Gear Review: Samson Meteor Mic

Pros: Small size, neat ergonomics, simple control and setup

Cons: Fold up legs might interfere with using a microphone stand.

Home recording is getting simpler by the day, and with Samson’s new USB microphone, it’s about to get even easier. The Meteor’s style echoes the old chrome microphones from the 1950s. It’s a condenser microphone, with a cardioid pattern. Tripod legs fold down from the sides, and are adjustable. For more placement options, there is a threaded connection that easily connects to a standard microphone stand. The only controls are mounted on the front: a simple volume control and a mute switch. Connections are equally simple, with USB and 1/8″ stereo outputs on the back.

The included USB cable is good for desktop use, but you might need a longer one or extension for recording something in another room. The artist can use the 1/8” output for their personal monitoring, while the engineer can use the computer’s output for their monitoring. This little feature can make routing cables and setup a lot simpler, and allows it to be used in more professional applications.

Like many USB microphones, it doesn’t interact with Pro Tools too well, but it worked fine with GarageBand and Audacity. There are no drivers or software required to add to your system, so it really is a plug-and-play product.

No problem recording guitars – electrics sounded great and acoustic guitars were no problem either. Setting it up at the edge of a table was simple and yielded excellent results with no mic stand required. Microphone placement isn’t a big variable here, moving it to different positions didn’t reveal real big tonal differences, but it was tough to find a place where it wouldn’t sound good.

Vocals sounded crisp and clear. If you really get on it, you can overload it a bit, but not in a good musical way. So your best bet is to watch the input levels. For anyone who wants to do a podcast, but thinks that the equipment is too expensive and complicated, this microphone will put those excuses to bed. Placing directly in front of a subject, it picked up conversations easily. If you’re doing field recording and don’t want to bring a ton of gear, or anything that’s too expensive to replace, you’d be hard pressed to find something that comes close to this sound quality at this price point.

Overall, it’s a great microphone that can do a lot for short money. There aren’t many features, but its simplicity might be one of its strongest selling points, especially considering its intended purpose. If you’re looking to get into recording, and don’t want to spend a ton of money, the Samson Meteor Mic should be on your shopping list.

 

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