Behringer B-2 Pro Review / Test

Today we're looking at a "higher end" microphone from the budget company Behringer; the Behringer B-2 Pro

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at 10:30. 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 $150.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Hardshell Storage Box

  2. Microphone

  3. Shockmount (Includes: 5/8" & 3/8" adapter)

  4. Foam Windscreen

  5. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz

  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Bidirectional

  3. Sensitivity: -37dB to -34dB

  4. Max SPL: 137 / 149dB

  5. Equivalent Noise: 16-18dBA

  6. Impedance: <100-ohms

  7. Power Requirement: +48v

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic feels fairly average for mics in the $100 price range. It has an all metal body as well as a somewhat flimsy feeling metal mesh grill. On the front you will find a 3-way polar pattern selection switch to move between the cardioid, omnidirectional, and bi-directional polar patterns. On the rear you'll find the high-pass switch that rolls off at 6dB/octave at 150Hz, as well as a -10dB pad if you're recording loud sound sources. 

The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. We're only going to focus on the cardioid polar pattern response here as it's the most used pattern. It has a surprisingly flat response from 1kHz and below with a slight roll off beginning at 150Hz, which reaches -2dB by 50Hz. From 1kHz and up there's a gradual boost that hits +2dB at 7kHz, and then there's a large boost which reaches +5dB at 10kHz and gradually rolls off until it hits 0dB at 20kHz.

The overall performance here was decent. On the electric guitar, the low end felt a little loose, but did not get muddy, and then the treble air boost provided a nice amount of liveliness to the recording. The acoustic guitar sounded too focused in the high end, and left the strings resonance sounding dominating and a bit of a grating tone all around. For singing, the mic added a breathy quality to the voice as well as a bit of extra grit. For spoken word, I think the high end is a detriment to the microphone as it accentuates mouth noises, breathe, and sibilance a bit too much.

Pros

  • Relatively flat low mids and lows

  • All polar patterns are pretty usable (Rare in this price range)

  • Nice build quality

  • Plenty of nice accessories

Cons

  • Shrill in the higher end

  • Susceptible to plosives

  • Relatively high noise floor at 16-18dBA

cardioid
Omni.png
Bi.png

Conclusion

Although this microphone would not be my first choice in any use case, for the price I think it's a pretty good deal. Therefore, if you're looking for your first mic to record music in your home studio, I think this would be a fine option given the plethora of accessories that are provided with the microphone, and the clean and clear tone you can get out of the microphone. Just make sure to pick up a pop filter along with the 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 Behringer B-2 Pro
US: https://amzn.to/2L3nqAU
UK: https://amzn.to/2zvQRui
CA: https://amzn.to/2N4g29d
DE: https://amzn.to/2uarcC0

 

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen)
US: http://amzn.to/2vDFbzK 
UK: http://amzn.to/2w8O2f6 
CA: http://amzn.to/2wKGKfG 
DE: http://amzn.to/2hbtxsV

Behringer C-1u USB Microphone Review/Test

Today I am testing out the USB version of I microphone I have already tested. Today I am testing out the Behringer C-1u USB Microphone.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $60 on Amazon.

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Stand Mount
  3. 5/8" to 3/8" Mic Stand Adapter
  4. USB Cable
  5. Driver CD & Podcasting / Audio Editing Software
  6. Documentation 

Performance / Features

The build quality is pretty good. It has an all metal body and a metal grill, but it does not feel like high quality metal. The USB cable is your standard rubber cable, so there's nothing special there, and the microphone stand mount is made of a cheap plastic. Lastly, there is a light on the front that turns green to indicate that it is plugged in and receiving power.

This microphone has a 16mm condenser microphone capsule and provides a frequency response of 40Hz - 16kHz (40Hz - 20kHz for the XLR version). It provided a decent sound in every situation we put it through; vocals, electric guitar, and acoustic guitar. There weren't any frequencies that stuck out as harsh, and it didn't sound like any freq's were missing. 

The C-1u also has a Cardioid polar pattern. We heard quite a significant drop off as we got farther away from the microphone. However, as we moved around the microphone, it still tended to pick up a bit of noise around the sides and back. The microphone did perform well with eliminating the background noise of the keyboard.

