Shure MV51 – Condenser USB microphone review

Shure MV51 is a characteristic-wealthy USB mic with a very good low frequency response. It really works for all platforms, nonetheless solely iOS customers are given the choice to entry the mic’s superior settings, as this requires downloading Shure Motiv™ utility, which is just discovered within the Apple Retailer. Regardless of an array of options, Shure MV51 fails to fulfill the expectations of most customers. The supplied benefits are slim and so they come at a price! Regardless of how clear the low finish is, the higher midrange is clearly washed out, in order that’s the way it sounds. This in fact could be resolved with EQ, however for this worth it’s barely acceptable.

Sound & high quality

Shure MV51 makes use of a comparatively giant capsule, which measures 1-inch in diameter. By studio requirements, it’s not even thought-about an LDC; in comparison with different USB mics nonetheless, this capsule is big, and the dimensions distinction provides it some distinctive sound qualities. You will need to perceive that a larger capsule doesn’t essentially make it sound higher. But it’s actually harder to supply, so this explains the excessive value… What precisely are these distinctive qualities? For essentially the most half the variations are delicate; one vital distinction is about proximity impact, which makes a bigger capsule extra favorable for vocals.

Directional mics have an increase in low-frequency response when used near a sound supply. It’s known as the proximity impact. An SDC tends to roll off extra at low frequencies than an LDC. So the proximity impact emphasizes the mid-lows in an SDC, however emphasizes the deep lows in an LDC. Consequently, an up-shut SDC could have a “puffy” midbass increase – a coloration much less more likely to be heard with an LDC. As a result of its proximity impact tends to sound higher, an LDC is the preferred alternative for micing vocalists within the studio.

Shure MV51 does an important job when shut-miking vocals, so long as the expertise stays on axis. The low finish produced by this mic may be very clear and it extends deeper than that of competing fashions. This even permits us to mike bass cabs and double bass, although a mean shopper in all probability received’t make any use of it. And but there are commerce-offs for having a big capsule. Guess, what occurs if you find yourself farther aback and off axis? – The mic will begin to produce a variety of colour! So, it’s not as versatile as they are saying it’s. For shut miking it’s effective however if you wish to seize each a guitar and vocal let’s say – this won’t work.

Frequency response and noise

There may be yet one more commerce off to utilizing this microphone. Whereas the general frequency response seems to be balanced, the midrange shouldn’t be as steady as we wish it to be. There may be some noticeable shade (even on-axis) and for the worth, it might be higher. Bigger capsules do are typically much less flat, however nonetheless the midrange is the place one would anticipate the least colour. Particularly the higher midrange is washed out and missing. It nonetheless has sufficient presence, so the vocals regardless of getting softened will retain readability. Nonetheless, a voice actor might lose a little bit of intelligibility, and musical devices – some punch and assault.

As compared, a less expensive MV5 does have a greater midrange and fewer shade. The low-finish doesn’t go as deep however neither does it sound skinny or unnatural. To not point out there isn’t a want for a pop-filter. Alternatively, MV51 does require a pop filter – except you don’t thoughts freaking out your viewers with occasional popping. Regardless of having a bigger capsule, MV51 isn’t higher than MV5 by way of noise too. The preamp circles in client audio are anyway shyte so the capsule dimension doesn’t make a lot distinction. The mic is quiet in flat mode, however in case you apply an excessive amount of compression and acquire… you higher plug your ears…


mv51Shure MV51 has loads of options and settings, which might be additional expanded via the app. It gives a three.5mm headphone output for actual-time monitoring. Each the quantity and acquire will be adjusted by contact controls and the LED indicator will mirror the adjustments. When adjusting the acquire LED turns inexperienced, and, for monitor stage – orange. You possibly can change between the 2 by activating headphone selector button. On the left aspect, there’s a very useful mute button. Since it’s contact activated, it received’t make any clicking noise whereas switching. Few different mics provide first rate mute performance like this.

