Ask any podcasting group or community for microphone recommendations and you’ll often hear the Samson Q2U being touted. If you don’t, you’re probably in the US where a close equivalent is the ATR2100.
It’s not a surprise really, because there are a number of good reasons to do so! In fact, that’s why the Q2U appears in our Best Podcast Microphones article. In this article I’m going to talk through it’s strengths, as well as record an audio sample for you. So what’s all the fuss about this microphone?
Who Would Use The Samson Q2U?
The flexibility of this microphone throws the doors right open here. Whether you’re a podcaster or the lead singer in a band, this is a durable, affordable, and handy microphone to have around.
Where Would You Use It?
Regardless of what microphone you’re using, it’s always good to record your podcasts in a quiet, sound-dampened room (unless you’re going for a field-recording “in the moment” effect). Nevertheless, the Samson Q2U is pretty forgiving of less than ideal recording conditions.
To rephrase the question a bit, there’s actually not many places where you couldn’t use it. As long as your voice is audible, the Samson Q2U will do as good a job as any for podcasting.
What Kind Of Recording Setup Suits The Samson Q2U?
This is where the microphone really shines. Whilst almost every other microphone has a USB cable to plug into your computer, or an XLR cable to plug into your mixer or recorder, the Q2U has both. This gives you all sorts of flexibility when recording your podcast.
If you intend on using a mixer/recorder to podcast, and something breaks, you can switch to USB and record directly into your computer. Likewise, if you are on the road and have your microphone with you, there’s more chance of finding a setup to accommodate it if you want to do some recording on the fly.
This is one of the reasons it’s a great beginner microphone. You can get started with the minimum setup, recording via USB. But as you grow, perhaps getting a digital recorder, and then a mixer, this mic will grow with you. Stick this into a high level mixer with top quality pre-amps and you’ll find the audio quality ramps up as a result.
This is a real swiss-army knife of podcasting, fitting just about any context you can throw at it.
Having both a USB and XLR connection means you can even record through both simultaneously. If you’re doing an important interview on-location and are scared of something breaking, this is a comforting safety net to have in place.
You can hold it in your hand, or mount it on a boom arm, microphone or table mic stand. You can also plug headphones (with a 3.5mm jack) straight into the microphone and adjust the volume accordingly to monitor your recordings.
It’s a dynamic microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern. This means that it mainly picks up sound at the front of the microphone and rejects sounds at the back. It’s an ideal pattern for one person talking, or two having a conversation, rejecting the noise of the other person in the room.
What Does It Come With?
- A desktop/table mic stand
- A set of Samson HP0 headphones
- An XLR cable
- Cakewalk Music Creator software
How Much Does It Cost?
You can usually find the above package for a mere £44 in the UK, and even cheaper in the US at a cost of $42!
Samson Q2U Sound Sample
Here’s a sound sample I’ve recorded for you. I’ve applied no post-proessing, normalisation, noise-reduction etc to the file. I recorded it through a Yamaha MG10 mixer into the Zoom H5 recorder.
At only £44/$42, with both USB and XLR options, and with as good a sound quality as any in its range, it’s hard to look past the Samson Q2U. If you’re starting a podcast, don’t yet have a microphone, and have a limited budget, then this is an excellent option for you.
It’s simplicity, versatility, and accessories make for amazing value. I do find myself recommending this microphone quite a lot these days, and will often use one for recording podcasts too.
Remember, you can also check our current list of the best podcast microphones on the market if you’re looking for other suggestions.