Neewer NW-8 XLR Condenser Mic Review

Today I review another super cheap OEM microphone from China from Neewer, the Neewer NW-8.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at 10:00. 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 $30.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone

  2. Windscreen

  3. Shockmount

  4. 5/8" to 3/8" Adapter

  5. XLR to 3.5mm Cable

  6. 3.5mm TRRS Splitter

  7. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz

  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid

  3. Sensitivity: ~-37dB

  4. Impedance: 150-ohms

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic feels sub par. The body is all plastic with a metal grill. It does have a little bit of weight to it which adds a decent feel to it, but all around it feels like an unreliable, poorly built microphone. 

The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. They did not provide a frequency response graph of this microphone, which is not surprising given the price. Listening to it though, it sounds as though it lacks in the low end as well as the high end, making for a somewhat mid forward microphone.

The polar pattern of this mic is standard cardioid. It does not do a great job at off axis or background noise rejection, and the coloring as you move around the mic changes pretty drastically. 

The overall performance of this mic is about as good as you would expect out of a $30 microphone. If you connect it direct to your computer with the provided 3.5mm cables, it does not sound good at all as there is lots of noise. If you connect it to an USB Audio Interface with phantom power and an XLR cable, it sounds decent. As previously mentioned it does seem very mid forward, but I did not hate it for electric, acoustic, or for singing. For spoken word, the lack in the low end, and the lack in clarity makes this sound like exactly what it is, a $30 microphone. 

Pros

  • Dirt cheap

  • Lots of accessories

  • When connected to USB Audio Interface, it's usable

Cons

  • Not a good build quality

  • When connected as 3.5mm mic, it sounds bad

  • Lacks in low end & high end.

Conclusion

If you are just recording demos so you can hear your song ideas, I think this microphone would be fine. But if you're planning on using this microphone for any form of professional application I believe you should move on to another 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 Neewer NW-8
US: https://amzn.to/2Khy7jl
UK: https://amzn.to/2HsUMLD
CA: https://amzn.to/2r0CAz4
DE: https://amzn.to/2r5j03w

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

Neewer 3.5mm Mini Lapel Mic Review / Test

The Neewer 3.5mm Mini Lapel Mic is a super cheap option for people who want to try a lavalier mic for their videos.

What's In the Box 

  1. The Microphone(s)

Performance / Features

The build quality on these mics is terrible. I have had multiple mics fail in the middle of a day long shoot which ended up rendering the video for the entire day useless. This is a huge pain, but you have to realize that they are about $1.50 a piece.

The microphone sounds decent, especially when held in front of the sound source. It has a decent enough low response and a clear high end. However, once the microphone is clipped to a shirt, you lose a lot of the clarity. This is fairly common with most lapel microphones, so I can't hold it against this mic in particular. 

Pros

  • SUPER CHEAP
  • Decent sound

Cons

  • Horrible build quality
  • Picks up lots background noise
  • Loss of clarity when clipped to shirt

Conclusion

I think that this is a great entry level lapel microphone. If you're trying to make a vlog or something, this is a great option to see if you like the idea of using a Lapel mic. I don't think that this is a good long term option (but I still continue to use them after a few mishaps with the mic failing).

So I would recommend this to anyone interested in lapel mics, or to anyone who is on a budget. 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. 

5-Pack: http://amzn.to/1JRw9E4
3-Pack: http://amzn.to/1WiuTvw
USB Soundcard Used: http://amzn.to/1INAuru

Neewer NW-800 Condenser Microphone Review / Test

Today I am testing out the Neewer NW-800. This is another cheap mass produced microphone that companies buy and just slap there name on. For comparison, this mic is incredibly similar to the BM-800 with just a few small differences. Also, if you do like this microphone and are considering picking it up, it will cost you approximately $24 on Amazon. 

It's important to note that this is a CONDENSER microphone and therefore requires voltage to function. I use a USB adapter that provides 4.5v to the microphone. You can also use a phantom power supply with this microphone.

What's In the Box 

  1. Condenser Microphone
  2. Pop Filter
  3. Shock Mount
  4. 5/8" to 3/8" Mic Stand Adapter
  5. XLR to 3.5mm Cable
  6. Documentation

Performance / Features

This microphone feels as though it is decently built, but I would not beat it up to test that theory out because the internal components seem fairly delicate. The body and the grill are both metal, and the grill has a much finer mesh, which I believe will eliminate pops better than this microphones predecessors. The shock mount does it's job well, and the cable will most likely suffice.

The frequency response of this microphone is 20Hz - 16kHz which is pretty nice. It does seem to still have a rather bright tone and the bass end is not overly boomy. All around, I like the performance in this area. The frequency response sounds very similar to the BM-800 when compared, but the BM-800 has a more bass heavy sound.

