Today, microphones are no longer an attribute exclusively of professionals. The rapid development of technologies makes it possible, without leaving home, to engage in voice acting movies, filming movies and even nobody will be surprised by a full-length album, recorded at home. Therefore, more and more people who want to get a good microphone to submit all the subtle nuances of the voice.
Selecting the microphone – is not an easy task. There is a great number of manufactures and many kinds of microphones. Today, let’s view a few models presented by Samson. This company has been operating since 1980 and nowadays, it is one of the leading manufacturers of microphones of various levels.
Among undoubted wins of Samson firm, it is worth to notice the invention of the microphone with USB-interface. This microphone can be simply connected to the computer, passing the external sound cards, preamplifiers, and even the installation of the drivers. The quality of the recording is obtained like in the studio. Thus, the firm Samson opened the world of quality records for millions of grateful users.
The model Samson Meteor deserves your attention. You can fall in love in this microphone at first sight, not even listen. The shiny metal case and the design, resembling a spaceship. The thing is, of course, stylish, futuristic and, at the same time, not without retro-notes.
However, the microphones are valued not only for the design. What exactly gives us the manufacturer for a fairly decent price? Let’s see: the condenser microphone with 25 mm diaphragm and cardioids directivity. The range of recordable frequencies from 20Hz to 20kHz. That is, the microphone is perfect for the low vote (in most cases of a human voice “falls” below 80Hz).
The possibility of recording with a sampling frequency is both 44.1 KHz and 48KHz, although for really high-quality records it would be better to see 96KHz. However, for home use, it is more than enough.
Below there are the other features and specifications of the microphone Samson Meteorite:
- a clear voice in Skype, FaceTime, and other VoIP applications;
- two-color LED to indicate power and clipping;
- integrated USB-cable;
- powered via USB or iPad;
- software to suppress the noise for Mac OS and Windows (a software is sold separately);
- the maximum level of sound pressure 120 dB;
- power requirements: 5 V, 50 mA;
- dimensions: 50 × 67 mm;
- weight: 118 g.
The recording quality of the microphone Samson Meteor Mic, however, is quite good. No extra noise, the microphone transmits all words the with good diction, it sounds clear and legible.
The verdict: the great microphone, but “weak” electronics. It is perfect for scoring movies, recording podcasts, to communicate on Skype. More serious projects, such as high-quality recording of vocals or recitation of audio books are likely to require more serious equipment.
Another model with a similar name – Samson Meteorite. This is also the USB-microphone, which is also very stylish, metal and beautiful – it is made in the form of a brilliant ball. It should be significantly cheaper than the previous model.
Structurally, the only difference (except for appearance) from the previous model – is a smaller aperture size – only 14 mm. Signal parameters are the same as that of the Samson Meteor Mic. But, since the microphone quality is slightly worse, then its ability to “capture” the voice is more modest.
The result: the microphone is suitable for very undemanding users who want to just get a clean and clear sound, without unnecessary noise. The professional use of microphone may be quite arbitrary.
Samson C01 – is the condenser microphone that does not have USB-interface (the presence of USB can be seen if there is the letter U in the title). This fact has both advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage here is that in order to work with the microphone you will need a preamp and/or an external sound card, as well as phantom power. A plus is that, in the case of presence of a good sound card, the quality of recorded sound will be perfect.
By itself, the microphone is very good. Exterior view – is without unnecessary gloss, but the casing is metal, cast. Aperture – is of 19mm, which is good. Frequency range – from 40Hz to 18000KGts what for most users it is enough.
The conclusion: a very good, though a cheap microphone, suitable for professional use. Samson C01 – is low-budget, but the decent condenser microphone. Especially when it is connected via preamp it gives the softest and mellow voice color! If you know how to properly use the software on your computer, you can squeeze out more than it can express itself! But it is still important to keep noise isolation and to acquire a “spider”. Then you really will achieve the desired result.
If the microphone is needed for domestic use and you do not want to invest money in additional hardware, you should look at his younger brother – Samson C01U, which will provide all the same 16-bit and 44.1 – 48kHz.
Samson C01U is a lovely studio condenser mic with a USB interface for home recording. Let’s look at the microphone pros:
Frequency response: 20 – 18,000 Hz, which means “blind” zone is just above 18kHz, and for the “home” music it is acceptable. Polar Pattern: hyper-cardioid, does not affect the recording in the home. Sensitivity: 136 dB, it is rather high and screaming into the microphone is not necessary. USB interface – which means you cannot use an external preamp and a sound card and do not spend the money on them. And the sound is normal.
The set usually includes a mounting on a microphone stand, a USB cable, so you need only buy the rack itself and pop- filter. Its appearance is great, it looks very “brutal” and aesthetically pleasing. The mic has the strong body, in the case of a fall you do not find any scratches or cracks. According to the radiation pattern, we can see that the sounds behind the microphone will be caught very little, but for a home studio, it’s gorgeous. Frequency response tells us that “near the top” (from 10K to 13K) it catches a little stronger, but it is not a strong issue.And as the price-performance ratio is simply enchanting.
