TC Helicon GOXLR Mini

Canon

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 12, 2004
Messages
2,563
I have been a long time user of Creative Sound Blaster sound cards over the years... Sound blaster 16, AWE64, Live, Audigy 2 NX (USB for when I was in college with a laptop), X-FI Titanimum Fatal1ty, and most recently the Sound Blaster ZXR.

I also used a USB DAC for a while (Firestone Audio Fubar II), but this was only good for output, had no inputs. Better suited to my headphone rig, than for gaming...

I picked up a TC Helicon GOXLR mini to solve some issues I have had with literally every sound card, even that rather nice Sound Blaster ZXR.:

1. Horribly noisy microphone input
2. Noisy line input, lots of electrical noises from the EFI in the PC, gets bad when gaming...
3. Awkward software toggle for monitoring line input (second PC sound)
4. Awkward software toggle between headphone and line out (receiver/speakers)
4. Ability to mix multiple sources without having to mess around with software controls (some in the OS, some in the Creative Control panel)

The unit is the perfect size to sit beside my keyboard, out of the way but within easy reach. It blends nicely with my setup with customizable LED lighting.

I find the line input to be solid. Clear and quiet... perfect.

I am using the 3.5mm microphone input with my Beyerdynamic MMX 300 headset and the microphone on this headset has never sounded so good... The mic outputs to a separate audio device for chat and you can set the audio playback device in your chat apps like Discord to the chat device. This gives you a separate slider you can use to turn chat up and down. The microphone input has an EQ, Compressor and most importantly... a noise gate. It really is awesome to have all of these tuning options, even for voice chat (my primary use for my microphone). There is also mic monitoring which is super nice with closed back headphones.

The line output goes to my receiver and I don't have to mess with switching some dumb software control to output to my speakers... I just turn on the receiver and have sound, so nice...

The built in headphone amp sounds great with my Beyerdynamic MMX 300s. I was concerned I would be stepping down from the ZXR here, but honestly it sounds good with this headset.

There is a lot of customization of what inputs are allowed to go to what outputs (for example, don't send the MIC through the line out which would cause horrible feedback from my speakers, haha).

Stuff I don't like...
1. Why is there no on/off switch? This is USB bus powered, it actually stays fully powered when the PC is sleeping or powered off... Weird.
2. The GOXLR software is required for the unit to function. It is set to load with Windows, which is fine, but it doesn't start minimized? Who thought that makes sense?
3. If the GOXLR is powered off, you have to reload your profile in the GOXLR software to restore all of your configuration. Make sure you save your profile when you get everything tweaked how you like or your going to be angry when it resets, LOL. Why you can't just set a default profile in the software is beyond my comprehension...
4. It isn't the end of the world, but why are line inputs / outputs 3.5mm TRS and not RCA? That seems odd on a mixer... Seems to work OK, but I had to buy some cables, it comes with a USB Cable only. Would have been cool if they included a 3.5mm to 3.5mm TRS and a 3.5mm TRS to RCA in the box, I feel like this would fit most people's needs, but not the end of the world...

I know this device is targeted to "streamers", but honestly it seems to really fulfil my PC audio needs quite well. I feel like this device is probably ignored by people who don't stream, but it can be very useful for other uses. It seems expensive, but honestly I'm pretty sure it is comparably priced to the Sound Blaster ZXR from what I recall paying a few years ago.
 

B00nie

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
8,743
I have been a long time user of Creative Sound Blaster sound cards over the years... Sound blaster 16, AWE64, Live, Audigy 2 NX (USB for when I was in college with a laptop), X-FI Titanimum Fatal1ty, and most recently the Sound Blaster ZXR.

I also used a USB DAC for a while (Firestone Audio Fubar II), but this was only good for output, had no inputs. Better suited to my headphone rig, than for gaming...

I picked up a TC Helicon GOXLR mini to solve some issues I have had with literally every sound card, even that rather nice Sound Blaster ZXR.:

1. Horribly noisy microphone input
2. Noisy line input, lots of electrical noises from the EFI in the PC, gets bad when gaming...
3. Awkward software toggle for monitoring line input (second PC sound)
4. Awkward software toggle between headphone and line out (receiver/speakers)
4. Ability to mix multiple sources without having to mess around with software controls (some in the OS, some in the Creative Control panel)

The unit is the perfect size to sit beside my keyboard, out of the way but within easy reach. It blends nicely with my setup with customizable LED lighting.

I find the line input to be solid. Clear and quiet... perfect.

I am using the 3.5mm microphone input with my Beyerdynamic MMX 300 headset and the microphone on this headset has never sounded so good... The mic outputs to a separate audio device for chat and you can set the audio playback device in your chat apps like Discord to the chat device. This gives you a separate slider you can use to turn chat up and down. The microphone input has an EQ, Compressor and most importantly... a noise gate. It really is awesome to have all of these tuning options, even for voice chat (my primary use for my microphone). There is also mic monitoring which is super nice with closed back headphones.

The line output goes to my receiver and I don't have to mess with switching some dumb software control to output to my speakers... I just turn on the receiver and have sound, so nice...

The built in headphone amp sounds great with my Beyerdynamic MMX 300s. I was concerned I would be stepping down from the ZXR here, but honestly it sounds good with this headset.

There is a lot of customization of what inputs are allowed to go to what outputs (for example, don't send the MIC through the line out which would cause horrible feedback from my speakers, haha).

Stuff I don't like...
1. Why is there no on/off switch? This is USB bus powered, it actually stays fully powered when the PC is sleeping or powered off... Weird.
2. The GOXLR software is required for the unit to function. It is set to load with Windows, which is fine, but it doesn't start minimized? Who thought that makes sense?
3. If the GOXLR is powered off, you have to reload your profile in the GOXLR software to restore all of your configuration. Make sure you save your profile when you get everything tweaked how you like or your going to be angry when it resets, LOL. Why you can't just set a default profile in the software is beyond my comprehension...
4. It isn't the end of the world, but why are line inputs / outputs 3.5mm TRS and not RCA? That seems odd on a mixer... Seems to work OK, but I had to buy some cables, it comes with a USB Cable only. Would have been cool if they included a 3.5mm to 3.5mm TRS and a 3.5mm TRS to RCA in the box, I feel like this would fit most people's needs, but not the end of the world...

I know this device is targeted to "streamers", but honestly it seems to really fulfil my PC audio needs quite well. I feel like this device is probably ignored by people who don't stream, but it can be very useful for other uses. It seems expensive, but honestly I'm pretty sure it is comparably priced to the Sound Blaster ZXR from what I recall paying a few years ago.
1) It uses so little power that it doesn't matter
2) It's a pro device where usability takes preference to being in the background
3) A bit weird
4) Pro gear uses TRS / balanced connectors. RCA/Cinch is for consumer audio only.
 

Canon

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 12, 2004
Messages
2,563
Interesting point on #4. They usually use 6.3mm, instead of 3.5mm in pro gear but like I said, kind of does t seem to matter for this application since durability isn't a concern for a stationary device.

On point #2, hopefully they just add an option to start minimized some day, but I don't restart often so it isn't the end of the world.
 
Top