The microphone does pick up audio all around it although the majority of audio picked up on the backside of the microphone is dull sounding and unusable. It did a decent job at avoiding my keyboards noise during that test, which is good for gamers. It also did very well at the distance test.

Pros

  • Good Sound Quality
  • Functions on 4.5v 
  • Decent Build Quality
  • Performs Decently at Distances
  • Good at Isolating Sound
  • Has almost Everything You Need!

Cons

  • Lacks Some Frequencies
  • Poor Documentation
  • Still Picks Up Some Room Noise

Conclusion

 

I think that this will be a good microphone for gamers. It has a nice professional sound (when connected properly and with sufficient power) and it has a nice enough pickup range so you will not have to focus on microphone technique while you are gaming. 

For musicians, this microphone will work well for cover videos on youtube, but I think it lacks in performance when compared to professional studio microphones. This will not provide sound quality similar to $500 microphones, but for youtube covers, pre-production, or demos, this will be a great addition to your studio.

If you're a podcaster, this microphone can get you started, but I would recommend you get a dynamic microphone like the Pyle PDMIC58, Shure SM48, or Shure SM58. Dynamic microphones are much better at cancelling out background noise and room noise, and since you are only focussing on talking you can worry more about microphone technique. 

This microphone sounds good. Just like all the NW-700, BM-700, BM-800, and NW-1500, this microphone will be great for a beginner. All you need is a microphone stand, a USB Interface, and maybe some phantom power and you will be 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. 

Neewer NW-800: http://amzn.to/1SB0acW
Sabrent USB Adapter: http://amzn.to/1INAuru

Neewer Mic Suspension Boom Arm Review

This is an off day review because this doesn't count. I am talking about the Neewer Microphone Suspension Boom Arm

What's In the Box 

  1. Desk Mount
  2. Microphone Boom Arm
  3. Microphone Clip
  4. 5/8" to 3/8" Microphone Stand Adapter

Performance / Features

The build on this thing is pretty decent. It's an all metal stand and a metal mount. The mic clip that is provided is somewhat cheap feeling, and the mic stand adapter is not of the highest quality. 

I have two main issues with this boom arm.

(1) the springs on the boom arm tend to cause a bit of noise. If the microphone you have mounted to this arm is not on a shock mount, and you bump the desk or springs on the stand, you will hear it all in your recording. It tends to sound like a hum in the background (it almost sounds like 60 cycle hum).

The solution to this issue would be to utilize a shock mount. A practice I would recommend even with a higher end boom arm.

(2) The joint that the microphone clips on to is attached via pressure. It is placed between two pieces of metal that are squeezed together to hold it in place. This is not the sturdiest option. If you have a heavy mic and have this joint point downwards, there's a chance that this joint will break and your microphone will fall. This happened to me and I was not able to fix the joint. 

The solution to this problem is to keep this joint always pointed up so gravity cannot become your worst enemy. (if this second issue is confusing, I demonstrate it in the video).

Pros

  • SUPER CHEAP
  • Decent Build Quality

Cons

  • Springs cause noise
  • Microphone joint is poorly designed

Conclusion

This is a $15 microphone boom arm that gets the job done. I would absolutely recommend it. Just make sure you're aware of both of the issues that I pointed out, and you'll be fine. I would also recommend staying away from the boom arm that has the microphone cable built into it. The issue I see with that version of the boom arm is, if the mic cable goes bad, you're going to have to cut the mic cable and pull it out of the stand. You're better off just buying the solo boom arm and purchasing a separate cable.  

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: http://amzn.to/1O083U2

What's In Your Bag: Santa Fe Comic Con Edition

I just got back from Covering Santa Fe Comic Con, and I figured I would do a video of "What's in Your Bag?". I will link each item and let you know how it functioned in the convention setting.