There are quite a lot of pluses. Now, for the cons.
ONLY HOME RECORDING. To take advantage of this mic something like a studio sound is hellishly difficult, even impossible, more precisely. Even if one takes the quiet, there will be a strong background, removing that you can spoil the main signal. Also, on some computers, the signal pops and nothing cannot help it.
In fact, the studio microphone Samson C01U – is the perfect solution for those who want to get the high-quality sound for a reasonable price.
It would be a sin not to look at the “continuation of the legend” – the microphone Samson C01 PRO. The difference from the basic model – is a little over a wide range of frequencies – from 20 Hz. Plus, unlike Samson C01U, it is possible to monitor the recording through headphones.
This microphone excellent absorbs the background noise. The sound quality is high, the voice is transmitted clearly and naturally, you can at least read a children’s fairy tale, or sing a song. In any case, such a solution is suitable for video blog completely.
Samson C01U Pro has the following characteristics:
- A large 19 mm membrane.
- Headphone jack 3.5 mm.
- Casting metal housing.
- Anti-vibration elements.
- Plug-and-Play, no drivers required.
- Powered by USB with PC, Mac or iPad.
- Included: a tripod, a rotating mechanism, and a USB cable.
By the way, when you hear yourself in the headphones during recording, it helps a lot to keep the quality of speech and control the distance from the microphone.
In addition to a standard tripod, you can install it on absolutely any holder.
Another member of the Samson family – is a professional dynamic microphone Samson Q8 which is designed using the most modern technologies. In it everything is worked out to the smallest detail. Precisely because of this, it has a high level of sound fidelity and is perfect for work on stage and in the studio.
The heart of this microphone is the neodymium magnet, by which Samson Q8 has a wide dynamic range. The microphone has a super-cardioid polar pattern. It allows you to transfer all the nuances of voice with maximum precision and volume while reducing the level of feedback and cutting off all the unwanted noises and sounds close to the microphone. Samson Q8 has a flat frequency response and a decline in the low-frequency range, thus ensuring a balanced transfer of vocal regardless of how close the performer brings the microphone to himself.
Samson Q8 – it’s not just a great vocal microphone. It can cope with any challenge. Since it can handle sound sources with high levels of sound pressure, it can be used as an instrument microphone.
The rugged cast housing, the protective mesh of hardened steel and the anti-shock mount of a capsule will allow you to use the microphone Samson Q8 even in the most difficult conditions.
- The ideal microphone for vocals.
- Neodymium magnet that provides a wide dynamic range.
- High output level, low impedance.
- Super-cardioid radiation pattern.
- Flat frequency response from 50 Hz to 16 kHz.
- Able to work with powerful audio sources, up to 150 dB.
- Multi-axis anti-shock mount of the microphone capsule, reducing internal noise and vibration.
- Rugged cast housing, hardened steel mesh.
- Includes the holder for the microphone and a carrying case.
Samson C03U – is a condenser microphone with built-in USB-interface designed for small home studio recording, podcasting, voice, and communication. The microphone design is based on the commercially successful Samson C01U. The basis of the microphone Samson C03U USB is two large 19mm diaphragms, mounted on vibration-absorbing domestic suspension. There are three directional pattern – cardioid, omnidirectional and figure-eight. Each of them provides a smooth return over all frequencies from 20Hz to 18kHz, there is a switchable high pass filter and an attenuator of 10 dB. The parameters of settings – 16 bit, 48 kHz. The microphone is made from high-quality aluminum alloy, which ensures durability and long term use.
C03U works perfectly on any computer, Mac or PC, and any DAW program. This approach solves several problems, particularly for laptop users. Samson C03U will work with any audio drivers, but it can provide enhanced functionality by using SoftPre free software:
- signal strength indicator;
- volume control;
- cutoff low pass filter;
- phase switch;
- support WDM, ASIO.
- Type: condenser with a large diaphragm.
- Polar pattern: cardioid, omnidirectional, figure-eight.
- Aperture diameter: 19 mm.
- Frequency response: 20Hz-18kHz.
- Maximum SPL: 136dB.
- A/D converter: 16-bit, 48kHz.
- Interface: USB.
- Features: 10 dB attenuator, Hi Pass Filter.
- Material: aluminum.
The latest innovation from Samson – VR-88 ribbon microphone. It is equipped with a thin diaphragm 2.5 and FET-preamplifier and the transformer, allowing the microphone to agree with any preamplifier. The diagram of the microphone – is “eight”, as of most ribbons. The microphone features an extremely high level of maximum SPL – 137 dB.