Pros

  • Decent sound
  • Good at eliminating background noise
  • Plug & Play
  • Cheap

Con

  • Poorly built microphone mount
  • Difficult to trouble shoot
  • Low output volume

Conclusion

This is nothing more than a decent, middle of the road microphone. It sounds decent in every situation, but that's about it. It will not provide top of the line audio, but it will get you recorded for youtube. I did find that it had a relatively low output volume (had to set at 75% input gain to get decent volume). This can lead to issues with hiss/buzz, so if that's a concern of yours, this microphone is not for you. 

This microphone is basically for anyone who is just looking for a super easy, plug and play microphone to get audio that's good enough for chatting and voice overs. It is not for people who want to make professional videos/music or people who want to eventually upgrade their microphone with additional gear.

If you have any additional questions about this headset, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy it on Amazon (US): http://amzn.to/25ENGHa
Buy it on Amazon (UK): http://amzn.to/1oAn4oV

Behringer Ultravoice XM8500 Review/Test

Today I'm testing out another cheap Dynamic Microphone. This time it is the Behringer Ultravoice XM8500.

Being that this is a Dynamic microphone, it does not require phantom power to function. That means that you should be able to utilize an XLR to USB cable (which I demonstrate in this video).

What's In the Box 

  1. Plastic Storage / Carrying Case
  2. Microphone
  3. Microphone Clip
  4. 5/8" to 3/8" Mic Stand Adapter
  5. Documentation

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone feels pretty sturdy. It is an all metal body and a metal grill and it has some nice weight to it. 

The mic has a Cardioid Polar Pattern, and it is incredibly directional. As you get off access, the amount of pickup drops exponentially. It rejects background noise incredibly well (you could hardly hear the keyboard), so if you are going to be using a mic in a loud area, this may be a good option.

The frequency response was not listed, but it sounds comparable to the frequency response of the SM58, with slightly boosted mid frequencies. Let's be honest. If you're buying a $20 microphone, chances are, you're not too concerned with the specifications, you're more worried about if it sounds good or not. Well, I think this microphone sounds good.

Pros

  • Extremely Cheap
  • Nice build quality
  • Decent sound
  • Good at Isolating sound

Cons

  • Lack of Documentation
  • Muddy low end

Conclusion

In all honesty, this is a nice sounding microphone for $20. There are it's draw backs, but you have to remember; It's $20! If you are on a budget and are looking for a durable microphone, this is a great option. It works with an XLR to USB cable, so all you need is the Mic, a Stand, and the Cable and you're good to go.

If you have any additional questions about this headset, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Behringer XM8500: http://amzn.to/1S7zvWv
Pyle PDMIC58: http://amzn.to/1S7zwtD
USB to XLR Cable: http://amzn.to/1lMypB6 (not the cable used, but same type of cable)

Behringer U-Phoria UM2 USB Audio Interface Review / Test

Today is the first review I am completing of an Audio Interface. I am diving into these devices because the USB Audio Adapters that I have been recommending have been altered and no longer provide sufficient voltage to power certain mass produced condenser microphones. So today I am starting with the $30 Behringer U-Phoria UM2 Audio Interface. This is a 2-input / 2-output USB device so you can connect an XLR or 1/4" sound source to your computer.

What's In the Box 

  1. Interface
  2. USB Cable
  3. Quick-Start Guide

Performance / Features

The build of this thing is all plastic and it does not feel durable. The input jacks feel a little bit loose and the gain controls are a bit wobbly as well. However, if you keep this on your home studio desk, I don't think you will have any trouble with this thing. You just need to be careful with this thing.

The interface offers two inputs. The first input is a combo jack, meaning it can accept an XLR cable or a 1/4" cable. The second input is strictly a 1/4" cable. Next to each input there are two lights, the first is to let you know that the interface is picking up the signal, and the second light will blink red when you are clipping (too loud).

We also get +48v Phantom Power on this thing. There is a switch on the back that allows you to toggle the power on/off. I measured the voltage pass through when the power was switched on and I measured ~+46v. So this should be able to provide sufficient voltage to most, if not all, condenser microphones.

The interface provides two outputs as well. The first output is a 1/4" headphone output jack on the front. The second is an RCA output on the back so you can connect this to studio monitors, or an amplifier. 

When it comes to noise, this thing gets pretty noisy once we pass 75% on the gain knobs. Fortunately, when using a condenser microphone, I doubt you will get above 60%. However, if you're using a dynamic microphone, you may need to crank the gain and you may get stuck with some nasty hiss.

