IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD Review

Today I'm reviewing an outdated microphone that has a newer model already released...the iRig Mic HD.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to my 2017 iMac with the input gain set at 11:00. 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 $110.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone

  2. Microphone Mount

  3. 5/8" to 3/8" Stand Adapter

  4. USB-A Cable

  5. Lightning Cable

  6. Cable lock

  7. Storage pouch

  8. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 40Hz - 18kHz

  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid

  3. Max SPL: 134dB (3% THD)

  4. Bit Depth: 24-Bit

  5. Sample Rate: 48kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone is sufficient. It has an all metal body and a sturdy feeling metal grill. It does feel a bit on the light side which makes me reluctant about the durability of this microphone's body. On one side you will find the microphone gain dial, and on the other side you will find a multi-color LED light which can be used for metering. 

The frequency response is listed as 40Hz - 18kHz. They do not have any frequency response published, but while listening to the audio samples it is apparent that this not as presence boosted as the majority of handheld dynamic microphones. 

The polar pattern of this mic is cardioid. The background noise rejection did not blow my socks off. At 90 / 270-degrees, there was almost no low frequencies; there was only treble. Once we got around the mic to 180-degrees, all the treble had been eliminated and the low end returned. 

The overall performance of this mic is a mixed bag. The tone of this microphone is pretty good (if you like flatter microphones). Because it is flatter it is more neutral, and is a bit more boring sounding. The preamp fairly quiet all the way up to 100%, but it is difficult to measure the actual noise floor since I do not have an anechoic chamber to test this in. On the other hand, it suffered significantly from plosives which could lead to ruined recordings. The handling noise was also pretty disappointing. 

Pros

  • Convenient since it's compatible with multiple OS (Mac, Windows, iOS)

  • HD Recording (24-bit, 48kHz)

  • Relatively neutral response compared to other handheld dynamics

  • Relatively quiet preamp

Cons

  • Lacks latency free monitoring

  • Suffers from plosives

  • Did not perform well with handling noise

Conclusion

If you are looking for a USB mic to run on your windows or mac computer, I would suggest you look somewhere else for a microphone. I say this because this microphone suffers so badly from plosives, it doesn't do well with handling noise, and it lacks latency free monitoring. Additionally the USB microphone market it very competitive so you can get a microphone that meets all your requirements for the same price if not cheaper.

On the other hand, if you're looking for a handheld dynamic microphone, that requires HD audio, has a relatively neutral frequency response, and runs to your iOS device over lightning cable, then your options are much more limited. I think in that case, this may be one of the only options you have, but i would suggest you check out the Mic HD 2 as it added the latency free monitoring, and hopefully they improved the plosive issue. 

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

Buy the IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD
US: https://amzn.to/2v9xvJ4
UK: https://amzn.to/2v6cDSY
CA: https://amzn.to/2EEZHDc
DE: https://amzn.to/2IN4RPW

Buy the IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD 2
US: https://amzn.to/2Hfgr9n
UK: https://amzn.to/2v7q2dn
CA: https://amzn.to/2EEGdhS
DE: https://amzn.to/2qqFZWt

 

Shure MV51 Digital Condenser Mic Review / Test / Explained

It's been a while since I've done a supplemental write up for a review I've done, but I'm back. Today I am talking about a USB/Lightning microphone that is perfect for musicians/podcasters that are constantly on the road; the Shure MV51 Digital Condenser Microphone

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

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. 1m Micro USB to USB Cable
  3. 1m Micro USB to Lightning Cable
  4. 5/8" to 3/8" Mic Stand Adapter
  5. Documentation
  6. 2-Year Warranty

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Max SPL: 130dB
  4. Bit Depth: 16/24-Bit
  5. Sampling Rate: 44.1/48kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality on this microphone is amazing. It's built like a tank, which is what I've personally come to expect from Shure after using their SM7B and SM48 for years. The construction is all metal, including the kick stand which is firmly attached and does not wiggle around at all. At the end of the kickstand is a rubber foot to keep the mic from sliding around, but if you want to attach the mic to a microphone stand, simply unscrew the rubber foot to reveal a 5/8" thread.

On the front of the microphone, you have a volume control slider, an LED light strip to present mic input volume & headphone output volume, a microphone mute button, a headphone volume selector, and a mode select button to switch between the five different DSP's built into the microphone.

  1. Speech - DSP Designed for speech. Great for podcasts/voice overs.
  2. Singing - DSP Designed for singing. Perfect if you're recording a vocal track.
  3. Quiet & Acoustic Performance - DSP Designed for quiet performances. If you're recording an acoustic cover, this is the mode for you.
  4. Loud Music or Band - DSP Designed for Loud Environments. The mode to use if you are recording your bands rehearsal or live performance.
  5. Flat - This DSP has no processing done to it. If you are recording something that you want to add your own effects to in a DAW, choose this mode.

On the back of the microphone you have two ports. The first is the connection port that you will use to connect to your iPhone or computer. The second port is a 3.5mm headphone jack which provides latency free monitoring.

Pros

  • Amazing Build Quality
  • Connects to iOS devices through Lightning Port
  • Sounds great on electric/acoustic/voice
  • Low noise floor

Cons

  • Fairly wide polar pattern for cardioid polar pattern

Conclusion

I love this microphone. I don't necessarily think that this is a microphone that will replace your home studio setup, but I do think that this fulfills a need that desperately needed solving. I think this is an almost perfect microphone for musicians & podcasters who are constantly on the road. Let me explain:

  • It's built like a tank so you don't have to worry about it taking a beating when you're on your tour bus, or when your bag is being thrown around by TSA.
  • You can connect this thing to your damn iPhone, so you don't have to lug around your laptop in case inspiration strikes you and you need to record an idea.
  • It sounds pretty damn good for a microphone that connects to your cell phone, meaning your demo will sound MUCH better and your podcast recorded in that hotel room won't sound like a message you left your mom in 1984.

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/2g8PyE4
UK: http://amzn.to/2fsN8iD

Shure MV88 iOS Condenser Mic Review / Test

Today is the second installment of my Shure iOS microphone review series. Today, I reviewed the lightning adapter microphone, the Shure MV88

This microphone is exclusively an iOS microphone, as it can only connect directly through the lightning port.

Currently, you are able to have headphones connected to your iPhone while recording, but with the removal of the headphone jack, this may become an issue that Shure has to address in an updated MV88 that includes a 3.5mm Headphone port. 

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $150 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Pop Filter / Wind Screen
  3. Carrying / Storage Case
  4. 3.5mm Extender for Headphones
  5. Documentation
  6. 2 Year Warranty

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: Not Listed
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid & Bi-Directional
  3. Recording Quality: 24 bit / 48kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic is decent. It is still metal, but it does not have any substantial weight to it. This is most likely by design since it is a traveling microphone. Regardless, I personally prefer mics to have some nice weight to them. The mic also only offers 90-degrees of motion, so if you want to point the mic in the opposite direction, you will need to unplug and flip it over which will cause the mic to cover part of the 3.5mm headphone jack.

There are no controls on the microphone, everything is handled through the app. The app offers 5 DSP Presets:

  • Speech
  • Singing
  • Acoustic
  • Loud Performance
  • Flat

You are also able to switch between many polar patterns

  • XY - 60-75-90-105-120-135
  • Cardioid
  • Bi Directional
  • Raw Midside

There is also a control to add a limiter, compressor, or wind reducer. 

As far as performance, I think it's a big improvement over the iPhone's / iPad's internal microphone. It sounded great while recording guitar/singing simultaneously. It provided clear audio and a nice stereo sound. 

Pros

  • Provides great sound compared to internal microphone
  • Extremely portable
  • Lots of control options

Cons

  • Only 90-degrees of motion
  • Does not have built in 3.5mm headphone jack (may be issue on iPhone 7)

Conclusion

This may seem like it is an expensive device, but one you start to analyze what you're getting for the $150, you will find that it is a great deal. It is much like getting 3 different microphones and a mobile DAW. You have an XY mic, a Cardioid Mic, and a Mid Side microphone. You also get a DAW that allows you to add compression, limiters, and wind reduction as well as edit your audio. 

It's also important to note that if you are new to recording and don't have a full understanding of the process, they offer 5 presets to help get you started. 

If you are stuck using an iOS device to record your podcast, film your band's show or comedy show, or even vlog, I think this microphone is a great option to improve your audio so you can have a better quality video that you can critique or share.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, 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/2d96uJd
UK: http://amzn.to/2cIGHrd