CAD U1000 USB Studio Condenser Mic Review / Test

Today we're reviewing a potato, I mean a microphone from CAD; the CAD U1000. This mic is listed compatible with Windows & Mac.

For the majority of this review, I have connected the mic directly to my mac computer with the computer gain set at ~35%. I have not boosted the audio at all in post, and there is no other post processing completed on the audio.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $40-$80 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Wind Screen
  3. USB to USB cable
  4. Microphone Mount
  5. Desktop Microphone Stand
  6. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sampling Rate: 44.1kHz
  4. Bit Depth: 16-Bit

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone feels decent. It has an all metal body and a metal grill covering the capsule. On the front of the microphone you will find a blue LED light to indicate that it is receiving power. Directly beneath this, you will find a headphone volume up and down control. Next you'll find a microphone mute button that does not mute the microphone's signal to the computer, but rather mutes the zero latency monitoring. Lastly you will find a 3.5mm headphone port which does offer latency free monitoring.

The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. I do not think this microphone offers any sound worth discussing in depth. It is underwhelming and sounds exactly like you would expect a low end USB mic to sound.

The polar pattern of this mic is listed as cardioid. It did pick up a fair amount of audio as we moved around the microphone, and also picked up a bit of the quiet keyboard that I test while reviewing the mic.

The overall performance of this mic is mediocre at best. As you can tell, throughout the majority of the review (on the mac), there are clipping artifacts in the audio. I demonstrate how no matter what gain I set the mic at, there are clipping artifacts. On the windows machine this issue did not occur. My issue here is that the mic is listed as compatible with Windows and MAC, and just like other CAD mics I've tested, the performance on the MAC computer leaves a LOT to be desired.

Pros

  • Comes with everything you need
  • Fairly quiet preamp
  • Zero latency monitoring
  • Decent build quality

Cons

  • If you get too close to the microphone on a mac, it clips
  • Audio recorded sounds very mediocre

Conclusion

No I do not recommend this microphone, even if you can get it for the discounted $40. I think that the clipping issue on the mac is unacceptable and do not have faith in a company that would release a product like this.

Some of you may be thinking I'm being too harsh, and that this could be attributed to a faulty unit, however, I have tested out two other CAD microphones and experienced very similar issues, and was not able to receive any assistance from the company. For $40, I would suggest looking at something like the Samson Go Mic, and all around better microphone.

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/2lAwHGU
UK: NA

Razer Kraken Pro Analog Gaming Headset Review / Test

Today we're looking at another gaming headset from Razer; the Razer Kraken Pro Analog Gaming Headset.

I think the main selling point of this headset is the universal compatibility. It is marketed as compatible with Playstation 4, Xbox One, Windows and Mac! 

For the majority of this review, I have the Razer Kraken Pro connected directly to my MacBook Pro with the input gain set at 10%. In my sound preferences, I checked the meter, and I was not clipping, however, you will hear that there is an exorbitant amount of clipping. I tried dropping my gain all the way down to 1% and I was still encountering a clipped sound signal even though the meter was showing sound levels no greater than 50%. 

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back between $50 & $80 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Headset (1.3m TRRS Cable Permanently Attached)
  2. TRRS Splitter
  3. Documentation

Specifications

Headphones

  1. Drivers: 40mm
  2. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  3. Impedance: 32-Ohms

Microphone

  1. Polar Pattern: Uni-directional
  2. Frequency Response: 100Hz - 10kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this headset is nothing spectacular. The majority of the construction is plastic, but it does feel like relatively high quality plastic when compared to a $20 headset. The headphones do offer a nice fit; providing a decent amount of give and just the right amount of pressure to ensure that they fit the majority of people's heads. The ear cups are very soft and comfortable. While the headband does not offer too much padding, it did not become uncomfortable at any point of my testing. The microphone articulates which is something that is important in a gaming headset, and it also retracts when not in use. The 1.3m cable is standard rubber, in the middle you have a control panel to adjust headphone volume and mute the microphone, and the cable terminates into a single 3.5mm TRRS jack.

The headphones offer a full frequency response ranging from 20Hz - 20kHz. The 40mm drivers push a lot of the lower frequencies which seem to drown out a lot of the higher end. However, the audio does not sound muddy. If you are a big fan of bass-heavy headphones, then this may be a good option for a gaming headset. If you're looking for an even sounding, flat frequency response set of headphones, this is not going to be for you.

The microphone, simply put, is not good. It has a harsh tone to it which almost hurts your ears. On the mac it was clipping no matter what gain I set it at. All around, it's just not a usable microphone for most applications. If you are looking to podcast, do voice overs, or do video game commentaries with this headset, look some where else. BUT, if you are going to be using it exclusively for online gaming, this mic may be perfect for that. Due to the harsh tone, it will allow your voice to cut through the games audio and ensure you're not lost in the mix.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Mic Articulates / Retracts
  • Heavy bass without sounding muddy
  • Microphone cuts through game sound due to harsh tone

Cons

  • Bad sounding microphone for any professional application
  • Bass overpowers higher frequencies
  • Headphone volume rocker is sensitive, and easy to accidentally hit

Conclusion

Overall, I can only recommend this for a single use case: Online Gaming. That's what it was designed for, and that's where this headset will live. It has good sounding headphones (if you like bass), and the microphone will cut through the game sound to ensure you're heard. On the other hand, if you want to use the microphone for Skype calls, voice overs, commentary, podcasts, etc, this headset will not cut it and you need to continue searching.

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/2kfOS0M
UK: http://amzn.to/2klnAbN

FiFine USB Condenser Mic (K056 / K058) Review / Test

Today, we're looking at another budget microphone straight from China, the FiFine K056 / K058 USB Condenser Microphone.

The main difference between this mic and the BM-100FX & NW-300E is the fact that this has 4-Pin XLR plug and a 4-Pin XLR to USB Cable, while the former 2 mics have a 3-Pin XLR plug and a 3-Pin XLR to USB/3.5mm Cable. The BM-100FX & NW-300E did not work well without the addition of a USB Soundcard to your audio connection; The K056 & K058 allow you to plug directly into your computer without the need for any additional gear. 

