AVerMedia, a leading manufacturer of live-streaming peripherals, is no stranger to the gaming community. Their products, ranging from live capture devices to video lenses and radio equipment, are highly regarded. They recently unveiled the Live Gamer ULTRA 2.1 capture box GC553G2, which boasts HDMI 2.1 pass-through support. This device can deliver visuals up to 4K@144 or 4K@30 HDR10, making it a prime choice for broadcasters desiring top-tier live streams.
Recently, AVerMedia provided me with a special live-streaming gift set to review. This package included the Live Gamer ULTRA 2.1 capture box, the newly introduced Black Dove AM350 condenser microphone, and some exclusive ELENA peripherals. However, this exclusive bundle is unavailable, so enthusiasts looking to get the GC553G2 or AM350 will need to purchase them individually.
Live Gamer ULTRA 2.1 live capture box – HDMI 2.1 / 4K@144 Pass-Through / 4K@60 Capture
Interface: USB Type-C 10Gbps
video input and output (Pass-Through): HDMI 2.1
Highest HDR/VRR Pass -Through resolution: 2160p@144 HDR/VRR, 1440p@144 HDR/VRR, 1080p@240 HDR/VRR
Maximum capture resolution: 2160p@60
Supported resolution (image input): 2160p, 1440p, 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576p, 576i, 480p, 480i
capture format: YUY2/NV12/RGB24/P010 (HDR)
Headphone audio input and output: 4-section 3.5mm jack
Gamepad audio input and output: 4-section 3.5mm jack
Dimensions (W x D x H): 120 x 70 x 27.6 mm
Weight: 115 grams
AVerMedia’s latest release, the Live Gamer ULTRA 2.1 capture box, is the first of its kind to support HDMI 2.1 pass-through for content up to 4K@144 HDR. While it can capture up to 4K@60, it’s worth noting that activating the HDR mode limits recording to either 4K@30 or 2K@60. Uniquely, this capture box also incorporates VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), serving as an optimized feature for home consoles.
The external casing of the capture box is somewhat bigger than its predecessors, but its slim design fits perfectly on a desk. It sports a plastic construction with a metallic appearance, offering a decent aesthetic appeal. A distinctive feature is the elongated ARGB light strip on the front. Beyond customizing the lighting effect via software, this strip also serves as an indicator. Users can refer to the manual to understand what each light color signifies.
The I/O ports for the Live Gamer ULTRA 2.1 capture box are positioned on the back of the unit. There’s a Type-C port dedicated for data transmission and power. Centrally located is a pair of HDMI 2.1 ports for both input and output. To achieve a 4K resolution at 144Hz, an HDMI 2.1 cable with a 48 Gbps bandwidth is required. To the right, there are two quad-segment 3.5mm jacks, designated for audio output and audio input, respectively.
The AVerMedia Gaming Utility software offers a range of functionalities for the Live Gamer ULTRA 2.1 capture box, including information display, lighting effect customization, and firmware updates. Beyond the native lighting effects within the software, users can also synchronize the lighting with third-party software, often used with motherboards. This integrated approach caters to the preferences and requirements of gamers.
Black Dove AM350 Condenser Microphone – DIRAC sound effect adjustment, VibeEngine sound effect software
- Microphone Type: Condenser microphone
- Directivity: Cardioid, omnidirectional
- Output Terminal: USB Type-C (UAC2.0)
- Sensitivity: -41 dB
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Sampling Frequency: 96kHz
- Resolution: 24 bits
- Maximum Sound Pressure Level: 120 dB
- Output Power: 25mW
- Power Supply Requirement: 5V 120 mA (USB powered)
- Dimensions: 56 x 230 mm (including stand)
- Microphone: 302.2 grams
- Stand: 108.2 grams
- Base: 231.8 grams
Upon unboxing the Black Dove AM350 condenser microphone, the first thing to catch one’s eye are the connection guidelines printed directly on the packaging. This touch is quite user-friendly, catering to both beginners and seasoned users alike. Given that this is a USB microphone, its accompanying accessories are minimalistic. It’s crucial to note that since the Black Dove AM350 is a condenser microphone, its sound pick-up is located on the side of the body, not the top. Those transitioning from dynamic microphones should be mindful of this distinction.
The microphone boasts a metallic construction for its body, stand, and base. With the stand included, it weighs around 410g, giving it a substantial feel when held. A downside to its design is its susceptibility to fingerprints, which are challenging to remove.
The Black Dove AM350 condenser microphone incorporates the DIRAC sound adjustment technology, ensuring refined audio quality. While its metal grille is designed to enhance sound pickup, users have the option to buy a separate pop filter for further optimization of audio capture.
The microphone body features two dials. The top dial adjusts the microphone’s pickup volume, and pressing it toggles the microphone on and off, indicated by a red light. The lower dial manages both the system and microphone monitoring volume. Notably, these knobs lack any marked volume indicators, so adjustments have to be made based on personal judgment and auditory feedback.
The microphone’s base features a mode switch for toggling between cardioid and omnidirectional settings, accommodating a variety of recording situations, from solo recording and interviews to solo singing. The stand comes with a 5/8-inch screw hole, allowing for direct installation onto the included base or a specific shock mount. For users wishing to attach it to a boom arm, the package also provides a 5/8-inch to 3/8-inch screw adapter, ensuring compatibility with the majority of microphone stands available in the market.
AVerMedia offers the VibeEngine sound effect software specifically for microphone usage. This software comes with four preset modes for quick setup. Additionally, it provides tailored optimization for both input and output, including features for eliminating microphone noise and hissing. The software integrates AI noise reduction, even supporting NVIDIA Noise Removal. Furthermore, a voice changer feature is available, and for sound output, it encompasses various functionalities like environmental sound effects, ambient sounds, a compressor, and an equalizer.
The VibeEngine sound effects software introduces a mixing feature as well. This tool can generate up to four virtual audio tracks, enabling users to segregate audio output from microphones, games, and other applications. Within the software, users have the flexibility to configure up to eight audio tracks for mixing. The audio output offers both a monitoring track and a streaming output track. During live broadcasts, players can choose the creator’s mix as the microphone input, allowing for effortless setup of the most fitting sound effects for their live stream.
ELENA mouse pad
- Size: 7003003mm
- Material: Fine cloth
- Bottom Material: Anti-slip rubber
The ELENA mouse pad included in this package presents a fresh design. It’s crafted from an all-white fine cloth material with a portrait of ELENA printed on its left side. The mouse pad features knitted edges to safeguard against potential delamination. However, users should exercise caution with this white mouse pad: refrain from eating around it to prevent any food or liquid stains.
the newly launched Live Gamer ULTRA 2.1 live capture box has powerful performance. It currently supports HDMI 2.1 interface and can provide up to 4K@144 Pass-Through. It is suitable for dual PC live broadcast and pursues high-quality gaming experience. For live broadcasters, this is the only option.
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Title: AVerMedia Unveils Ultimate Streaming Kit: Live Gamer ULTRA 2.1, Black Dove AM350, and ELENA Merchandise – A Comprehensive Review