One of the most important pieces of equipment you can invest in for your work from home setup is your microphone. Whether you need a good quality mic for video content creation, Zoom meetings, or teaching lectures from home, you need people to be able to understand you clearly. No one wants to waste time having to repeat yourself or troubleshoot microphone issues, especially when you’re on a time crunch. Enter, the Movo UM700 USB Desktop Studio Microphone. Almost identical in appearance to the Blue Yeti USB Microphone, Movo has launched their UM700 as a competitive budget-friendly alternative for today’s creators.
- MSRP: $99.95
- Compatible OS: Windows, Mac
- Diaphragm: 0.55" (14mm)
- Frequency Response: 20-20,000Hz
- Sensitivity: -45dB ? 3dB @ 1KHz
- Polar Patterns: Stereo, Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Bi-directional
- Power Consumption: 5V/150mA
- Sample Rate: 48 kHz
- Bit Depth: 16 Bit
- Headphone Amplifier Impedance: 16ohms
- Headphone Frequency Response: 15-20,000Hz
- Connector: Micro USB (USB Cable Included)
- Dimensions (collapsed): 4.4 x 3.8 x 7.9" (11.2 x 10.8 x 20cm)
- Dimensions (expanded): 4.4 x 3.8 x 11.6" (11.2 x 10.8 x 29cm)
- Weight: 2.3 LBS (1.04kg)
- Warranty: 1 Year
The UM700 at its core is a plug-and-play desktop microphone. It takes a matter of moments to plug the USB directly into your computer and within seconds you’re ready to go. There is no software needed to go along with it because everything is already right there at your fingertips. I did notice that the USB cord uses a Micro USB connector, however, which seems to be a little odd with most modern devices choosing to swap to a Type C connector. Maybe in a future iteration of the microphone this small hardware upgrade will make it into their line. As for the feel and heft of the microphone, with a sturdy, solid metal build weighing a hefty 2.3 pounds, the occasional bump has it righting itself immediately without completely tipping over. Yes, it happened to me several times. I have terrible depth perception.
Similar to most standing microphones, you can expect four polar patterns that can be swapped right on the microphone with ease: Stereo, Cardioid, Omnidirectional, and Bi-directional. Since I’m not a podcaster, I typically find myself using the Stereo and Cardioid patterns for producing audio content for my videos.
With the microphone head pointed slightly towards you, you can immediately adjust your headset volume via a conveniently placed volume knob if you’re taking advantage of the headset jack located on the bottom of the microphone base. You can also mute the microphone with the press of a button. My only gripe with this feature, is that the mute button makes a semi-loud tactile sound when you press it, which is easily picked up on the software you are using to record or stream. If there are ever points where you’re editing audio and you needed to mute previously during the recording, you will more than likely have to edit out that slight “clicking” sound that comes from muting your microphone.
To test the sound quality of the UM700, I picked an excerpt from "The King in Yellow." The poem "Cassilda's Song" uses a lot of colorful language, so I was hoping to capture different combinations of sounds to test how well they were received by the microphone.
While I absolutely hate listening to my voice, I was pleasantly surprised at how warm the tone of the recording sounded when playing it back. The UM700 has the same frequency response as the Blue Yeti, 20-20,000Hz, which is a nice, comfortable range for the ear. If you turn up the Soundcloud audio enough, you’ll hear a faint hum in the background; this hum is from the computer tower that currently sits on my desk. I could have more than likely removed it with Audacity or SoundForge, but I wanted to showcase the sensitivity and what a raw recording would sound like with the UM700 microphone. The background sound is there, but it’s not so invasive that it overpowers the reading, and it’s actually much quieter than I expected.
When comparing the specs of the UM700 side-by-side the Blue Yeti, I was very surprised to see multiple similarities between their core specifications. The 20-20,000Hz frequency response has been mentioned but the two microphones also share a 48 kHz sample rate, 16-bit rate, 5V power consumption, polar patterns, and similar headphone amplifier specifications. Aside from maybe some better-integrated filtering hardware, both microphones are fairly similar to one another.
For those looking for a little more versatility out of your desktop microphone, you’ll be happy to know that there is a 5/8" thread on the bottom of the mic for mounting with a boom arm that supports a 5/8" adaptor. Personally, I’m quite happy with the desktop stand. Aesthetically, the sleek matte black finish looks lovely with the rest of my setup and has a nice professional feel to it. Due to its minimalistic, round nature, the microphone also tends to blend into the background on stream so you don’t have to worry about it sticking out like a sore thumb when you’re on camera and causing too much of a distraction. Because of the UM700’s sensitivity, you could also place it a little further out of view of your webcam and still project a great sound to your audience.
Other than preference and brand loyalty, there’s not much of a reason that I could express to you to choose its main competitor over the UM700. A majority of the specifications are the same, and it’s $30 cheaper! If you want to jump into content creation and are looking to invest in a quality microphone, this is a wonderful alternative to its mainstream competitors. At an MSRP of $99.95, it’s still on the higher end of the budget market, but is filled with highly desirable features and specifications that put it on par with some larger names. The aesthetic is sleek and professional with incredibly quality and attention-to-detail. Did I mention it’s $30 cheaper? If you’d like to check out Movo’s catalogue of microphones and accessories, you can find them and the UM700 over on their main website.
The product described in this review was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.