Samson Meteor USB Mic | A Podcasting Review
The Samson Meteor is a USB ‘plug and play' condenser mic. I'm a big fan of Samson's dynamic Q2U mic, which is probably the piece of kit I find myself recommending the most. With that in mind, I was interested to get a look at the Meteor, Samson's higher-end vocal condenser mic. So what's the score with this little fellow? Let's take a look.
Look & Feel of the Samson Meteor
With an increasing number of podcasters and content creators putting out videos, microphones are now visible to their audience. Though the look of a mic will never be as important as it's performance, it's probably no coincidence that we're seeing eye-catching mics like the Meteor and the Shure MV51 on the market. These designs will undoubtedly prompt some viewers to ask “what's that mic you're using?”.
If this is true, then the Meteor will be immediately noticeable to many. Aside from it's appearance, it is also very light and portable – with the legs folded up it would easily fit into a coat pocket or a very small bag.
The mic comes in a high-quality black cardboard box with housing to hold everything in place. This makes it ideal for easy storage when not in use. It also comes with a small draw-string carry bag to help protect the mic from scratches when being put into a case or box alongside other gear or equipment.
Features & Controls
The Meteor is fairly minimalist when it comes to its analogue controls.
On the back is the USB connection port where you connect the mic to your PC/Laptop/Mac with the cable provided in the box. You can also connect to an iPad using a camera adapter, though this isn't included with the Meteor as standard.
Also on the back of the Meteor is a 3.5mm headphone port for monitoring your recordings. This means you can set the Meteor as your output, so you can hear both yourself and audio from your computer, or whoever you're chatting to on Skype.
On the front there's a headphone volume control dial, and in the centre of that dial is a mute button. Above the dial, there's a little three-colour LED light. This light illuminates blue to indicate power, amber to indicate the mute button is on, and flashes red when the recording source is too loud and clipping.
Finally, underneath the mic there's a 5/8″ stand mount which can be used to connect the Meteor to a boom arm or mic stand.
On Samson's website they state that the Meteor “has one of the largest condenser diaphragms (25mm) of any USB mic available”.
I'm definitely impressed with the sound quality, but like any condenser mic, you need to be recording in decent conditions. If you're in a fairly noisy building or have a busy street outside, you might want to look at a dynamic mic like the Q2U instead.
Cost of the Samson Meteor
The Samson Meteor is a great choice for someone looking for the simplicity of a USB mic, whilst retaining a good level of sound quality.
On top of that, the Meteor’s appearance makes it ideal if you're doing a lot of recording on video too. It's also small, unobtrusive, and you can easily take it with you if you want to record in different places.
One minor flaw is the lack of gain control on the mic itself, so all this needs to be done inside your recording software or computer settings.
The Samson Meteor sounds better than the Blue Snowball, and costs less than the Blue Yeti or Shure MV5/MV51, so this mic should definitely be a serious candidate if you're in the market for a ‘plug and play' device.