In this review we are going to be looking at something you guys have been asking for. My inbox has been full of questions like can you recommend a good portable microphone for GarageBand recording etc, so here is our first microphone review that comes courtesy of the guys over at MusicOnMyPC. If you prefer video reviews just scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Nowadays the vast majority of laptops, netbooks, tablets and phones all come equipped with integrated webcams and microphones. This is all great but again the vast majority while they ma have have a great camera have very low quality sounding microphones when compared to more premium standalone mics.

If low quality sound bothers you especially if you use apps like GarageBand, Google Hangouts or you like doing podcast’s etc then an option you should really consider purchasing is the Samson Go Mic. The Samson Go Mic is the perfect solution for those who want a more professional sound but don’t have a packed out piggybank.

package contents

Initial thoughts/Overview

When you first open the box to check out it’s contents you will find a 10 foot USB cable, a cable clip, mic stand adapter and a tough zipper pouch to keep it safe during travel. Looking at the Go Mic you can see straight away that this portable USB condenser microphone is the definition of portable measuring about 7cm x 4cm x 2cm allowing you to carry it in your pocket if you so wish. It is also a very affordable option coming in at only £39 and can be connected to any PC, Mac, iPad or tablet/phone that supports USB.

The Go Mic looks and feels great and easily fits in the palm of your hand. The design of the Go Mic certainly does not give hint to the price, and setting it up is simple. To use the Go Mic you simply unclip it out of it’s travel configuration by pressing down on the indentation on the clip and folding the mic outwards. The clip itself can be used as a stand and the mic is perfectly balanced so you don’t have to worry about it falling over while in use. The mic is connected to the stand via a ball joint so many different positions can be achieved easily. The mic can also be used in it’s clip configuration and attached to the top of your laptop, monitor or iPad/tablet with ease making it perfect for whatever you are doing.

Go Mic in hand

Setting the mic up is easy you just plug and play, simply plug the mini-USB into the mic and the USB cable into whatever device you are using and you are ready to go. While on the PC or Mac etc you can adjust sensitivity levels to ensure you get the sound you are looking for.

You shouldn’t let the Go Mic’s size fool you, as it is a very impressive cardioid mic with built-in settings that include Uni-Directional, Omni-Directional or Uni-Directional with a -10 db pad and another awesome feature is the inclusion of direct monitoring, which is impressive for such a low cost mic.

So let me explain what the three settings are for just incase you are new to microphones If you would rather hear them in action then skip to our video at the bottom.

The unidirectional setting is what you would use when you just want the mic to pic up sound directly from the front of the mic. This setting would be ideal for podcasting, Skype calls and Google Hangouts and will vastly improve your sound quality over any built in options.

The -10 db pad option automatically lowers the mics sensitivity meaning you have to get closer to the mic. This setting is perfect for recording voice-overs, narrations or vocals when you need any other ambient noise cancelled out. Being closer also means you will have to utilize a pop filter as as P’s and D’s can cause the mic to clip (distort) and the pop sheild will eliminate this from happening.

Omni-directional will pick up a 360 degree sound pattern using both the front and rear microphone. This is perfect for when you are interviewing people sitting across from you or around the table, in order to pick up everyone who is talking. This is the mode we would use when at shows like IFA etc to allow us to pick up on the crowd noise and hype as it gives our readers a good sense of the atmosphere.

Go Mic open

Performance

I tested all of the settings and was very impressed as you will see in the YouTube video we recorded. Unidirectional picked my voice up very clearly but you have to make sure there is no noise in-front of you at all as the mic could easily pick up a touch of the keyboard or the squeak of a chair as mentioned earlier.

The -10db pad option was my favourite as it made your voice sound ultra crisp and clear. The only problem was having to use the pop filter as this isn’t something I would like to take with me on my travels as they aren’t exactly small.This setting does an awesome job of eliminating surrounding noise making it perfect for doing voice-overs and narration of YouTube clips etc.

The Omni-directional setting done just what it say’s on the tin, it clearly picked up 360 degrees of audio and gave the audio a nice informal vibe if you will. This setting would be perfect for those who go to shows etc and want to transfer some of that large crowd feel over the audio but you have to be aware this will pick up everything from someone walking near by to a loud ceiling fan. For this reason interviewing can be difficult unless you are happy for surrounding noise to be included.

Another feature we tested on the Go Mic was the direct monitoring feature, as we mentioned earlier this is something you would usually only find on a very high end microphone so it’s nice to see it here. This allows the user to plug a pair of headphones in and monitor the audio recording in real-time. For some people hearing themselves could be very distracting but it is a great way to keep tabs on the audio quality and allows for adjustments to be easily made. If this feature just isn’t for you you don’t have to worry to much as the LED indicator on the front of the mic will flash red when the audio is spiking so this will allow you to make the needed adjustments as well.

Overall

In conclusion if you need a portable USB condenser mic you should stop looking and buy this microphone now especially for the price of £39. The fact that it is so small and can be used with practically every recording device just makes it the complete travel solution. It feels solid, makes you sound awesome, fits in the palm of your hand, comes with a solid durable storage case and has the ability to standalone or be clipped to your laptop. Need I go on? I cant thank MusicOnMyPC.co.uk enough for sending us out this mic as it will from now on be our go to mic for shows and events. Our full video review is below so that you can see the mic in action.

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Ryan Oneill

Editor In Chief

BeginnersTech was an idea I had one Sunday when I was bored. It is now not only a website but a successful YouTube channel that takes me all over the world. Don’t ever let anyone discourage you. Chase those dreams.

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