Photos and Features
So the ModMic 480i combo ends up getting you two boxes. You get your ModMic, which in our case is the ModMic USB, and then you also get the Ultrasone Pro 480i headphones. The Pro 480i headphones come in a surprisingly thin box. It has a grey background with red trim down on the bottom with a picture of the headphones taking up most of the front. On the back, they have a short description and then a list of specifications, and then both are repeated across a few languages.
Inside we can that the box is thin because they have the 480i’s laying flat. Then sit in a formed plastic tray to keep them moving around. Then everything else is tucked up under the tray. You get a bag with documentation. Then the headphones also come with an Ultrasone branded pull string bag as well.
The Ultrasone Pro 480i has a traditional headband design with a medium-sized on-ear earcup design. These are entry-level studio headphones and when you start looking at the headphone themselves you can see that they skimped on the exterior of the headphones with heavy plastic usage, especially in the headband/earcup joints. The earcups themselves are also all plastic and on top, they have an interesting raised sticker design on top. This has the Ultrasone Pro 480i branding as well as the left and right labels which are also on the earcup joints. The earcup stickers remind me a lot of the old ’80s raised stickers. It is a base sticker with a thick clear rubber-like material on top and they are a little sticky/grippy to the touch.
The close up look at the headband joints which better show the L on the headband to help label the left side also let you see what I mean about the cheap plastic in this area. You can see thick mold lines and the texture is inconsistent. Beyond that, though I do like the action that the 480i has. You can extend both sides out by about three inches depending on your head size and the headband/earcup joint can fold. It also allows the earcup to twist side to side with one side allowing you to flip the earcups flat which is the way the 480i shipped.
The headband itself on the outside has plastic up until the center section which is made of rubber and has the Ultrasone branding on it. The inside of the headband has foam padding which is an inch wide and less than four inches long. The padding is a little over a half-inch thick. Overall I would like to see the padding extend farther and even be a little thicker and wider but we will see later how comfortable it is.
For the earcups, like I mentioned before these are an on-ear design, not the larger over-ear design that I normally prefer. But some people, my wife included, prefer the smaller on-ear designs. The 48i earcups are 8cm or 3inches wide. The earcup padding is 2cm wide taking up a lot of that space. They are faux leather with a soft fabric inside covering the drivers. That is where the 480i’s stand out though. They have a 40mm mylar driver which is a touch smaller than the 50mm drivers you see in a lot of the larger over-ear headphones. They have a frequency response of 20Hz-20KHz which is similar to what the Logitech Pro X has but is a smaller range than the SteelSeries Arctis Pro. They run at an impedance of 32 ohms and have an SPL of 96 dB.
I did also get the 480i’s up on the scale as well, they are listed at 260 grams on the specifications and they weren’t far off on our scale with them coming in at 265 grams. This is relatively lightweight which should help a lot for comfort.
For the cord, the 480i does not have a detachable cord which is a little disappointing but understandable given the overall price. The cord that it does come with attached is at least short with it being close to a meter in length. This is long enough to reach your pocket if you have a phone with a headphone jack or even to a DAC on your desk if you sit forward. If you need longer it comes with a long extension cord to let you add to that length. Its jacks are the normal 3.5mm in size and then they also include an adapter to take it up to the ¼ inch size should you need it. Which is what a lot of DACs use.
The second half of the ModMic and 480i combo is of course the ModMic. You can pick from the ModMic Wireless, the ModMic USB, and the traditional ModMic that uses a 3.5m or ¼ inch jack. I’ve been lucky enough to cover them all at different stages. Today our combo has the ModMic USB so let's check out what you get with it. If you have seen our previous coverage a lot of this will be repetitive, but be sure to check out the performance section where I check out how the combo works together.
The packaging for the ModMic USB sticks with the same styling that Antlion Audio has used on most of their ModMics, at least after they dropped the original brown slide-on design. The front has a drawing of the microphone which also includes the inline mute button. Then on the back, they break down a few of the features with more line drawings and short descriptions of each feature.
Inside of the box, the ModMic USB comes in a hard case with the Antlion branding on the top. The case is a little over 7 inches long and has a zipper around it to keep things sealed up. Inside one side has a mash pouch and an elastic strap and the other side has one elastic strap. This is the same case that ModMic have been using for years and it helps keep everything safe. You can see they have the microphone on one side with the cord tucked away in the other. Then there is a bag with accessories for the installation and a folded up instruction manual also inside.
The instructions break down what surfaces you should attach the microphone to and then have instructions on attaching and how to orientate the ModMic. Then for accessories, it comes with one alcohol prep pad, 10 S-shaped cord clips, two additional 3M double-sided sticky tape pads in the circle shape, and a second magnet base which comes with a sticky pad preinstalled as well. The idea behind the extra base is that you can swap the ModMic between two different headsets if needed. For example, if you go to LANs you could have a large pair of headphones for at home and a smaller pair to take with you.
Of course, we have the ModMic itself and this design has been close to the same the last few MidMic generations with the exception of changes in the microphone itself and of course with the wireless model being different. At the left end of the picture with the P-shaped area, you have a solid structure that transfers the cord to the boom microphone. They use a slide-on mount that can be moved around and if you can you can flip things around to work on the other side of your headphones. Then from the mount on out the rest of the boom is flexible. Then down at the end is the plastic housing for the microphones and it comes with a foam wind cover. From the mount out the overall length is just 6 inches which is about what you would normally expect from a microphone boom.
The end of the ModMic, under the foam wind filter, is where the magic happens. One of the big changes with this generation was the integration of what used to be two designs. They used to have a different microphone depending on if you want an Omni-Directional or Uni-Directional design. They now have a switch which has small logos that show a circle for omni and a butt shape for uni. Then at the end, you can see there are now two microphone openings. These microphones are what make a ModMic stand out against the competition. The Uni directional microphone which is what you would use if you have any background noise has a frequency response of 100Hz - 10kHz and a sensitivity of 36±3 dB. Its signal to noise ratio is 67 dB at a minimum and its max sound pressure level is 110 dB. For reference on that one, that is similar in noise level to a rock concert. The omni directional microphone has a wider frequency response at 50hz - 20kHz, so it has double the range on the top end and goes lower on the lows than the uni. It has the same sensitivity at 36±3 dB and has a lower signal to noise ratio at 58 dB and has four more decibels on the maximum input sound pressure with 114 dB. The omni-directional microphone also has a second opening on the backside of the microphone as well to help pick up those outside noises or a two-person interview for example if you only have one microphone.
Here is another look at the mounting design of the ModMic, you can see the magnetic mount comes with the 3M tape preinstalled. If you have owned one of their designs in the past, you should know that they did upgrade the magnets, these will hold much stronger.
For its cord, the ModMic USB comes with a 2-meter long cord which is 6 and a half stinky feet if you still follow those. At the end, it as the name implies has a USB plug. But the USB design is unique in allowing for this push button microphone mute button. The 3.5mm plug design has to use an inline plugin switch. This design also lights up red when the microphone is muted. The long cord also comes with a Velcro strap permanently attached as well to help tie up any cord you aren’t using or for transport.