TONOR BM-700 XLR Condenser Microphone Review / Test

Today I'm reviewing a new microphone from Tonor; the BM-700

I do need to mention that this microphone was provided to me by Tonor in order for me to conduct this review. 

For the majority of this video, I'm connecting the BM700 to my computer using the SYBA Stereo USB Soundcard with my gain set at approximately 4%. Keep in mind that this is an XLR, electret condenser microphone, which means it does require some voltage in order to work properly. Connecting this microphone directly to your motherboard's microphone input will likely not provide great results, so I suggest the SYBA USB Soundcard, or a full Audio Interface that offers phantom power (Focusrite Scarlett Solo).

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $16 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone

  2. Windscreen

  3. Shockmount

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

  5. XLR to 3.5mm Cable

  6. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz

  2. Polar Pattern: Unidirectional

  3. Sensitivity: -34dB

  4. Impedance: 150-Ohms

Performance / Features

This microphone's build quality is exactly like all the other BM-700's and NW-700's on the market. It has an all metal construction, but is on the lighter side of things. However, I do think it will be able to last quite a while when it is taken care of properly. It also offers no additional features; it just has an XLR plug on the bottom of the microphone. 

The frequency response of this mic is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz, which is nice to see. The audio quality is nothing outstanding, but you can't expect flawless audio out of a microphone that costs about $16. The low end is not overly muddy, and the higher frequencies are not harsh. However, it lacks certain frequencies that really capture the energy of a performance.

The polar pattern of the microphone is Cardioid. During the tests, it did seem to pick up audio all the way around the microphone, but as you move away from the front of the mic, the majority of frequencies drop off. There was also a fairly drastic drop off as I moved away from the microphone. Lastly, it did decently at ignoring background noise, but it should be noted that I use an apple magic keyboard, which does not have mechanical switches.

Pros

  • It is Cheap!

  • Good audio for the price

  • Decent at background noise rejection

  • Can function on ~4.5v up to +48v

Cons

  • Doesn't capture performance's energy

Conclusion

In all honesty, due to the fact that this is a sub-$20 microphone, I struggled to find any real cons. For the price, I think it performed pretty damn well. However, I was expecting this performance since I have tested out this exact microphone under multiple different company names.

I'm definitely not going to recommend this if you're looking for a main microphone to launch a professional studio and charge a high hourly rate. But, if you are just starting on youtube, or want to launch a podcast or voice over career, I think that this is a great starting point. It will allow you to get very usable audio without breaking the bank, and if you enjoy that project, you can upgrade down the line without feeling guilty about this mic going to waste.

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

Buy the BM-700 Kit
US: http://amzn.to/2ihnBdv
UK: http://amzn.to/2iH731s

Buy the SYBA Stereo USB Soundcard
US: http://amzn.to/2jgNIpb
UK: http://amzn.to/2iH91yX

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett Solo
US: http://amzn.to/2iHnGdr
UK: http://amzn.to/2ihqPOj

Tonor USB Tie-clip Mic (SF-911B) Review / Test

Today I am reviewing Tonor USB Tie-Clip / Desktop Microphone (SF-911B). The idea behind this microphone is awesome! A plug and play lavalier/lapel microphone that connects to any Windows or Mac computer through it's USB port. Unfortunately, only the idea of this mic is good.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $10 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone w/ 1.5m USB Cable
  2. Desktop Stand
  3. Windscreen
  4. Carrying Pouch
  5. Directions

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone is very inconsistent. The microphone capsule is encased in metal which gives it a nice sturdy feel and some nice weight. The USB cable is a standard usb cable so there's nothing special there. On the cable a few inches below the mic is a rectangular box that I am assuming contains the circuitry for the USB interface, which I think is placed in a HORRIBLE location. The mic stand feels cheap, but offers some nice options as far as microphone positioning, and it offers some cable management on the bottom side of the stand.

The frequency response of this mic is listed as 100Hz - 16kHz which is pretty nice for a cheap USB mic. It offers decent sound for the voice, but as you would expect, it lacks a bit of presence/high-end when clipped to your shirt.  

The polar pattern of this microphone is omni directional which is standard for lapel microphones. However, for a USB version of this microphone, they should consider offering a Unidirectional model to help eliminate background noise from the keyboard.

When connected to the computer, there was also a HUGE issue with digital noise. No matter what I set my gain at, I could not escape the digital noise that is reminiscent of morse code. Also, when you touch the metal microphone capsule, it seems to cause a short/grounding issue that increases the buzz even more. This could be avoided by adding the windscreen.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Nice feeling microphone capsule
  • Stand has cable management
  • Plug and play

Cons

  • HORRIBLE digital buzz/hiss no matter what the gain is set to
  • Contact with metal microphone capsule increases buzz issue
  • Poor location for circuitry
  • Signal is quiet

Conclusion

DO NOT BUY THIS MICROPHONE! I do not think that anyone should waste their money on this thing. The idea behind it is great, but the execution was horrible. There's a constant buzz that is only amplified if you make the mistake of touching the microphone capsule. The signal is also fairly quiet which means you will most likely have to crank your gain which will also amplify the digital noise. All around, the USB model of this mic is just not a good option for anyone.

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 SF-911B:
US: http://amzn.to/29Gb4LD
UK: http://amzn.to/29HuJvA

Tonor USB Professional Condenser Sound Podcast Studio Microphone Review

It's Tuesday and that means it's time for another Podcastage Mic Review. Today I am testing out the Tonor USB Professional Condenser Microphone. From my understanding, this is the SF-666 but upgraded to include a USB cable instead of the 3.5mm cable. We also hear a very different tonality.

This microphone runs about $25 on Amazon, and what you're going to get for that is the Microphone and a mic stand. That's it. The box that it came in is much nicer than the packaging of the SF-666, so it will be a little bit more protected during shipping. There was no spec sheet, which bothers me, but all the information was on amazon.

The frequency response on this mic is 50Hz - 16KHz, so you're going to get the majority of audible frequencies. Amazon states that the microphone also isolates sound, but through my tests, I determined that it is an Omni-Directional microphone, so it will be picking up noise from all directions. That means that you will need to be aware of your surroundings and what is causing noise because chances are, it will be picked up by this microphone. There is also a notice to make sure you do not place the microphone near or towards the wall or power source, as this action will cause buzzing in the microphone.

Pros: This microphone is very cheap at $25. It is also a USB microphone which makes it incredibly easy to set up (if it works). It comes with everything you need. You'll be off the ground and recording once you get it. 

Cons: It is a USB mic. I am personally not a fan of USB microphones. I have had one too many bad experiences with these plug and play USB mics that I try to avoid them. However, this mic didn't exhibit any obvious problems. This microphone seemed to lack some of the presence of previous Tonor Mics. There was a slight buzz at certain times. Feels like poor construction.

So overall, I think it's a decent microphone. It's not anything that you'll see in a professional studio, and I don't think it provides audio at a high enough quality when you put it next to it's competitors. For $26 or $27, you can get the Neewer NW-700 and sound a LOT better (you will need a USB audio adapter and a Microphone Stand for this, so it's a bit more expensive, but the sound quality is MUCH better). If you are on a budget, another option would be The SF-920 and a USB Audio Adapter, which will set you back about $20 and you'll get the same, if not better audio quality. 

I think that this is a valiant effort by Tonor to improve their microphones, but this one just does not provide enough of a boost in performance to justify the quality. 

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