Welcome to Best USB Microphone Reviews, where we compile reviews from around the web on today’s best sounding usb microphones. Quality sound is absolutely important in creating a professional audio presence for podcasting, voice-over work in videos, conducting webinars, and teleconferencing via apps like Skype, Tango, and Oovoo.
MXL USB.009 — Best USB microphone for vocals
Technical cpecs MXL USB.009
- Type: Pressure gradient condenser microphone
- Diaphragm: 6 micron gold-sputtered
- Frequency Response: 20 Hz — 20 kHz
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Sampling Rate: 44.1kHz, 48kHz
- Bit Depth: 16bit, 24bit
- Output: 1/8″ headphone jack, USB audio
- High Pass Filter: 120Hz, 235Hz, 465Hz (software controlled)
- Power Requirements: USB Powered
- Size: 47mm x 175mm / 1.85 in. x 6.89 in.
- Weight: 0.75 lb / 340g
- Metal Finish: Silver/Nickel
Customer Reviews: MXL USB 009 USB condenser Mic (Amazon.com)
By Mark Lautenschlager
I have worked in radio for a lot of years and used many excellent microphones in various studios, some costing thousands of dollars. With this microphone, I am able to get very close to that level of quality in my home using my personal computer. I bought the mic from Amazon.com when I started producing a new show where I needed to do the introduction and close to each episode. Dynamic range is outstanding, great deep bass response, and very clean and clear. If you are shopping for a USB microphone and hoping to get pro-level results, this is a good choice.
Here’s a warning, though. When you plug the mic into your computer, it wants to take over as the sound card for output also. It has a headphone jack for monitoring your voice during recording, but I was very surprised when I started playback in Adobe Audition, and I heard those headphones fire up. So that’s a little weird. I’ve adopted the practice of plugging in the mic when I want to record, starting Audition, recording, then saving the file, closing Audition, UNPLUGGING the mic, before restarting Audition and moving on to the edit phase. Clunky? Yes, a bit. But I’ll still use this mic for its quality over some others that I’ve tried. I do hope that hearing about the sound card part in advance helps at least one person avoid the head-scratching I faced for a few minutes.
I’m writing this to help save time for those looking to get a pro level USB mic as I spent quite a bit of time reading reviews (amazon and pro music reviews) listening to mic shootouts and leg work on USB microphones so I though I would see if I can help others save some time. I’m a bit retentive when it comes to my audio gear. I spent 10 years looking for the perfect studio monitors and finally found a slice of heaven in the ADAM s3A’s.
I have a professional recording studio and consider my 20 years of listening experience worthwhile in doing an unbiased review.
My goal was to find a usb microphone able to perfectly capture vocals and instruments without adding color (anything but the pure sound) to use with my ipad for audio work.
Microphones and monitors are very subjective in my opinion . Different people like the way different gear sounds. I was simply looking for sonic clarity and depth.
I settled on the Blue Yeti Pro and the MXL 009 and bought them both. I surmised these were the two top picks (based on user and pro reviews) out of the 5 or so at the top including the non pro yeti.
This is my first time owning a blue or MXL mic. I have a couple of Shure ksm44’s and a few Neumanns
I ran a series of comparisons between the Yeti Pro, THe MXL 009 and my goto in the studio which is the ksm44 running through an Avalon ad2022 pre through an RME Fireface UFX into an 2011 Imac. I used two sets of headphones and my monitors to listen to the audio recorded. As set of audio technica m50s, and a pair of Sony MDR7509’s and the s3a’s. I recorded vocals, shakers and tuning forks at both 48k 16bit and 24bit 96k sample rates to see if it made a difference. It does make a difference but its slight and if you were making a song you probably couldn’t tell in the mix. If you were doing a podcast or talkshow you woud notice slightly richer deeper clarity with the 96k 24bit setting.
The results were very surprising to me mostly because I was blown away that a $300 microphone can compete with 7K in studio gear. I think I need to tell Toto were not in Kansas anymore. Rating scale 10 = amazing 1=Sucks
The MXL 009 — If you want the best sounding Mic and dont care about the rest this is your mic.
Features = 7 (lack of traditional xlr out limits to digital use)
Easy of Use = 7 You need to get your gain levels set prior to using or you will get pops and clicks in your audio. This could be a bummer if you just did a big long take and now have to edit to remove a few clicks. Set your gains and you will be without issue. ( would be nice if they had a clipping indicator on the mic since this is such a big issue). Maybe they will correct it with a soft or firmware update.
Set up = 10 ( I literally just plugged it in and selected it in logic pro — used to record the audio)
Sound Quality = 10 The MXL009 was a bit more transparent and honest with the sound. It is really a beautifully accurate mic.
Accessories = 9 desk stand is rock solid but not as cool looking as the yeti. Its a basic stand. It comes with a cool metal case if you travel with your mics.
Look and Feel = 9 Very nice looking and solid feeling. The blue led is a nice touch to show its connected
The Yeti Pro — If you are looking to get just one mic then this is your pick because of its feature set. Its built like a tank. Has the 4 different switching options which is very useful for getting different sounds. You could put it on a table for an interview and hear both people as an example. Also has standard xlr out, could be nice if you want to use it with standard gear. The stereo out is a nice feature (unless you want mono).
Features = 10
Easy of Use = 10 quick adjustments of gain and are forgiving if your not spot on.
Set up = 10 ( I literally just plugged it in and selected it in logic pro used to record the audio)
Sound Quality = 8 The MXL009 was a bit more transparent and honest with the sound.
Accessories = 9 desk stand is rock solid and cool looking
Look and Feel = 8 Very nice looking and solid feeling but kinda bulky. Sexy sitting on the desk if you care. They get -2 points as the Blue logo was slightly off level which most people probably would not or could not notice. (retentive)
The verdict is that they all sound amazing. If you were not doing a sise by side A/B you would miss the subtle differences. The Shure has a slight lead for overall sound but the MXL009 is not far behind and the Yeti pro is right up there with them. Its not quite as good sonically but as far as getting bang for your buck the yeti pro is an amazing choice for everything you get for less than $300. Unbelievable! My hats off to both companies for such great products.
I am keeping them both unfortunately as they are that great for different reasons.
By P. Burke «Neelys Mum
I have been in the voice-over business for 20 years and FINALLY, with the purchase of this microphone, am able to record from home, which opens up a whole new «other» world for me. I already have people clammering for work for me. AND … I’m glad I waited as long as I did because this MXL USB.009 microphone only came out in spring ’08 and has some great reviews so I knew this was the one for me. Several people have already asked about it because they are seriously considering getting one for their own home studios. Am most anxious to begin the next leg of my career journey with this mike onboard to help. UPDATE: I LOVE this instrument and it sounds terrific. Have gotten wonderful comments about the quality of the recording capabilities. I am most pleased with this purchase. Most pleased indeed.