The center button acts because the mode selector. You possibly can change between 5 modes appropriate for various functions: speech, vocal, instrument, music and flat. These DSP’s embody numerous ranges of acquire, compression and EQ aside from the flat mode, which fits out with none processing. Motiv app has entry to the entire above settings and consists of some extra options, particularly compressor, limiter, EQ and wind discount. Wind discount is beneficial if in case you have followers within the room or in case you blow on it, too. The limiter and compressor are approach too primary… and the EQ solely has 5 bands and doesn’t do away with the colour.

Last remarks

Shure MV51 has an excellent construct high quality; it’s strong and weighty for the dimensions. Whereas MV5 was all-plastic, MV51 is all-metallic. However, MV51 can be bulkier and will hardly be known as moveable anymore. To not point out it’s twice costlier too, on the time of scripting this evaluation. There are nonetheless three causes to buy it although. 1) It really works very effectively for shut miking, particularly vocals, offered that you recognize the approach and are prepared to make use of a pop-filter. 2) Podcasting additionally works, it has all of the options like mute and so on. and the one con is a coloured midrange… 3) Excels in recording of bass and deep voice.

Nevertheless, in case you are on the lookout for all-round mic, and count on excessive worth for cash – it’s higher to look elsewhere. I consider having that many options is in a manner deceptive, as a result of one might imagine that Shure MV51, with all its completely different modes, ought to deal with something you throw at it… however this merely isn’t the case. As an illustration, there are way more versatile mics like Blue Yeti and Cyber Acoustics CVL-2004, which each present switchable polar patterns and are usually not restricted to shut miking. However, these particularly in search of a bigger diaphragm mic over USB will in all probability love this mannequin.



  • Loads of options
  • Switchable DSP modes
  • Mute button
  • Headphone monitoring
  • Very clear low finish


  • Coloured midrange
  • Works effectively just for shut-miking

Samson Meteorite USB review – cheap, small and hot!

Samson Meteorite is an affordable USB mic with a small footprint, appropriate with Mac and PC. It additionally works for IPad when mixed with a Lightning USB adaptor, which isn’t included by the way in which. Nonetheless, an obscenely quick and flimsy cable creates limitations, so it’s onerous to justify utilizing it for something apart from a MacBook or a laptop computer. Samson says the mic’s pickup sample is cardioid however that’s a lie. Meteorite has a large sub-cardioid and so it picks up a ton of background noise from the room, to not point out the mechanical vibrations. Aside from that, the sound high quality is definitely fairly respectable, contemplating the worth.

Sound high quality

Samson Meteorite has a comparatively vivid and crispy sound. Another mics on this value vary might sound muffled, as in the event that they have been wrapped in a blanket… however the Meteorite isn’t one in every of them. There’s a draw back to this: generally it will get a bit chirpy or sibilant although you get the readability. Alternatively, it’s not almost pretty much as good as Blue Yeti, as a result of the latter manages to supply nearly the identical quantity of readability with out truly including a lot harshness. The midrange is extra on the impartial facet and for probably the most half it’s uncolored. The mic does produce an intelligible voice, but the low finish is lacking badly.

meteoriteGenerally when utilizing the mic, chances are you’ll get the impression as if you’re too distant, as a result of it sounds reasonably skinny. At shut vary, it positively will get higher, however nonetheless it doesn’t sound significantly wealthy. The nice factor is that it by no means will get boomy, as a result of the proximity impact can also be comparatively weak. Meteorite can be utilized for videoconferencing (Skype), creating non-industrial movies or Vlogs (YouTube) and even gaming; nonetheless, I wouldn’t advocate it for musicians. With its nearly non-existent low finish, it’s simply not musical and I don’t see how this may be fastened apart from by getting a distinct mic.

What I discover annoying about this microphone is that it picks up all the pieces – contained in the room and from the road… for a USB mic, it’s too sizzling! Though the producer claims the mic has a cardioid sample, this assertion is deceptive, as a result of a cardioid would solely choose up the sounds in entrance of the mic. Meteorite picks up the sound from just about any route and even from behind though to a barely lesser diploma. Other than the broad pickup sample, it additionally appears to endure from an in depth proximity to the desk. Lastly, the mic is delicate to among the mechanical vibrations coming via the stand.

