I hate wearing gaming headsets. There’s nothing comfortable or flattering about having a mic smushed against your face and then trying to speak. You look and feel like a classic 90s ad for customer support. When I first set up my gaming machine this past summer, I knew I had to get a desk mic. I reached out to CAD Audio earlier this month to find out more about their u37 desktop mic and I’ve been pretty impressed so far. Having a desktop microphone doesn’t eliminate the need for headphones, but the variety of headphones is great, where the variety of gaming headsets aren’t so great. After the matter of a microphone is out of the way, I can use my favorite earbuds or a nice, comfortable pair of over-ear headphones.
What Makes The u37 Microphone Special?[td_divider top=”no”]
The u37 microphone is a cardioid microphone, which means it is a unidirectional microphone, or one direction (not at all associated with the band, one direction). It can pick up about sound in a 120 degree pattern in front of it, while rejecting sound that is coming from other directions. This pretty much means that you’re not going to be able to use the u37 for karaoke with your friends, but that’s not what it’s for. It’s a desk microphone and it’s great at picking up sound and rejecting background noise. It’s really hard for me to describe the sound quality of the u37, but I think that it sounds very accurate. As an example of the sound of the u37 I recommend you check out the MobileCupOfJoe podcast from back in October, which you can see here: [td_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHEvRCXxe1g&list=UUCfQS6jpQfcxB-9CPoODYYQ” width=”700″] [/td_youtube] I come in for the first time at about 30 minutes in and if you compare the sound of the rest of the participants of the podcast, (Who all use Blue Microphones) I would say that the sound of the u37 is a lot clearer and void of background noise albeit not as loud, which is something that seems to plague CAD products. You will also see the CAD Sessions headphones that I reviewed a while back featured in the podcast. Again, it’s not the best example because it’s something that was recorded online, but it’s a good way to compare sound quality to other high-quality desk mics. To take care of that, I went ahead and recorded a quick blurb of me messing with all of the different sound options on the front of the microphone. This is going to be a lot clearer than the sound on Hangouts because it was recorded on my local machine.
What you’ll notice about the sound when I turn down the decibel level to -10 is that it’s a lot more muffled. This is natural because it’s literally picking up less range of sound. When I switch it back to 0 dB, it returns to a very crisp sound. I didn’t notice a whole lot of difference between the sound when I switched between the flat and accentuated bass, but that could have more to do with the type of sound I was recording and the quality of my computer’s speakers.
Build And Design[td_divider top=”no”]
Sound quality isn’t everything when it comes to a good microphone. Of course it’s the top priority, but there are other things to think about as well. Things like how it looks on your desk and how difficult it is to set up are important, they just aren’t the first things you think about. Good news, however, the u37 is a very attractive desktop piece. Of course, you’re the only one that has to see it, but you still want it to look good with your setup. You’ll notice the bright blue LED on the front and that is a bit of an eyesore for some, but it matches the rest of my bright blue LED-laden machine. The LED is more than just a pretty light, however, because it also has a functional purpose. When it’s solid, you know that it’s on. As soon as you plug the mic into your computer, it the light will come on and when you shut down or put your computer to sleep it will turn off. Some accessories don’t turn their lights off when you shut your computer down, so this is something I’m very thankful for. When the LED is blinking, that means that it’s listening. The u37 isn’t necessarily cognisant of whether it is recording or not, but it knows when the computer is asking for data. This is a visual cue to you that your recording is live or at least that the mic is live. I think that something like this is crucial so that you know there isn’t anything in your computer maliciously listening to everything that you do, if it is at least you will have that visual cue to let you know you need better computer security. The design of the stand is actually really nice if you’re planning on using the u37 for a portable setup. The legs fold together into a single stick to save room and then you can fold then entire stand in half. When I first took the stand out of the packaging, however, I spend at least 5 minutes trying to figure out how to unfold the legs and when I finally had it done I was still somewhat unsure of myself. There were instructions with the mic, but I didn’t find them to be particularly helpful.
Final Words For The u37[td_divider top=”no”]
Bottom line, this mic was perfect for what I would use it for. Everything seemed to be very crisp, and the mic has some useful features to make sure you aren’t picking up anything you don’t want to. It’s great for gaming, podcasting, or doing some amateur song recording if that’s something that you’re into. It is going to look good with your setup and it’s fairly easy to set up once you have the legs on the stand figured out. They sell for $47 on amazon, which is very competitive compared to the price of competing high quality desktop mics. If you have any other questions about the u37, I highly encourage you to ask them in the comment section below or feel free to reach out to me on Google+ or Twitter!