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $30 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. 4-Pin XLR to USB Cable
  3. Windscreen
  4. Microphone Mount
  5. 5/8" to 3/8" Mic Stand Adapter
  6. Desktop Microphone Stand
  7. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: -32dB
  4. Max SPL: 130dB
  5. Impedance: 1000-Ohms
  6. Power Requirement: 5v Provided Through USB Plug

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone is nothing great. It feels as though it is made with very cheap metal, so I would be careful with this mic. There are two dials on the side that control Volume & Echo. Unfortunately, the dials feel a bit loose and wobble when you put any pressure on them. The bottom of the microphone is the 4-PIN XLR PORT, which means you can ONLY USE 4-Pin XLR cables on this thing, so keep that in mind when shopping around. If this cable goes bad you may be out of luck in terms of a replacement. The desktop stand, microphone mount, and windscreen are also built with low quality materials.

The frequency response of this mic is 20Hz - 20kHz. I spent about 15 minutes trying to find a decent microphone placement for the electric guitar, but realized that it wasn't the placement that was bad, it was the mic. It lacked the majority of presence and just sounded dull. The acoustic was barely passable as well. It sounded as though it had a pulsating effect on it which made it unusable. The vocals, were okay at best. They lacked any shine or warmth, and were underwhelming.

The cardioid polar pattern did a nice job at background noise rejection, but still picked up a decent amount of keyboard noise. I believe that the echo feature is insane to include on a microphone. It only provides with the ability to control the intensity of the echo, with no way to adjust the timing of the echo. Also, there's no way to turn the echo off completely. Even with the dial set to 0, you can still hear a very slight echo.

Pros

  • Single USB plug
  • Volume Control on Mic
  • Echo (some may view it as a pro, although I hate it)
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Cannot completely turn off Echo
  • 4-Pin XLR is not very common (difficult to find replacement cable)
  • Cheap build quality
  • Subpar performance on Electric, Acoustic, and Singing

Conclusion

I think this mic is just decent. When I heard it I was not blown away, I was left thinking "Yup. That's what I expected from a $30 microphone". The polar pattern is fine, the frequency response left a lot to be desired in the higher frequencies, and the echo feature baffles me since you can't turn it completely off.

I'm not going to recommend this for any musicians as it does not sound good in any of the tests I performed. I'm not going to recommend it for podcasters either because having a slight echo would drive your listeners mad.

The only people I'm going to suggest this for are people who want a cheap mic to improve their Skype phone calls, people who want to do live streaming, or people who want to do light gaming commentary. Skype calls can have that very slight echo without bothering anyone, and for live streaming / gaming commentary, you'll have the game sound in the background to mask those imperfections.

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

Buy the K056/K058
US: http://amzn.to/2l0ILys
UK: http://amzn.to/2l0FajM

 

Rode NT1-A Anniversary Condenser Mic Review / Test

Today, we are looking at another high quality microphone from Rode, which is labeled The World's Quietest Studio Microphone; The Rode NT1-A.

This is an XLR condenser microphone, which means you will need to connect this to an audio interface that offers +48v of phantom power. For this review, I have connected the mic to my computer using the Focusrite Scarlett Solo, with the +48v phantom power turned on with my gain set around ~55%. In post, I did boost the signal +6dB as well, but no actual

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $230 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Pouch / Dust Cover
  3. Shock Mount
  4. Pop Filter
  5. XLR to XLR cable
  6. Documentation
  7. 10-Year Warranty

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: -31.9dB
  4. Max SPL: 137dB
  5. Impedance: 100-Ohms
  6. Phantom Power: 24v - 48v

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone is excellent. We have a full metal construction with a metal grill. Unlike a stage ready dynamic mic, this mic is delicate, so I absolutely recommend using care while handling this. The pouch does not offer any padding, but it can be used as a dust cover while the mic is mounted on your stand. The shock mount is all metal and feels very well built while performing it's job admirably. The pop filter is attached to the shock mount and did an excellent job at eliminating plosives during the test. 

The frequency response of this mic is 20Hz - 20kHz. On the electric guitar, it sounded full and crisp. During the electric guitar test, the palm muting had plenty of punchy low end without sounding muddy, and sharp high end that was not overwhelming. While testing the acoustic, we hear a similar sound; full low-mids, and crisp highs. On the vocals, the mic seemed to focus on the mids and highs without too powerful of a low end. As with every mic, this is based off a single microphone placement, and as you know, playing around with the mic placement is essential when getting the correct tones for your recording.

The cardioid polar pattern offers just the right amount of background noise rejection while maintaining the ability for your room to color the recording. For gamers and podcasters, this may not be ideal because you want as little background noise as possible, but for professional recordings made in a nice room, this will allow your recordings to sound unique to your studio.

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Great Natural Sound
  • Low Signal to Noise Ratio
  • Excellent Shock Mount & Pop Filter
  • 10 YEAR WARRANTY!!!

Cons

  • Delicate

Conclusion

As I said with the Rode NT1 review, I love this microphone. I think it sounds excellent, and I will absolutely add this to the mics I rotate for music recording and podcasting. If you like the tone of this microphone, and are looking for very low line noise, I absolutely recommend this mic! Keep in mind it does have a fairly wide polar pattern, which will pick up a bit of background noise, so if you're concerned with that, you may want to look into some dynamic microphones.

I also don't think that this is the right mic for people who are just starting on youtube or podcasting. I think that when starting out, you can get by with a much cheaper microphone. Then down the line if you want to improve the audio quality and you are well researched on microphones, then you should consider this 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 Rode NT1-A
US: http://amzn.to/2iFdsK5
UK: http://amzn.to/2jhStfq

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett Solo
US: http://amzn.to/2jpDz96
UK: http://amzn.to/2iA4ZER

Samson Q7 Dynamic Mic Review / Test

Today I'm talking about a dynamic XLR microphone by Samson; the Samson Q7 Dynamic Microphone.

This is an entry level dynamic microphone that has an insanely high Max SPL of 150dB. This leads me to believe that this would work great in a live situation.

For this video, I am connecting the mic to my computer using the Focusrite Scarlett Solo with my gain set at approximately 75%

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $50 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Mic Mount
  3. 5/8" to 3/8" Mic Stand Adapter
  4. Hardshell Carrying Case
  5. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 50Hz - 18kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Super Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: -57dB
  4. Max SPL: 150dB
  5. Impedance: 200-Ohms

Performance / Features

This mic has no frills or special features. No lights. No switches. Nothing. As far as the build quality, the construction is all metal and it feels incredibly sturdy and well put together. It also has some really nice weight to it. It feels like this mic would be able to handle the wear and tear of live use. 

