Podcasting, while not the juggernaut that it may have been a few years ago, is still definitely a viable form of information and entertainment. Online gaming has also increasingly necessitated a voice component for chatting and strategizing with your teammates. In order to get the most out of any voice-related recording or chatting session, you’re going to need a good microphone. Today I’ll be talking about the Samson Meteor Mic. Keep reading to see how it performs in this full review.
The Samson Meteor Mic includes the following features and specifications:
- Large, 25mm diaphragm USB studio condenser microphone
- Plugs directly into any computer with a USB input, no drivers required
- Compatible with most computer-based digital audio workstation software
- Works with iPad using Apple’s Lightning USB Camera Adapter or Camera Connection Kit (30-pin)
- Cardioid pickup pattern
- 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz resolution
- Smooth, flat frequency response of 20Hz–20kHz
- Stereo 1/8″ headphone jack for no latency monitoring
- Headphone volume control with microphone mute switch
- Fold-back leg design provides optimal mic positioning
- Durable chrome-plated body
- Includes USB cable and carry pouch
- Samson Sound Deck Noise Cancellation Software (Mac OS X/Windows) available for purchase
What’s in the Box
- Samson Meteor Mic
- USB cable
- Soft carry pouch
If you think about the bulbous, old-timey microphones that you’ve seen in movies and on TV, you’ll have a decent idea about the form factor of the Meteor. The microphone itself is a pill shape approximately 4” tall by 2” in diameter, with the top 60% comprised of the condenser and microphone. There are a series of five horizontal cutouts in the overlying metal on either side, with six smaller vertical cutouts, all of which allow the mesh underneath to show through.
The bottom 40% of the microphone has the inputs, output, and controls that you’ll need. From top to bottom on the front, you’ll see a power indicator LED, headphone volume dial with the power button in the middle, and a small and tasteful Samson name mark. On the back, you’ll see a realtime headphone/monitor input as well as the MiniUSB power port. The bottom of the mic includes a female threaded port for securing the microphone to a mic stand, or something similar.
The Meteor Mic also includes three folding legs, which serve as protection for the microphone when folded, and an adjustable stand — adding about 3” in height — for the microphone when in use. These legs are slightly curved in order to be able to fold flat against the mic when not in use, and have small rubber feet in order to keep the mic from slipping around as well as helping to prevent picking up too much vibration noise when in use on your desk.
All-in-all, this is a very nicely designed microphone. It is very definitely modern, but it evokes a bit of nostalgia in its appearance. The included soft carrying case is a nice way to help protect your mic when you need to store it or take it with you.
Ease of Use
Getting the microphone set up is as easy as can be. Simply unfold the protective legs, plug the USB power cable into the mic and an available USB port on your computer, and your PC or Mac should recognize the microphone automatically and get the appropriate drivers installed.
Depending on what other audio devices you have installed, you may need to adjust your audio settings to ensure that everything works as anticipated. Since this microphone does have a headphone jack for zero-latency monitoring, Windows at least initially wanted to set Samson as both the input and output device for all audio, bypassing my speakers. It is a quick fix, but just something to keep an eye on.
I’m not an audio engineer by any means and am hardly a musician anymore, but my results using the Meteor mic as a podcasting and gaming mic were both quite successful. We sadly stopped doing the Techaeris Aercast a few years ago, so I haven’t been podcasting all that much, though I was asked to sit in on the Biomassed Podcast recently. You can pretty clearly tell that the Meteor Mic sounds a few definite steps above the other gaming headsets or integrated mics that were used — as it obviously should. I’m by no means knocking the audio from the rest of the group on the podcast, just pointing out that the Meteor Mic definitely has a clearer and deeper sound.
I also used the mic pretty extensively for gaming. The large mute button on the front was relatively easy to hit, though if you have a gaming mouse and can program a push-to-talk or mic mute button that will obviously be easier. Teammates could hear me clearly and with good audio.
With many mics, if you’re going to be doing any sort of serious vocal recording you’re going to want to have a pop filter or a screen that keeps your “Ps” and other hard consonants from, well, popping. The dual-screen design of the Meteor keeps out all but the most egregious pops, so you can likely use this mic without a pop filter unless you find yourself enunciating your “P’s” more than you should.
Samson suggests that the Meteor mic is great at recording music in your home studio. The large condenser diaphragm and cardioid pickup pattern should allow the mic to capture vocals as well as instruments either up close, or even to mic an amplifier. I don’t have a guitar amp to test with, but vocals definitely come out loud and clear. Overall I was very impressed with the performance of this microphone.
Priced at $69.99 you’re getting some incredible performance at a great price. Some of the other big name studio-style microphones that many bloggers use are more expensive, and after researching some users that have tried both, most feel that the Samson provides a richer, warmer sound than some of the other competitors. Better performance at a lower price sounds pretty good to me.
If you want to record nearly anything onto your computer, the Samson Meteor Mic is definitely worth a look. It has a very classy design, great performance, and a very good price. It’s easy to use, and you can be up and recording in no time.