Rode NT1-A Anniversary Condenser Mic Review / Test

Today, we are looking at another high quality microphone from Rode, which is labeled The World's Quietest Studio Microphone; The Rode NT1-A.

This is an XLR condenser microphone, which means you will need to connect this to an audio interface that offers +48v of phantom power. For this review, I have connected the mic to my computer using the Focusrite Scarlett Solo, with the +48v phantom power turned on with my gain set around ~55%. In post, I did boost the signal +6dB as well, but no actual

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $230 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Pouch / Dust Cover
  3. Shock Mount
  4. Pop Filter
  5. XLR to XLR cable
  6. Documentation
  7. 10-Year Warranty

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: -31.9dB
  4. Max SPL: 137dB
  5. Impedance: 100-Ohms
  6. Phantom Power: 24v - 48v

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone is excellent. We have a full metal construction with a metal grill. Unlike a stage ready dynamic mic, this mic is delicate, so I absolutely recommend using care while handling this. The pouch does not offer any padding, but it can be used as a dust cover while the mic is mounted on your stand. The shock mount is all metal and feels very well built while performing it's job admirably. The pop filter is attached to the shock mount and did an excellent job at eliminating plosives during the test. 

The frequency response of this mic is 20Hz - 20kHz. On the electric guitar, it sounded full and crisp. During the electric guitar test, the palm muting had plenty of punchy low end without sounding muddy, and sharp high end that was not overwhelming. While testing the acoustic, we hear a similar sound; full low-mids, and crisp highs. On the vocals, the mic seemed to focus on the mids and highs without too powerful of a low end. As with every mic, this is based off a single microphone placement, and as you know, playing around with the mic placement is essential when getting the correct tones for your recording.

The cardioid polar pattern offers just the right amount of background noise rejection while maintaining the ability for your room to color the recording. For gamers and podcasters, this may not be ideal because you want as little background noise as possible, but for professional recordings made in a nice room, this will allow your recordings to sound unique to your studio.

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Great Natural Sound
  • Low Signal to Noise Ratio
  • Excellent Shock Mount & Pop Filter
  • 10 YEAR WARRANTY!!!

Cons

  • Delicate

Conclusion

As I said with the Rode NT1 review, I love this microphone. I think it sounds excellent, and I will absolutely add this to the mics I rotate for music recording and podcasting. If you like the tone of this microphone, and are looking for very low line noise, I absolutely recommend this mic! Keep in mind it does have a fairly wide polar pattern, which will pick up a bit of background noise, so if you're concerned with that, you may want to look into some dynamic microphones.

I also don't think that this is the right mic for people who are just starting on youtube or podcasting. I think that when starting out, you can get by with a much cheaper microphone. Then down the line if you want to improve the audio quality and you are well researched on microphones, then you should consider this microphone.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the Rode NT1-A
US: http://amzn.to/2iFdsK5
UK: http://amzn.to/2jhStfq

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett Solo
US: http://amzn.to/2jpDz96
UK: http://amzn.to/2iA4ZER

BSP-051: How I'll Get 100,000 Subscribers

On episode 50 of the BSP, I talk about my strategy to reach my goal to grow my youtube channel from 20,000 to 100,000 subscribers in one year. I also talk about improvements I have made to my studio to help with video quality.

As far as news, I talk about X-Files Season 11, Facebook Live Streaming, YouTube Live Streaming, Facebook Advertisements, and Twitter Advertisements. I also cover how your web browser could be leaking your login information, how the FBI paid Best Buy employees for providing information regarding child pornography, and finally how President Obama passed legislation that allows the NSA to share raw surveillance data with all 16 U.S. Intelligence Agencies.

Lastly, I share my thoughts on Mike Birbiglia and his new film Don’t Think twice.

00:00 - Intro
01:08 - Throwback Theme Song
02:08 - Blackout Curtains in the Studio
04:32 - How I Will Get 100,000 YouTube Subscribers
06:55 - X-Files Season 11!!!
08:29 - Live Streaming from Facebook
10:21 - Monetizing YouTube Live Streaming
11:47 - Facebook Video Advertisements
12:45 - Twitter Video Advertisements
13:36 - Your Browser is Leaking Your Logins
15:38 - FBI Paid Geek Squad for Information
18:43 - NSA Can Share Surveillance Data with Other Intelligence Agencies
23:32 - Don’t Think Twice
25:19 - Outro

The Bandrew Says Podcast is available on:
►iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bandrew-says-podcast-audio/id1046423132?mt=2
►Google Play Music: https://play.google.com/music/m/Ieua25h7tadlb2ti4p5nclqhjuu?t=The_Bandrew_Says_Podcast_Audio_Video__Tech
►RSS Feed: http://bandrewsays.libsyn.com

Follow us on:
► Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bandrewsayspodcast
► Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bandrewsays
► Website: http://www.geeksrising.com

Rode Reporter Omnidirectional Dynamic Mic Review / Test

Today I'm reviewing something a little different than any mic I've tested in the past; the Rode Reporter.

