Rode Reporter Omnidirectional Dynamic Mic Review / Test

Today I'm reviewing something a little different than any mic I've tested in the past; the Rode Reporter.

This is a dynamic, omnidirectional, XLR microphone. The majority of dynamic mics are used in stage situations where you want to reject most background noise. In that case, a cardioid setting is what you would want. This mic on the other hand is not designed for stage use. This mic is designed to be used as a reporting microphone (as I'm sure you guessed from the name). The omnidirectional polar pattern allows you to hold the microphone in between yourself and the interviewee while picking up the majority of the audio. This will remove the need to move the mic back and forth between yourself and the interviewee too much.

For the majority of this review I am connecting the microphone to my computer using a Focusrite Scarlett Solo interface with the gain set around 75-80%, and the audio was boosted +10dB in post as well.

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $130 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Zip Pouch
  3. Microphone Flag
  4. Documentation
  5. 10-Year Warranty

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 70Hz - 15kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Omni Directional
  3. Sensitivity: -56dB
  4. Impedance: 150-Ohms

Performance / Features

This microphone's build quality feels pretty dang awesome. It has an all metal construction to hold up against the rigors or reporting. It has some decent weight to it, but it's not too heavy so it won't get uncomfortable during long interviews. It also has a ridiculously long handle so you can look like bob barker as you shove the microphone in an interviewee's face. And most importantly, the microphone's capsule is mounted on an internal shock mount to limit the amount of handling noise.

The frequency response of this mic is 70Hz - 15kHz, which is within the range of a standard dynamic mic. The fact that this rolls off around 70Hz is actually a good thing considering the use case. If you're in loud areas, or outside, you want to eliminate low rumbles, or wind noise which this frequency response will help with. The thing I was most impressed with was that my voice sounded pretty natural.

The omnidirectional polar pattern is the really unique feature of this microphone. As I previously stated that is because this microphone is meant to be held between two people while picking both voices up without having to reposition the microphone constantly. In that use case, this polar pattern works extremely well. 

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Natural Vocal Sound
  • Omnidirectional Polar Pattern
  • No requirement for Phantom Power in the field
  • A lot cheaper than a multi lav wireless system

Cons

  • A bit on the quiet side (need to boost preamp pretty hard)
  • Hyper focused use case

Conclusion

This is not my favorite sounding dynamic mic I've come across, and it will not do the best at background noise rejection, BUT, for video interviews or reporting, I think this thing is an absolute home run. It fulfills all your needs for field recording for relatively cheap when compared to alternatives. Therefore, if you are looking to do interviews in the field, I think this is a great budget option.

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 Reporter
US: http://amzn.to/2iXWA2l
UK: http://amzn.to/2iT0Eys

Buy the Zoom H6
US: http://amzn.to/2iXX9sT
UK: http://amzn.to/2i4o4nd

 

Fifine K668 USB Microphone Review / Test

Today we are looking at another budget USB Microphone, this time by FiFine: The Fifine K668 USB Microphone. 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 $20 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Attached Microphone Mount (No Stand Adapter)
  3. Attached 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. There are no additional features on this microphone. It is the bare essentials. 

They do not list a sample rate or any information about the interface. It is pretty apparent when listening to the review that this microphone was calibrated incorrectly. With my microphone input gain set to 1%, I was clipping at 1-foot. I had to be approximately 2 feet away from the mic at 1% gain to avoid any clipping artifacts.

The frequency response is listed as 50Hz - 16kHz which is fine for a cardioid microphone of this size. To be honest, the frequency response is irrelevant because the audio clips at such a low level.

The polar pattern is not listed on the specs sheet, but on the amazon listing, they list it as cardioid. When I tested it, it seemed to be fairly omnidirectional, or at least a VERY WIDE cardioid polar pattern. It picked up audio very well all the way around the sides well past 180-degrees.