  • Timbuk2 TSA Messenger Bag - This bag has yet to let me down once. Highly recommend it.
  • Zojirushi Water Bottle - Another item that has yet to let me down. It is a bit expensive but it will keep you hydrated and not ruin your computer/camera gear. 
  • Field Notes - Even if you are not going to a con, you need to have one of these in your pocket. You never know when you need to take notes, or write a to-do list, or have a brilliant Idea. I always have one in my back pocket.
  • Fisher Space Pen - This is my favorite pen and it always goes with me. Super small and reliable. And this is a custom version to commemorate hitting 100 subs on my youtube channel.
  • Google Acer Chromebook - I am a big fan of this laptop, and I use it more than my Macbook Pro, however, you do not need to take a computer to a convention unless you know you're going to be doing writing throughout the day. This was unnecessary. 
  • Neewer Lav Mic - These things cost about $7, and you get three of them for that cost. HOWEVER, this mic shorted out and yielded almost all my footage from the convention useless. If you are going to get these, be careful, and make sure to check the recordings and make sure they are working before recording anything important.
  • Zoom H1 - I love Zoom's recorders and this is no exception. I got so much use out of this thing. I set it on autogain, tossed it on the table at panels and hit record. It worked like a charm and it's small and portable. One of the most useful things I brought with me.
  • Emergency Battery - Lucky for me, I did not have to use this. But, I always keep it in my bag with an extra iPhone cable. 
  • Go Pro Hero 3 - This is another one of those devices that you just can't go wrong with. I love this thing and I filmed almost all my footage with this thing, however, the lav mic caused all of it to be useless. Not the GoPro's fault though. I do with there was a way to monitor microphone levels though.
  • Samsung NX1000 - This camera worked alright. In lowlight, it struggled, and I started to get some noise when I was in low ISO's, so I'm not sure if this is a great option for conventions. I didn't use the kit lens either. I did take a lot of photos, but many of them didn't turn out well. I blame my amateur photography skills for that, and not the camera.
  • Samsung NX 16mm LensThis is a great lens, but just not for my needs. This is a lens designed for beautiful landscapes, and I'm sure it can kick butt at those. I will have to test that out and get back to you. 
  • Samsung NX 45mm Lens - This lens is the sex. That's what the kids are saying, right? Well I love this lens. It is beautiful, provides great DOF, and a big aperture and just all around great! I took the majority of my photos with this lens, and some of them look spectacular. When there was enough light, the photos turned out great. I have included an image taken with this camera, above. 

Neewer NW-1500 Condenser Microphone Review/Test

Greetings Earthlings. Time for another Mic Review. This is another new mass produced mic that we will be seeing under a bunch of different names. This is the first one that I saw though, so I picked it up. This is another omni directional, condenser microphone. The sound on the sides of the microphone does seem to be a somewhat dead area, or at least does not provide high quality audio in those locations. The frequency response ranges from 20Hz - 16kHz. which provides a slightly better low end response compared to the other mass produced Chinese microphones I have tested out.

I have no complaints about the microphone's construction. It seems to be built very well. It simply looks, and feels, like they took the body of the NW-700 and added a new microphone capsule on top of it to emulate the Blue Spark. This mic also comes with absolutely everything you will need to get started, Mic, Shockmount, Stand, Cable, & Pop Filter. Some of the accessories are not the best quality but they will definitely get you started.

This microphone also does require power. About 5V to be exact. Most modern sound cards are capable of producing 5V of power, but some of the older sound cards only put out about 3V. If this is the case on your microphone, I recommend picking up the SABRENT USB AUDIO ADAPTER, which is a USB audio adapter, and that will probably solve the issue (that's how I recorded the video).

Let me know if you have any questions about this microphone in the section down below, and if I receive enough questions, I will create a follow up video that will be released on Sunday.

Buy it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Yw2lB9

Neewer NW-700 Microphone Review & Test

Tuesday means podcast gear review. Today I'm testing out the Neewer NW-700. I will share a hunch I have with you. I think that this is the exact same microphone as the Excelvan BM-700. 

What's in the Box?

Let's go ahead and look at what comes in the box when you order this microphone:

  1. Cardioid Condenser Microphone (XLR)
  2. Microphone Shock mount
  3. Microphone Cable (XLR to 3.5mm)
  4. Ball Pop Filter
  5. User Manual / Spec Sheet

It pretty much has everything you will need to start recording except for two things, 1) microphone stand, and 2) audio interface. Don't worry, the mic stand is only $13, and the audio interface is only $6. 

Performance / Features

This is an cardioid condenser microphone with a frequency response from 20Hz - 16KHz. And guess what. It sounds pretty dang good, especially for a $22 microphone kit.

I do want to mention that this microphone REQUIRES some power to function. It does not require full 48V of phantom power, but a minimal amount of voltage. I have tested it out and it works perfectly fine off the 5v provided through a usb audio adapter. I do not have a computer with a built in microphone input, but I have been told that this microphone sounds terrible when plugged directly into your computers microphone input.

Conclusion

This is a great microphone kit. It sounds great and it's super cheap. I highly recommend it for voice overs or starting a podcast. The great thing is, it is an XLR microphone, so if you would like to upgrade to a better interface in the future, you are able to do so. This is a downside to all USB microphones, and why I prefer XLR mics like this. 

To simplify, $22 and you'll be on your way. Throw in another $13 for the stand and another $6 for the usb adapter, and you are looking $41 for a complete solo recording set up. If you are on a budget and need something to start, this is the mic for you.

If you do have any questions about the microphone, let me know in the comments and I will answer them as soon as possible. Thanks for watching. Bye.

NW-700 on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1VJXgCE
USB Audio Adapter on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1NRL9xh