This is a dynamic, omnidirectional, XLR microphone. The majority of dynamic mics are used in stage situations where you want to reject most background noise. In that case, a cardioid setting is what you would want. This mic on the other hand is not designed for stage use. This mic is designed to be used as a reporting microphone (as I'm sure you guessed from the name). The omnidirectional polar pattern allows you to hold the microphone in between yourself and the interviewee while picking up the majority of the audio. This will remove the need to move the mic back and forth between yourself and the interviewee too much.

For the majority of this review I am connecting the microphone to my computer using a Focusrite Scarlett Solo interface with the gain set around 75-80%, and the audio was boosted +10dB in post as well.

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $130 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Zip Pouch
  3. Microphone Flag
  4. Documentation
  5. 10-Year Warranty

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 70Hz - 15kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Omni Directional
  3. Sensitivity: -56dB
  4. Impedance: 150-Ohms

Performance / Features

This microphone's build quality feels pretty dang awesome. It has an all metal construction to hold up against the rigors or reporting. It has some decent weight to it, but it's not too heavy so it won't get uncomfortable during long interviews. It also has a ridiculously long handle so you can look like bob barker as you shove the microphone in an interviewee's face. And most importantly, the microphone's capsule is mounted on an internal shock mount to limit the amount of handling noise.

The frequency response of this mic is 70Hz - 15kHz, which is within the range of a standard dynamic mic. The fact that this rolls off around 70Hz is actually a good thing considering the use case. If you're in loud areas, or outside, you want to eliminate low rumbles, or wind noise which this frequency response will help with. The thing I was most impressed with was that my voice sounded pretty natural.

The omnidirectional polar pattern is the really unique feature of this microphone. As I previously stated that is because this microphone is meant to be held between two people while picking both voices up without having to reposition the microphone constantly. In that use case, this polar pattern works extremely well. 

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Natural Vocal Sound
  • Omnidirectional Polar Pattern
  • No requirement for Phantom Power in the field
  • A lot cheaper than a multi lav wireless system

Cons

  • A bit on the quiet side (need to boost preamp pretty hard)
  • Hyper focused use case

Conclusion

This is not my favorite sounding dynamic mic I've come across, and it will not do the best at background noise rejection, BUT, for video interviews or reporting, I think this thing is an absolute home run. It fulfills all your needs for field recording for relatively cheap when compared to alternatives. Therefore, if you are looking to do interviews in the field, I think this is a great budget option.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the Rode Reporter
US: http://amzn.to/2iXWA2l
UK: http://amzn.to/2iT0Eys

Buy the Zoom H6
US: http://amzn.to/2iXX9sT
UK: http://amzn.to/2i4o4nd

 

TPR-PODCAST EPISODE 84: PQ's- COMFORT

Podcast Questions!

This week marks the start of a new monthly segment PQ's (Podcast Questions)! These shows will ranges from serious and thought provoking to the silly or absurd questions that I can think of or more importantly the questions that you the listeners tweet in! 

This episode features; Bandrew Scott of @Podcastage and Cynthia Gerriets of @Tentimesatiger. The theme is comfort and everything that means like your comfort food or being uncomfortable with our art.

-IF you want you questions on the show Tweet:  @thatlogan OR@Paper_Robots #podcastquestions

Get more of Bandrew, Cynthia and myself (Logan) in the links below:

Referenced:

Subscribe to Geeks Rising here

Understanding Underwater Welder

Grab your wet-suit as we take a deep dive into this month’s Do You Even Comic with The Underwater Welder.

Creator(s)

Created by Jeff Lemire (Artist/Writer) and released by Top Shelf Productions in August, 2012.

The Book

Described as an un-aired episode of the “Twilight Zone”, this graphic novel blends blue collar father with a splash of sci-fi.

Jack Joseph has a job welding pipes underwater for an oil rig off the coast of Nova Scotia, the small town he grew up in. Things should be great; he has a wife, a baby on the way, and a  good job, but things aren’t alright. He is constantly distracted and haunted by the disappearance of his father, who went diving on Halloween night 20 years ago but never returned. Now with a son on the way, and Halloween drawing near, things begin to pull Jack deeper down as he gets lost in thought. Reality fades away when Jack passes out while working on an underwater rig. Jack is left to reflect on the loss of his father and the reality of becoming a father.

Why this Book?

It’s important to note that Jeff Lemire created this book just after having a child of his own. It’s clear the trials and tribulations of fatherhood were on his mind during the creation of The Underwater Welder. The parallels to Jeff’s actual life only add to the work of a creator who is known for being personal. I know all artists and creators put themselves into their work to some extent, but in Lemire’s writing and art you can feel it and connect to it on a level that makes it feel familiar, even upon the first viewing.

