We human beings are complex creatures. We find ourselves often at the crossroads of identity. After all, in this space, we would all identify as gamers or, at the very least, game enthusiast while in other spaces, different identifiers take the forefront.
Like many of our writers here at MMORPG.com (and you, the reader), I find myself spanning several different communities and I have to admit, I get a little bit giddy when I see those worlds cross over. Especially when those worlds happen to be, in particular relevance to this review, the worlds of gaming, music, and the spoken word. This is our review for the UBER MIC by M-Audio.
Having had previous experience with their gear, when I discovered that M-Audio had announced a USB microphone geared toward streamers and podcasters, I was beside myself. If my past experience was any indication of what to expect from this release, I knew that I needed to get my hands on the UBER MIC and give it a shot!
If you aren’t familiar with the company, M-Audio has a storied history in the music industry. They have been innovator, providing tools for artists to create within the digital landscape and beyond. With nearly thirty years of passion to draw from, M-Audio brings a new generation of artists, the gamers, a tool to ply their trade. The M-Audio UBER MIC offers an accessible entry point for streamers and podcasters to unleash their art form through audio.
Let’s break this thing down. What does the UBER MIC cost, what features does it offer, and who is this product for?
- MSRP: $99.00 USD
- Plug-and-play USB interface; no drivers required
- 30Hz - 20kHz frequency range with 48kHz sample rate
- Four polar patterns for different recording environments (cardioid, omnidirectional, figure-8, and stereo)
- On-device volume, gain, blend, and pattern controls with LCD display
- 16-bit digital audio conversion with a built-in headphone jack for monitoring and output
What does all of this mean?
Let me do my best to break this down. Frequency range refers to spectrum of low end (bass) to high end (treble) frequencies are capable of being recorded by the microphone while polar patterns are a directional field that dictate how the microphone picks up the sound. As for sample rate, think of it as the frame rate of your audio. So, how does the UBER MIC measure up on these fronts?
The frequency range of the UBER MIC is well within the natural range of the human voice. My voice tends to fall into the higher end of the baritone range - which you can hear here - so it will capture the vocal nuances of just about anyone you put in front of it. As for the sample rate, 48kHz is decent. This sample rate is typically used for audio CDs and film tracks.
From a specification range standpoint, the UBER MIC is solid contender in the same audio quality and price range as the Blue Yeti (~$100 USD, review here) and Audio-Technica’s AT2020 USB ($129 USD, review here). While it shares more features with the Yeti, the places where the UBER MIC leaps ahead of the pack is in its USB/Mic blend control. This isn’t a gimmick, it’s a game changer. This control enables the creator to adjust how much of themselves they hear while still hearing their game or their track.
This isn’t the only place where the UBER MIC shines; let’s talk about build quality. One of the first things that I noticed out of the box was how beautiful and solidly built this microphone is. M-Audio doesn’t make ugly products, but I was stunned by the quality of the materials right out of the box. Not only is the microphone itself well constructed, so are the accessories that accompany it.
The UBER MIC comes with a long length of USB cable, a weighted base with a padded bottom, and 2 inch extension that connect to the microphone’s mounting arms which hold it into place with two thumb bolts.
One of the nice features about this design is that the threaded mount is a standard size, making it compatible with an average mic stand. If you want to forego the stand all together, the UBER MIC has a threaded opening on its base that you can use to mount the mic directly onto a stand. The choice is yours if you already have the right equipment. The one that is not available at this time is that the UBER MIC does not have a shock mount accessory to accompany it. Standard shock mounts would not work with where the knobs are placed.
If I were nit-pick anything else about the UBER MIC, it would these two things…
I did find that if you are not using the mounting hardware that comes with the UBER MIC, cable placement can get a bit tricky. With the USB and headset inputs being located on the bottom, if you are using both, you will need to position the mic properly before plugging them in. You may also need to remove the flanged stand nut off of your existing stand (if you have one). And this is where we get into…
There are small, nylon washers sandwiched between the microphone and the adjustment screws that can be easily lost if you were to remover the mic from its mounting arms. When I found myself in this situation, I was fortunate enough to have found it before my mini-Schnoodle did. He likes snacks… and they are snack-sized.
The UBER MIC by M-Audio is a sold piece of hardware with quality that is bonkers for the price point! With all of the options, one might think that it is a piece of hardware with an identity crisis, but the UBER MIC knows precisely what it is: a solidly built, genre-spanning multitasker that won’t break your bank. Whether you are looking at getting into podcasting and streaming or if you are looking for a piece that bridges multiple needs, this is a great piece to have in your toolbox.
- Overall quality and options give great value for the dollar
- USB/Mic Blend feature gives more control to the user
- Great entry point for streamers and podcasts
- Nylon washers on the inside mounting are easily lost if you are switching mounting types
- Cable input placement could limit mounting options outside of the provided hardware
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.