The frequency response of this mic is pretty standard for a dynamic microphone, ranging from 50Hz - 18kHz. However, the sound signature is not my favorite of the dynamic mics I've tested. While listening to the acoustic it sounds like it lacks some high-mids while sounding a bit boomy in the low-mids. All in all, not my favorite EQ from a Samson microphone.

The polar pattern of the mic is Super Cardioid, which means it is extremely focussed. As you can tell during the tests, as soon as I move a little bit off axis the audio drops significantly. That is why I think this microphone would be an excellent decision for live performances as well as those who are concerned with excessive background noise.

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Hardshell Carrying Case
  • Extremely directional (superb noise rejection)
  • Relatively cheap

Cons

  • Quiet output
  • Not the best EQ tuning

Conclusion

I think this microphone is nothing more than a middle of the road dynamic microphone. It's not a mic I anticipate using for anything in the future, but I won't go so far as to not recommend it. 

If you are looking for a relatively cheap microphone for live performances, I think that this would be a great option since it has excellent noise rejection as soon as you get off axis. This means it would work well if you are playing with a full band, as your vocal mic would ignore quite a bit of the guitar amp/drums/etc.

Another use case I think this microphone would be fine for would be let's plays. Once again, the mic does great with noise rejection so you will not pick up as much of your keyboards noise as you would with a regular cardioid condenser mic.

Other than that, I think that you can find a better option within the same price range. 

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

Buy the Samson Q7
US: http://amzn.to/2hIam7G
UK: http://amzn.to/2i0AmsG

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett Solo
US: http://amzn.to/2iFxsKW
UK: http://amzn.to/2i0CrVE

Buy the XLR to USB Cable
US: http://amzn.to/2hIjivn
UK:http://amzn.to/2hIrQ5B

 

Lenovo Y Gaming Surround Sound Headset Review / Test

Today I am reviewing a wired gaming headset that offers surround sound as well as customizable lighting; the Lenovo Y Gaming Surround Sound Headset.

If you are interested in this headset, it will set you back $85 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Gaming Headset (1.8m Cable)
  2. Removable Microphone
  3. Documentation

Specifications

Headphones

  1. Headphone Drivers: 40mm
  2. Frequency Response: 5Hz - 30kHz
  3. Impedance: 32-ohms

Microphone

  1. Polar Pattern: Cardioid (Uni-directional)

Performance / Features

The construction of this headset is mainly plastic, while maintaining a sturdy feel. The headphones rotate a minimal amount to ensure that the headphones fit whatever head shape you have. The padding on the ear cups is very soft, but it is not breathable which leads to your ears getting hot after a little while of use, the padding on the headband is not soft, and is uncomfortable, and overall the headphones are just a bit too tight which also counts against this headset's comfortability.

The braided cable is 1.8m long and in the middle of the cord you will find a limited control panel which allows you to mute your microphone as well as turn up or down the headphones volume. The cable terminates into a USB and 3.5mm plug. It needs to be noted that you CAN NOT use both at the same time; you either get a USB headset or a 3.5mm headset.

Out of the box, the headphones are a bit too bass heavy and lack a lot of the presence and shine in the high end. If you are on a Windows machine, this is easily fixable with the Lenovo Y software which allows you to enter a custom EQ, or select a preset EQ.

The microphone did decent at background noise rejections, but that's about the only thing good it did. The audio quality is unnatural sounding and shrill, and it was even difficult to listen to while editing the review. The USB connection also introduces a slight digital clicking noise that is not extremely loud, but it still hinders the microphones quality. Lastly, this thing doesn't come with a pop filter or windscreen so it picks up every breath and every plosive which degrades the audio even further.

Pros

  • Surround Sound
  • Braided Cable
  • Customizable EQ
  • Decent build quality

Cons

  • Microphone sounds like a typical gaming headset
  • High line noise on the microphone
  • No pop filter / windscreen on the headset
  • Headset uncomfortable

Conclusion

My recommendation for this headset comes with a few caveats. First, if you are interested in buying this headset, wait for the price to drop. $85 is a bit much for a wired gaming headset when the gaming headset market is chock full of cheaper alternatives. Secondly, you have to be okay with crappy microphone quality; you cannot want to record podcasts or voice overs with this thing. Third, you need windows to run the lenovo software, and without the software, the headphones are nothing I would recommend. 

If you find these on sale, and you are okay with the second two caveats, then I think this headset will work well for you if you are only planning on using them for short gaming sessions.

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/2ilGhZ0
UK: NA

Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless Headset Review / Test

Today I am reviewing a completely wireless gaming headset; the Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Gaming Headset.

I do need to mention that this headset was sent to me by Logitech Gaming for the sake of doing this review. 

This is a gaming headset that is compatible with PC, Xbox One, and PS4, that has a programmable lighting, a retractable microphone, programmable buttons, and a storage compartment for the wireless dongle.

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

What's In the Box

  1. Gaming Headset
  2. Wireless USB Dongle
  3. USB Cable (3m)
  4. 3.5mm Cable (1.5m)
  5. RCA to 3.5mm Cable (1m)
  6. 3.5mm to 2.5mm Adapter
  7. Documentation

Specifications

Headphones

  1. Headphone Drivers: 40mm
  2. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  3. Battery Life: 12 Hours without lighting / 8 Hours with lighting

Microphone

  1. Polar Pattern: Cardioid (Uni-directional)
  2. Frequency Response: 100Hz - 20kHz

Performance / Features

The construction of this headset is mainly plastic, however, it feels extremely sturdy and very well put together. The ear cups rotate about 95-degrees which allows the headset to lay flat on your desk, or lay flat on your chest when they are hanging around your neck. The padding on the ear cups and headband is breathable, soft, and all around very comfortable.

On the front left ear cup you will find a retractable microphone, which is muted when it is retracted, and unmated when it is extended. On the back of the left ear cup you will find a volume wheel to adjust the headphones volume, a microphone mute button, 3 programmable buttons (which you will control using the logitech gaming software), and the power switch. On the outside of the left ear cup you will find a removable panel where you can store the wireless USB dongle to ensure you do not lose it while traveling. On the outside of the right ear cup you will find the battery for headset.