The minimalist art of Lemire becomes visual poetry as you turn each page in this tale. The line work accompanied by the black and white creates a perfect atmosphere for a book about keeping the ghosts of the past and worries of the future at bay. This book compliments his work on DC’s Animal Man but also acts as a testing ground for paneling which would be put into practice in Trillium (another original story by Lemire released in 2015).

Typically these types of stories are something I would experience through TV or movies, but to be able to hold this book in my hands and be brought to tears is a unique and personal experience that cannot truly be explained. Lemire has always been a creator I have followed, but this book really stood out to me. I admit that I am the type that falls for parent/child moments. My heart strings still get tugged when a parent wants nothing but the best for their child while continuously fearing the worst. To this day my Mom still calls and asks if I put my jacket on in the cold weather (I am a grown man mom, but yes I did because it’s cold out and I live in a new state).

As we get older it’s easier to realize our parents didn’t know everything, but regardless, they became parents and did their best. So when I read or watch these stories I feel connected, and I am left wondering how I will be as a parent. Will I still be figuring it out or will I be haunted by the fears of my past as a dumb kid, not knowing anything.

Book:

The Underwater Welder

TONOR BM-700 XLR Condenser Microphone Review / Test

Today I'm reviewing a new microphone from Tonor; the BM-700

I do need to mention that this microphone was provided to me by Tonor in order for me to conduct this review. 

For the majority of this video, I'm connecting the BM700 to my computer using the SYBA Stereo USB Soundcard with my gain set at approximately 4%. Keep in mind that this is an XLR, electret condenser microphone, which means it does require some voltage in order to work properly. Connecting this microphone directly to your motherboard's microphone input will likely not provide great results, so I suggest the SYBA USB Soundcard, or a full Audio Interface that offers phantom power (Focusrite Scarlett Solo).

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $16 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Windscreen
  3. Shockmount
  4. 5/8" to 3/8" Mic Stand Adapter
  5. XLR to 3.5mm Cable
  6. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Unidirectional
  3. Sensitivity: -34dB
  4. Impedance: 150-Ohms

Performance / Features

This microphone's build quality is exactly like all the other BM-700's and NW-700's on the market. It has an all metal construction, but is on the lighter side of things. However, I do think it will be able to last quite a while when it is taken care of properly. It also offers no additional features; it just has an XLR plug on the bottom of the microphone. 

The frequency response of this mic is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz, which is nice to see. The audio quality is nothing outstanding, but you can't expect flawless audio out of a microphone that costs about $16. The low end is not overly muddy, and the higher frequencies are not harsh. However, it lacks certain frequencies that really capture the energy of a performance.

The polar pattern of the microphone is Cardioid. During the tests, it did seem to pick up audio all the way around the microphone, but as you move away from the front of the mic, the majority of frequencies drop off. There was also a fairly drastic drop off as I moved away from the microphone. Lastly, it did decently at ignoring background noise, but it should be noted that I use an apple magic keyboard, which does not have mechanical switches.

Pros

  • It is Cheap!
  • Good audio for the price
  • Decent at background noise rejection
  • Can function on ~4.5v up to +48v

Cons

  • Doesn't capture performance's energy

Conclusion

In all honesty, due to the fact that this is a sub-$20 microphone, I struggled to find any real cons. For the price, I think it performed pretty damn well. However, I was expecting this performance since I have tested out this exact microphone under multiple different company names.

I'm definitely not going to recommend this if you're looking for a main microphone to launch a professional studio and charge a high hourly rate. But, if you are just starting on youtube, or want to launch a podcast or voice over career, I think that this is a great starting point. It will allow you to get very usable audio without breaking the bank, and if you enjoy that project, you can upgrade down the line without feeling guilty about this mic going to waste.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the BM-700 Kit
US: http://amzn.to/2ihnBdv
UK: http://amzn.to/2iH731s

Buy the SYBA Stereo USB Soundcard
US: http://amzn.to/2jgNIpb
UK: http://amzn.to/2iH91yX

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett Solo
US: http://amzn.to/2iHnGdr
UK: http://amzn.to/2ihqPOj

Samson Q7 Dynamic Mic Review / Test

Today I'm talking about a dynamic XLR microphone by Samson; the Samson Q7 Dynamic Microphone.

This is an entry level dynamic microphone that has an insanely high Max SPL of 150dB. This leads me to believe that this would work great in a live situation.

For this video, I am connecting the mic to my computer using the Focusrite Scarlett Solo with my gain set at approximately 75%

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $50 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Mic Mount
  3. 5/8" to 3/8" Mic Stand Adapter
  4. Hardshell Carrying Case
  5. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 50Hz - 18kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Super Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: -57dB
  4. Max SPL: 150dB
  5. Impedance: 200-Ohms

Performance / Features

This mic has no frills or special features. No lights. No switches. Nothing. As far as the build quality, the construction is all metal and it feels incredibly sturdy and well put together. It also has some really nice weight to it. It feels like this mic would be able to handle the wear and tear of live use. 

