Skip to main content

Looking for something special for your favorite keyboard warrior? Or maybe an upgrade for that gaming streamer or podcaster in your life? Well you've come to the right place. Check out this year's holiday gift guide for some of the latest and greatest that will make your gaming, streaming or podcasting world a much better place! There is everything from keyboards, to mics, to headphones and more.

SAMSUNG

EVOPlus microSD - $14.99 - $109.99

Samsung has always been the purveyor of the best in solid state memory storage and my go to choice for over 15 years. With their superior SD card technology, Samsung has been the only SD card that has never failed on me like some of their big competitors.  

Samsung microSD card

lightning fast transfer speeds with perfect 4K video replay make this the best for your storage needs

This season they have released the new EVO Select (teal), Plus (white) & Pro (blue) line of microSDXC cards ranging from $14.99 - $109.99 and in 64, 128, 256 and 512 gigabyte formats with significant jumps in read and write speeds from previous models, which translates to fast transfers, flawless 4K playback and non-stop gaming without lagging.

Samsung microSD card reliability

Durability is a must for any storage device, otherwise say bye bye to all of the memories.

As I mentioned before, I've always had the best luck with Samsung SD cards and the newest release has now been rated to be EVERYTHING-proof, to guarantee that you do not lose any photographic/video memories or valuable saved game data.

Samsung SSD & SD storage

Samsung is the only way to go as far as I'm concerned.

Hurry over to the Samsung website for special discounts on this newly released line of microSDXC cards, which are currently not available on Amazon yet.

RØDE

NT-USB Mini - $99.99

The NT-USB Mini (NTUM) is RØDE’s answer for anyone looking for a compact pro microphone that won’t take too much space on your gaming desktop or studio workspace, but still packs quite a punch for any Twitch stream, podcast or even live music session.

RØDE NT-USB mini microphone

The RØDE NT-USB mini is tiny in size but mighty in sound!

Measuring in at 5.58” (h) 2.15” (w) 3.52” (base diameter) and weighing in at 1 lb. and 5 ounces, this USB-C microphone is tiny but built like a mini tank. If you’re always on the go with your podcast/stream or you’re a fan of joining LAN party gaming sessions in your teammate’s basement, this is one of the best microphones when it comes to pro sound, portability and durability.

NT-USB mini - headphone volume control

No no no to any RGB over here...we like to keep it sophisticated and minimal.

Right out of the box you can feel the build quality in the steel and reinforced nylon resin construction that screams minimalist sophistication. While other similarly priced USB microphones flaunt eye-catching RGB lighting, the NTUM sticks with keeping it low key with two tiny white led indicator dots on the front of the mic, specifying power and connection. 

Also located on the front is the microphone volume wheel which doubles as an on/off switch, when pushed, for your connected headphones. Missing on this microphone is a physical mute button but that can easily be done with the RØDE Connect app or any app you’re using. A weighted magnetic steel base with a rubber grommet helps with easy connect and detachment and also dampens any table/desk vibrations. In the box you get the Mini and a generously long USB to USB-C cable.

NT-USB mini - gamer girl set up

Take your gaming streams and team chats to another level with amazing clarity.

The NTUM is a single directional cardioid polar pattern microphone that is designed to limit ambient noise and focus on delivering high quality sound for any and all uses whether it be a heated podcast debate about current affairs, an intense rage filled gaming stream or simply wanting to pick up your guitar and sing a song for uploading onto YouTube or TikTok. Studio quality 24bit 48khz analog to digital conversion delivers impressively low distortion and high dynamic range leaving you with professional quality recording for podcasters and singers, which means whatever you want to do, the NTUM is a champion in this world.

NT-USB mini - in the studio

go ahead and sing your heart out with the professional grade NT-USB mini.

The NTUM comes with a solid built in pop filter which performs surprisingly well even at a 5-6 inch distance, but if you like your mic even closer you will need to mount it on an arm/stand like the PSA1+ (featured below) and definitely get an external pop filter for added pop-protection. As a cherry on top, the NTUM is equipped with an integrated studio quality headphone amplifier that ensures excellent in-ear playback with zero latency so you always know exactly what you sound like and what your viewers/listeners will hear.

RØDE has also released RØDE Connect software to maximize the use of multiple NT-USB mini mics as the software digitally mimics many of the amazing features that the RØDEcaster PRO offers.