If you’re talking at an in depth vary at a average quantity, you received’t really hear the background. However as you get a bit additional away from it, the background noise begins to creep in. And when you aren’t talking, then all you’ll hear is plenty of background. Sustaining the shut vary could possibly be a repair, however getting shut isn’t simple. The stand is simply too low and you would need to decrease your head all the best way all the way down to the desk. This can be a very awkward place, particularly if you’re attempting to report a video… One beauty of this mic: it doesn’t clip from loud sounds and may deal with quantity of sound strain!

Construct high quality

The construct high quality is about common. Samson Meteorite might look cool, but it surely most likely gained’t final you for years. One of many causes is a flimsy, non-removable cable. As quickly because it breaks, you’ll have to throw it away altogether. And contemplating the size of the cable, which is just 2 ft… I don’t actually know how you can react to this. Ought to I take it as a joke? As a result of I want no less than 6 ft of attain to plug it into my pc. Perhaps, the customers of cell gadgets wouldn’t thoughts. However I believe they might simply give you a distinct answer to fulfill either side, or a minimum of supply a removable cable with a high quality plug.


  • Low cost
  • Crispy sound
  • No clipping


  • The wire…
  • Plenty of background noise
  • Very skinny low finish
  • A bit sibilant

Shure MV5 Review – Portable USB microphone

This device reminds us of legendary ‘Elvis Microphone’ except it is digital… and, it is packed with new features! Shure MV5 is a solid USB mic that boasts very decent quality at reasonable price (probably the best in up to $100 category). It is portable and highly compatible with Windows, Mac, iPad, iOS, iPhone and Android. Although it may lack the clarity of more expensive mics, the difference is not that huge. On a positive note, it delivers good noise levels and produces no audible hiss. The unique feature of MV5 is that it has 3 DSP presets to enhance the sound, switchable on the fly.

Sound quality

Shure MV5 is surely capable of producing quality sound. It boasts to have good dynamic range and it can easily handle high SPL without clipping, at the same time producing low amounts of noise. The hiss you will often hear on cheap or in-built mics is nowhere to be found. Despite the small size, MV5 offers quite sophisticated electronics on board that are responsible for signal processing. The way it is processed can be adjusted through 3 different DSP presets as well as through a downloadable app, which is nevertheless optional. I will try to describe in detail what it does and why it is important.

Back in time USB mics didn’t have any signal processing and whatever they captured would be immediately sent to PC only converted to digital format. This was producing horrible results and users were eventually figuring out that getting an XLR mic with a decent preamp (where they could at least set up some compression) would be a much more viable solution. Today things are starting to change. With those DSP presets of MV5, not only do you get the benefits of well set up EQ and compression – there is an actual de-esser for vocals!

shure-mv5Aside from a vocal mode, the other options are ‘acoustic’ and ‘flat’. The acoustic preset offers lower ratio compression plus a touch of EQ that seems to add some brightness and reduce the mud. I have not tested this much but it did work beautifully for a 6-string acoustic guitar. For those who want raw or unprocessed output there is a ‘flat’ preset. It is hardly useful by itself but it gives you an idea for comparison. I like very much how they implemented those modes and they do bring a noticeable improvement but this still does not compensate the lack of clarity in the high-end.

Design and accessories

Shure MV5 has a ball-like design, about 2.6 inches in diameter, weighting only 90 gram. Both the mic’s body and grilles are made of plastic, which look stylish but just don’t feel substantial nor very durable. The stand is actually made of duralumin and it does a good job of suspending the mic. By adjusting the nut, it is also possible to tilt the mic upwards or downwards. MV5 comes equipped with USB and Lightning Cable, both 1-meter long. Last but not least is the User Guide – it is well written and in fact gives you some useful instructions for achieving a better sound.

At the back panel, you will find micro USB output and 3.5mm port for realtime monitoring. Also a knob allows you to control the headphone volume but it does not have gain control. The gain can be adjusted through the mic settings or a downloadable app. Good news; you don’t actually have to adjust it as it works well by default; the built-in compressor helps to balance the output and prevents clipping. Finally, there are two more buttons for switching the DSP profiles and muting the mic. When activated you will see the corresponding LED indicators at the top.