The frequency response of this mic is pretty standard for a dynamic microphone, ranging from 50Hz - 18kHz. However, the sound signature is not my favorite of the dynamic mics I've tested. While listening to the acoustic it sounds like it lacks some high-mids while sounding a bit boomy in the low-mids. All in all, not my favorite EQ from a Samson microphone.

The polar pattern of the mic is Super Cardioid, which means it is extremely focussed. As you can tell during the tests, as soon as I move a little bit off axis the audio drops significantly. That is why I think this microphone would be an excellent decision for live performances as well as those who are concerned with excessive background noise.

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Hardshell Carrying Case
  • Extremely directional (superb noise rejection)
  • Relatively cheap

Cons

  • Quiet output
  • Not the best EQ tuning

Conclusion

I think this microphone is nothing more than a middle of the road dynamic microphone. It's not a mic I anticipate using for anything in the future, but I won't go so far as to not recommend it. 

If you are looking for a relatively cheap microphone for live performances, I think that this would be a great option since it has excellent noise rejection as soon as you get off axis. This means it would work well if you are playing with a full band, as your vocal mic would ignore quite a bit of the guitar amp/drums/etc.

Another use case I think this microphone would be fine for would be let's plays. Once again, the mic does great with noise rejection so you will not pick up as much of your keyboards noise as you would with a regular cardioid condenser mic.

Other than that, I think that you can find a better option within the same price range. 

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the Samson Q7
US: http://amzn.to/2hIam7G
UK: http://amzn.to/2i0AmsG

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett Solo
US: http://amzn.to/2iFxsKW
UK: http://amzn.to/2i0CrVE

Buy the XLR to USB Cable
US: http://amzn.to/2hIjivn
UK:http://amzn.to/2hIrQ5B

 

TPR-PODCAST EPISODE 83: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE

I, Logan Naugle the host provide a look at my podcast and comic career.

Its a time to reflect on where I started and where I am heading with my creator life. I want to start 2017 on the right foot and catch everybody up what you can expect from me in the future.

Music and theme by Bandrew Scott

New Logo by Hector Ceniceros

Stay up to date by checking out the following:

 

 

Thank yo

BSP-049: Top 5 TV Shows of 2016

On episode 49 of the BSP, I talk about the Top 5 TV Shows of 2016. Before that I talk about New Years and what I’ve accomplished in two years of no drinking! I then go on a rant about why I’m not going to be paying companies or bands to advertise for them anymore!

In the news I briefly talk about the leaked specs of a new touchscreen ASUS chromebook, the implications of an Amazon Echo being used in a murder case, and the fact that Facebook is collecting information about your offline activities in order to target you with advertisements.

Then to finish out the episode, I talk about my favorite television of 2016, and what my youtube channel has done over the last year!

00:00 - Intro
01:51 - Recording with Blue Yeti
02:37 - I’m Drinking Piss
03:00 - Happy New Years & Plans
03:30 - 2 Years Sober
06:35 - I’m no longer paying to advertise for people
09:15 - A new Asus Chromebook
11:10 - Amazon Echo Used in Murder Case
14:24 - Facebook is Collecting Offline Your Offline Habits!!!
17:35 - Top 5 TV Shows of 2016
22:50 - My YouTube Channel over 2016
26:17 - Outro

Follow BSP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bandrewsayspodcast
Follow BSP on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bandrewsays

http://www.geeksrising.com

Rode NT1 KIT Condenser Microphone Review / Test

Today I'm talking about possibly my favorite condenser microphone I have tested to date; the Rode NT1 Kit

This is a higher end XLR condenser microphone which means it requires a USB Audio Interface that offers +24v or +48v of phantom power to work.

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $270 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Storage Pouch
  3. Shockmount
  4. Pop Filter
  5. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: -29dB
  4. Max SPL: 132dB
  5. Impedance: 100-Ohms
  6. Power Requirements: +24v or +48v Phantom Power

Performance / Features

As you would expect, the build quality of this microphone is top notch. There are no dials or extras on this microphone; just a gold dot to indicate the front of the microphone, and an XLR port on the bottom. It has an all metal construction, and some nice substantial weight to it. However, unlike other microphone's I have tested, it does not feel like a tank, so I would be gentle with it. I should also mention that the carrying pouch offers no padding, so it will only protect the microphone's capsule from dust contamination.

The frequency response on this microphone is excellent, ranging from 20Hz - 20kHz. What really sticks out to me is the nice full bass the microphone provides without sounding boomy or muddy, and the crystal clear highs that do not sound shrill or harsh. It is an all around very smooth sounding microphone, and I think it performed excellently on the Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, and Voice.

When dealing with condenser microphones, I'm always worried about the polar pattern picking up too much background noise. This microphone definitely does pick up more ambient noise than a Shure SM7B, however it is not an exorbitant amount by any stretch of the imagination. I even recorded an entire podcast with this thing and while editing had zero issues with distractions caused by room noise.