If you're in the market for a microphone, the RØDE NT-USB mini delivers exceptional studio quality performance in many settings and is definitely worth the price.

Wireless GO II - $299.99 (on sale here)

Have you ever wished you could film a stream or podcast that had great mic performance without being tethered to long wires that curse any mobile content creator’s set up? Here to the rescue is the RØDE Wireless Go II (WGII) which packs a truckload of audio capture technology into the tiniest form factor that can fit in an Altoids tin.

READ OUR REVIEW HERE

Wireless Go II

Coming in at under two inches and still delivering a Goliath amount of audio capture technology.

With the WGII you get two (2) clip on transmitters (mics), one (1) dual channel receiver, three (3) furry windshield puffs, three (3) SC20 USB-C to USB-A cables, one (1) SC5 TRS to TRS memory cable and one (1) carrying pouch.

Wireless Go II - box contents

Everything you need to podcast, stream, vlog...all in one box that fits in your pocket.

And with the opening of a box you are now able to mic up and go. Some of the key features that propel the WGII to greatness are dual channel wireless recording that will record two sources at the same time, Series IV 2.4GHz digital transmission with 128-bit encryption and up to 200 meters of clear reception as long as there are no obstructions, 40 hours of internal memory, 7 hours of battery life and the option to use 3.5mm lavalier mics which then convert the transmitters into mini recording packs.

Wireless Go II - reporter live feed sample

the most versatile mini transmitter with built in mic that can be hidden anywhere.

The WGII continues to wow with its unbridled versatility in its ability to plug into virtually any device. With the right Android or iOS adapter cable, the WGII can be coupled with smartphones, tablets and laptops in addition to DSLR cameras or any cameras supporting 3.5mm TRS analog output. This is amazing news for content creators of all kinds who can finally be liberated from wired microphones, leaving them free to roam around their environment and still have crystal clear chat audio.

Wireless Go II - vloggers

Take vlogging to a whole new level.

RØDE also offers two free apps like RØDE Central which allows you to configure the WGII, unlock advanced features, transfer records and install firmware updates when released.  

RØDE Central app

RØDE Central is your gateway to updating and unlocking your Wireless Go II.

The second app is RØDE Connect which is a podcasting and streaming software solution that makes it easy to record and stream from your computer. It can even bridge another WGII set to record four sources simultaneously, with a user interface inspired by the legendary RØDEcaster PRO featured below. 

RØDE Connect

RØDE Connect is like having a mini RØDEcaster Pro on your smartphone complete with soundpads.

If you're looking to untether yourself from your desk mounted microphone or free yourself from long cables and confusing set ups then look no further, the Wireless Go II has you covered.

RØDEcaster PRO - $599.99

RØDE offers a one-of-a-kind piece of podcasting and streaming awesomeness, by way of a thoughtfully engineered production studio crammed into a small 13.8” x 10.83” x 3.23” console designed to take any podcast or gaming stream to a stratospheric level. Introducing the RØDEcaster PRO (RCP) an integrated podcast/stream production console with legendary processing from Aphex. This is hands down the most powerful all-in-one tool that you will ever need for any Twitch stream or podcast.

READ OUR REVIEW

RØDEcaster Pro

Amazing things come in tiny packages and the RØDEcaster PRO is one of the greatest.

The RCP comes equipped with four (4) studio grade XLR microphone inputs, four (4) dedicated headphone outputs, eight (8) programmable sound pads, onboard audio processing and onboard recording with the ability to record directly to microSD.  Additional connections include smartphone, USB and Bluetooth channels which allow remote call integration. Did I mention that the sound pad can be programmed with up to 64 sounds total (8 sounds per pad)? But wait, there's more...the onboard audio processor includes Aphex’s legendary “Aural Exciter” and “Big Bottom” effects just for good measure.  There is, hands down, nothing else out there that comes close to the production power or the portability that the RCP offers and delivers!

RØDEcaster PRO input/outputs

All the inputs and outputs you'll ever need to deliver a professional podcast or stream.

