An Simple and Inexpensive Mic with USB-C and XLR – Evaluation Geek

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Score:
8/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Sizzling Rubbish
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Rubbish
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Professionals, Tons Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Sufficient to Purchase On Sale
  • 7 – Nice, However Not Finest-In-Class
  • 8 – Implausible, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Cash
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Worth: 200

The Samson Q9U broadcast mic
Andrew Heinzman

Researching and investing in audio merchandise is without doubt one of the biggest hurdles for newbie podcasters and streamers. However Samson is providing an inexpensive, low-effort entry level to the world of high-quality audio with its $200 Q9U broadcast mic. With glorious noise rejection and choices for USB-C or XLR connections, the Q9U is without doubt one of the finest entry-level mics accessible at present.

This is What We Like

  • Nice sound high quality
  • Would not decide up a lot background noise
  • USB-C and XLR connectivity
  • Constructed-in headphone jack for audio monitoring

And What We Do not

  • Mute button feels low cost, onerous to inform when it is lively
  • The interior pneumatic shock mount does not do its job
  • Would not include software program to regulate the mic
  • Would not include a desktop mic stand or mic bag

Simply to be clear, the Samson Q9U isn’t the most affordable microphone of its variety. However it’s a greater entry-level choice than many different mics due to its large characteristic set and noise rejection. The Q9U sounds good in an untreated room, saving you the difficulty of shopping for acoustic panels, and its elective XLR connection ensures you could proceed utilizing the Q9U for those who ever purchase an audio interface.

Desk of Contents

A Broadcast Mic That Lets You Hit the Floor Working

The Q9U with its removable windscreen.
Andrew Heinzman

Discovering a microphone in your podcast or livestream is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Not solely do it is advisable to discover a mic that sounds good, however you want one which works along with your recording or streaming setup with out the assistance of further, costly merchandise, like audio interfaces and acoustic panels.

Fortunately, Samson’s Q9U mic covers all of the bases. It has a ton of onboard options to get you up and working with out a lot trouble, its sound quality rocks, it really works over USB-C and XLR, and since it’s a dynamic microphone, it doesn’t decide up a lot background noise in untreated rooms.

Over a USB connection, the Q9U is completely plug-and-play. It doesn’t require any further drivers or software program, which is usually a very good factor, although I want Samson no less than provided some form of software program to regulate the mic and apply world EQ (so that you don’t need to arrange EQ in every of your recording or broadcasting apps). However hey, you aren’t caught utilizing USB! The Samson Q9U’s XLR jack offers a variety of room for progress, saving you the difficulty of shopping for a brand new mic for those who resolve to get an audio interface.

Samson crammed the bottom of this mic with all types of switches and ports, together with a {hardware} mute swap, a mid-boost setting, a low-cut setting, and a headphone jack for dwell audio monitoring. For individuals who wish to hear themselves and their pc’s audio output in real-time with out establishing difficult software program, the headphone jack is a really good addition to this mic.

The Q9U's EQ switches, headphone input, and audio outputs.
Andrew Heinzman

Talking of audio monitoring, you’ll be shocked the primary time you hear your self speaking by means of the Q9U, as a result of it’s excellent at ignoring background noise. There isn’t any loopy software program at play right here, it’s simply that the Q9U is a dynamic mic, a sort of microphone that’s typically higher suited to untreated or noisy environments than condenser mics just like the Blue Yeti or Audio-Technica AT2020.

With its cardioid (or heart-shaped) polar sample, the Q9U solely picks up noise instantly in entrance of its capsule. If high-quality audio is your purpose however you’re in a loud or untreated room, then a dynamic mic just like the Q9U is likely to be a greater choice for you than a condenser mic. That’s to not say that everybody ought to use a dynamic mic—condensers just like the Blue Yeti can sit at a extra comfy distance than the Q9U and nonetheless decide up consistent-sounding audio, so they could be a greater choice for distant staff or livestreamers who don’t need a mic hovering in entrance of their face on a regular basis.

The Q9U additionally comes with some equipment to assist seal the deal. There are the USB-A and USB-C cables, after all, however there’s additionally a windscreen. The Q9U already has an inside display to maintain your plosives from sounding explosive, however the exterior display may also help for those who’re talking loud, singing, or simply love the Peter Piper tongue tornado. Sadly, this mic doesn’t include a desktop stand, so that you’ll need to buy one separately (or go for a larger mic stand).

