The Roland Bridge Cast enters the market at an interesting time. With products like the GoXLR, Razer Audio Mixer, Elgato Wave XLR, and many others aiming to fill the desk space of the growing number of streamers, it’s going to take something special to make consumers take notice of Roland and its new Bridge Cast. Thankfully, I’m happy to confirm that the Bridge Cast is a fantastic product that I can happily use for my daily production needs, but does it do enough to stand out? And what about that price tag? Here’s my verdict.
Simple to set up
For me, the Roland Bridge Cast offers the perfect balance of being easy to use while still offering a comprehensive set of features. Setup is simple enough, with the rear I/O clearly marked out. One quirk is the need to plug in both USB-C cables for full functionality across multiple channels, so that’s worth noting. Also worth highlighting is the ability to plug in a 3.5 mm headset, which is quite unique.
Otherwise, the Roland Bridge Cast is very similar to other livestreaming-oriented mixers out there, albeit with better-than-most build quality that makes me feel comfortable with its portability potential. It’s a nice compact size that makes it ideal for desk setups with limited space, or throwing in a backpack for an on-the-go stream solution.
The buttons and knobs feel great, too, which is an important factor when users might be operating the unit while keeping their eyes on a screen. My muscle memory developed quickly, and it was easy to pinpoint where I was on the unit without much effort.
Let’s get streaming
Within OBS, arguably the most popular streaming app, the Roland Bridge Cast offers a lot of flexibility. In my optimal setup, I had the Bridge Cast’s four separate channels recording my mic, Discord audio, music, and game all to separate tracks, which makes the video editing process a lot easier as you can manipulate or cut tracks on an individual basis.
It’s also possible to provide an audience with one set of audio while routing a different set of audio to your own headset. I find this most useful when streaming non-competitive titles where you just want to chill out. You can stream copyright-free music to your audience while listening to licensed music yourself, all without risking forced muting or a ban.
There are additional buttons and features that make the Roland Bridge Cast stand out from the competition. This removes the need to lean on software as much, though the app is perfectly fine and easy to navigate.
I’d put the Roland Bridge Cast between the GoXLR Mini and full-sized GoXLR as it boasts similar features to these two products, but sits between them in the number of buttons available to the user.
The aforementioned position of the Roland Bridge Cast between the GoXLR Mini and full-sized GoXLR makes even more sense when you look at the price. At $299.99, the Bridge Cast is one of the more premium-priced products on the market. However, much like the full-sized GoXLR, the comprehensive set of features may well justify that price for the right users.
Ultimately, I’ve been impressed by the capabilities of the Roland Bridge Cast and can see it satisfying professional or enthusiast streamers who choose to invest in it. I just think that a more attractive price would help to make the Bridge Cast stand out a lot more.