Never have I ever seen a stand alone Frankenstein-esque piece of equipment like the RCP. Right out of the box what sits before you is a mixer, sampler, soundboard, DSP, sound effects processor and multitracker with a built in microSD recorder that can run on it's own without being tethered to a computer. And with the help of the RØDE DC-USB1 power adapter and a PD rated USB power bank, the RCP becomes a mobile monster. This means you can set up a professional podcast, Twitch stream or an acoustic music session ANYWHERE in the world!!! The possibilities are limitless. Oh did I mention that this can all fit in your carry on bag or backpack?

RØDEcaster PRO with iMac interface

connect an iMac to the RØDEcaster Pro and you have an audio interface ready to go.

Outside of the amazing portability of the RCP, it can also be connected to your computer (Mac or PC) and transform into an audio interface. While connected to your computer you can customize the soundboard pads which allows the RCP to deliver sound bytes of your choice, whether it be stadium applause every time you dominate a round of Warzone or laughter from a studio audience every time your teammates fail. But who needs a computer? The RCP can sample sounds on the fly directly and make them available for replay on the soundboard.  

RØDEcaster PRO close up of sound pads

customize the soundboard or sample sounds on the go...this is amazing!

I will say this, if you have a loved one who is an avid Twitch streamer or someone dabbling in the world of podcasting or maybe you're interested in exploring these worlds yourself, the RØDEcaster PRO is a Ferrari-Lamborghini in the audio recording realm and it gets my highest recommendation. Yes $599.99 is a big kick in the bank account nuts but with the amount of production value this single unit brings versus the multiple pieces of equipment you would have to buy to match it, the value and features far outweigh the price.

PSA1+ - $129.99

With every great microphone there must be a great stand. RØDE has delivered such a stand/arm with the new PSA1+. I can honestly say that over the years I have purchased many scissor style stands to help with lighting, microphones and filming and each time I’m always stuck with sub-par performance from no-name Amazon specials. I guess it’s true what they say… “you get what you pay for”...

RØDE PSA1+ with mic

Excellent desk clamp is fitted with rubber accents to guarantee a snug perfect fit.

Similar to the older PSA1, the PSA1+ is a rugged scissor stand that is designed and tuned to carry a heavy microphone and hold it wherever you direct it, without fail. The only downside is the PSA1+ will not work with lighter microphones and will just fully extend.

PSA1+ neoprene covers and cable management

Neoprene covers stop any pinches and cable wrangling nubs keep them out of the way.

Upgrades include neoprene covers over the arms, protecting anyone from pinching, cord management nubs to keep your cables wrangled, a 3/8 to 5/8 adaptor and a threaded desk mount with easy to install directions.

PSA1+ desk screw mounts

Threaded desk mounts make it easy for perfect mount placement on any table.

The PSA1+ comes with two mounts, a desk clamp and a threaded mount (installation necessary). Both are dressed with rubber accents for vibration dampening and both deliver excellent secure mounting solutions for this professional stand. I work on a wire rack workspace so with a couple of strategically placed squares of wood, my PSA1+ is secured and ready for use.

PSA1+ box contents

everything necessary to keep your mic where you want it.

If you have a mic and need a stand, don't make the mistake of wasting money on misleading "Amazon's Choice" recommendations, instead, give the PSA1+ a try and invest in a stand that will stand the test of time.

TURTLE BEACH

Recon 500 - $79.99

Turtle Beach has landed on the virtual battle grounds with another excellent and affordable headset to confidently keep you in the video game fight. Introducing the Recon 500 (R500), in black and Arctic Camo, debuting with features that make this an excellent weapon of choice.

Recon 500 in black & arctic camo

The Recon 500 in stealthy black or winter invisible Arctic Camo.

The R500 is equipped with an industry-first 60mm Eclipse Dual Drivers which are engineered with separate chambers that individually control low and high frequencies to essentially fine tune grenade explosions, crouching footsteps and teammate chat, considerably better than standard 50mm drivers. The larger 60mm drivers also deliver a much larger soundstage with richer bass and separated crispy highs, all in a very affordable gaming headset. Also complimenting these revolutionary drivers are precision engineered earcups injected with AccuTune wood composite to further complete acoustic enhancements to deliver the best in all kinds of audio.

Recon 500's 60mm Eclipse Dual Drivers with Accutune earcups

Patented 60mm Eclipse Dual Drivers and AccuTune injected earcups make the Recon 500 a shining star.

