If you’ve considered streaming or making YouTube videos, then choosing the right mic is one of the most important decisions you can make. Today, we’re looking at an interesting new offering from Samson with the G-Track Pro. It’s built like a tank, connects via USB, and has a built-in dual channel mixer. But can it compete in today’s crowded mic market? Join us as we find out in our official review.
- MSRP: $149.99
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid (unidirectional), bidirectional, omnidirectional
- Capsule: Dual back electret condenser
- Diaphragm Width/Thickness: 25mm/3 microns
- Frequency Response: 50Hz–20kHz
- Sensitivity: +6dB FS/PA (all polar patterns)
- Max. SPL: 120dB SPL
- Bit Depth: 16 or 24-bit
- Sample Rate: Up to 96kHz
- Digital Output: USB
- Headphone Output: 1/8" (3.5mm)
- Headphone Impedance: 16Ω
- Headphone Power Output: 85mW @ 32Ω
- Instrument Input: 1/4"
- Instrument Input Impedance: 1MΩ
- Controls: Mute, Mic/Instrument/Headphone Volume, Monitor On/Off, Mono/2 Track
- Product Dimensions: 4.5" (116mm) x 10.5" (268.5mm) diameter
- Product Weight: 3.52lb (1.6kg)
Samson made their name producing professional audio gear for musicians, which is where I’d first discovered them. As a guitarist, they’d earned my respect long ago with durable, high quality microphones. We live in an age where the “gaming” products are marked-up for fancy designs and flashy boxes rather than meaningful features. The G-Track Pro isn’t a gaming product; it’s a Samson mic through and through, living up to to their high reputation and refining the streaming mic with a smart design and one solid, game-changing feature for new streamers.
Samson mics are typically solid and the G-Track Pro is no exception. It features a solid die-cast zinc from with a heavy-gauge grill over the mic capsule. It also features a heavy desktop stand to keep it in place on your desk. The mic is large, standing 10.5 inches tall in its stand, just a touch shorter than the popular Blue Yeti microphone, its closest analog. It’s a touch heavier, though, coming in at 3.5 lbs with the stand. Either way, you’ll need a strong boom arm to hold it off of the desk without sagging. Samson makes their own, as well as a shock mount for the best sound capture.
The G-Track Pro is a condenser microphone, which makes it a great fit for podcasters, streamers, and voice over artists. Compared to your average gaming headset, the results produced by a mic like the G-Track Pro are like night and day. Where a headset often applies compression and makes your voice sound thin and tinny, a high quality condenser will sound warm and natural (it? also capable of great ¨radio voice¨ when used close to your mouth for proximity effect). This is why most ¨streaming mics¨ you'?l find feature condenser capsules.
The defining feature of the G-Track Pro is its ability to record two tracks at once with a built-in mixer. Around the rear of the mic is a 1/4" input controlled by an ¨instrument¨ dial on the microphone’s face. Don’t let this fool you; the line-in can accept any input with a 1/4" output, including a smartphone, laptop, or even your gaming PC with a tiny adapter.
For new streamers, this is a god-send. By running your background audio into the G-Track Pro, you gain physical control over your levels without needing to alt+tab into your streaming app to make adjustments. In time, you may want to invest in a dedicated mixer, but for many of us, the G-Track Pro may be all we’ll ever need, especially if you invest in a splitter instead of an adapter to turn that one input into two. Other mics for your to leave the game and break the flow of your stream.
Of course, you could use this to record an instrument too. It’s a multi-purpose device. For that purpose, I actually found it slightly less useful. Since condenser microphones are so sensitive, running a guitar into the line-in will give you that isolated instrument track, but what you’re playing will still be picked up on the microphone, eliminating some of the benefit. It’s useful for getting that clean guitar track but I found myself re-recording a clean vocal line anyway. #musicianproblems. Anyway...
One of the best refinements of the G-Track Pro over many stream mics is that all of your key controls are now on the front face. On both the Blue Yeti and Razer Seiren, half of the controls are on the back where you can’t see. Here you can control your levels, set your polar pattern, and swap between single-channel (mono) and stereo (2-track) recording modes.
Speaking of polar patterns, it’s also nice to see multiple options once again being included. Most users will stick to cardioid mode, which captures directly in front of the microphone, but additional options add versatility for projects that may come in the future. All told, we have cardioid, bi-directional, and omnidirectional modes to cover virtually any situation you might encounter.
So how does it sound? Very, very good. It features a wide frequency response of 50Hz - 20kHz and a high sample rate up to 24-bit 96kHz. It also features a high SPL, or sound pressure level, to capture audio at loud volumes. The mic also has a low noise floor, which gets rid of much of the hiss found on lower quality microphones. Have a listen to hear for yourself:
For an MSRP of $149.99, the Samson G-Track Pro is on the upper end of the price range for USB streaming mics, but that extra premium nets you some great benefits over other mics while sacrificing nothing in quality. The built-in mixer is easily the killer feature of this microphone and more than justifies the additional few dollars in MSRP, especially if you’re in the early days of your streaming career. The Samson G-Track Pro is simply one of the best USB streaming mics on the market today and for that reason we award it our Gold Award.
- Excellent sound
- Built in mixer is a powerful tool for streaming
- Extremely sturdy, durable build and stand
- Most controls are located on the front face
- Big and heavy; may not work with all stands
- The mic is likely to pic up your line in unless completely silent
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.