Pros

  • Outstanding Audio Quality
  • Comes with Shock Mount & Pop Filter
  • Sturdy & High Quality Construction

Cons

  • The price
  • The pouch offers no protection except from dust

Conclusion

I love this microphone. It has a high quality build, an excellent sound, and it comes with everything you need (less interface & cables). It is likely even my favorite condenser microphone that I have reviewed to date. That being said, I'm not going to recommend this to everyone. 

If you are just starting out on youtube, or just starting a podcast, or just diving into home recording, I would not recommend this microphone. I think that a beginner can get away with a cheap mass produced condenser mic to begin. Down the road if you are still working on your passion project, then consider upgrading.

On the other hand, if you have been working on your podcast, studio, voice over work, or youtube channel for a while and you are looking to take your audio game to the next level, I absolutely recommend this microphone!

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the Rode NT1 Kit
US: http://amzn.to/2i1eWfO
UK: http://amzn.to/2i3uFh8

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett Solo
US: http://amzn.to/2haKwpx
UK: http://amzn.to/2hhfgbz

Buy the Neewer Boom Arm
US: http://amzn.to/2i1lzPh
UK: http://amzn.to/2hA1RsP

 

BSP-048: Welcome to the Clutter Cave

On episode 48 of the BSP, I talk about my favorite piece of news in the last decade; scientists have discovered a new vaccine to stop the spread of Ebola!!! 

Before that, I start with discussing the mic I’m recording this weeks podcast with & my run in with minimalism. As far as computer news, I talk about Apple giving up on Mac OS X and Raspberry Pi rolling out their OS to PC & Mac computers!

In security news, there has been  push by The House to legislate the use of the Sting Ray device, which tracks devices using geo-location. Following that I briefly talk about Facebbok’s report regarding government data requests.

Finishing up the podcast, I recommend a travel show starring Karl Pilkington and an album by Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas, and lastly I talk about my thoughts and first impressions on my new iPhone 7+.

00:00 - Intro
02:57 - It’s Christmas
03:14 - Recording with Rode NT1
04:04 - Minimalism & The Clutter Cave
05:25 - THERE’S A VACCINE FOR EBOLA! HOLY SHIT!!!!
09:30 - Apple is Giving Up on Mac OS X
13:31 - Raspberry Pi’s OS Now On PC & Mac
16:25 - Legislation on Sting Ray Geolocation Device
18:30 - Government’s Facebook User Data Requests Up 27% (https://govtrequests.facebook.com)
22:19 - The Moaning Of Life
23:08 - Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas - Mariner
23:42 - Initial Impressions of the iPhone 7+

Follow BSP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bandrewsayspodcast
Follow BSP on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bandrewsays

Lenovo Y Gaming Surround Sound Headset Review / Test

Today I am reviewing a wired gaming headset that offers surround sound as well as customizable lighting; the Lenovo Y Gaming Surround Sound Headset.

If you are interested in this headset, it will set you back $85 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Gaming Headset (1.8m Cable)
  2. Removable Microphone
  3. Documentation

Specifications

Headphones

  1. Headphone Drivers: 40mm
  2. Frequency Response: 5Hz - 30kHz
  3. Impedance: 32-ohms

Microphone

  1. Polar Pattern: Cardioid (Uni-directional)

Performance / Features

The construction of this headset is mainly plastic, while maintaining a sturdy feel. The headphones rotate a minimal amount to ensure that the headphones fit whatever head shape you have. The padding on the ear cups is very soft, but it is not breathable which leads to your ears getting hot after a little while of use, the padding on the headband is not soft, and is uncomfortable, and overall the headphones are just a bit too tight which also counts against this headset's comfortability.

The braided cable is 1.8m long and in the middle of the cord you will find a limited control panel which allows you to mute your microphone as well as turn up or down the headphones volume. The cable terminates into a USB and 3.5mm plug. It needs to be noted that you CAN NOT use both at the same time; you either get a USB headset or a 3.5mm headset.

Out of the box, the headphones are a bit too bass heavy and lack a lot of the presence and shine in the high end. If you are on a Windows machine, this is easily fixable with the Lenovo Y software which allows you to enter a custom EQ, or select a preset EQ.

The microphone did decent at background noise rejections, but that's about the only thing good it did. The audio quality is unnatural sounding and shrill, and it was even difficult to listen to while editing the review. The USB connection also introduces a slight digital clicking noise that is not extremely loud, but it still hinders the microphones quality. Lastly, this thing doesn't come with a pop filter or windscreen so it picks up every breath and every plosive which degrades the audio even further.