While playing Doom Eternal, the R500's did a convincingly amazing job at recreating burning buildings with intricately detailed crackles and pops. Zombies started to sound more real and close in proximity which caused me to flinch and jump throughout my 3 hour session. Rifle blasts, grenade explosions and the simple act of running and jumping played back in rich deep sounds which is one of many reasons why this headset shines! For this I have to salute the R500 for delivering a fun gaming experience that I wasn't expecting.

Recon 500 lifestyle - girl playing on ps5

Excellent ear cushions translate to hours of pain free game play

Another gold star on the R500 list is the large memory foam cushions wrapped in soft moisture wicking fabric that can sit on your ears for 3+ hours and never cause any ear lobe pain.  

Recon 500 mute button and volume switch close up

soft and plush, the R500's earcups are fantastic on the ears.

The R500's 3.5mm braided cable also grants cross platform compatibility to anything that it can plug into, which means you only need one headset for them all. You can even plug this into your mixer for a mixtape session. 

If you're in the market for a new headset but don't have a lot of cash, give the Recon 500 a run. You will be surprised by the epic audio and shocked by the low price.

Recon Controller (Xbox & PC) - $59.99

Turtle Beach has released the Recon Controller (RC) which not only gives you a competitive edge in Xbox/PC control and accuracy but also offers on-the-fly audio controls easily adjustable in a moment’s notice.

Recon Controller in black and white

The tactical Recon Controller in black or white, gives you an incredible advantage.

Ergonomically designed along the lines of the standard Xbox controller, the RC definitely comes jam packed with so many features that make it a standalone controller beast. Sure, the ultimate in game control is keyboard and mouse, but I grew up with consoles so I’m at my best when I have a controller in hand. First off, the RC is excellent in the hands with vibration feedback, perfect shape and lightweight translating to little to no hand fatigue. Next is the intuitive Advance Audio control panel located at the top of the RC which offer volume and chat rocker switches, SuperHuman Hearing button, EQ presets (default signature sound, bass boost, bass & treble boost and vocal boost), button mapping setting, mute and Pro-Aim, which fine tunes thumbstick sensitivity for enhanced long range accuracy.

Recon 500's Audio Advantage control panel close up

A control panel on top of the controller means ultimate control at your finger tips.

One gripe I’ve always had with wired headsets is the inability to accurately hear yourself speaking to your teammates, aka "mic-monitoring," a premium feature usually found in higher priced headsets. The Recon 500 headset above, does not have this feature but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the RC easily fixed this by plugging in. Yes, mic-monitoring can be had without breaking the bank. 

Recon 500 button layout

Feature guide for the amazing Recon Controller from Turtle Beach.

Along with solid ergonomics, the RC also has fine tuned details like stippled R1&2/L1&2 triggers, stippled programmable rear quick-action buttons, ribbed edges on the tacky thumb sticks that keep your thumbs on even when sweaty, a tactile core styled D-pad that is a dream to use and triangular pattern vented palm grips to keep the airflow going and the grip in your hands.

Recon 500 textured controls close up

Stippled triggers & back buttons, ribbed thumb sticks and rubberized vented grips = total domination!

With so much attention to detail directly close to any gamer's heart, the RC definitely executes and delivers on so many levels and at a very affordable price. My only wishes would be a wireless version with RGB lighting and a PS5 version.

ROCCAT

Torch - $99.99 (on sale here)

Roccat released their first microphone this year and packed a bunch of one-of-a-kind features in an original design that has drawn the attention of many gaming enthusiasts. Introducing the Roccat Torch.

Torch microphone

one-of-a-kind and ready to rock.

Roccat wowed consumers with the release of the first streaming mic with a built in mixer on the base. Equipped with three control settings, the first knob controls the power and pickup patterns of which the Torch has three. Next is the volume knob which doubles as a push button mute, with the third control being a slider for the gain. This baseplate mixer design is actually quite interesting in that by removing all controls off of the mic, you are able to reduce handling noise drastically. I just wish the base was heavier and made of metal.

Torch mixer control close up

baseplate with a built in mixer means the Torch is a contender.

It doesn't stop there with the "firsts" as the Torch also has a very unique no-touch air button for the mute. This feature solves the common "thud" noise problem that usually accompanies any button pushing, knob turning or slight touching. 

Torch contactless quick-mute close up

mute button? how about a mute wave!