The headphones are the big selling point of this headset. In the flat mode they have a punchy and tight low end, and shimmering highs that do not sound shrill or fatiguing on the ears. You are also able to manually adjust the EQ (in the Logitech gaming software) to fit whatever sound signature you prefer. The 7.1 channel surround sounds great too, but keep in mind, I do not do much gaming so I cannot speak with any amount of authority in this arena.

The microphone does leave quite a bit to be desired as it just sounds like your standard gaming headset microphone. There was quite a bit of line noise when testing out the gain, which started at around 60-75%. However, the background noise rejection of this microphone is excellent. It picked up very minimal amounts of my keyboard while doing the typing test. 

Pros

  • Wireless
  • Headphones sound excellent
  • You can hear the mic in the headphones!!!
  • Custom EQ capabilities
  • Programmable lighting
  • 8-12 Hours of battery life
  • Great background noise rejection

Cons

  • Microphone sounds like a typical gaming headset
  • High line noise on the microphone

Conclusion

I would absolutely recommend this gaming headset if you are looking for a wireless headset that offers 7.1 channel surround sound. The headphones are the real selling point here; they sound excellent. They offer a great sound signature out of the box with great bass response that does not negatively impact the higher frequencies. On top of that, you can create your own EQ to fit what ever sound you prefer.

The microphone does not provide studio quality audio, but for gaming I think it will work well as it does a great job at rejecting background noise. However, if you are looking for a headset to podcast with, or do voice over work with, I do not think that this microphone will cut it. 

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

Buy the Logitech G933
US: http://amzn.to/2i4hrNm
UK: http://amzn.to/2hXbtBK

Blue Nessie Adaptive USB Mic Review / Test

Today I'm reviewing a mic that I've been trying to get my hands on for about a 4 months. The mic being featured is the Blue Nessie Adaptive USB Condenser Microphone

This is a USB microphone that is listed as compatible with Windows & Mac OS X. It offers multiple DSP modes which are marketed as a way to make recording easy, and it offers a built in pop filter & shock mount to ensure you do not suffer from any plosives or vibrations.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $100 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. 5-foot USB Cable
  3. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Max SPL: 110dB
  4. Bit Depth: 16-bit
  5. Sampling Rate: 48kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic seems pretty decent for the price. The base of the microphone is metal and has some substantial weight to it. The entire base acts as a dial to control the headphone volume as well. underneath the dial there is an LED light that glows when the microphone is plugged in and receiving power, and blinks when the microphone is muted.

Speaking of mute, on the front of the microphones neck, you have a single red button to mute/unmute the mic. On the back of the neck you will find a USB plug, a 3-way switch to change between the 3 modes (flat, voice, music), and directly above that you will find a 3.5mm headphone port which provides latency free monitoring.

When we get to the microphone capsule, the grills on both sides of the mic are metal, while the center blue piece is made of plastic. Within the casing there is a pop filter to eliminate plosives as well as a shock mount to ensure you don't suffer from vibrations or table bumps. You are also able to tilt the microphone about 90-degrees to make sure you get the best placement possible.

The frequency response ranges from 20Hz in the low end all the way to 20kHz in the high end. While playing guitar/singing on this mic, I think the performance was only decent on all the settings. When me moved to the acoustic guitar test, I thought that the only usable setting was the flat mode. On the voice mode, the guitar was overly boomy with very little presence, and while set to music mode, the high frequencies seemed overly shrill and piercing.

The cardioid polar pattern was the correct choice for this microphone as it sits directly on the desk. It did pick up a decent amount of keyboard noise, which is to be expected of any desktop microphone, and it picked up my voice fairly well even at 4-feet away. 

Pros

  • Built in pop filter
  • Decent audio quality
  • Latency free monitoring

Cons

  • Cannot remove mic from desktop stand
  • Picked up vibrations from computer & bumps of desk quite prominently

Conclusion

I was not impressed with this microphone. The audio quality is decent on the flat mode, but I found the two other DSP modes to be subpar. On top of that, you will be stuck using this as a desktop microphone, as you cannot remove the microphone from the stand and put it on a boom arm. This led to some issues during the test. I found the microphone picked up vibrations from my computer as well as bumps of the desk. Moreover, when you're forced to keep the microphone placed directly on your desk, it is difficult to get decent microphone placement to record instruments or your voice.

Although this microphone has plenty of features that are listed as selling points, I feel that it falls short and leaves a lot to be desired. If you are looking for audio quality for anything other than demos, I would suggest looking elsewhere.

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/2gQMT3M
UK: http://amzn.to/2hqa59W

 

Rode smartLav+ Smartphone Mic Review/Test

Today I am talking about a lavalier microphone that plugs directly into your smartphones 3.5mm jack; the Rode SmartLav+ Smartphone Lav Mic

My main concern with purchasing a 3.5mm TRRS microphone, like the smartLav+ is the potential for 3.5mm jacks disappearing from more smart phones in the future. If you are planning on upgrading to an iPhone 7 or any phone that has removed the 3.5mm jack, then this is not the microphone for you.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $80 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Lav Mic
  2. Windscreen
  3. Microphone Clip
  4. Carrying Pouch
  5. Quick Start Guide

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 60Hz - 18kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Omnidirecitonal 
  3. Mic Sensitivity: -35dB

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic feels pretty nice. The majority is plastic, but it has a nice reinforced joint where the cable meets the microphone, so I wouldn't be too worried about the cable shorting out. The windscreen is sufficient, and the microphone clip feels really nice, and provides a really nice option to route your mic cable to avoid unnecessary strain. 

The microphone only sounded decent when it was attached to my lapel. When I placed the microphone on the center of my shirt, it sounded much clearer, but still a little dull. This could be easily remedied with a quick EQ. When comparing it to a similar lavalier microphone that is only $40, I heard almost no difference, but this could be attributed to the fact that both mics were being run through the Rode Rec app. 

Pros

  • Reinforced cable joint
  • Provides wireless functionality w/ relatively low price tag
  • Nice mic clip

Cons

  • A bit expensive for sound quality achieved

Conclusion

This is only a decent microphone. It has a decent build quality but the audio quality leaves a bit to be desired. I also plan on upgrading to a new phone that has done away with the 3.5mm TRRS jack, so this mic will be obsolete if this trend continues.

