IK Multimedia iRig Mic Studio Review

Today I'm reviewing another microphone from IK Multimedia, iRig Mic Studio.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to my 2017 iMac with the input 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 $150.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Mount
  3. 5/8" to 3/8" Stand Adapter
  4. Desktop Tripod Stand
  5. USB-A Cable
  6. Lightning Cable
  7. Micro-USB Cable
  8. Storage pouch
  9. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: ~-42dB
  4. Max SPL: 133dB
  5. Self-Noise: 11dBA
  6. Bit Depth: 24-Bit
  7. Sample Rate: 48kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone doesn't give me anything to complain about. It has a metal body construction and a metal grill that feels sturdy. It is also a bit on the light side. These are all good attributes for a travel microphone. On the front you'll find a gain dial to adjust the microphone's gain, a multi-color LED light for metering, and a headphone volume control. Lastly, on the back of the microphone you'll find a 3.5mm headphone jack, which does not offer latency free monitoring.

The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. They do not have any frequency response published, but while listening to the audio samples it sounds as though this mic has a significant treble boost which gives it too much clarity, to the point that it starts to sound unnatural. Additionally, this mic has a rather prominent proximity effect, so if you mic any source closely, you will get a slightly scooped mid tone. 

The polar pattern of this mic is cardioid. It didn't do a good job at background noise rejection. There was a slight volume decrease as you move around the microphone, but the ambient noise, keyboard noise, guitar noise will be apparent in your recordings. 

The overall performance of this mic is fine, but I'm becoming pickier, and more curmudgeonly. First, the preamp is relatively quiet all the way up to 100%, the main noise introduced was ambient noise. The tone of this mic is overly bright, and this adds too-much clarity in my opinion which leads it to sound somewhat unnatural. As I already mentioned, if you mix this frequency response with the proximity effect, you will likely end up with a slightly scooped mid tone. Also when I compared this mics samples against flatter mics like the NT1, it had a minimal nasal tone.

Pros

  • Convenient since it's compatible with multiple OS (Mac, Windows, iOS, Android)
  • HD Recording (24-bit, 48kHz)
  • Relatively quiet preamp
  • Fairly good job at rejecting plosives

Cons

  • Overboosted treble frequncies
  • Lacks latency free monitoring
  • No specs included in documentation

Conclusion

This microphone is perfectly mediocre. Nothing really sticks out to me as a reason to buy it except for the almost universal compatibility. Other than that, I do not think that I can recommend it. This is mainly because the overly boosted high end leads to a unnatural tone which I am not a fan of.  I am also turned off by the lack of zero latency monitoring.

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

Buy the IK Multimedia iRig Mic Studio
US: https://amzn.to/2qF7X0O
UK: https://amzn.to/2HEi4v3
CA: https://amzn.to/2H8ig8U
DE: 

IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD Review

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

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to my 2017 iMac with the input gain set at 11:00. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $110.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Mount
  3. 5/8" to 3/8" Stand Adapter
  4. USB-A Cable
  5. Lightning Cable
  6. Cable lock
  7. Storage pouch
  8. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 40Hz - 18kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Max SPL: 134dB (3% THD)
  4. Bit Depth: 24-Bit
  5. Sample Rate: 48kHz

Performance / Features

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

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

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

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

Pros

  • Convenient since it's compatible with multiple OS (Mac, Windows, iOS)
  • HD Recording (24-bit, 48kHz)
  • Relatively neutral response compared to other handheld dynamics
  • Relatively quiet preamp

Cons

  • Lacks latency free monitoring
  • Suffers from plosives
  • Did not perform well with handling noise

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

 

Shure MV88 iOS Condenser Mic Review / Test

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

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

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

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

What's In the Box

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

Specifications

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

Performance / Features

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

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

  • Speech
  • Singing
  • Acoustic
  • Loud Performance
  • Flat

You are also able to switch between many polar patterns

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

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy it on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2d96uJd
UK: http://amzn.to/2cIGHrd

Mevo Live Event Camera Review / Test

Today we are talking about another product that you wouldn't expect to see on this channel. The Mevo Live Event Camera. This is a camera designed by the folks over at Livestream.com that allows you to live stream directly to Facebook Live (which is why I picked it up) as well as the Livestream service. 

Not only does this camera allow you to live stream in 720p, but it allows you to record your video directly to an internal SD card. I should note that this camera is only compatible with iOS devices, so for the time being any android users are out of luck.

If you are interested in this live streaming camera, it will set you back $400 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. MEVO Camera
  2. MEVO Mount
  3. 16GB Micro SD Card & Adapter
  4. Power Brick
  5. 10-Foot (3m) USB Cable

Specifications

  1. Sony 4k Sensor
  2. 150-degree Field of View Glass Lens
  3. Front Facing STereo Microphone
  4. 1-Hour Streaming Battery Life (can connect to power brick while streaming)
  5. Dual-Band Wi-Fi
  6. Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  7. Streams at 720p

Performance / Features

The build quality of this camera is all plastic, but it feels pretty sturdy like it would be able to handle travel decently. However, I do wish that it had come with some travel case to ensure that it is adequately protected. The entire top of the camera acts as the power button. You'll need to hold the button down a few seconds to power on/off the device. All around this power button you will find an indicator light to let you know if the camera is getting power, charged, connected to wifi, lacking connection, or if you're streaming/recording. On the back of the camera, you'll just find two ports, the top port is your charging port and the bottom port is your SD card port.

I'm sure some of you are asking why this camera has a 4k sensor, but only streams at 720p. To be honest, the reasoning behind this is the real selling point of this camera. While controlling the stream from your iOS device you can manually direct shots. For instance you can click on a face to zoom in, without effecting the stream quality. You can also pinch to zoom & unpinch to unzoom, as well as drag your finger to pan.

Another really great feature is Autopilot. This will utilize the front facing stereo microphone to determine where the sound is coming from and zoom in on the face of the person speaking. This is a great option if you have multiple people on a podcast and you are unable to focus on directing the shots.

Both of these features give your livestream the appearance of having a multi-thousand dollar camera rig and camera mixer, when you're only streaming on a $400 camera!

The camera's built in microphone is nothing special, but it does allow you to connect an external microphone to your iOS device to improve the audio. Unfortunately, the current microphones/interfaces that are compatible are relatively limited, so I would recommend checking their site prior to buying a microphone/interface.

Pros

  • Allows you to direct shots
  • Has autopilot director
  • Records to SD Card while streaming
  • Streams directly to Facebook live
  • Allows for external microphone connection
  • Compact

Cons

  • Limited microphone compatibility
  • External mics sound overly processed
  • Stream is only 720p
  • Limited to iOS devices

Conclusion

I think that this is one of the coolest and most innovative cameras I have come across in years. It allows you to direct shots like you have a multi-thousand dollar camera rig. It allows you to stream directly to facebook live & livestream. It allows you to connect an external microphone. It honestly has everything I could want in a live streaming camera; there are just a few small oversights, updates, and compatibility issues they need to work on to make it the go to entry level live streaming camera.

I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who is looking to live stream to facebook. This gives you a professional look and amazing features that will help set you apart from everyone else who is jumping on the live streaming train.

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/2bKzoRL