Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware
One thing the FIFINE AmpliGame AM8 really stands out for is its appearance. While it features a standard black color, it is also very cubic in shape. This means the entire shape has angled edges, even if they are all rounded off. It looks unique compared to other microphones we have reviewed. The entire body is a black shell with a plastic enclosure keeping everything together. This is connected on both sides via swiveling points on a metal arm. This allows for some back and forth tilting action. The company name can be found on the sides. A foam windsock can be found covering the capsule opening at the top. Otherwise, FIFINE AmpliGame AM8 has a bit of heft to it, with a 581g weight on its included base. Of course, 181g of it is at the bottom to keep the microphone upright. This makes the whole construction sturdy and not prone to easily falling over. In terms of dimensions, in the upright orientation and with the base attached, the microphone is 244mm in height, 106mm in width, and 106mm in depth. Of course, those last two numbers come from the base measurements, since its footprint is larger than the rest of the body. Without the base attached, its maximum width is closer to 95mm and its depth is 56mm with the protruding knobs.
For the user-facing adjustments, there are two areas to speak of. The first is at the front here with one button and two knobs. The top button is an indented capacitive touch one that controls the RGB LED lighting at the bottom of the microphone. Pressing this button cycles through several colors, as well as two effects of a rainbow wave and a slow transition through all of the colors. Holding down the button for longer will turn on and off the RGB LED lighting. Underneath, we have a knob to adjust the microphone gain. The second knob is used to adjust the headphone monitoring volume. These both move smoothly and have a nice weight to the rotation without being too loose or too tight. They do not move on accidental swipes, which is a big plus. The second area of adjustments is found on the flip side of the AmpliGame AM8. This is a large capacitive touch area to mute and unmute the microphone. There is also a bright LED on the back. It glows green when the microphone is unmuted and red when it is muted. I wish this was built into the RGB LED element underneath the microphone, as you have to turn the microphone around to see this status.
Removing the windsock, you can get a better look at the opening for the capsule inside. This is another area of metal on this microphone. It does not flex under pressure and it provides a sturdy enclosure for the more sensitive internal components. As for the capsule, the FIFINE AmpliGame AM8 is a dynamic microphone with a cardioid pick up pattern. With the USB output, this records 16-bit audio at a 48kHz maximum sample rate. This is notably less than some other microphones, such as the Neat Bumblebee II, which records 24-bit audio at a 96kHz sample rate. On the other hand, with the XLR connection, these numbers are dependent on the USB audio interface you use. As such, you can upgrade your setup later down the line. We do not know the size of the dynamic capsule inside, but the AmpliGame AM8 features a -50dB sensitivity and a frequency response of 50Hz to 16kHz. We also have a signal-to-noise ratio of 80dB.
At the bottom of the FIFINE AmpliGame AM8's head, we have all of the connection points. First and foremost is the large XLR connection. This allows users to connect the microphone to a separate USB audio interface. Next, we have a 3.5mm audio jack for audio monitoring. This allows for zero latency monitoring for the captured audio. This headphone jack also acts as an audio out on your computer. Thankfully, there did not seem to be any background buzz heard when using this monitoring connection. The final input is the USB Type-C port. This allows for connection to your computer. According to FIFINE, the AmpliGame AM8 is compatible with Windows and Mac OS. I should note that all of the inputs, including the headphone jack, knobs, buttons, and RGB LED lights only work when connected via USB.
At the base of the FIFINE AmpliGame AM8, you can see this is the last metal portion of the microphone. The base is wide and flat, screwing into the arm at the bottom. Underneath, we have a nice rubber-lined bottom to keep the whole unit in place. It grips well to any hard surface. The rubber also plays a role in dampening vibrations captured, but we will see how this translates to our real-world tests later on. If you so desire, you can also take the FIFINE AmpliGame AM8 off of this bottom section and connect it to a third-party mounting arm with support for both 3/8" and 5/8" mount sizes. Otherwise, the microphone can be adjusted in how it tilts, which lets users position it towards their face.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Recording Performance Tests