I would only really recommend this if you are a Rode mic purist, or if you want a mic that plugs directly into your smartphone with no adapters needed. Other than that, I don't think it performs at a level that justifies the $80 price tag. You can pick up a microphone for half the price along with a TRRS adapter and have the same quality audio.

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/2dChCT5
UK: http://amzn.to/2dnFJ4M

SADES SA917 USB Stereo Gaming Headset Review / Test

Before I begin I need to mention that SADES sent me a review unit of this headset to test out for this review.

Today we are going to be looking at the updated 2016 version of the SADES SA917 USB Gaming Headset. As I'm sure you could guess from the name of this product, it is a USB gaming headset, meaning it has a single USB plug to power everything.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $33 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Gaming Headset (mic & cable attached)

Specifications

Headphones

  1. Drivers: 40mm
  2. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  3. Sensitivity: 115 +/- 3dB at 1kHz
  4. Impedance: 32 Ohms at 1kHz
  5. Max Input Power: 15mW

Microphone

  1. Frequency Response: 50Hz - 10kHz
  2. Polar Pattern (Not Listed): Omnidirecitonal (based on test)
  3. Mic Sensitivity: -38dB +/- 3dB

Performance / Features

The build quality of this headset is decent. It is still an all plastic build, but it feels sturdier than other headsets in the same price range. The padding on the ear cups and the headband is pretty comfortable, however, it does not form a tight seal around your ears. The microphone's joint feels a little bit too loose for my liking, which makes me believe that after a decent amount of use it will not stay in the desired position.

The cable is a standard 1.5m rubber USB cable with an inline controller. The control panel has a headphone volume control, microphone mute button, and a button to switch between different EQ settings. There are 4 options: (1) Off, (2) Red, (3) Green, (4) Blue. I don't know what each of these settings is because they did not list each of them. Based on listening, Red boosts bass frequencies, Green boosts high frequencies, and Blue boosts mid frequencies.

The headphones are not the best sounding that you will find. They lack a little bit in the high end and the audio in the lower frequencies is a little loose. The sound is still better than other headsets I've tested at a similar price point. 

The microphone flat out does not sound good. It is very dull sounding, almost as if you were speaking through a sheet. It lacks a LOT of high end and once you get above 50% on the gain you start to hear digital artifacts. It is also an omnidirectional microphone which means it picks up quite a bit of keyboard noise while you're gaming. You also are unable to articulate the mic to move it closer or farther away from your mouth. 

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Decent headphone sound
  • USB Headset for easy setup
  • Inline Controls
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Poor microphone quality
  • Omni directional mic is not ideal for gaming

Conclusion

If you are on a tight budget and are looking for a headset that has decent audio quality from the headphones, this is a great option and I absolutely recommend it. On the other hand, if you are looking for a gaming headset that has great audio quality from the microphone, this is not the headset for you. 

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/2duUgup
UK: http://amzn.to/2cz6cOQ

Samson G Track

Today I'm covering a unique item from one of my favorite microphone companies; The Samson G Track GMU1 USB Condenser Microphone.

The aspect of this microphone that sets it apart from other usb microphones lies in the fact that it functions as a USB microphone as well as a USB interface for your guitar/bass etc. 

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $85 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Mic Mount
  3. 5/8" to 3/8" Mic Stand Adapter
  4. USB Cable
  5. 3.5mm to RCA Cable
  6. (2) RCA to 1/4" Adapters
  7. 3.5mm to 1/4" Cable
  8. 3.5mm to 1/4" headphone cable
  9. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 16kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Super Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: -40dB
  4. SPL: 132 dB
  5. Recording Quality: 16 bit / 48kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone is pretty good. It is an all metal construction and it has some nice weight to it. After removing it from the microphone mount a few times, it does feel like the internals were a little bit loose, so I would be careful with this microphone.

On the bottom of the microphone you have three I/O ports. The first is a 3.5mm input, which is designed for guitar input, or rca input, which is why they provided cables in the box. The second is a 3.5mm headphone output. The last port is the USB port to connect the microphone to your computer.

On the front of the microphone there are two switches. The first switch is the Input selector which allows you to switch between "Mono instrument / mono mic" and "stereo instrument". If you're recording the microphone at all, you will need to utilize the mono instrument/mono mic setting. If you're recording using the stereo RCA cable, you'll need to utilize the "stereo instrument" setting.

Beneath these switches you have three dials. The first dial is the headphone volume control which is self explanatory. The second is the instrument volume, which will increase/decrease the 3.5mm instrument input gain. The last dial is the microphone gain control which will obviously increase/decrease the microphones gain.

As far as the performance of the microphone, it was nothing to write home about. The voice, electric guitar, and acoustic guitar all sounded like they lacked life. They simply sounded boring and flat. I'm sure that this could be partially remedied by some slight EQ & Compression, but it still won't sound amazing. 

Pros

  • Sounds decent
  • Functions as an interface/microphone
  • Relatively cheap for what you're getting

Cons

  • Audio sounds flat/dull
  • Excessively noisy preamp at 60% gain

Conclusion

This is a pretty cool device, however I don't think it will work for everyone. If you're looking to podcast or do voice overs, I don't think that this mic is designed well for you. There are too many options, it doesn't sound that great, and it picks up a bit of background noise from the keyboard.

If you're looking for studio quality audio, once again I don't recommend this mic. It simply does not provide good enough sound quality. The audio just sounded dull, and like you're not in the room with musician.

If you're looking to demo some music out or do some basic guitar covers/singing covers for youtube, I think that this is a perfect mic to test the waters and see how you like it. It's cheap and provides you all the necessary tools to connect your electric guitar while singing and will allow you the opportunity to see if you like making the videos. If you do, then you can consider upgrading to a higher quality interface and microphone.

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 Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2cnGaMt
UK: http://amzn.to/2cWb5C9

Rode Procaster Broadcast Dynamic Mic Review / Test

I've been waiting months to do this review, and I can't wait to put it up against it's USB counterpart in a future Versus Series. But for today, we're talking about the Rode Procaster. This is a Dynamic Broadcast XLR microphone, not to be confused with the Rode Podcaster, which is the USB version of this microphone.