Although, the new is often-forgotten old the microphone is the result of more than 5 years of research and it contains many modern innovations.
VR88 membrane is made of high-purity aluminum and has a corrugated shape. In the design of the capsule, there is an enhanced neodymium magnet. The microphone stand (without distortion) sound pressure up to 138 dB, which allows to use it not only for speech and vocals but for the recording of intensively sounding instruments.
The microphone is equipped with an anti-vibration suspension, a cable with angled XLR connection and a road aluminum case.
- Frequency response: 30Hz – 16kHz.
- Directional characteristics: 8-shaped.
- The thickness of the diaphragm tape: 2 m.
- Sensitivity: -40 dB / Pa.
- Maximum SPL: 135 dB.
- Equivalent noise level: 17 dB.
- Output impedance: 200 Ohm.
- Phantom power 48V +/- 3V.
- Weight: 500 g.
Let’s talk about one of the company’s budget Samson microphones.
The universal dynamic microphone with switch Samson R31S – is the quality affordable microphone that is perfect for small scenes, presentations, and home studios.
R31S is a bright representative of the budget version of the universal mic for vocalists from the world famous German manufacturer. The neodymium head with a high level of sensitivity facilitates a wide dynamic range.
The robust metal mesh protects the capsule from damage. The hyper-cardioid directional characteristic avoids unwanted extraneous overtones, and a complete cable (XLR – 1/4 “Jack) allows you to connect the microphone to virtually any modern audio equipment.
Specifications of the microphone Samson R31S:
- XLR connectors.
- Appointment: vocal.
- Type of the microphone: dynamic.
- Directivity: hyper-cardioid.
- Microphone equipment: a cable,
- A clip for the microphone stand.
It is worth mentioning about the boundary microphone from this company.
Samson CM11B is a low profile condenser microphone of the boundary layer, which is perfect for conferences, etc. The device is intended for mounting on a flat surface. At the bottom of the device, there is a hard rubber gasket separating the microphone from the surface and to minimizing the unwanted noise. The cardioid polar pattern helps to cut unwanted sounds. The frequency range of the device is 30-18000 Hz, so there is no doubt in a beautiful sound. The dynamic range is 103 dB. The model is able to withstand high sound pressure levels (127 dB). The device is made in cast construction with steel grill. Such microphone carefully transfers all the nuances of the sound!
- Item type: fixed-charge capacitor.
- Polar pattern: cardioid (unidirectional).
- Frequency response: 30 – 18,000 Hz.
- Sensitivity: -39 dBV / Pa.
- Nominal impedance: 600 Ohm.
- The maximum sound pressure: 127 dB.
- Dynamic range: 103 dB.
- S / N ratio: 70 dB.
- Power supply: 9 ~ 52V phantom power.
- Power consumption: 4 mA.
And the last for today a lovely member of the Samson family – it’s Samson G-track USB. This mic – is much more than just a microphone. This device can serve as a basis of a small home recording studio – in addition, in fact, it is a high-quality USB interface for the instruments which has a 1/8 stereo headphone jack (supports direct monitoring without delay). Mic and instrument channels of the interface are capable of operating simultaneously (you can simultaneously record two mono instruments or one mono instrument and vocal). This microphone is useful to the musician, singer, audio bloggers, podcasters.
The basis is the 19-millimeter microphone condenser diaphragm. The super-cardioid polar pattern provides damping of extra overtones and provides a focused sound from the front hemisphere. On the front of the microphone, there is a rotary volume control, levels of the microphone and the instrument. There is the presence of switch inputs and the switch of the mode monitoring. The USB audio interface, which is built-in the microphone, does not require downloading drivers – you can simply connect the microphone to your computer or a laptop port, open your favorite recording program (supported by the majority of the DAW, including Garage Band) and press the “Rec”!
The microphone is compatible with Mac, and with PC-computers. The characteristics of the ADC are 16-bit 48kHz, so there is no doubt in the crystal-clear sound. The frequency range of 20Hz-16kHz. LED overload is presented.
- Type: condenser.
- Capsules: 19 mm.
- Polar pattern: cardioids.
- Frequency response: 20Hz-16kHz.
- Interface: USB.
- ADC features: 16-bit, 48kHz.
Summing up the review of the Samson products, we can say that the company produces the really good microphones. Certainly, the price range pleases. There are both budget options and pricey professional. Focusing on the amateur audience is also a plus for the company. In addition, it should be noted the excellent quality of products: these microphones are capable of operating for decades.
Do not do without the fly in the ointment. All abundance of the models of Samson microphones are focused on an undemanding user and does not provide recording capabilities with the best quality. In other words, to a good microphone mediocre sound cards are attached, greatly compress the original signal. However, as mentioned above, for domestic purposes, these models fit perfectly. But if you want to remain loyal to the brand and at the same time to go to the next level, you have to take the components separately.