Pros

  • Surround Sound
  • Braided Cable
  • Customizable EQ
  • Decent build quality

Cons

  • Microphone sounds like a typical gaming headset
  • High line noise on the microphone
  • No pop filter / windscreen on the headset
  • Headset uncomfortable

Conclusion

My recommendation for this headset comes with a few caveats. First, if you are interested in buying this headset, wait for the price to drop. $85 is a bit much for a wired gaming headset when the gaming headset market is chock full of cheaper alternatives. Secondly, you have to be okay with crappy microphone quality; you cannot want to record podcasts or voice overs with this thing. Third, you need windows to run the lenovo software, and without the software, the headphones are nothing I would recommend. 

If you find these on sale, and you are okay with the second two caveats, then I think this headset will work well for you if you are only planning on using them for short gaming sessions.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy it on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2ilGhZ0
UK: NA

Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless Headset Review / Test

Today I am reviewing a completely wireless gaming headset; the Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Gaming Headset.

I do need to mention that this headset was sent to me by Logitech Gaming for the sake of doing this review. 

This is a gaming headset that is compatible with PC, Xbox One, and PS4, that has a programmable lighting, a retractable microphone, programmable buttons, and a storage compartment for the wireless dongle.

If you are interested in this headset, it will set you back $200 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Gaming Headset
  2. Wireless USB Dongle
  3. USB Cable (3m)
  4. 3.5mm Cable (1.5m)
  5. RCA to 3.5mm Cable (1m)
  6. 3.5mm to 2.5mm Adapter
  7. Documentation

Specifications

Headphones

  1. Headphone Drivers: 40mm
  2. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  3. Battery Life: 12 Hours without lighting / 8 Hours with lighting

Microphone

  1. Polar Pattern: Cardioid (Uni-directional)
  2. Frequency Response: 100Hz - 20kHz

Performance / Features

The construction of this headset is mainly plastic, however, it feels extremely sturdy and very well put together. The ear cups rotate about 95-degrees which allows the headset to lay flat on your desk, or lay flat on your chest when they are hanging around your neck. The padding on the ear cups and headband is breathable, soft, and all around very comfortable.

On the front left ear cup you will find a retractable microphone, which is muted when it is retracted, and unmated when it is extended. On the back of the left ear cup you will find a volume wheel to adjust the headphones volume, a microphone mute button, 3 programmable buttons (which you will control using the logitech gaming software), and the power switch. On the outside of the left ear cup you will find a removable panel where you can store the wireless USB dongle to ensure you do not lose it while traveling. On the outside of the right ear cup you will find the battery for headset.

The headphones are the big selling point of this headset. In the flat mode they have a punchy and tight low end, and shimmering highs that do not sound shrill or fatiguing on the ears. You are also able to manually adjust the EQ (in the Logitech gaming software) to fit whatever sound signature you prefer. The 7.1 channel surround sounds great too, but keep in mind, I do not do much gaming so I cannot speak with any amount of authority in this arena.

The microphone does leave quite a bit to be desired as it just sounds like your standard gaming headset microphone. There was quite a bit of line noise when testing out the gain, which started at around 60-75%. However, the background noise rejection of this microphone is excellent. It picked up very minimal amounts of my keyboard while doing the typing test. 

Pros

  • Wireless
  • Headphones sound excellent
  • You can hear the mic in the headphones!!!
  • Custom EQ capabilities
  • Programmable lighting
  • 8-12 Hours of battery life
  • Great background noise rejection

Cons

  • Microphone sounds like a typical gaming headset
  • High line noise on the microphone

Conclusion

I would absolutely recommend this gaming headset if you are looking for a wireless headset that offers 7.1 channel surround sound. The headphones are the real selling point here; they sound excellent. They offer a great sound signature out of the box with great bass response that does not negatively impact the higher frequencies. On top of that, you can create your own EQ to fit what ever sound you prefer.

The microphone does not provide studio quality audio, but for gaming I think it will work well as it does a great job at rejecting background noise. However, if you are looking for a headset to podcast with, or do voice over work with, I do not think that this microphone will cut it. 

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the Logitech G933
US: http://amzn.to/2i4hrNm
UK: http://amzn.to/2hXbtBK

BSP-047: I Have Become Too Paranoid

On episode 47 of the BSP, I talk about how much I hate Verizon Wireless & Comcast. I also talk about getting rid of Facebook and receiving the Pebble Refund. Finishing up the personal section of the podcast, I talk about how I have/will release 9 videos in 9 days.

In news, Microsoft announced speed boosts for Xbox One downloads, Twitch launching a mobile live streaming service, Amazon delivers a package via drone for the first time, Apple releases AirPods, Evernote nearly crashes and burns based on poor decisions, and twitter tells the government to do their own work.

As far as what I’ve been testing, I talk about a new VPN and my new cable service, and why I switched.

