512 Audio Tempest Review

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I previously reviewed the 512 Audio Skylight XLR microphone and thought it was superb and have continued to use it for the past year as my main microphone (not that I need to use it much).

512 Audio are now back with a more mainstream consumer-friendly option. The 512 Audio Tempest is a USB-powered cardioid microphone that is ideal for podcasting, vlogging, or just taking your audio to the next level for Teams/Zoom meetings.


  • Capsule Size: 34mm Large Diaphragm Gold-Plated Capsule
  • Polar Pattern:  Cardioid
  • Microphone Gain: 45dB max
  • Direct Monitoring: Zero Latency
  • Headphone Connection: 3.5mm Stereo
  • Software/Drivers:: Native Support in Windows 10 and Mac OS (Mojave or higher)
  • Included Accessories: Premium Desktop Stand, hard mount and shock mount (for mounting on a Boom Arm) and USB Cable

Design and Build Quality

The microphone looks fantastic and professional. It sticks to the vintage-inspired design that Skylight had, but it’s slightly less impressive overall due to the lower price point.

It is physically smaller than the Skylight, but bigger than my Yeti nano (especially with the desk mount).

The desktop stand is a bit odd, it is quite lightweight, using tripod feet and then a decent length in its body. This raises the microphone quite high up from the table, bringing it closer to mouth level. The problem is that the included hard mount is designed so that the microphone is mounted away from the vertical axis of the body, shifting the centre of gravity quite far out. It is not a particularly light microphone, if you accidentally let the hard mount dip below a 90° angle, then there is a good chance that everything will topple over. Even with the microphone tilted upwards, it only takes the slightest knock to send it flying. This design also means that there is absolutely no way you can use the shock mount with the desktop stand.

512 Audio Tempest Review3

Unlike the Skylight, there is no included pop filter with this microphone, but the included shock mount is more than you get with many competing USB microphones. 

On the front of the mic are the microphone gain control, headphone gain control, mute button and headphone out.

Within the caged diaphragm of the microphone is a violet LED.

In Use

With this being a USB microphone, it is plug and play with a built-in DAC and 3.5mm headphone out.

The Tempest has a 34mm gold-plated condenser capsule and has an excellent high 24-bit / 48kHz resolution.

I have uploaded a basic test sample, and you will have to forgive my northern drawl. Whilst recording this sample, I was having a reroof, so I had roofers outside hammering and drilling things. As irritating as it was for me, the microphone didn’t pick up any obvious background noise. My computer is on the desk as well and not totally silent, it sits behind the microphone.

The microphone handles plosives well, even without a pop filter, and I found the overall sound signature to be warmer and less harsh than my normal microphone, the Blue Yeti Nano.

The wobbly desk stand can be problematic when in use. If you knock your desk or the stand directly, the microphone will pick up a significant amount of that wobble.

Price and Alternative Options

The 512 Audio Tempest has an RRP of £159.99 – it was supposed to be available in July, but it looks like Amazon US had stock for a short time, and it has not launched on Amazon UK yet.

You can search for it on Amazon here.

512 Audio are also launching the dual-pattern Script at a lower price point of $119 sometime soon.

It is a competitive marketplace with a lot of good alternative options.

My comparison microphone was the Blue Yeti Nano which was £95, or its bigger brother for £115.

Gaming streamers may appreciate the RGB-equipped HyperX QuadCast S for £130.

There is also the RØDE NT-USB for £132.

Or, for a more expensive option, there is the popular Shure MV7 for £180 (though quite a bit more if you select the tripod option)


The 512 Audio Tempest is a superb USB microphone that is an ideal solution for anyone wanting a high-quality microphone without the added hassle of an XLR microphone.

The audio capture is excellent quality and more user-friendly than having to work with an audio interface.

The desktop stand is the only real negative. It is usable and will tide you over until you invest in something better, but it is just terribly designed and not something I would recommend for a permanent solution.

512 Audio Tempest USB-C Microphone Review Rating


The 512 Audio Tempest is a superb USB microphone that is an ideal solution for anyone wanting a high-quality microphone without the added hassle of an XLR microphone.

  • Overall - 85%


  • Excellent overall performance
  • Looks professional 
  • Included shock mount 


  • Poorly designed desktop stand

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