The Torch is also unique in that it offers three pickup patterns with one being another industry "first." First off we have cardioid, which focuses on picking up sound directly in front of the microphone. There is stereo, which is good if you plan on using your mic for music, as it picks up everything in the surrounding area and the third is a very cool whisper mode which allows you to whisper into your mic, but automatically increases the gain so your listeners and/or teammates can hear you loud and clear.

Torch pickup pattern close up

Whisper mode is definitely a fun and unique pickup pattern.

The build quality on the Torch is excellent and even though the base and outlining frame of the mic are made of plastic, you still can't deny that this is a quality microphone. Internally the Torch flaunts a dual condenser design, 24-Bit audio and up to 48kHz sampling, which is top notch for streaming and podcasting purposes. 

Torch dual condenser mic close up

Impressive microphone internals that compliment and impressive all around design.

RGB lighting is now controlled by the new NEON app but on the Torch the only customizable LED is the center logo which is pretty useless. The other internal LEDs light up in connection with the pickup pattern that you've chosen. A cool feature is the side LEDs turn up and down in sync with the gain slider so you always have a visual of where your gain is set. The last LED action comes by pressing the mute button which will turn the Torch red. I honestly don't know why they didn't make all of the LEDs customizable. Also the NEON app does nothing for the Torch, for now, except turn off AIMO. As the new generation of Roccat peripherals roll out, NEON will have more items in its ecosystem and maybe one day they will reach the greatness that is the Swarm ecosystem. 

Torch RGB lighting close up

I seriously wish NEON was compatible with Swarm.

With so many "industry first" innovations it's easy to see how bright the Torch burns in the microphone market. So if you're looking for one of the most innovative USB microphones made in the last few years, make sure to grab a Torch.

Magma - Membrane Gaming Keyboard - $59.99 (on sale here)

With a tsunami of mechanical keyboards saturating the gaming market, Roccat went a different direction and released the Magma, a membrane keyboard with a softer click disposition and a unique AIMO RGB layout.

Magma keyboard

The Magma membrane keyboard, a lifesaver when you're on a deadline...

Almost immediately, I fell in love with the Roccat Magma keyboard. While I do love mechanical keyboards when I’m PC gaming, I do find them a bit too loud and unwieldy when I’m writing an article related to gaming. Not sure if Roccat was already being asked for this from other sources but I honestly feel this membrane keyboard was made for me. I love how the river of LED lights under the keys, give off a vibe of keycaps floating on a RGB lava flow.

Magma keyboard sideview

5 LED zones spread across the Magma ensure beautiful waves of color!

The Magma delivers increased typing speed and silence with the help of high quality rubber dome keys that are responsive and definitely my preference for any work related projects. Also embedded into this keyboard is advanced anti-ghosting technology which ensures key strokes on heavily used keys all register, even in the heat of a key stroke intensive battle.  

Magma keyboard exploded view

a sandwiched membrane keyboard in a ribbed shell reminiscent of Aliens is all things great!

The Magma also boasts a low maintenance design that keeps dust, moisture and dirt out by sandwich sealing a high grade membrane layer, translucent top plate and a precision engineered circuit board together.

Magma keyboard desktop view with AIMO lighting

AIMO lighting makes sure the light parade is in sync.

And we cannot forget Roccat's awesome AIMO LED ecosystem that allows all compatible AIMO devices to illuminate in RGB synchronicity.

If you know a workaholic that likes to dabble in gaming or someone interested in an all-around great keyboard at a ridiculously low price... the Magma is a solid pick.

Kone Pro Air - $129.99 (on sale here)

After last year's release of the Burst Pro mouse, I honestly didn't think I would ever need or want another mouse. Then Roccat had to go and drop the Kone Pro Air (KPA) and now feel myself wanting.

Kone Pro Air - top view

German engineering and precision make this wireless mouse a danger to all against you.

As soon as you take the KPA out of the box you are greeted with a tested and trued ergonomic shape that immediately greets your hand with comfort like your favorite pair of shoes. Then you realize that the KPA is light, weighing in at only 72 grams, which is impressive for a wireless mouse, considering that the wired Burst Pro is only 4 grams lighter at 68 grams. 

Kone Pro Air - side view

extremely comfortable ergonomic grip means hours of play without any of the aches.

