Mike'd Up

I've been working in radio for close to 30 years now, and I have access to all kinds of recording equipment, including some great microphones. Most of the gear I can get my hands on is pretty high-end stuff that uses XLR connectors and would require elaborate equipment that I just don't have at home. So I was really interested when the MXL Studio 1 USB microphone ($130) landed on my desk. It's a portable condenser microphone that connects to your computer via USB. MXL boasts that it's plug-and-play, and that's not a joke: No installation discs. No drivers. No preamps, mixers, or extra gear. Nice.

I plugged it in, made a few adjustments in my sound preferences, and voilà. I was ready to go. The question then became: Ready to go... do what? The manual boasts that this mike is great for musicians, vocalists, podcasting, Internet radio, digital music, voice-over recordings, and sound effects. A lot on that list isn't exactly my thing, but my 14-year-old son is thinking about doing a podcast for the local teen center he volunteers at, so this is the perfect microphone for him.

The Studio 1 comes with a hard shell case, a small stand, and a 10-foot USB cable. It works with both Macs and PCs. One of the things I love about this microphone is that it has an expensive, classy feel to it. It sports a very cool design that does an excellent job of replicating the look of a high-end model.

I made a few voice recordings to test it out. The sound I got with the Studio 1 was crisp and clear. And I was able to use Garage Band and save what I'd done very easily to my computer. While the sound is pretty good, keep in mind that this $130 microphone isn't on the level of a $400 mike.

Speaking of my computer, I conduct a lot of video meetings on it. The sound is never as good as the video, so using the Studio 1 is quite an improvement. And if I want to sing - or know ahead of time that I'm going to sing something on Stern - the MXL is waiting for me to belt one out. Let's assess the Studio 1: portable, good-looking, nice sound, easy to use. You'll be hard-pressed to find a USB microphone in this price range that delivers on all those things. Chatter up!

Ajaira's picture

It doesn't always means that the price will give the true quality,
clash royale cheats.