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Samson Meteorite USB Mic review

Is the Samson Meteorite a hard-hitting piece of kit?

Straight out of the box, the Meteorite is a tidy, impressive little thing – and it really is little. With an average diameter of just over 5cm, this is the kind of microphone that can sit unobtrusively on your desk and makes for a great day-to-day mic.

Its key selling point, aside from the price, is the fact that this is a capsule-based build, with the chrome-plated microphone head being detachable from the base and held to it magnetically. This has a couple of immediate advantages: the first is that you can rotate this sphere around in order to get the angle you need, and the second is that you can lift it off the base and hold it right next to your mouth or acoustic guitar’s sound hole, for example.

DSC_6142 as Smart Object-1The portability of the Meteorite is really quite clever, making it a versatile option for home recording. That said, this is a wired microphone and that wire is also integrated, so you can’t swap it out for another. The ability to swap it out would be really handy, because the USB cable itself is just a touch too short to properly reach up to your desk if you’re plugged into something like a Mac Pro, undoing any portability advantage you’d have if you’re hovering right over a MacBook. And because of that wire, you can’t rotate the capsule to get every single possible angle, though that really is a minor point.

In terms of sound quality, the Meteorite performed respectably. Despite being plug and play, with the necessary drivers being automatically installed, we did have to spend some time tweaking the levels in System Preferences in order to get the volume right – by default, it is way too quiet, and it’s easy to push it up too high and start experiencing clipping. However, the LED on the front will flash whenever audio is being clipped, so it’s handy for that trial-and-error process. The dual-stage grille is great for suppressing pops and plosives, but unfortunately does next to nothing when it comes to wind noise and sibilant sounds.