00:00 - Intro
02:09 - Recording with Different Microphone
03:31 - Getting Rid of Facebook Apps
04:40 - Pebble Refunds Are Coming!!!
05:25 - 9 Videos in 9 Days!
07:55 - Xbox One Download Speed Increase
09:33 - Twitch Mobile Streaming Service
11:05 - Amazon Drones
12:50 - Apple Removes Battery Time Remaining
14:10 - Apple AirPods Released!!!
16:08 - Evernote Alienates It’s Users
18:10 - Twitter Tells The Government to Get Lost
21:02 - Started Using a VPN
23:05 - Comcast Is The Worst
26:31 - Verizon Cancelled the Only Useful Service Option.
28:45 - Outro

Follow BSP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bandrewsayspodcast
Follow BSP on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bandrewsays

http://www.geeksrising.com

Blue Nessie Adaptive USB Mic Review / Test

Today I'm reviewing a mic that I've been trying to get my hands on for about a 4 months. The mic being featured is the Blue Nessie Adaptive USB Condenser Microphone

This is a USB microphone that is listed as compatible with Windows & Mac OS X. It offers multiple DSP modes which are marketed as a way to make recording easy, and it offers a built in pop filter & shock mount to ensure you do not suffer from any plosives or vibrations.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $100 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. 5-foot USB Cable
  3. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Max SPL: 110dB
  4. Bit Depth: 16-bit
  5. Sampling Rate: 48kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic seems pretty decent for the price. The base of the microphone is metal and has some substantial weight to it. The entire base acts as a dial to control the headphone volume as well. underneath the dial there is an LED light that glows when the microphone is plugged in and receiving power, and blinks when the microphone is muted.

Speaking of mute, on the front of the microphones neck, you have a single red button to mute/unmute the mic. On the back of the neck you will find a USB plug, a 3-way switch to change between the 3 modes (flat, voice, music), and directly above that you will find a 3.5mm headphone port which provides latency free monitoring.

When we get to the microphone capsule, the grills on both sides of the mic are metal, while the center blue piece is made of plastic. Within the casing there is a pop filter to eliminate plosives as well as a shock mount to ensure you don't suffer from vibrations or table bumps. You are also able to tilt the microphone about 90-degrees to make sure you get the best placement possible.

The frequency response ranges from 20Hz in the low end all the way to 20kHz in the high end. While playing guitar/singing on this mic, I think the performance was only decent on all the settings. When me moved to the acoustic guitar test, I thought that the only usable setting was the flat mode. On the voice mode, the guitar was overly boomy with very little presence, and while set to music mode, the high frequencies seemed overly shrill and piercing.

The cardioid polar pattern was the correct choice for this microphone as it sits directly on the desk. It did pick up a decent amount of keyboard noise, which is to be expected of any desktop microphone, and it picked up my voice fairly well even at 4-feet away. 

Pros

  • Built in pop filter
  • Decent audio quality
  • Latency free monitoring

Cons

  • Cannot remove mic from desktop stand
  • Picked up vibrations from computer & bumps of desk quite prominently

Conclusion

I was not impressed with this microphone. The audio quality is decent on the flat mode, but I found the two other DSP modes to be subpar. On top of that, you will be stuck using this as a desktop microphone, as you cannot remove the microphone from the stand and put it on a boom arm. This led to some issues during the test. I found the microphone picked up vibrations from my computer as well as bumps of the desk. Moreover, when you're forced to keep the microphone placed directly on your desk, it is difficult to get decent microphone placement to record instruments or your voice.

Although this microphone has plenty of features that are listed as selling points, I feel that it falls short and leaves a lot to be desired. If you are looking for audio quality for anything other than demos, I would suggest looking elsewhere.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy it on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2gQMT3M
UK: http://amzn.to/2hqa59W

 

Samson Go Mic Direct Review / Test

I have reviewed almost every single Samson USB microphone. This is one of the last ones I needed to catch them all. Today I'm reviewing the Samson Go Mic Direct.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $40 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Carrying Case
  3. Documentation
  4. Download Card for Samson Sound Deck

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
  3. Bit Depth: 16-bit
  4. Sampling Rate: 44.1/48kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic is decent. The case surrounding the mic is plastic while the actual microphone capsule is made of metal. On both sides of the microphone, there is an LED light to indicate that the microphone is plugged in and getting power. These lights also will change to red if your signal is clipping. Lastly, on the bottom of the microphone there is a slider to withdraw the USB port for storage.

The frequency response of this mic is sufficient and yields a natural, unprocessed sound. The omni-directional polar pattern is essential for the microphone since you need to keep it plugged into your USB port, but at the same time this causes all keyboard noise to be picked up. Also, due to the required placement of the microphone, you will likely be around 1-foot away from the capsule, which will do no favors for your audio quality. The noise floor is also acceptable, where we did not start to hear any excessive noise until we set our gain above 50%.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Low noise floor
  • Decent audio quality

Cons

  • Picks up a lot background noise
  • Must remain plugged directly into USB port

Conclusion

Although this is a decent microphone that is very portable, I cannot recommend it. The requirement that you leave it plugged directly into a USB port, mixed with the lack of any alternate mounting options, means you will have to deal with excessive keyboard noise. If you are looking for a portable USB mic, I would recommend looking into the regular Samson Go Mic.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the Samson Go Mic Direct
US: http://amzn.to/2hsKmP3
UK: http://amzn.to/2hBscq6

Buy the Samson Go Mic
US: http://amzn.to/2hjjvV4
UK: http://amzn.to/2hjjzEi

 

BSP-046: How I Got 18,000 Subs on YouTube

On this episode of the BSP, the main topic focusses on how I went from 0 subscribers to 18,000 subscribers. I analyze how I did this, and what lessons I think can be taken from this journey.