Three major advantages

1. MV5 is supported by virtually any device, whereas few mics will work on Mac, Windows, iOS and Android at the same time. Considering its portability you can take it anywhere with you and make some quality audio on the go. 2. It is probably the best choice if you want to get maximum of your mic but not willing to spend over one hundred bucks. Keep in mind though; it’s not on a par with more expensive Rode NT-USB or Apogee 96k. 3. The internal signal processing makes it sound good right out of the box with little to no adjustments. If all you want is the job done fast and easy, then look no further.


  • Great quality for the price
  • Very useful DSP presets
  • Decent noise levels
  • Good sound out of the box
  • Provides realtime monitoring
  • High compatibility
  • Helpful user guide


  • Plastic body does not feel very durable
  • Lacks some clarity compared to more expensive mics

Apogee MiC 96k for Mac, iPad & iPhone review

Apogee MiC 96k behind the simple look offers a polished performance alongside with native Apple compatibility. This device brings a smooth experience for users of iPhone, iPad, Mac and new iPod. However, Microsoft Windows and likely other operating systems are not supported. As the name suggests the mic supports up to 96k sampling rate via 24 bit DAC. Paired with Core Audio interface it also results in a very low latency and can give demanding users a tremendous advantage. If there were such a thing as “professional” USB mic, Apogee MiC 96k would certainly fit this category.

Sound and quality

Apogee 96k is a very clear sounding mic. It has an extended response and it’s flat, which means it sounds as is. Flat mics are preferred for recording because of tonal accuracy that also gives more room for post processing. Nevertheless, MiC 96k has one thing that others don’t – brilliant highs that will blow you away, especially if you have some decent monitors handy. Apogee uses some quality mid-sized cardioid capsule and it’s a bit easier to use than a regular LDC (large diaphragm condenser) due to fewer off-axis coloration. It has a good balance of proximity and I’ve yet to hear it “puffy” when up-close.

USB interface

Successful sound production in studio relies not only on the mic itself but also on other equipment. Even if you can afford some professional stuff, it takes time to learn all the nuances and if you take this route, funnily enough it will take you …more investments. Both in terms of time and in terms of money – otherwise, it is easy to end up committing those seemingly small mistakes, which nevertheless diminish your efforts. However, this is not the case with USB mics, which come with in-built preamps and DACs. You can buy either a nicely made or a badly made unit but unlike XLR setups, it’s hard to mess up.

apogeeCheaper mics usually bundle inferior capsules with noisy preamps and sluggish interface. As a result, they sound bad, noisy, delayed and unnatural. On the other hand, a well-integrated unit from Apogee can give you a near studio experience with literally zero technical knowledge… not to mention its portability. Apogee MiC 96k is of course more expensive but the quality is above par. One of the most exciting things about this mic is the interface itself. In addition to its superior sampling rate, the latency is very low and negligible. Another great news, it works even without installing any drivers.

The credits for this interface go to Apple. It’s been invented quite a while ago and called Core Audio. Now it is natively supported by each and every Apple device. Its plug and play capability, superior bandwidth and minimal latency make Apple an indisputable favorite when it comes to USB Audio. I’m not the fan of Apple but here Windows’ framework is clearly at loss. Core Audio simply tramples on Windows drives and even smashes ASIO. Note that USB mics for Windows also produce huge monitoring delays and it’s one of the reasons why so many of them require additional monitoring outputs.


Although initially it seemed somewhat overpriced, when put to test, my other USB mics suddenly got outshadowed by its beauty. As it turns out, it doesn’t need many features to sound great. I still consider it expensive but at least you get what you pay for. Comparing to Rode NT USB, which has no disadvantages and lower price, Apogee sounds more natural and transparent. Apparently, higher bitrate is the reason. Another mic, Yeti USB Pro also features a high bitrate and cost around the same. However, it is far from Apogee and receives way too much negative feedback from the users.