This is a dynamic microphone, so it does not require phantom power. However, it does have a somewhat low output level, so you will end up turning your gain up relatively high. Therefore, I recommend picking up a Cloudlifter, if you plan on getting this mic.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $230 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Mic Mount
  3. 5/8" to 3/8" Mic Stand Adapter
  4. Carrying Case
  5. Documentation
  6. 10-Year Warranty
  7. A Damn Sticker!!!

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 75Hz - 18kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: -56dB
  4. Impedance: 320-Ohms

Performance / Features

This is how microphones should be built. This thing has an all metal construction, and has some REALLY nice weight to it. You can feel how substantial it is, and in all honesty, you could probably fight off an intruder and it would still work. The 10-year warranty, tells me how much faith Rode has in the quality of their mic. Even though the shockmount offers no shock absorption, the documentation does state that the capsule is protected by an internal shock mount as well as an internal pop filter. I did still run into some issues with plosives though, so i would still recommend an additional pop filter.

The frequency response of this mic is listed as 75Hz - 18kHz, which on paper, I was somewhat let down by, but once I heard it on my voice, I was back on board. The response is more than sufficient for voice overs / podcasts. The low end is full and tight, without being muddy, and the high end has nice presence and adds a great shimmer to your voice.

They list the polar pattern as Cardioid, and damn it, this thing is directional. As soon as I got slightly off axis, my voice dropped off a LOT. Also, when I smashed a keyboard behind the mic while speaking, you could hardly hear the keyboard. Some people might not like how narrow the polar pattern is, but for me, I love it. It will allow you to be in a room with multiple podcasters, and limit the amount of bleed between the microphones.

As far as other specs, they list a sensitivity of -56dB, and an impedance of 320-Ohms. Honestly, the sensitivity left a little bit to be desired. It is is a lot louder than the SM7b, but not quite as loud as the SM58. For the price, I would have liked to see slightly better output, but this is just me being overly critical.

Pros

  • Sounds Awesome on Voice
  • Amazing Build Quality
  • Excellent Noise Rejection
  • 10-Year Warranty

Cons

  • A little on the quiet side
  • Even with internal pop filter, still experience some issues with plosives
  • Does not sound good on guitar

Conclusion

I absolutely love this microphone, but keep in mind that the majority of what I do is vocal based. They tuned this thing specifically for vocals, and it produces superb vocal reproduction. On the other hand, if you're planning to record instruments with this microphone, I don't think that this microphone is going to cut it for you.

It is important to remember that this is a Broadcast Dynamic microphone, meaning it was designed to be used in a broadcast setting with multiple people talking in the same room and limiting the amount of bleed between microphones. That's the type of situation that this microphone will truly shine in.

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 the Procaster:
US: http://amzn.to/2bPi8fR
UK: http://amzn.to/2c6RHSx

Buy the Cloudlifter:
US: http://amzn.to/2cA8Y6X
UK: NA

Saramonic VMIC Recorder Review / Test

Today we are looking at a product that's a bit different than usual. We are looking at the Saramonic VMIC Recorder. I do need to note that this microphone was provided to me by Saramonic so i was able to review it.

This is a camera top shotgun microphone that can be placed into the camera shoe on your DSLR/Video Camera, or mounted to a 1/4" tripod mount. What really sets this microphone apart is the fact that it not only has an output to connect the microphone to your camera, but it also allows you to record directly to an internal SD card.

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

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Pop Shield
  3. 3.5mm to 3.5mm Cable
  4. Documentation
  5. Warranty Card

Performance / Features

The construction of this microphone feels very good. The main casing for the recorder is metal, and the front/back plates are a firm plastic. The windscreen is pretty thick and should also provide adequate protection from wind/pops. The display on the back of the mic is bright enough that you should not have any issue seeing it while in direct sunlight. The 3 control buttons under the screen also feel well constructed.

On the front of the microphone, there are two 3.5mm jacks. The top jack is the output that you will use to connect to your camera's microphone input. The bottom 3.5mm jack is an output to connect your headphones to for live monitoring. Directly below these jacks there is the battery compartment/SD slot. The microphone takes (2) AA batteries that will provide you with 8 hours of recording time. As far as the SD card, it takes a micro SD card, and according to the documentation, the mic can handle up to a 32gb card.

The back of the microphone has an LCD screen that shows you battery life, level monitoring, as well as recording time. Directly beneath the screen there are three buttons. The left button is your power button, the right button is your record button, and the center button is a d-pad that allows you to select between input volume, headphone volume, and low cut as well as navigate menus. 

The bottom of the camera has a standard camera shoe mount and also allows you to mount it onto a 1/4" tripod screw.

The frequency response is listed as 50Hz - 20kHz which is adequate for a camera top shotgun microphone. The mic records 16-bit 48kHz WAV files, and takes (2) AA batteries which will give you 8 hours of record time.

The polar pattern is listed as super cardioid. When directly in front of the mic it sounds pretty good. As you move off axis you start to witness a large drop off of high frequencies, but it does still pick up a bit of noise. As I moved around the sides and behind the microphone, I felt that it picked up a little too much sound as well.

Pros

  • Records to SD Card & Camera
  • Compact
  • Headphone port for live monitoring!
  • LCD Screen to monitor levels & battery life
  • Good build quality
  • Mounts to camera shoe or tripod

Cons

  • Seemed to have a wider polar pattern than expected
  • Somewhat compressed sound/tone

Conclusion

Similar to other camera top microphones, I found this microphone to have a similar compressed sound and tone to it, which gives away that it is an ultra compact shotgun microphone. I also thought that the polar pattern allowed for a bit too much noise to make it to the microphone.

Other than that, I think that this thing is a great deal. I love the fact that it is so small and portable. I also like that it provides a screen to monitor the battery life and levels to ensure you're not clipping as well as a headphone port for live monitoring! Another great feature is the ability to mount the mic to your camera or a tripod. My favorite feature on this microphone is the fact that it allows you to record to an SD card as well as output to your camera. This will give you the added security of an audio backup if the camera input is clipping, or the mic input causes too much line noise.

I would recommend this for vloggers who are out and about a lot and require a camera top microphone. It will give you all the functionality you need with additional features to ensure you are getting the best sound possible. If you are recording in a studio setting, I would suggest looking into a full size condenser shotgun microphone because those will provide you with a better sound quality.

