Heavy Well Built Microphone with Pop Filter and Stand. Works great for music and sound capture.

My children have become very interested in  YouTube, specifically watching product reviews, and unboxing videos of toys. This has led to an interest in science demonstrations, pranks and secret playdough egg videos. This past Christmas, my wife and wrapped presents and placed them into a Minecraft and Paw Patrol Paper Mache egg. We allowed our children to open the eggs on camera, creating their own YouTube videos.

Unboxing:
I have receive an amazing microphone to review from Fifine Technology. The product comes shipped in a white rectangular box, 7 5/8″ long X 3 9/16″ wide X 3 15/16″ tall. The box is plain white, with a black Fifine logo on the top. Lift the top from the box and remove the thin piece of foam. You will see the silver microphone with black casing, wrapped in plastic. There is a thin layer of cardboard below the microphone. Remove this thin cardboard and you will find the accessories. It comes with a silver pop filter, a tripod base with screw, microphone clip, power cable and a very minimalistic instruction manual. The power cable is a USBA and 3.5mm Jack with a proprietary 3 prong plug that fits only the microphone. The manual is a double sided piece of paper. One side has images of people using the device and the other provides some text, although poorly translated English.

Fifine Professional Cardioid Studio Microphone REVIEW

Setup:
The microphone has an input port along the bottom, which has 3 prongs. The power cable aligns with the notch on the microphone an slides in with a palpable click. Unscrew the small screw under the microphone (silver end) and insert the pop filter. Turn the screw to tighten the pop filter into place. Next push the rod of the tripod upwards and then open the 3 legs. This tripod is well built and very sturdy. The top of the tripod has a screw port, which allows you to attach the microphone clip. The clip has a very strong grip and opens wide enough to hold the 6.5 inch circumference microphone. The microphone weighs a robust 11.7 ounces and appears very well built. The clip of the tripod is positional, which helps you to find that sweet spot. You can use this device in either desk mode or you can use it in handheld microphone mode. You will notice the weight when you pick it up.

The microphone will work with any PC or Laptop with a microphone jack. As stated above, the power plug has a USB A and 3.5mm plug. There is no on/off switch and this condenser microphone requires a power supply. If using the device with a speaker and there is no USB port on the speaker, you will need a USB wall outlet. If your Laptop has a single 3.5mm combined headphone/microphone signal jack, you may need to purchase an USB Audio Adaptor.

Fifine Professional Cardioid Studio Microphone REVIEW

Fifine Professional Cardioid Studio Microphone REVIEWUse:
I do not yet have my setup to complete unboxing videos of my own. To test the device my wife, who can sing very well, utilized my desktop and a program called Audacity. I recorded her singing Come Thou Fount, How Great Thou Art, You’re a Good Good Father. She would then record second and third tracks in harmony with the first. It took a few trials to get a better, richer sound and for her to learn the microphone  technique. She sings in church regularly, she is used to microphone etiquette to prevent popping and too much gain.

We tested the device with and without the vocal pop filter and found you need the filter. We really appreciated that this was included with the microphone. The microphone has 2 knobs, one for volume and one for echo. We found that turning this all the way down flattened the voice too much and made her song sound weaker. Turning the echo up all the way also was not satisfactory. The sweet spot was about 1/4 to 1/2 echo and 3/4 volume. Here, we found that the sound was full and beautiful.

The problem with testing a microphone is you are also dependent on the speakers that playback the sound. My computer speakers are Altec Lansing BXR1120 computer speakers. They are a little weak in the bass, but they were quite cheap and have done the job so far. Using the audacity program, we were able to record 3 tracks of my wife singing Come Thou Fount. Using ITunes, creating an ACC copy and Windows explorer, I was able to create an entirely custom iTunes Tone for my phone. This sounds great and is in 3 part harmony.

Summary:
I am slowly starting to become more of an audiophile, more with headsets than with speakers. I have become interested in completing YouTube unboxing videos and I needed a good microphone with which to record my speech. I started using the microphone with the Windows Sound Recorder. This program worked for sound, but really did nothing else. I thus turned to Audacity and downloaded the free program. This was really fun. My wife and I were able to play with the sound, change the gain, change the speaker settings from left to right and to adjust the harmony to make the sound even better. This microphone, coupled with the vocal pop filter, seemed to really capture sound well. Her voice was pure and it was full. We tried it without the pop filter and were not pleased. The microphone will capture form both of the silver colored grates as the capture device is the ball inside of the silver colored mesh.

The packaging is bland and could use some upgrading. The microphone is quite heavy and did lead to some fatigue with prolonged gripping. We liked the echo/volume knobs. There was minimal need to change these once we found the 1/4 echo and 3/4 volume. Turning the volume up more, the speakers popped and the sound became very harsh. You could turn it down to about 1/2 volume and still be reasonable. For speech and note taking you could probably get away with 1/4 volume. We would rate this device at 4/5 stars. My wife really enjoyed testing this device.
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