Build, accessories

Apogee MiC 96k is actually very compact and relatively lightweight, which once again proves to be an excellent portable solution. Duralumin body feels sturdy enough so you don’t have to worry about the handling. This mic comes with two cables: USB for Mac and Lightning cable for IOS devices. Both are 1 meter long and some may consider it short. You will also find a small but quality tripod as a part of the package. There is yet another interesting feature that helps monitoring the input levels. When the input is detected, LED changes color to green. In case of overload it will turn red, suggesting you should lower your gain.


  • Superior quality
  • Very clear sound
  • Low latency
  • Plug and play
  • Portable


  • Not really

Rode NT-USB: USB Recording Microphone Review

Rode NT-USB is one of the best USB mics that beats anything in the under $200 range. It brings exceptional for USB quality without the need for special drivers or any additional 3rd party equipment. Neither is it overly expensive as it offers a solid and durable build, not skimping on quality components. The design is well thought out and provides for a handy headphone monitor and a pair of solid controls. It also comes with a well-fitted pop shield and a decent mount, for no additional cost! While there are cheaper mics for sure, Rode NT-USB, in the long run, will prove to be an infinitely better investment.

Sound & quality

Rode NT-USB delivers quite a superb sound, thanks to a quality cardioid capsule set in a standard studio fashion, only except the mic provides USB interface. It sounds very natural, clear and transparent, and does not suffer from those common effects such as popping and sibilance. The proximity effect is negligible, and it works from a number of angles – so forget about ‘rain dancing’ with positioning. One thing we’ve noticed is that Rode NT-USB is also less susceptible to vibration noise, even with the stock tripod. For best results, you may consider getting an additional suspension kit and shock mount, but I’ll repeat those are highly optional since that tripod thing works far better than expected.

The capsule has an extended frequency response that works well above 10 kHz so it’s very crispy. Moreover, the frontal side is sensitive enough to capture sounds even at the threshold of hearing. A softest whisper comes out very clean, but so does the loud singing! Beautiful dynamic range… Perfect for any vocals, and really gives a professional sound to your recordings. And, because it has a balanced response, it just works well out of the box without needing any post-EQ. Will the quality blow you away? Absolutely, especially for such a price – this mic is like godsent!

Design and features

The mic has a thoughtful design and it appears that Rode has learned a lot from the mistakes of its competitors. For example, a famous Blue Yeti – one of the first USB mics of this class, produced more than 15 years ago and still available today, sounded good for an average consumer who cared more about skype, video games and could have occasionally done some voiceover or podcasting work without really looking into and comparing it to something more advanced. However, the Yeti utilized some rather cheap internal components, which also applied to capsules themselves.

Rode NT-USB vs Blue Yeti


Blue Yeti actually had 3 capsules on board, which posed to bring some magical multifunctionality, namely as of various picking patterns. However, for me that experiment looks more like a failure. Needless to say that if a mic used 3 capsules, that would either mean a significant cost increase or use of cheaper components with inferior performance. Among those various picking patterns, I would unlikely use anything other than cardioid, because omni picks up way too much environment noise and would only be good in sterile studio environment. However, any decent studio is very likely to be equipped with Neumanns, and it would be very funny if someone brought there Blue Yeti.

The stereo mode is a funny feature of course but those noisy capsules make it of little use in any professional application such as album recording etc. Perhaps it could have some potential use for podcasting but I would stick with some decent quality conventional, mono capsule any time. Nonetheless, those far from perfect capsules aren’t the end of a story. Flimsy control buttons on Blue Yeti have caused a lot of replacements. The stand, although solid passed too many vibrations… and the mic’s non-standard size also made it unusable with most of common shock mounts available.

NT-USB Features

Now, Rode NT-USB has none of those problems. For a roughly same price, it offers a significantly better capsule, solid controls and standard thread with a decent tripod stand that is firm yet allows fewer vibrations. Moreover, you get that nice addition of a pop-shield, fitted specifically for the mic.

Rode NT-USB includes all the necessary features for a painless recording. It does not require any special drivers and works well as a plug and play device. It has two controls on the right side that are meant for monitor volume and the mic’s gain. Underneath, there is a standard 3.5 mm jack for headphones. The monitor is quite loud especially on the highest setting, so you’ll have no problem hearing yourself during the recording. Unlike a number of other USB mics, this one is also quite low on self-noise so you won’t hear that common yet annoying hiss as you hit replay.


