TECH TALK: No more sitting in make-shift tents to achieve top quality sound thanks to Movo's desktop microphone
Most of us are now no strangers to hangouts or online team meetings and we have all had to adjust our volume or hold our ears when one of our colleagues has bad audio coming from their inbuilt mics.
I invested in a cheap external mic around a year ago and never looked back, until I wanted to record more professional sounding podcasts and video voice overs.
The first thing that struck me about the new Movo UM700 mic is the sturdy build quality. It is made of robust metal so it really does look like a professional microphone. It is neat in design and with minimal fuss, so it wasn’t intimidating for a novice to get started and it seems intuitive to use. It really looks great on my desk too and because it is an all-in-one-mic, there is no need for an external interface taking up space.
It comes with a mount already so no need for an extra stand and this can be angled to suit wherever you need it to be positioned. However, there is also a tripod mount thread (5/8inch screw) if you do want to use an alternative such as a floor stand or overhead rig.
It was really easy to set up, you simply plug in the USB cable and you are good to go. I set this up on my Macbook and used quick-time movie to test and playback all of the audio settings. My Macbook recognised the mic straight away.
On testing all four polar patterns I also experimented turning the gain dial. I moved the mic into various positions, closer to me and further away.
I was really impressed with the rounded sound it was getting from all these settings and how some functions really did cut out background noise and echo from the room.
The two dials on the back of the mic are intuitive to use, one is the audio gain/volume knob and the other refers to the polar pattern options. This offers four pickup modes, the omni-directional, Cardioid, Stereo and Bi-directional.
Cardioid is ideal for picking up sound from the front of the mic, it therefore minimises sound coming in from the back and sides. Stereo is self explanatory and picks up a stereo audio signal from the left and the right separately, giving a more natural sound.
The omnidirectional option picks up sound from all around the mic, so perfect for round table discussions, but also captures ambiance from around the speaker.
Finally, bi-directional picks up sound from just the front and rear of the mic, so ideal if you were sat opposite your guest speaker/interviewee. It is mildly heavy due to it’s sturdy build quality, but I would have no objection to carrying it to meeting rooms to set up group discussions.
There is a headphone socket so you can monitor what’s happening and it even allows audio to be fed in from your computer, meaning you can hear someone else talking if you are hosting a podcast.
There is also a handy mute button too if you want to make sure your mic doesn’t pick up additional noise while someone else is speaking on your hangouts. This helpfully illuminates once you mute yourself so you know it is on. There is a volume control for the headphones too.
I can see this being a really versatile mic to use for a podcast whether alone, in a room with multiple people or simply doing voice overs for videos, or vlogging.
It isn’t meant to replace a full audio booth, but for a single multifunctional mic that is simple to use, it will be desirable to people who want a quick and easy set up, using minimal space and at a sensible budget. All this and with high-quality audio, capturing 48kHz/16 bit broadcast quality sound.
No more sitting in a make-shift tent made up of soft furnishings to achieve a rich echoless sound.
The stocks should be with Amazon UK by the end of May 2021. RRP £84.95.