Pros

  • Extremely Cheap
  • +48v Phantom Power
  • Gain Control Knob
  • Clipping Indicator Light

Cons

  • Plastic build quality
  • High Noise Past 75% Gain

Conclusion

I really like this interface. I think it's a great starting interface since it is so cheap. It offers a single XLR input so you can plug in your condenser microphone and get a full +48v. I would recommend this to anyone who is considering getting a USB Soundcard to power a condenser microphone. Those soundcards are not designed to power microphones, therefore you will have to invest in a phantom power supply, and that takes your total cost to around $25-$30. You might as well just purchase this interface instead. It provides more features and was designed to actually work with your microphone. 

If you have any additional questions about this headset, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

 

Behringer Tube Ultragain Mic-200 Preamp Review / Test

This is my first attempt at reviewing a preamp on this channel, and that preamp is the Behringer Tube Ultragain Mic-200, and if you are interested in this preamp, it will set you back about $50 on amazon. As I mentioned, this is my first preamp review/test video, so if there are any features that I overlooked, or tests you think I should incorporate into future preamp reviews, PLEASE let me know in the comments so I can improve what I'm doing and give y'all better information. Thanks.

What's In the Box 

  1. Tube Preamp
  2. DC Power Supply
  3. Contact Card
  4. Quick Start Guide

Performance / Features

The build quality on this preamp is very nice. It has an all metal body, and the Gain/Output knobs are nicely secured and do not feel loose, and the buttons to activate the features feel sturdy as well. Lastly, the preamp mode selector is firmly attached and it has a nice click as you switch between each mode; this knob is firm enough that if you accidentally bump the knob, you won't accidentally switch preamp modes. 

This preamp has all your typical features, a gain knob (allowing you saturate the preamp tube) and an output volume knob, allowing you to crank the gain without increasing your output volume. There are also four buttons,

  1. 20db Pad (decreases your signal by 20dB for loud signal sources)
  2. +48v Phantom Power (powers condenser microphones)
  3. Low Cut (rolls off frequencies around 90Hz to help with low end rumble)
  4. Phase Reverse (if your using multiple mics that are out of phase, this will help)

Lastly you have a built preamp modeler which contains 16 presets. I will not list all of them, but they all have different characteristics for different sound sources. So if you're playing acoustic guitar, there's a preset for that. If you are using this preamp as a DI box, they have presets for your keyboard/bass. The coolest portion of the preamp modeler is the limiter section. It has 8 presets that include a limiter. What this does is makes sure that your signal doesn't have any clipping. 

 

Conclusion

I will admit that this is not the end all be all of microphone preamps, however, if you are just getting into recording and you are on a budget, this seems to be a pretty good option. It seems to have a setting for the majority of scenarios that there could be, so if you are looking for a super cheap tube microphone preamp, I would recommend this. 

As I mentioned, this is my first preamp review, so if you feel like I have ignored some important aspects of the preamp, please let me know in the comments so I can improve future preamp reviews. If you have any questions about the Mic200, leave them in the comments down below or on youtube and I will get back to you ASAP. Thanks for watching & reading. 

Behringer Tube Ultragain Mic-200: http://amzn.to/1QFhEnr

Behringer C-1 Condenser Mic Review / Test

For today's podcastage, I will be reviewing the Behringer C-1 Condenser Microphone. If you are interested in this microphone, it can be purchased on Amazon for $50, or for $10 more ($60), you can purchase the USB version of this microphone.

Before we get into the actual review, I need to make an IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER. This microphone requires a minimum of 36v phantom power. That means that a USB audio adapter, or USB mixer will not provide sufficient power. You will need a mixer/preamp that has Phantom Power or a stand alone phantom power supply.

What's In the Box

This is a very simple box. You get a hardshell plastic carrying case and inside you get the Microphone, the Mic Mount, and a 5/8" Male to 3/8" Female Mic Stand Adapter. That's it. You're not getting cables, shock mounts, pop filters or anything else. You are paying $50 just for the mic. Don't misunderstand, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Performance / Features

This is a Cardiod Condenser microphone that requires phantom power. The frequency response is 40Hz - 20KHz, and it provides approximately 180-degree polar pattern at 1KHz. 

