The CEntrance MicPort Pro 2 is a small but handy USB audio interface.
USB interfaces enable you to run XLR mics into your computer, the same way you'd plug a USB mic in. In using an interface though, you have a lot more options and flexibility.
There are many USB interface options out there. So, what makes the MicPort Pro 2 stand out?
Who Is the MicPort Pro 2 For?
Podcasters who record on-the-go would find the most benefit from its small size and portability.
It's an alternative to taking a digital recorder on the road with you. A potential reason you might opt for the MicPort 2 instead, is if you needed to record into your laptop or phone.
USB devices can be connected to smartphones via camera connection kit adaptors, and you could set the MicPort 2 up to work in this way. It won't take up a lot of room in your bag, so would easily make up part of a quality mobile recording kit.
Look & Feel
The MicPort Pro is a durable little device. Its black metallic casing feels pretty robust.
It measures just over 4 inches in length, and is just over 1 inch thick. Basically, it fits in the palm of your hand.
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The MicPort Pro 2 has an XLR/1/4″ jack as its input for connecting your mic. You then connect it, via USB, to whichever device you'd like to record into.
On the front, there's 2 switches. Hi-Z is for use when connecting instruments, such as an electric guitar. HPF is a high pass filter to help minimise distortion from wind noise or plosives.
There's also 3 dials:
- A gain dial, which is your input recording volume.
- an In-USB dial, to control the signal coming back at you from your computer.
- and a Monitor dial to control the overall volume of your headphones.
On the base, you'll find 2 USB connections. One to link to a device, and the other, to charge the interal battery of the MicPort 2.
You can switch on Phantom Power (48v) if you're using a condenser mic. You can also toggle a Limiter for protection against loud peaks and clipping.
On the base of the MicPort Pro 2, you'll find the headphone jack, and power button.
The switches on the device are hard to access. You can't get to them with your finger, and need something like a pen or paper clip to press them. This has been done to protect them from being accidentally toggled whilst recording. But it can make it awkward if you've no way of getting at them.
The battery could be an issue for some folks too. Most USB devices are simply powered from being plugged in to a computer. You do need to remember to charge your MicPort Pro 2 when you're not using it.
This is a completely unprocessed sound sample. It was recorded with a Rode Procaster, via the Mic Port Pro 2, into Audacity.
The MicPort Pro 2 is available through CEntrance themselves, and currently costs $249.99.
CEntrance MicPort Pro 2: Conclusion
The CEntrance MicPort Pro 2 is certainly a handy little device. You might want one if you're constantly on the road, but still want to be able to use an XLR mic and do interviews online.
If you're carrying your laptop around with you, then a premium quality USB mic like the Samson Satellite would be an alternative option. That's a USB mic that plugs directly into the iPhone. Or, you might ditch the computer altogether and opt for a digital recorder like the Zoom H6.
But, if you go with the CEntrance MicPort Pro 2, then you'll have good and flexible recording options. Just remember to keep a pen handy with you, to access those switches!
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