $20,000 to spend on a microphone, this is a really fun option.
I will admit, the price of this microphone is extremely hard to swallow since I’m in the XLR camp all the way. However, when compared against a similar setup, the price seems to match. For example, if I wanted the TLM103 and the Universal Audio Arrow, I’d be looking at a total price of $1600. So the decision on if you want a plug and play USB mic, or if you want to go the XLR route is up to you.
If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP.
Buy the Antelope Audio Edge Go