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/2c05NkF
UK: http://amzn.to/2bPxRs7

Pyle PDMICUSB6 USB Microphone Review / Test

Today we are looking at a budget USB Microphone by Pyle: The Pyle PDMICUSB6. This microphone is plug and play and is listed as compatible with windows and mac computer.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $25 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Mount (No Stand Adapter)
  3. 6.5-foot USB Cable
  4. Desktop Mic Stand
  5. Documentation

Performance / Features

The construction on this mic feels pretty nice. It has an all metal construction as well as some nice weight to it. The only feature on this microphone is an on/off switch to mute the microphone. However, during the review when I switched the mic to "off", a loud static became audible. The mic clip/mount is plastic and doesn't feel like it's good quality and the desktop mic stand feels of the same caliber while providing no shock absorption.

The frequency response is listed as 50Hz - 14kHz which is fine for a dynamic microphone similar to the Pyle PDMIC58. It did not sound particularly good on electric or acoustic guitar, but sounded fine on voice. 

The polar pattern is listed as cardioid and it does a very nice job of eliminating background noises like keyboards or outside noise. The sample rate is listed as 16-bit / 48kHz and the mic sensitivity is listed as 53dB.

It's fairly obvious that the built in interface is noisy. Once you get to approximately 30-40% input gain, a loud digital noise becomes apparent and essentially ruins the audio.

Pros

  • Decent construction
  • Affordable
  • Good at eliminating background noise.

Cons

  • DIGITAL NOISE IN BACKGROUND
  • Not best sound on guitars
  • When switched off generates hiss.

Conclusion

I can't recommend this microphone because of the incredibly loud digital interference once you hit 30% gain, as well as hiss generated when switching the mic off. The only use case I would recommend this microphone for is if you are on an incredibly tight budget, and only want a usb microphone. You can talk to people on Skype or in-game, but if you plan on recording any audio for a video or song, I would recommend you look elsewhere.

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/2bqRCqB
UK: http://amzn.to/2bcBnPc

MXL-550 XLR Condenser Microphone Review / Test

Today is part 1 of 2 in the MXL 550/551 review series. For this review, we will be focussing on the larger of the two microphones, the MXL550. I do need to let you know that this is an XLR condenser microphone which means you will need a phantom power supply, or an interface with phantom power, in order for this microphone to work properly. For this review video, I connected the microphone to my computer using the Focusrite Scarlett Solo USB Audio Interface with +48v Phantom Power turned on.

If you are interested in this microphone pack, it will set you back $77 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Mount
  3. Carrying Case
  4. Micro Fiber Cloth
  5. Documentation
  6. 1 Year Warranty

Performance / Features

The construction on this mic feels pretty nice for the price. It has an all metal construction and has some decent weight to it. Even though it feels nice, I would be careful with it because these lower price tag mics do tend to utilize cheaper components, and suffer due to lower quality assurance standards. As far as features, there is really nothing to discuss, as it is a simple XLR microphone with a single XLR plug on the bottom.

The frequency response is listed as 30Hz - 20kHz and it sounds pretty decent. On the voice I thought the microphone sounded very crisp while also providing a decent amount of low end. On the acoustic guitar and electric guitar, the mic sounded a little warmer than I typically prefer, but all around, it sounded acceptable. 

There are no surprises when I say, the polar pattern is listed as cardioid. As we move around the side we lose quite a bit of volume, and on the rear we pick up very minimal sound. The microphone also performed only decently when typing behind the mic.

Pros

  • Decent construction
  • Affordable
  • Acceptable performance

Cons

  • Not best sound on guitars
  • Only decent elimination of background noise

Conclusion

I actually kind of like this microphone. It is not the greatest sounding mic, and it is definitely not the worst sounding mic, but it does perform pretty damn well considering you get two mics for $77. I don't think that this mic would necessarily work well for gamers, but I do think it would be a great mic pack if you are starting a home studio and want to get your feet wet. Other than that, I think you would be better off saving up a few more dollars for some higher quality microphones.

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 the MXL550/551 Pack
US: http://amzn.to/2aUKVwf
UK: http://amzn.to/2aWggxI

Buy the Scarlett Solo
US: http://amzn.to/2bqU7bl
UK: http://amzn.to/2bgovb2

Razer Carcharias Gaming Headset Review / Test

Today we are covering another gaming headset; the Razer Carcharias Gaming Headset. For this video/test, I connected the headset to my computer using a new Sabrent Stereo USB Soundcard which provides some voltage to the headsets microphone, ultimately improving the audio compared to connecting directly to a computer internal microphone input. I unfortunately do not own a computer with a built in mic input, so I am unable to provide a comparison.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $55 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Gaming Headset w/ attached cable
  2. 3.5mm to RCA Adapter
  3. 2.5mm to 2.5mm Mic Cable
  4. XBOX 360 Audio Cable Adapter
  5. Quick Start Guide

Performance / Features

The build of this headset is pretty good. It is an all plastic build, but it feels sturdier than it's cheaper rivals. The ear cups and the headband are extremely soft and very comfortable. However, they do not fit too tightly on your ears so they do allow a bit of outside noise to get in.

You can articulate the microphone to move it closer/farther away from your mouth, and it also offers 270-degree rotation so you are able to have the microphone on the right side or left side of your face. The cable is your standard rubber cable, which is kind of disappointing. The control panel offers 2 volume controls to mix between chat and game sound, a bass volume switch, a mic mute switch, and a 2.5mm microphone input jack.

The end of the cable has (2) 3.5mm jacks and a usb cable: one 3.5mm cable is for the microphone, the other is for the headphones, and the usb cable is to help power the headset and the lights on the side.

The headphones offer 40mm drivers and list a frequency response of 20Hz - 20kHz. When I tested the performance using a tone generator, I started to hear decent performance around 24Hz in the low end, and heard audio through the top of my hearing register. When listening to music, I was let down 100%. The headphones focused far too much on the low end and lacked any semblance of clarity. Even with the bass volume control, I was unable to tune the headphones to sound remotely acceptable. 