Overall, this mic simply rocks… it is relatively cheap but it beats the crap out of the competitors’ models any time. Rode NT-USB is unarguably the best microphone of choice for today. Once you’ll have it side by side with other computer mic, you will realize this. A model with no disadvantages, easy to use and most importantly, high quality sound… it’s impossible not to grab.

Enough said.


  • Excellent sound quality
  • Extended response, crispiness
  • Low noise
  • Thoughtful design
  • Free pop-shield, decent stand


  • None!

Sennheiser MKE 600: The Best Short Shotgun Review

Sennheiser MKE 600 is a incredible high quality, 10” brief-vary shotgun. Though thought-about an entry mannequin, which is out there at moderately modest worth, it has nearly skilled efficiency! Furthermore, I’d say this mic might be the perfect uncooked performer in its vary. This isn’t solely concerning the high quality but in addition concerning the design. It might seem modest, nevertheless it’s definitely extra handy than each AT897 and Rode NTG2. It additionally performs nice in each shut and open areas with out counting on submit EQ. It appears, Sennheiser took better of each mics for his or her MKE 600, after which improved it even additional.

Sound & high quality

Frequency sample of MKE 600 is nothing in need of epic and I really like that curve above some other shotgun. It’s fairly flat and whereas peaking within the higher vary with a slight 2-three dB increase it provides nearly sufficient presence to not sound “uninteresting”. Nevertheless, in contrast to with harsher AT897 this transition could be very clean, pure and unobtrusive. The decrease finish initially rolls off at one hundred Hz, whereas the “low reduce” change units it at 200 Hz. With this transfer, Sennheiser outsmarts each AT897 and NTG-2 whose “low minimize” switches are set at one hundred Hz and may’t roll off any additional. The factor is, something under one hundred Hz is hardly usable anyway because it’s principally mud and noise, however, it doesn’t cease there and typically you might need to minimize it additional. Sennheiser MKE 600 provides you that chance.mke600 mke600ws 200 Hz is the vary that always contributes to some annoying boominess, additionally amplifying wind and equipment noise – so this could be a nice repair particularly for run and gun /ENG conditions.

I want to level out that this can be a very impartial mic and it has a broad and crispy sound. It has leaning-in the direction of-skilled noise ranges (15 dB-A weighted) and it’s fairly good at capturing low quantity sounds. In contrast to NTG-2, the quantity of achieve is extra strong and doesn’t require a lot amplification. A stronger sign makes it a bit extra handy to make use of with digital recorders, e.g. Zoom H4n – additionally, the mic can deal with comparatively excessive sound strain. Then once more, that word of unobtrusive presence and a versatile roll off sort of make it sound even higher. Actually deep down, there’s simply no means you gained’t like it!

Construct & package deal

Sennheiser MKE 600 is sort of compact and light-weight, so except for booming it goes nicely even with DSLR cameras. A shock mount that goes with the package deal (MZS 600) additionally fits for a simple on-digital camera software. It’s in fact solely primary however no less than it doesn’t really feel flimsy. For booming you will want to purchase some spider shock mount; luckily they’re fairly low cost. The usual windscreen foam is considerably sucky, BUT you’re given the choice so as to add a couple of bucks and get an superior bushy windshield (MZH 600). This can be a very good transfer from Sennheiser! In contrast to Rode who will shove you a ineffective foam you’ll by no means use anyway, after which have you ever spend one other $60 for his or her WS6 or an equal windsock.

Additionally in contrast to NTG-2 and AT897, this shotgun has some nicely-designed controls. You gained’t want any pins as you’ll be able to simply change it together with your fingernails. It has an important on/off change, which helps to converse whereas on battery whereas NTG-2 and AT897 don’t. As an alternative, they give you to unplug the cables, unscrew the duvet, take away the battery after which, with a purpose to document once more you’ll need to put all of it again. All of the little annoyances that we’ve had with NTG-2 and AT897 (each of sound and design nature) are merely not there in MKE 600.

