Thronmax MDrill Zero Plus Review
No matter if you’re a professional streamer or a casual content creator, the difference in producing high-quality content comes down to your hardware – more specifically your microphone. There is nothing worse than tuning in to a stream or watching a video on YouTube only to be distracted by the subpar audio recording courtesy of a cheap headset microphone. This is why desktop USB microphones have quickly become the industry standard for streamers and content creators as the quality they can produce are just as good as XLR microphones but all at a fraction of the price.
Thronmax has established itself as one of the leading manufacturers of professional audio products with an extensive range of products that suit steamers and content creators. The Thronmax Mdrill Zero Plus is one of Thronmax’s most popular products as it not only looks good on camera but thanks to VERTIGAIN technology, it also provides a professional recording experience that performs well above its $149 AUD price point. But enough chat, let’s take a closer look at the Thronmax Mdrill Zero Plus and see if this microphone could be the perfect addition to your stream.
While the Thronmax Mdrill Zero Plus brings nothing new to the USB microphone market, it does take the ‘tried and tested’ approach with its design. This is not a bad approach as consumers will appreciate the traditional design. It does, however, fail to deliver the same premium touch as more premium USB microphones on the market such as the EPOS B20, but its compact and simple design does look good on camera and is quite functional.
The majority of the microphone is finished in matt black finish that is highlighted with a gloss ring across the middle. The top half of the microphone features a fin-like design that enhances its audio capturing properties while adding a slightly aggressive look to the microphone, something that I personally like.
Moving down towards the bottom of the microphone is where you will find the Zero Plus’ controls that consist of two dials. The large dial allows users to easily switch between the two recording patterns (Cardioid and Omni-Directional), while the small dial is used to adjust the output of the mic. The large dial also features push-button capabilities that provide users with the ability to quickly mute the microphone by pushing the dial-in. Rounding out the features of the mic is a multi-state LED ring located around the large dial – This provides a visual indication of the muting status of the microphone along with the recording pattern active (green for Omni-Directional, blue for Cardioid, and Red for mute). This is a nice feature that I’m sure most users will appreciate as there is nothing worse than talking on Discord and not realising that you have your mic muted!
The microphone comes with its own desktop stand that features 180 degrees of swiveling movement. This allows users to position the Mdrill Zero depending on the application (conference/streaming etc.) and to also easily access the USB-C port and AUX located at the base of the microphone. These ports are pretty self-explanatory with the USB-C port for charging and AUX port for mic monitoring; simple yet effective!
Thronmax has also taken into consideration streamers who prefer to have their mics on boom arms by releasing their very own Thronmax Caster broadcast boom arm. The design and build quality of the Caster boom arm is of a very high standard. But the real beauty of this arm is that it features a universal attachment for mics, meaning that it can be used with the majority of microphones on the market, not just the MDrill Zero Plus.
For only $149.99 AUD, you get a lot of microphone for your dollar — 96kHz 24bit sample rate, 20-20,000Hz frequency response, and dual recording patterns. Audiophiles will appreciate the higher sample rate that you won’t find with many USB mics at this price point, but it is worth noting that you do have to manually set the sample rate to 96kHz to take full advantage of this as its default rate is 48kHz.
When you set the mic to a cardioid recording pattern, this really lets the MDrill Zero Plus come into its own! The recording input is clear and sharp, especially when the mic is set up nice and close thanks to the Thronmax Caster boom arm, while having the gain control located directly on the mic ensures that you can quickly set up and adapt the input based on your surroundings.
The same could not be said for the Omnidirectional mode. Sure, it works fine and does provide a 360-degree recording stage, but I found that unless you were within a meter or so of the microphone it struggled to capture your voice – which is not ideal for conferences! This could also be an issue for anyone looking for a dual-purpose microphone that can double up a mic for conferences in the office, along with their streaming commitments at home. But when you take into consideration the world that we currently live in and how working from home is becoming more and more common, this isn’t much of an issue as the cardioid mode is a clear winner.
One feature I would have loved to see is some form of noise-canceling as the mic can pick up a fair amount of background noise. I found that unless you are using the Caster boom arm, I sound from my mechanical keyboard, or kids in another room would get passed through to Discord or in-game. And as Thronmax doesn’t include any software to support the mic, I found that using third-party software was required as it did help reduce this noise. But as one of the main attractions of this mic is its user-friendly plug-n-play design, anyone considering this mic should make sure they pick up the Thronmax Caster boom arm to help reduce the chance of unwanted background noise.
I am a big fan of the approach Thronmax has taken with its MDrill Zero Plus microphone as they have focused on delivering what matters to streaming; performance, price, and functionality. For under $150 AUD, you simply cannot go wrong – dual recording patterns, clear and crisp recording properties, a plug-n-plug USB set up, and a simple design that still looks good on camera. Its cardioid recording pattern is a clear highlight and takes full advantage of its 96kHz 24 bit sample rate, but unfortunately the same can’t be said for its sub-par Omni-directional recording pattern and lack of any noise-canceling properties. That being said, the MDrill Zero Plus is one of the best options for under $150AUD as it provides an impressive list of features and performance for its price. Best of all, Thronmax has ensured that you are only paying for the microphone’s performance and features, and not for the fancy brand name or overused marketing phrases such as Gamer that some brands use to drive up the price – kudos, Thronmax, kudos!
THRONMAX MDRILL ZERO PLUS Review
- DESIGN - 89%89%
- RECORDING QUALITY - 90%90%
- VALUE - 91%91%
Thronmax has ensured that consumers are only paying for the MDrill Zero Plus’ performance and features, not the brand name!
THRONMAX MDRILL ZERO PLUS Review – For more on THRONMAX, check out our previous coverage.