Cyber Acoustics USB Condenser Mic (CVL-2006) Review

Today I'm reviewing a USB multi-pattern condenser microphone and I don't know what the proper name is. I think it's the Cyber Acoustics Tahoe, or Rainier CVL-2006, or Cyber Acoustics CVL-2006.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to my 2017 iMac with the computers gain set to 100% and the microphone gain set at approximately 25-30%. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $70.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Desktop Stand
  3. Foam Windscreen
  4. 1.5m Cable
  5. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid / Omnidirectional
  3. Max SPL: 124dB
  4. S/N Ratio: 121dB
  5. Bit Depth: 16-Bit
  6. Sample Rate: 48kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone decent. It has a metal body, and a metal grill that feel sturdy enough. The desktop stand is flimsy feeling and offers no shock absorption so it picks up every bump of your desk. On the front you have a headphone volume control, microphone gain control, and an indicator light to let you know if it's plugged in and getting power. 

On the back of the mic you'll find a button to switch between cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns. On the bottom you'll find the USB port to connect this to your computer, a 3.5mm headphone jack which does offer latency free monitoring (which cannot be turned off unless you turn the mic volume all the way down), and a 1/4" threading for additional mounting options (this is the standard camera mount size.

The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. I don't know if this is accurate, and no frequency response graph was provided. All I can say is that this thing sounds harsh and thin, and all around is painful to listen to.

The polar pattern of this mic is cardioid or omni directional. The cardioid polar pattern seems fairly wide so it tends to pick up a bit of room noise, and the omni polar pattern just sounds bad.

The overall performance of this mic left a lot to be desired. There's a constant underlying digital interference in the noise floor, the tone was painful to listen to while editing the video, the fact that you can't turn off latency free monitoring without muting the mic is irritating, and the fact that it doesn't have a standard mounting option just adds an additional cost.

Pros

  • Offers latency free monitoring

Cons

  • Harsh & Thin tone
  • Constant digital interference in the noise floor
  • Can't turn off latency free monitoring
  • Camera mount threading and not a mic stand threading
  • Flimsy desktop stand that picks up all bumps of deak
  • Bit depth limited to 16-bit

Conclusion

I do not recommend this microphone. In my opinion, this mic seems like it's attempting to compete with something like the Blue Yeti, but it fails on all fronts. I think you'd be better off saving some money by going with the Q2u, or spending the same amount on an ATR2100USB or AT2005USB. Or if you're deadset on a usb multipattern condenser microphone, go with the Blue Yeti. 

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

Buy the Cyber Acoustics CVL-2006
US: https://amzn.to/2JnORFh
UK: N/A
CA: https://amzn.to/2qa4s2c
DE: N/A