I Can Haz Microphone?
Okay, sure, I had some audio input options before. I have an Mpow USB/3.5mm headset, which was $30CAD on Amazon. And I really quite like it. Comfy, sounds decent, and for Skype/Zoom/GoTo meetings, it’s very clear and works quite well. But for voice over work, it’s not … clean. I do also love the fact that it’s USB for my computers, but I can pull the 3.5mm jack out of the audio controls and use it as a headset for making calls on my phone. That’s legit useful right there.
And yep. I also have my desperation microphone. Go ahead, laugh, but it works better than it probably deserves to. The classic Konami USB microphone from our old Wii console that came with some karaoke games. I kid you not. They’re pretty basic, but surprisingly useful regular USB mics. Still, far from ideal if you want to do some actual recording/VO work.
Anyway, Mr. Purolator Man dropped off a box around lunch time containing my slightly delayed birthday present from my amazing in-laws – the Neewer NW-700. About $54CAD on Amazon for the kit. That’s the mic, a somewhat short USB-B cable (the kind you use on printers), the shock mount, adjustable arm, clamp to attach the arm to your desk, a wind sock, and a pop filter that worked better than I expected when I leaned right into the mic and rattled off some Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. No, this is NOT a pro studio-quality microphone. But, for the price, I’d say it’s pretty decent. Here’s a little clip:
From the reviews I’d read and watched about it, I wasn’t expecting it to feel as heavy as it does. Yes, it’s absolutely made of some light-weight metal. This isn’t the build quality you’d get from a thousand dollar mic. But it feels solid. The blue colour … meh. It’s mostly hidden behind the shock mount and the pop filter, so it doesn’t bother me any. It’s an okay blue. If that bothers you, they have a black one for a few bucks more. I’m cheap, blue is fine here.
I was quite happy with the packaging of the product. Everything was well wrapped inside the box, and packaged fairly tightly, so there wasn’t anything really moving around inside during shipping. No ‘premium’ packaging experience, but what do you want for under $55 shipped??
Setup is pretty easy. Clamp to desk, arm into clamp, screw on the shock mount, pinch the clips, slide in the mic, plug in the cable, clamp on the pop filter, and Bob’s your uncle.
Now, depending on your desk layout, the length of the supplied USB cable could be an issue. I know it would have been for me. I have my tower to my left, but the spot I’m clamping the arm to is off to my right. I wasn’t worried about it though, since I already possessed a 10 foot cable with the proper connections from wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy back in, I don’t know, 2005 or something. It’s ancient, but it works, and was more than long enough to route around the back of my desk, behind the monitors. (And yes, the one pictured right behind the mic is ANCIENT! It’s actually the very first LCD monitor I ever bought … in 2003. Only 1440×900, but works just fine.)
Here are a few pics of the box, what’s in it, and what it looks like all set up.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with it. It will serve me well until something better comes my way at least! And it’s less hassle than an XLR pre-amp based rig, even though those are technically superior in pretty much every way. Cheers!
July 2020 Update: Fun fact – this microphone kit has been an endless JOY for me throughout the COVID pandemic! I have been working from home since March, so over 4 months and counting, and this Neewer mic has been my daily companion for voicing radio ads.
The only weird issue I’ve had was when I found a lot of DC noise in my waveforms. It was not there one day, then suddenly there the next. I discovered the issue – my phone’s Qi charging stand being on the same USB hub! The wireless charger was adding signal noise. Unplugged the stand, nice clean microphone again.
So, with broadcast audio being the bar that was set, how did the Neewer perform? Well, I’m happy to say nobody has EVER been able to tell I didn’t record it in our studios at the radio station. And I’ve sent recordings all over North America from this setup. It’s clean and sounds great!
Over a year later, would I still recommend it? You bet! Even more than I would have after my initial review! I LOVE this mic. Insane value for the price.