Who ought to use it?

This mic is such a terrific deal that each videographer ought to have it of their arsenal. Chances are you’ll ultimately need to add some hypercardioids and a medium shotgun too, so that you may be technically ready for every part. However, relating to brief shotguns Sennheiser MKE 600 is the deal. In fact, it’s costlier than different entry-degree fashions, however you get the efficiency. Higher are solely skilled shotguns, however they’ll value you minimal three occasions as a lot, and would require a superb supply of phantom energy.


  • Implausible sound high quality
  • Clear, pure tone, low noise
  • Properly-thought-out design with accessible controls
  • Good for any state of affairs
  • Higher windscreen (elective)


  • No cons

Audio-Technica AT897 Short Shotgun Review

Audio-Technica AT897 is one other eleven” brief shotgun that’s similar to NTG-2. Each mics have similar measurement and development and each value roughly the identical cash. The standard could be very comparable too however they’ve barely totally different sound or name it “tone”. Though this isn’t apparent from the frequency sample, NTG-2 tends so as to add some mud on low finish, particularly when miked indoors. Then again, AT897 sounds brighter however tends to get extra brittle and fatiguing when miked in area.

Sound & high quality

This mic just isn’t good however it sounds superb for the worth! Regardless that that is solely an entry mannequin, it may possibly nonetheless be utilized in manufacturing with out sacrificing the standard. The truth is, Audio-Technica AT897 has been a go-to mannequin for a lot of videographers for over a decade, and as much as day, issues didn’t change a lot – the good mic continues to be an awesome mic. In sound recording and particularly videography, the ultimate consequence will anyway rely extra on the talent and expertise of operator moderately than the worth of your gear.

The frequency sample of AT897 isn’t as flat as of NTG-2 although it’s actually shut. When it comes to tonality, NTG-2 is barely extra correct, nevertheless each mics sound equally wealthy and detailed and in lots of conditions, it is going to be arduous to inform one from one other. AT897 is much less susceptible to noise; however, NTG-2 presents a barely higher sensitivity. Technically, they’re each nice however neither is greatest. As they’re additionally each business commonplace shotguns, loads of videographers have had them each however their opinions are all the time clashing on this topic.

In case you are struggling together with your selection between NTG-2 and AT897, I might merely recommend sticking with producer that you simply belief most. In case you are a fan of RØDE – go together with NTG-2. Should you love Audio Technica – AT897 will in all probability make extra sense. Both approach, the variations among the many two are solely slight and with a little bit of EQ and positioning there will probably be none. A mean shopper in all probability gained’t even discover the distinction when you examine it with some knowingly higher and costlier models.

Design and construct

at897As been famous earlier, the design is nearly equivalent to that of NTG-2. The mic has a low frequency roll off change positioned a pair millimeters under the floor, so it requires one thing like a hairpin with a purpose to entry. The on/off change is absent as properly so in an effort to converse the battery, you’ll have to unscrew and unplug it. In terms of sturdiness, Audio-Technica AT897 is sort of sturdy and it isn’t straightforward to interrupt even when by chance dropped. The producer additionally supplies a 5 yr restricted guarantee.

The windscreen included within the package deal has a really low cost look and it hardly does its job. Shotguns are very delicate to all types of dealing with, vibration and wind noises and that piece of froth is just not sufficient, until for a totally calm climate. When you movie stay occasions, you’ll put your recordings in danger with out having an honest windscreen. Since AT897 has the identical dimensions, you possibly can as soon as once more use the RØDE WS6 windsock, it’s nice and will match it completely.

Who ought to use it

Audio-Technica AT897 is right for newbie videographers who want an reasonably priced however high quality directional microphone. As a brief shotgun it’s comparatively straightforward to make use of and it’s good for a lot of events – corresponding to booming, shut miking and behind the digital camera. If engaged on smaller tasks, you might not even have to improve so long as it’s working. Earlier than contemplating an improve to knowledgeable mannequin, I might advise to grasp your method and experiment with digital recorders, corresponding to Zoom H4n or Tascam DR-40.

