Here at My Take Radio we cover a lot of different subjects as we try to provide content that is interesting to our fan base. We use a lot of different tools in order to do this but everything that is MTR began as a podcast. As such, the ability to provide clear audio has been and continues to be a major concern. A good microphone is necessary in almost every situation that we deal with, but especially when we find ourselves in front of our computers during the weekly broadcast. Of course, this is most important to Rich who hosts the show, but for someone like myself or Jay Santy who call in frequently and have to record audio for segments, the need is still there. Cell phone audio is iffy at best when calling in to the show and standard PC microphones are not the best option for recording when you live in a noisy area (ex. currently hearing construction noise outside my building). A good microphone with noise-cancelling abilities makes for better audio content, but price can be an issue as the best products are rather costly. Fortunately, Samson has a solution for a budget podcaster like myself in the form of the Meteorite USB Condenser Microphone. Everything you need is provided by silver sphere no larger than a golf ball.
The Samson Meteorite is the little brother of the company’s Meteor model; the latter is for studio recording and the former more for amateur or casual recordings form your desktop or home. The mic is just what you need as a beginner if you are starting a podcast or as someone who likes to use Skype, FaceTime or record audio for videos that you are making. With its MSRP of $39.99, there are cheaper microphones but I am a firm believer in the old saying that “you get what you pay for.” In the past, I have used mics for things like Skype that have made me shy away from recording via PC. Often I have encountered volume issues or had people complain about background noise including speaker audio. Despite being plug and play and having no associated audio software in the package, the Samson Meteorite addresses these issues beautifully using only your PC audio settings. A simple LED light on the front glows blue when the mic is ready (aka when you plug it in) and it blinks or goes to a steady red if your audio is clipping. That simple feature lets you properly set microphone gain on your PC or Mac. Setup takes as long as it would take you to open a box, plug in a USB cable and click your mouse a few times while speaking. Tweak settings to your own liking by recording something or conversing with someone using the your VoIP of choice.
With a $40 price tag, one might think that they are not getting very much and that would be an incorrect assumption. It is true that hardcore users like musicians and professional broadcasters would need something more high end and Samson does provide for that higher level use. Regardless, the Samson Meteorite is a solid product That amateur users will not regret purchasing. The simple design makes it comfortable to use from any desktop and it does not need to be up in your face to provide excellent sound. The body of the microphone itself looks like the end of a professional mic and the design makes sure your voice is heard while other ambient sounds are not. The combination of the ball-shaped body and the magnetic base are what really make it a winner. The microphone swivels in the base making positioning much easier than a stand design desktop microphone. The base is weighted, has a low center of gravity and a strong enough magnet to make sure you do not knock the mic over or out of the base accidentally. The only (minor) complaint I have is that the cord is only three feet long. For most, this will be a non-issue and is only a slight one for me because my tower is large and currently has no front USB ports available. Most users either have ports in the front or are using a laptop. If Samson ever makes a revised model, I would recommend a longer cord and a simple carrying case. The device is extremely portable but the cable feels like it could fray easily if tossed in a bag carelessly – something many people do when on the go. A carrying case would definitely serve to protect the USB cord. That said, I cannot recommend this product enough. If you need a microphone that works well at home, at work or anywhere you can sit down with a laptop (compatible with tablets via USB adapter) the Samson Meteorite is the single, simple solution for you.