Review: Yamaha ZG01 Game Streaming Pack

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Review: Yamaha ZG01 Game Streaming Pack

yamaha zg01 pack
Words by Cambell Courtney

Yamaha Music Australia | RRP: $699

As online content creation becomes more and more popular, we are seeing traditionally musical instrument and studio equipment manufacturers releasing products that cater towards this new market. By having all the necessary equipment bundled together in a single purchase, it greatly streamlines the process of acquiring the necessary recording equipment.

Pair this with the fact that many people transitioning into the field may not have extensive knowledge in the space, the bundles are a no brainer. The Yamaha ZG01 pack is a great example of an all-in-one bundle you’ll need to get your streaming or YouTube career off the ground. 

Check out more gear reviews here.

The Yamaha ZG01 pack comes with the ZG01 audio interface and the YH-G01 gaming headset. The headset is very comfy and fits snuggly on the head. The cups were large enough to cover my ears completely, which makes wearing them more comfortable and lowers strain on the ears, which can become painful after those long gaming sessions perpetually extended by “just one more game”. The sound quality is great and will serve well for listening, gaming, and audio editing. These are gaming headphones, so don’t expect them to be able to compete with studio and monitor headphones, however I consider these to be a decent all rounder that will serve well for beginners and intermediates alike. 

Included with the headset is a detachable mic that is inserted into the left ear. The mic itself is of decent quality and will do well in casual gaming and for chatting with friends. However, as with any headset mic, the sound quality won’t have you at the content creation levels of PewDiePie, but Yamaha has a swathe of options if you were looking to level up in that department like the AG01 USB mic or the YCM01 cardioid condenser microphone. The mic will get the job done and you will still be able to produce content with it, but it would be best to consider upgrading to one of those higher quality microphone if you plan on doing this sort of thing long term. 

The audio interface itself is the real selling point of the bundle. The ZG01 is designed for streaming specifically, and by all accounts it tackles its one job very well. The unit itself has one XLR/TRS combo jack for condenser and dynamic mics, as well as two 3.5mm inputs for headphones and a headset mic, which also comes with a splitter which separates your headphone/mic combo input so that you can have independent control over each. On the back of the unit are two HDMI inputs for consoles and a USB input for your computer. Each audio source has its own independent controls making it very easy to adjust levels of each signal to find a healthy balance. You are even able to route audio from voice chat applications such as Discord into its own channel of the interface, giving you a single knob adjustment without having to go through the app itself. It should be noted that if you intend to have multiple consoles hooked up, you’ll need an extra 5v power supply to get the signal.

What’s so practical about the ZG01 is that it acts as a splitter for two HDMI sources, meaning that switching between two consoles and your PC requires no extra physical setup. With just the press of a single button, you are able to switch between and mute the different sources. This switcher means that you also only need a single capture card for your entire setup, as the interface acts as a ‘thru’ device for your consoles, capturing the audio while passing the video signal through to your capture card or monitor. 

The interface also comes with some fun and practical effects. On the faceplate, there are three effects for the incoming mic signal, and three EQ presets for the game audio. The effects for the incoming signals include two customisable presets with options for pitch control, reverbs, and modulation effects. The third effect is an echo delay which you can assign the length of the repeats. The other three effects are for processing game audio, with presets tailored for specific types of games, such as first person shooter, story-based games, and more. The presets are a really fun addition to the unit that I’m glad they included. It was a lot of fun messing around with the voice setting and I can see it being a great tool for entertainment. I really hope Yamaha adds more options in the effects, as this aspect was easily the most fun and playful part about the unit that I can see a lot of people utilising in their streams. 

The interface also employs the use of the Yamaha ZG Controller software, which is used to dial in custom presets as well as a general overview of incoming and outgoing signals. Here is where you can set the streaming audio output and set the levels of what the audience will hear, which allows you to adjust the settings from the unit itself without affecting the stream’s audio. Within the software is where you can add some more practical effects such as compression, gates, and EQs to the mic signal in order to get more professional-sounding recordings. The interface even has a surround sound emulator to convert the surround sound HDMI signal to a stereo signal, while still maintaining the illusion of surround sound. 

Overall, the Yamaha ZG01 pack is an excellent choice for anyone looking to get into streaming. The interface’s ability to act as a splitter makes it very convenient for anyone planning to play different games over multiple consoles. Independent controls over each audio source makes finding a nice balance very easy and immediate, and the built-in effects are a ton of fun. I can see many streamers utilising the effects in creative ways, especially when they are available at the press of a button. The ZG controller software makes editing and dialling in your sound a breeze, as well as providing a single location for monitoring your levels. The YH-G01 headphones are a great addition to the unit, and will serve any streamer well, however you may want to consider upgrading to a standalone mic for high sound quality.

As a complete package, I was very pleased with what is included, and you would be hard pressed to find an interface with as much practicality in the streaming space as the ZG01, making it a viable option for beginners and experienced streamers. 

Head to Yamaha Music Australia for more information on the Yamaha ZG01 pack.