The microphone is listed as unidirectional and offers a frequency response of 50Hz - 16kHz. It has a sensitivity of -37dB +/- dB and a signal to noise ratio of 50dB. The performance of the microphone was lackluster. It did fine when ignoring background noise, however there is a HUGE issue with the microphone. When listening to music/gaming, the microphone picks up the audio from the headphones!!! 

Pros

  • Comfortable on the ears
  • Unidirectional mic
  • 270-degree mic rotation
  • Lots of adapters

Cons

  • MICROPHONE PICKS UP HEADPHONES AUDIO!!!
  • Headphones lack any clarity

Conclusion

Based on the Pro's and cons list, you might see that the pros outnumber the cons. However, the two main areas that this gaming headset is supposed to work (1) Reproducing audio and (2) Recording voice, it falls completely flat on it's face. The headphones audio is so bass focused and lacking in presence and clarity that I will most likely never listen to them again. The microphone picks up audio from the headphones which is just unacceptable!

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 the Razer Carcharias:
US: http://amzn.to/2aGu1yc
UK: http://amzn.to/2aHH2cM

Buy the Soundcard
US: http://amzn.to/2api4xf
UK: http://amzn.to/2aUIkV7

Etekcity Scroll Gaming Headset (H5GX) Review / Test

For today's episode of podcastage, we are talking about another gaming headset; The Etekcity Scroll H5GX Gaming Headset. For this video/test, I connected the headset to my computer using a new Sabrent Stereo USB Soundcard which provides some voltage to the headsets microphone, ultimately improving the audio compared to connecting directly to a computer internal  mic input. I unfortunately do not own a computer with a built in mic input, so I am unable to provide a comparison.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $22 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Headset w/ attached cable
  2. Documentation
  3. Warranty Card

Performance / Features

The build quality of the headset is what you'd expect out of a $20 headset; it's construction is fully plastic and it doesn't feel that durable. Regardless of the cheap feel, the ear cups and the headband do have rather soft padding which are comfortable. The mic joint feels decent, but it definitely feels like it will wear out after a fair amount of use. The braided cable is a nice feature which adds a premium feel to this headset, however, the control panel leaves a lot to be desired by only offering a headphone volume control and completely omitting a microphone mute switch. Lastly, the cable ends i/o consists of (2) 3.5mm jacks and (1) USB port. The 3.5mm jacks consist of a headphone and microphone cable, and the usb cable simply powers the headphones minimal lighting.

The headphones harbor 40mm drivers and list a frequency response of 20Hz - 20kHz. When I tested these specs using a tone generator, I began to hear decent performance around 30Hz in the low end, and heard audio to the edge of my audible range in the high end. When listening to music the performance is lackluster. They are very focused in the low-mid frequency range, and the audio is very muddy when listening to any bass heavy music. The headphones also seemed to lack a lot of high end and clarity.

No specifications were provided for the microphone in the documentation, except the listing that it is omnidirectional. In all honesty, I was once again impressed with this microphones performance. It has a very nice and clear audio which is what you need for gaming. Unfortunately, this fidelity is afforded by the omnidirectional polar pattern which also allows for keyboard noise to be picked up. But all around, the microphone performed much better than expected.

Pros

  • Decent microphone sound
  • Comfortable padding
  • Braided cable
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Headphones don't sound that good
  • Omni directional mic picks up keyboard noise
  • Full plastic build
  • Mic joint feels prone to failure

Conclusion

The headset is $22, and because of this I can't really complain about the poor build quality or the less than ideal headphone performance. If you are on an extremely tight budget and you need a gaming headset, I think that this will be a great option for you. Sure, the headphones won't give you audiophile level sound, but they will get the job done. Sure, the mic may pickup some keyboard noise, but your voice will sound good. Sure, the headphones may fall apart after a year, but they were only $22. That's what it all comes down to; a $22 headset that has a decent mic is worth it in my book.

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 the H5GX:
US: http://amzn.to/2apihR8
UK: N/A

Buy the Soundcard
US: http://amzn.to/2api4xf
UK: http://amzn.to/2aUIkV7

 

AUKEY GH-S1 Gaming Headset Review/Test

Today I'm talking about the Aukey GH-S1 gaming headset. I do need to note that this headset was provided to me free of charge for the sake of this review. This is your standard gaming headset that splits into (2) 3.5mm cables, so keep that in mind when you are considering purchasing this mic. I also need to note that I connected this headset using the Sabrent Stereo USB Soundcard (AU-MMSA), which is available on amazon for approximately $5.00

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $20 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Headset (2.5-meter cable attached - splits into (2) 3.5mm plugs)
  2. Documentation
  3. Warranty Card

Performance / Features

The construction on this headset does not feel that good. It is an all plastic construction and it feels somewhat flimsy. There is leather (or pleather) padding on the ear cups and headband which provide somewhat decent comfort. The cable is your standard rubber cable, and it has a control module with a mic mute switch and headphone volume control.

The headphones offer 40mm drivers that perform better than you would expect out of a $20 headset. They list a frequency response of 20Hz - 20kHz, but I wasn't able to hear the headphones kick in until around 25Hz, and the audio didn't get powerful until we hit between 30-35Hz. These headphones are not going to win any award for performance, but they get the job done. They do tend to be a little more low-mid focussed than I would before, but all around I think they sound perfectly fine.

The microphone does not have many specifications listed so we don't know what they were going for. We do know that it is omni-directional which has a set of pros/cons. The omni directional polar pattern picks up your voice better and has a better frequency response and tone for your voice. However, it does tend to pick up a bit more keyboard noise and background noise than a unidirectional mic would. I think that it sounds awesome though. 

Pros

  • $20!!!
  • Great mic sound
  • Decent headphone performance

Cons

  • Cheap build quality
  • Picks up background noise
  • Headphones are a little too low-mid focussed

Conclusion

If you are on an extremely tight budget, this might be the right headset for you. For gaming it won't give you the best audio playback, but it gets the job done, and it has a very nice sounding microphone when connected to a usb soundcard. However, it will pick up a bit of your keyboard noise. 

I think that this would be a GREAT option if you're having a guest podcaster recording remotely who does not have any recording gear. Buy them this headset and a usb soundcard, walk them through the set up and you'll have very workable audio for $25, and your podcast guest will feel like they matter since you bought them a headset, and you didn't break you bank account. 

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 the Aukey GH-S1 on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2ajIxgA
UK: http://amzn.to/29DNjbN