In other news, I talk about how Amazon Go works, what the UK Snoopers Charter is and how it worries me, as well as provide an update on the Fitbit acquisition of Pebble and what that means for all the kickstarter backers & pebble customers.

As far as what I've been testing, I talk about my favorite Apple Watch Band, my current favorite iPhone Case, my adoption of camera covers on the iPhone, using a network drive, and my new mousepad.

Follow BSP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bandrewsayspodcast
Follow BSP on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bandrewsays

 

Antlion Mod Mic 5.0 Review / Test

Today's review covers the follow up to one of my favorite mics; we're covering the brand new Antlion Mod Mic 5.0. Before going any further, I do need to mention that for this review, Antlion sent me a review unit.

What is special about the Mod Mic is that it allows you to turn your favorite pair of headphones into a gaming headset, or a podcast studio. You stick this microphone on whatever headphones you want and you get one of the best sounding headset mics on the market.

Another huge  improvement over the last generation is that this mic has both Omnidirectional & Unidirectional polar patterns inside of it. They simply took both capsules from the 4.0 series and put them in the microphone head, so you can now use which ever polar pattern fits your use case with the flick of a switch.

This microphone is also a modular design! This means that you can make it fit whatever your setup is, as well as allow you to buy accessories if Antlion rolls out new modules for this microphone system!

If you are interested in this gaming headset, it will set you back $70.

What's In the Box

  1. Mod Mic 5.0
  2. Mute Switch Module
  3. 1m & 2m 3.5mm Cables
  4. Carrying Case
  5. Two Base Clasps
  6. Foam Pop Filter
  7. 2m Cable Wrap
  8. Cable Clips
  9. Extra 3M Adhesives
  10. Instruction Manual

Specifications

Omni Directional

  1. Frequency Response: 30Hz - 17.5kHz
  2. Sensitivity: -26dB

Uni Directional

  1. Frequency Response: 100Hz - 10kHz
  2. Sensitivity: -38dB

Performance / Features

The build of this microphone is mainly plastic and rubber, but the materials feel high quality. The magnet is much stronger, so the boom mic will be less likely to fall off of your headphones. The boom arm is much sturdier and stiffer, so no matter what position you place it in, it will not move. The cables are all kevlar reinforced, so you are not going break them, and the case provides ample protection for the mic while traveling.

This microphone has two polar patterns; omni directional & uni directional. In order to switch between the two, all you have to do is flip the switch that is on the microphone capsules body. It's as simple as that. The omni directional polar pattern picks up quite a bit of background noise, but that is to be expected with an omni polar pattern. The uni-directional setting eliminates background noise much more effectively, and if placed close to your mouth would eliminate even more background noise.

The omni directional polar pattern has a frequency response of 30Hz - 17.5kHz which is pretty good for a headset mic. While on this setting the mic has full lows and plenty of highs. When we switch to the unidirectional setting, the frequency response drops to 100Hz - 10kHz, which clearly lacks a bit in the low end as well as high frequencies. I cannot fault the uni setting for this, because it is mainly designed for gaming.

Something else I noticed while testing the microphone; it picks up minimal sound from the headphones. This is an issue that plagues many gaming headsets due to sharing wiring and housing. With the mod mic, you do have to deal with an additional cable (which they provide solutions for managing), but on the plus side, you eliminate the majority of the headphone interference. 

Pros

  • Great sounding Omni-directional microphone capsule
  • Noise eliminating Uni-directional capsule
  • Strong magnet to connect to headphones
  • Sturdy boom arm to hold form and placement of mic
  • Kevlar reinforced cables
  • Ignores headphone interference
  • Modular design

Cons

  • Adding a second cable to your headset (however, they provide options to manage cables)

Conclusion

I think this is the best option for people who want a headset microphone. You can use it to either improve the microphone's audio on your existing gaming headset, or you can use it to turn your favorite pair of audiophile headphones into a gaming headset, or podcast setup. The build quality has also been improved from the prior generation, and they have made a modular design so you can upgrade in the future.

All around, I would absolutely recommend this microphone whether you want to do light voice over work for youtube, gift it to a remote podcast guest so they have decent audio on their end, or if you just want to game with your favorite set of headphones.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the Antlion Mod Mic 5.0
https://antlionaudio.com