In case you nonetheless consider you require extra high quality, solely then would I recommend investing in skilled gear. It’s because knowledgeable brief shotgun on common prices round $1,000 nevertheless it doesn’t supply any substantial distinction particularly if used incorrectly. It’ll definitely have higher noise parameters, costlier elements with a prime-notch capsule – however nonetheless primarily the identical mic. Don’t overthink it: Audio-Technica AT897 will probably be a superb, high quality selection as a starter and a price range saver for you.


  • Correct, wealthy sound
  • Wonderful worth / efficiency
  • Comparatively low noise
  • High quality construct


  • Windscreen is nugatory
  • Roll off change isn’t simply accessible
Greatest Worth on Audio-Technica AT897
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Neumann TLM-103 Cardioid Microphone Review

Neumann can be undoubtedly named as one of the most recognizable microphone brands, especially in professional circles and this is far from being an accident. The company has a long history – it survived the World War II to bring forth the first-ever commercial condenser mic and eventually set quality standards for the whole industry. Neumann mics remain to be the top-notch up to day, but what’s even more important is that they have their own distinctive and inimitable sound, produced by nothing else. Such is the Neumann TLM-103, which we’re going to review in this article.

Probably the first thing you should know about TLM-103 is that it belongs to the high-end range of condenser microphones, hence it will never be affordable for everyone. On the other hand, when it comes to professional recording all the equipment suddenly triples and quadruples in price, and microphones are not an exception. Thus a thousand-dollar Neumann mic may easily become another necessity tool rather than being something whimsy. Moreover, this model also offers a probably best pound for pound price for its class. But as always, it all depends on your needs and ears.

The sound and quality

Talking of ears, TLM-103 uses a superb quality capsule derived from a more expensive Neumann model. It has a large diaphragm, which measures 26 mm in diameter, and it is so sensitive that it captures even the faintest sounds you’d never notice otherwise. Note, in such situation, good acoustics is a must. Sometimes it may require an upgrade, so it’s better to be prepared. However, you should never take it as a negative aspect of the mic. In fact, the sound characteristics are so good and clear, it can be compared to an X-Ray that flashes through your entire equipment, revealing its weakness.

tlm103TLM-103 sound is exceptional: it offers a remarkable detail clarity along with excellent dynamics. The sounds recorded with this mic sound vivid and lively. Try comparing it with a hundred dollar range mic in a good studio environment and the cheaper device will suddenly sound dull and lifeless. This Neumann mic also captures even slightest inflections that are otherwise imperceptible with low-priced mics. Beware that any speech defects may also get more audible. In such cases, it may take some time to get used to. However, when you perfect your techniques it will indeed sound only better.

Frequency response is another great asset of Neumann TLM-103. Although it does produce a slight accentuation when it comes to higher range pitches, this isn’t very crucial for most of the uses. For the rest of the range though, it gets a very stable curve with a perfect spectrum. If you compare the frequency responses for the one hundred dollar range mics, you will often see that the curves are highly inconsistent. Therefore, some manufacturers don’t even bother including that info on their websites. No wonder such microphones sound like crap.

Among other advantages, the large diaphragm of TLM-103 helps to achieve an excellent signal-to-noise ratio. However, just like all large diaphragm mics, this one requires some extra care about the placement. Experimenting with the best position will be a sane idea, as it can both improve and worsen the overall quality dramatically. Proximity effect would be one of the factors in the equation. Ideally, you would need to keep some distance from the mic, and yet even if you get too close you’re still very unlikely to sound distorted or overblown. Overall, it’s pretty much balanced.


Neumann TLM-103 will be a great addition for anyone striving to achieve a clean professional sound and this model is very hard to dislike. It may take some time to adjust but its numerous benefits will truly worth it. The microphone has its own sound, which is full of life but also crisp and well defined. It can improve and enhance your voice, and it’s certainly musical. High sensitivity, good frequency response and low noise levels also earn it a lot of credit. If you have the budget, it will totally worth the purchase! The only thing to remember: don’t forget about the necessary equipment and accessories.