To add more icing to this cake, the KPA is equipped with heat-treated pure PTFE glides that quickly make you realize that this wireless beast is gives you one hell of an advantage over anyone that comes to battle.

Kone Pro Air - heat treated pure PTFE glides

remember to peel off the blue stickers to unleash this slippery beast.

The hits don't stop there as the KPA is blessed with the world-leading Owl-Eye 19K DPI optical sensor, 100 million click rated Titan Switch Optical buttons and the milled all aluminum Titan Wheel Pro, which I found to be very nice in real world use.

Titan Switch Optical & Titan Wheel Pro close up

these two little things can change the course of your gameplay for the better.

Battery life is also impressive with up to 100+ hours and a 5 hour gain after a 10 min rapid charge feature, which doesn't matter since you can choose to turn off wireless and hardwire in with the PhantomFlex cable.

bluetooth switch & phantomflex cable close up

3 connection options mean you're ready for any latency issues that arise.

I'm telling you this is an awesome mouse! So this year if you or your loved one is on the hunt for a mouse, than this is the one you should trap.

Syn Pro Air - $149.99 (on sale here)

If you caught last year's guide, you'll remember the Roccat ELO 7.1 which was a wireless PC headset with amazing audio clarity and rich deep bass. Roccat has recently released the Syn Pro Air (SPA) to fill that seat and it's a sight to see.  

Syn Pro Air surround sound headset

With the mic it's all gaming business.  Without the mic, it's all about a stroll through the city...

First off is the debut of the new headband with vertical piston like arms that hold newly designed earcups that are decked out in translucent frosted honeycomb covers and only reveal a triangle sliver of RGB lighting.

Syn Pro Air new headband design

unique piston headband system.

Another thing that is immediately apparent is that the SPA is not an aggressively styled gaming headset but instead a stylishly designed headphone, breaking it out of the "gaming use only" mold. Roccat seems to drive this "not for gaming use only" point home by having a removable mic and a rubber plug to cover up the unsightly hole. I have already used the SPA in many situations, and more recently on a stroll to my local Whole Foods to pick up a cold brew coffee.

Syn Pro Air - USB dongle & removable mic

German design and engineering bringing the Syn Pro Air to life.

Some of the stand out features accompanying the SPA's fresh new look are borrowed from parent company, Turtle Beach, which include TruSpeak noise-canceling mic, Superhuman Hearing and my favorite, ProSpecs ear cushion memory foams. TruSpeak tech is excellent for providing crystal clear chat without picking up all of the ambient noise in your room. Superhuman Hearing, when activated, drops out a lot of the bass and accentuates the mids and highs to assist in audibly pinpointing where your enemies might be. ProSpecs is the greatest invention that creates tiny indentations in ear cushions so eyeglasses won't jam into your temples for hours! The most exciting feature is the Immersive 3D Audio that envelops you into a surround sound environment, which can be activated by the new Roccat NEON app.

Syn Pro Air - NEON software

Roccat's new NEON software currently compatible with the Torch and Syn Pro Air.

AIMO Lighting is always a welcome feature although the SPA's AIMO system is only compatible with NEON systems. Swarm LED systems will not co-mingle. And lastly, you can't knock the gratuitously long 24 hour battery life with rapid charge technology that restores 5 hours of battery life after only 15 minutes of charging.

Syn Pro Air - NEON LED integration

the Syn Pro Air synched up through the new NEON app

If you're looking for a gaming headset that delivers the top tier goods and can stylishly quick change into a headphone for the gym or walks through the city, then the Syn Pro Air is the headset for you.

RAZER

Razer has been going full steam since our last guide and this year they've dropped many feature packed goodies in their more affordable "Razer X" sub-line, which means we all win! 

Kaira X - $59.99

Razer has dropped the Kaira X (KX) at a very affordable price and it is marvelous. As a non-powered 3.5mm cross-platform ready headset, these lightweight masterpieces do not miss a beat in the heat of any gaming session. 

Kaira X product view

Solid build, solid audio, amazing price!!!

As part of the lower priced "X" line, the KX surprisingly delivers big returns. One of those big returns are the TriForce 50mm drivers, which can be found on pricier Razer headsets and should be the driving force for anyone to press "buy" on a new pair of KX's. TriForce drivers were released in 2020 and are able to focus on bass, mids and highs separately which translates to clarity in all frequencies and richer fuller sound.