Mad Catz continues to pump out innovative official Rock Band peripherals with the Rock Band M.I.C., which combines the functions of a microphone and an Xbox 360 controller into one.
M.I.C. actually stands for Microphone with Integrated Controller, and that's exactly what the Rock Band M.I.C. is. You've got your standard wired premium microphone, with the Xbox controller's A, B, X, Y, start, back, and home buttons placed in a line down one side of the grip. It's a design so simple it's a wonder that Rock Band didn't ship with something like it from the get go.
It's got the form and the function, but does the M.I.C. actually work, or are you better off keeping your 360 controller on standby?
Works As Advertised: The Rock Band M.I.C. does exactly what it sets out to do. It removes the need for the Xbox 360 controller when singing in Rock Band. It's not a full-featured controller of course, but it definitely gets the job done. My one major fear was the buttons getting in the way during attempts at singing, but the entire controller can be locked with a simple switch during gameplay.
Makes Things Easier: Accessing the in-song controls is easier than ever with the Rock Band M.I.C., with the buttons needed to lower the vocal track, increase your own volume, and adjust microphone sensitivity all at your fingertips. I honestly had no idea these options even existed until I got my hands on this controller. Sad.
Feels Good: The M.I.C. has a very nice feel to it, with it's velvety "soft touch" finish, and the overall design makes it feel more like a studio mic than the standard Rock Band mic does. It's a bit lighter than I'd like, but solid and comfortable nonetheless.
A Bit Pricey: The Mad Catz Rock Band M.I.C. is a lovely piece of equipment, but I'm not convinced that it it's $59.99 worth of lovely. I know it has an integrated controller, but it's not like this will ever replace the standard 360 controller for games that don't require singing. Worth it if you are a hardcore RB singer, but I wouldn't fork over $60 for casual play.
The Mad Catz Rock Band M.I.C. is one of those rare accessories that actually adds something to the game, rather than just being another, slightly cheaper way to get the same thing done as you could with a standard controller. I don't know how many times I've gone to sing in Rock Band, either at home or at industry events, and completely forgotten that I needed the standard controller to start playing. The M.I.C. neatly takes care of this issue, making the whole experience go that much more smoothly. This is the sort of microphone that should have come packaged with the game in the first place.
If you can look past the price, Mad Catz's Rock Band M.I.C. is the sort of peripheral any Rock Band singer would find a welcome addition to their vocal arsenal.
The Rock Band M.I.C. was developed and manufactured by Mad Catz. Retails for $59.99 for the Xbox 360. Played Rock Band 2 for several hours, testing a wide variety of songs at varying difficulty levels.
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