The build quality on this is great. All metal construction, metal grill, metal body. It feels like you could beat someone to death with this thing (but I wouldn't recommend it). The mic mount is plastic, and doesn't feel like the most sturdy mount I've handled. You also need a screw driver to tighten/loosen the hinge on the mount. 

The carrying case is a "hard shell" plastic case. The reason I put hard shell in quotation marks is this case is because it is plastic, but not sturdy plastic. The locking mechanism on the case is a cheap plastic hinge that will break if you use it too much, and the case doesn't seem like it will protect the mic from too much. HOWEVER, most mics I have tested out, only come with a carrying pouch, so this does offer more protection than most.

Pros

  • Sturdy Construction 
  • Good Sound Quality
  • Carrying Case
  • XLR Microphone (can use different preamps, interfaces, etc.)

Cons

  • Frequency Response rolls off at 40hz. Doesn't provide full audible frequency range.
  • Requires 36v of Phantom Power (not necessarily a con, but for some people this means an additional investment which could be a bad thing).
  • No cables included.

Conclusion

Overall, I really like this microphone. It is a great sound for the cost, and it is one of my favorites that I have tested out to date. As I mentioned before, it does require a minimum of 36v of phantom power, so if you are planning on plugging this directly into your USB adapter, it will not work. You will also need to purchase cables if you are going to be purchasing this mic.

If you are just doing gaming videos, I don't think you need to invest in a $50 microphone like this that requires phantom power and a bunch of other stuff, I think you will be fine with a $30 mic that works with a $5 adapter. The people that will get the most benefit out of this higher quality are musicians who are recording vocals, or acoustic instruments. This will give you that little bit of an edge. It is also an XLR microphone so you will be able to upgrade to better preamps, or interfaces.

If you have any questions about the microphone, leave them in the comments down below or on youtube and I will get back to you ASAP. Thanks for watching & reading. 

Behringer C-1: http://amzn.to/1X1aj1w
Behringer C-1u: http://amzn.to/1NV8jYf
Phantom Power Supply: http://amzn.to/1lqCFGV
USB Audio Adapter: http://amzn.to/1X1asBV

Behringer Xenyx 302USB Review / Explained / Test

This is a fairly thorough walkthrough of all the features of the Behringer Xenyx 302USB Mixer.

Things to Know

  1. This is a USB mixer meaning you can hook it up to your computer. HOWEVER, it does not provide the option to record audio to separate tracks at the same time. All audio going through the mixer is sent to the computer as a SINGLE audio track. 
  2. This mixer provides Phantom Power to your microphone, however, I was unable to find a switch, so I assume it is always on. Therefore, I want to include the disclaimer BE CAREFUL IF YOU'RE USING A RIBBON MIC WITH THIS!

Performance / Featrures

The first thing that I really like about this mixer is that it provides latency free monitoring. It has a single XLR input with a 2 band eq and pan fader. It also has preamp gain and mic volume. I did notice that there was a bit of noise when I got the preamp above 50%. 

The second channel consists of 2 options. 1) RCA Line in or 2) USB Input. The first option is fairly self explanatory, but with the click of the red button, the second one allows you to hear your computer is playing. Directly next to the red button, this option allows you to send channel 2's audio to the mix, or just to your headphones. This is perfect for recording. If you are recording vocals or guitar in a DAW, you just want your previously recorded tracks to go just to your headphones, you don't want that stuff re-recorded onto every track.

In the upper right hand side of the mixer are (2) 3.5mm jacks. One is for your headphones, and the other is for a microphone input. If you have a gaming headset that splits into (2) 3.5mm jacks, this will work. I do want to know that, this microphone input is controlled by the channel one faders & knobs. Therefore, I would only recommend using one or the other. 

Lastly, it has an RCA main mix output, so you can send the audio to an amplifier and hear your mix/recording on bigger speakers.

Conclusion

I think this is a pretty cool little device. I wish I had it when I was just getting into recording. It sounds good. It makes recording very easy, and it provides more control over your sound than if you were to just plug into a USB audio adapter (like I do for all my videos).  The one main issue I have with this device is that it is not easy to expand from. Basically, it's a great starters unit, but if you have a few extra bucks, I would recommend springing a more powerful version like the Q802USB or Q1202USB. These more powerful versions will provide you more room to expand and you won't have to upgrade too much.

If you have any questions about this Mixer, leave them in the comments down below or on youtube and I'll try to get to them ASAP. Thanks for reading & watching.