Pros

  • Decent construction
  • Affordable
  • Plug & Play
  • Windows/Mac Compatible

Cons

  • CLIPPING AT 1% INPUT GAIN!!!
  • Super wide cardioid polar pattern 
  • Sounds all around bad

Conclusion

If you couldn't tell by the previous portions of this review, I do not recommend this microphone to anyone. The fact that it clips with the gain set at 1% is absolutely unacceptable and it makes any audio you record unusable. The only situation I was able to derive that you might be able to use this mic for is a makeshift USB Shotgun mic. If you set it a few feet away, it seemed to work decently. However, if you end up using the mic in this situation and you have a loud sound source, you have no wiggle room to decrease your input volume, and ultimately, you would be screwed. This problem alone makes me label this microphone a complete piece of junk.

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/2bqQhA2
UK: http://amzn.to/2c06qyN

V-Moda Boom Pro Headset Mic Review / Test

Today I am testing out the V-Moda Boom Pro Headset Mic. This is an add on microphone for any headset that has a 3.5mm microphone port. It is listed to be compatible with the V-Moda M-100's and some Beats headphones. However, I found that it is compatible with any headset that has a 3.5mm line input. This is not the microphone input jack, but rather, the 3.5mm jack that you plug the cable that runs to your computer into. 

What's In the Box 

  1. V-Moda Boom Mic
  2. TRRS Splitter Cable
  3. Warranty

Performance / Features

The build quality on this thing feels pretty nice. The joints all feel like they are sturdy. You can articulate the microphone. The cable is braided so it will hopefully last longer. The remote in the middle of the cable feels decent, and it has a headphone volume knob and microphone mute switch as well as a clip. Lastly the TRRS splitter is rubber and feels slightly cheaper than that actual headset. 

The frequency response on this mic is not listed but based on the performance I think it sounds really nice. The voice sounds natural and doesn't sound overly compressed like most headset microphones. The microphone was also fairly hot. I was plugging directly into my computer and had the level at about 5%. 

The polar pattern based on my examination seems to be omni-directional. That means that it picks up sound in every direction. When typing on my relatively quiet keyboard you could hear a bit of the noise in the background. This leads me to believe that the microphone will pick up a lot more noise if the user were using a mechanical keyboard.

Pros

  • Nice voice sound
  • Braided cable 
  • Compatible with many headsets

Cons

  • Picks up background noise
  • Overly hot signal

Conclusion

I think that this is a really nice product. It's great to have the option of replacing a crappy microphone on a headset with a much higher quality one. However, this does require that your headset have a 3.5mm line out. So you will have to do your own research and find out if the headset you own or the headset you're looking at fulfills those needs. Just be careful with clipping because this microphone has an incredibly hot signal.

Other than that, I would just recommend this to anyone who isn't happy with their mic, and has a compatible headset. 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. 

V-Moda Boom Pro Headset Mic: http://amzn.to/1n3YYDo
V-Moda Crossfade M-100: http://amzn.to/1J5WmhZ
Afterglow AG-9 Headset: http://amzn.to/1J61HFW

Can You Record an External Microphone on Your iPhone?

Hey! Special edition of Podcastage! I received quite a few comments asking me "Can you record an external microphone on your iPhone?". The majority of these comments were on my SF-920 review video, so that's the mic I decided to test out. I will walk you through the adapter and app that I used, and some of my warnings and concerns.

The iPhone has a single 3.5mm jack on it. This jack is a TRRS plug, which stands for Tip, Ring, Ring, Sleeve. What this jack allows you to do is transfer audio in and audio out on a single cable. That is all well and good, but if you want to record a different mic than your stupid iPhone headphones mic, then you're out of luck. Until NOW! There is a $7 adapter that splits this jack into two jacks; a headphone out and a microphone in. This allows you to plug in your headphones, and plug in a separate mic!

In this video, I test this out by using the the Voice Memo app on the iPhone. It seemed to work fine, but here are my concerns.

  • You cannot change the microphones input gain on the phone. Therefore, you will need to monitor the input closely and change your distance to the microphone accordingly. You can also use a microphone that has a gain control on it, like the SF-920.
  • I do not know what kind of voltage the TRRS plug provides, so I cannot guarantee that all microphones will work using this method. I can almost guarantee that the most condenser microphones will not work using this method. 

That's what I found on my first test of this method. I hope you learned something or found the video and article helpful. If you did, go ahead and give us a thumbs up and subscribe on youtube. If you have any more questions leave them in the comments down below. Talk to y'all next time.