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The Ultimate Solution for Content Creators: The Elgato Wave XLR Audio Interface

FYI, I earn a small commission for purchases made through links in this post. All opinions are my own.


As I dive steadily deeper into content creation, online streaming, and podcasting, it has become increasingly important for me to learn a thing or two about microphones.


First thing I learned? Mics are complicated.



Black XLR podcasting microphone
Mystery wrapped in an enigma

Dynamic vs. Condenser?


USB vs. XLR?


Cardioid Patterns?



It was more than a few casual Google searches before I felt comfortable buying any mic.


I've been using a Shure MV7, and I love it. It's a combination USB/XLR mic, and I've been doing fine using it via USB.




Having high-quality audio is important when you're a content creator. Poor audio quality can be distracting and take away from your message, so I was fine leaving my sound situation as it was.


Then, without warning, my father-in-law bought me an Elgato Wave XLR audio interface for Christmas.


Santa
Better late than never, old man!

I decided to switch my mic inputs and see if having an interface made any difference.


My experience has been an interesting one.


But before I get into that, you might be asking yourself:


"What's an Audio Interface?"


TL:DR: If you have a mic that isn't USB, you'll need an audio interface to convert the signals from your mic into digital signals your computer understands.



Black XLR podcasting mic for content creation
It refuses to be understood!

What's great about the Wave XLR is that it does more than connect your mic to your computer. It delivers an innovative audio solution for content creators, streamers, and podcasters they might not have known they needed.


It combines multiple devices, offering features not commonly found in conventional audio interfaces.


This thing comes bundled with game-changing software!


Thanks to the Wave XLR, you get access to Elgato's Wave Link software.


Wave Link gives you enhanced control over your audio output. It's an intuitive and easy-to-use software that expands your control over your audio output and ensures that the audio quality is always top-notch.


Wave Link allows up to eight other audio sources to be mixed to create two separate outputs; one for your headphones/speakers and one for your stream/podcast/zoom call.


It lets you do this without virtual cables, sharing your desktop audio, or finding other complicated workarounds.


If you fall into the categories of content creator, streamer, or podcaster, and you're looking for something to enhance your content, this is it.


Wave Link is a huge selling point, but it's not this interface's only selling point.


Clipguard


I can be loud. Very loud.


Thanks to Clipguard, I can save the ears of everyone that hears me shouting into my mic.


Prevent clipping with Elgato Wave XLR audio interfaces' clipguard feature
via Elgato


You'll find Clipguard among the Wave Link settings, and enabling it leaves you with improved audio quality when speaking loudly.


How does it do this?


The complicated answer is it reroutes your voice through a second signal path to keep the audio clean despite you using your outside voice.


The easy answer, and I can't prove this, is magic. Audio magic.


Gain

Some mics require a little more juice than others.


I'm looking at you, Shure SM7B!


The Wave XLR has you covered.


It offers up to 75 dB of ultra-low-noise gain, which can significantly enhance the sound of notoriously power-hungry dynamic microphones.


It packs 48 volts of phantom power, which is essential for powering condenser microphones.


Thanks to Elgato's anti-distortion technology, audio output remains clean and clear, even when recording at high volumes.


Physical Controls


Controlling gain, headphone volume, and stream mix are all made easy by the HUGE physical button in the center of the interface.



I didn't realize how much I missed turning a knob to control volume until I did it with the Wave XLR.


I've found that physically adjusting volume on the fly with the Wave XLR feels easier than adjusting on my computer via mouse.


Another welcome feature is a capacitive mute button, which lets you quickly and easily mute your mic without fiddling with software settings.


I've discovered that when I mute using this button, the cutoff is gentle and doesn't produce a harsh click or static when it cuts off the mic. It's minor but nice if you hate the jarring pop when the signal kicks back in on other mics.


Design and Inputs


Elgato Wave XLR audio interface for content creation, podcasting, and audio recording
via Elgato

The Wave XLR has an interchangeable faceplate (not included), that lets you customize the look of your device to suit your personal style.

Faceplates for Elgato Wave XLR Audio Interface for content creation, podcasting, and audio recording
via Elgato

I like the matt black of the basic design, but it's nice to know I can change things up whenever I want.


As far as inputs are concerned, the back of the interface is simple:

  1. 1 USB C input

  2. 1 Headphone jack

  3. 1 XLR port

That’s it.


For most, me included, that's all I'll need.


However, if you're working with more than 1 mic or prefer more than one audio out, this isn't the interface for you.


Conclusion



Did I need it?


Before using it, I would have said no.


When used through the interface, the audio quality from my mic is excellent, but it isn't a dramatic improvement from when it was plugged in via USB.


However, after toying with it for a few days, I can say that I'm still really happy with it.


This is due in no small part to the Wave Link software and the Clipguard features.


The Wave XLR doesn't just let me use my mic; it adds functionality I didn't know I wanted.


The days of me self-consciously fussing over whether I'm messing up a stream with my loud voice are behind me.



The Mute button and volume control wheel has also added quality-of-life improvements that enhance all of my streams/recording sessions.


They pack a lot of functionality into a very compact form factor that I really enjoy having within arms reach.


Previously, muting my mic involved a hotkey or fumbling on my mic for the tiny capacitive mute button. Now, I can find a large flat surface quickly and easily, even in the dark.


I'd recommend the Elato Wave XLR to any single-mic streamers and podcasters currently in the market for an audio interface.


The added value that the software and physical features deliver makes it a good buy.


So if you're looking to enhance your audio experience, look no further than the Elgato Wave XLR!




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