Spectacular Sound High quality for the Worth

The Q9U with its removable windscreen.
Andrew Heinzman

With all of the broadcast-ready options that Samson crammed into the inexpensive Q9U, I’m shocked that it sounds so good. Recordings on the microphone sound clear and pure, just like the outcomes that you just get with an industry-standard Shure S7b mic. Completely different voices can convey out completely different qualities in a microphone, however as a result of the Q9U has such a impartial sound, it ought to work properly for most individuals.

As for the mic’s built-in mid-boost and low-cut settings—they’re dramatic. I’m probably not a fan of how both of them sounds, however they make my voice sound very clear in video calls, and hey, they could sound higher in your voice than they do mine. Samson says that the low-cut setting cuts frequencies by 3dB at 200Hz. The corporate doesn’t state how the mid-boost works, however after enjoying with the mic for some time, I’d guess that it applies a 3dB enhance round 2,000 to 4,000Hz.

With its stellar sound high quality, the Q9U’s noise rejection is simply icing on the cake. That is an inexpensive, great-sounding mic that may cover a lot of the undesirable noise in your untreated room. Throwing up some acoustic panels to cut back extra noise will make it sound even higher, however you most likely received’t really feel rushed to take action merely due to how properly the mic does its job.

My solely main criticism associated to sound high quality is that the Q9U’s inside shock mount sucks. Should you bump or faucet in your mic stand, listeners will hear the bumping or tapping in your recording or broadcast. The issue is made worse for those who’re utilizing a desktop mic stand, which is able to ship any noise out of your desk (tapping, slapping, gamer tantrums) straight into the microphone for everybody to listen to. Different podcast microphones round this value, just like the Rode PodMic and Shure MV7, have significantly better inside shock mounts than the Q9U.

Strong Construct High quality, Minus Some Annoying Quirks

The Q9U on a white background.
Andrew Heinzman

I’m at all times impressed by the standard of Samson’s mics, and the brand new Q9U isn’t an exception. It’s heavy, it feels stable, it seems to be costly, and contemplating the worth, it’s impressively well-made. I particularly just like the Q9U’s adjustable yoke and built-in fastener, which make the setup course of straightforward on any mic stand.

However the construct high quality ain’t good, and a few components of the Q9U really feel lazy. The mute button is a obtrusive drawback for me—I don’t thoughts that it feels low cost, nevertheless it’s onerous to inform whether or not the mute is enabled or disabled (except you’re monitoring your audio). Sure, the button is spring-loaded and stands out a bit when mute is disabled, however not sufficient to inform the distinction at a look. Samson may have solved this drawback by portray a crimson line across the mute button’s shaft, which might make it simpler to see which place the button is in. Or, you recognize, simply slap an LED indicator on the factor.

The Q9U lookin' sexy.
Andrew Heinzman

There’s additionally the Q9U’s inside pneumatic shock mount, which doesn’t work all that properly. As I discussed earlier than, any bump or faucet in your mic stand (or desk, in the event that they’re hooked up) will discover its strategy to your recording or livestream. I don’t suppose that this needs to be a deal-breaker for the common individual (except you’re internet hosting a really energetic livestream), nevertheless it’s a sucky drawback that you just received’t discover in well-liked entry-level broadcast mics. Not less than to not this extent.

And whereas it could sound a bit nitpicky, I don’t like that Samson ships the Q9U in an unpadded field, which looks as if a simple strategy to harm a mic. I additionally suppose that, contemplating this mic’s target market of novices, amateurs, and first-time consumers, it ought to include an affordable desktop stand and a mic bag (no less than to retailer the USB cables and windscreen).

Conclusion: An Inexpensive All-In-One Broadcasting Mic

Whereas it isn’t good, the Samson Q9U is a versatile, inexpensive, and great-sounding microphone for at-home recording and streaming. Its elective XLR enter offers a variety of room for progress, and its glorious noise rejection ought to present clear sound in untreated or noisy rooms.

The Samson Q9U isn’t the one dynamic broadcasting mic on this value vary, however its varied inputs and settings make it a way more versatile choice than the Rode PodMic, and at $200, it prices lower than the similarly-spec’d Shure MV7. Nonetheless, I counsel that you just look different broadcast mics earlier than pulling the set off on the Q9U. You would possibly discover another USB mic that higher fits your wants, or for those who plan to purchase a variety of mics sooner or later, you would possibly skip USB mics in favor of cheaper, XLR-only mics.

Right here’s What We Like

  • Nice sound high quality
  • Would not decide up a lot background noise
  • USB-C and XLR connectivity
  • Constructed-in headphone jack for audio monitoring

And What We Do not

  • Mute button feels low cost, onerous to inform when it is lively
  • The interior pneumatic shock mount does not do its job
  • Would not include software program to regulate the mic
  • Would not include a desktop mic stand or mic bag





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