Today I'm reviewing an insanely cheap USB Condenser Microphone from Neewer, the NW-3U.
For this review, I have the mic connected directly to my 2017 iMac with the input gain set at 56%. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in finalcut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.
If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $15.00 on Amazon
What's In the Box
Microphone Clip (No 5/8 to 3/8" adapter)
Frequency Response: 20Hz - 17kHz
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Max SPL: 132dB
Self Noise; 16dBA
Bit Depth: 16-Bit
Sample Rate: 48kHz
Performance / Features
The build quality of this microphone is lack luster. It has a plastic body which makes it feel like a cheap toy. It has a metal grill with minimal foam to assist in reducing plosives, and it is a decent weight but leans a bit on the light side.
The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 17kHz. I have included a copy of the frequency response below, but I do not think that it is an accurate representation of the sound. This mic sounds as though it has a mid forward sound which causes a somewhat nasally tone. It also lacks in the lower frequencies which makes the microphone sound a bit thin.
The polar pattern of this mic is cardioid. The background noise rejection was nothing spectacular, but it did a decent job. 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.
The overall performance of this mic is shocking given the price. The stand out feature of this microphone is the preamp. Even with the gain set at 100% there was almost no noise. That is an impressive accomplishment in high end gear, and this thing comes from the budget bin. The tone of this microphone has it's limitations apparent in the nasally tone and thin low end, however, given the price tag, I think the price to performance ratio is amazing.
Clean Preamps (even at 100% gain)
Decent sound quality
Great price/performance ratio
Bit depth limited to 16-bit
Cheap feeling build
If you are in the market for a new USB condenser microphone and you have a budget of around $30, I think this is a great option. If you were to pick this up along with a boom arm and a pop filter, you'd be ready to start recording. Will this be the end all be all in terms of audio quality, no. But will it out perform most, if not all other microphones at the $15 price tag; probably.
If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP.