MOVO Photo UM800 Desktop USB Microphone Review

MOVO Photo UM800 Desktop USB Microphone Review

Buy it at Amazon: MOVO Photo UM800 Desktop USB Microphone [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Clean, clear, crisp audio, plug and play. Multiple pickup patterns, solid build.

You’ll receive the microphone, 10’ microUSB cable, a 40” microUSB to Lightning cable for use with iOS devices, a 40” microUSB to USB-C cable for Android devices, and an instruction manual. The microphone is pre-fitted with a removable foam wind screen. The microphone bears a passing resemblance to other major brand desktop mics like Blue Yeti and Amazon Basics, with its heavy metallic stand base, large side thumb screws, brushed matte silver finish. The UM800 is about 12” tall in the desktop stand, which has a 4x4” weighted base, and has a foam pad on the bottom to keep it from sliding while providing a little vibration buffering. The stand has a sturdy thick steel construction, and on the front of the mic you’ve got the MOVO logo, a one touch mute button, and analog volume dial for an attached set of monitoring headphones. On the back of the mic is the analog gain control knob and input pattern selection toggle. On the bottom of the mic body, is the microUSB power port, monitoring headphone output port, and 5/8” threaded mounting hole if using with a boom or mic stand.

When you plug the microphone into your computer or mobile device, the status LED on the front might not light up right away. It will only turn on when the mic is actively being used, for example, when recording, or when listening to your computer’s audio feed using monitor headphones plugged into the mic. If you press the Mute button on the front mic input will be disabled, and the red light in the middle turns on, but again, only if the mic is active, so it’s a bit annoying that they don’t stay on all the time. When you turn the gain down to 0, the mic is basically muted, and at 100% (25dB) there's a lot of white/background noise and distortion due to clipping, so I keep it between 30-50 percent for optimal performance.

You can optionally plug a set of headphones into the output port on the bottom of the mic to use as studio monitors so you can hear what your mic’s input sounds like with zero latency. However, I couldn’t figure out a way to hear both the mic input and my computer’s audio overlaid with one another. Once you start playing other audio, the mic feed will cut out. You can’t actually hear yourself while you’re recording or streaming if you have another audio stream going on, like audio from gameplay. So that makes the feature a little less useful in my opinion.

There are four pickup patterns on this three-capsule array microphone, stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid, and bidirectional or figure-8. Changing the modes allows you to focus and capture only the sound that you want. Note that this is a side address mic, so you would be speaking into the front side where the logo is, and not into the top of the mic. each of the modes performed well in their respective patterns. Cardioid is the best choice for podcasts and voiceovers, while omni mode might be better for musicians, singers, and ASMR content creators.

The screw mount on the bottom of the mic is a 5/8” diameter thread, which is now fairly common due to the popularity of the Blue Yeti, but for standard mic stands and booms you’ll need to get a 3/8” adapter. You’ll need to remove the UM800 from its stand by taking off the thumb screws on the sides. Once you’ve attached the adapter, you can mount the mic on standard 3/8” stands, booms, and shock mounts as your setup requires.

The sound quality from the UM800 is comparable to the Original Blue Yeti, though I did think that it was slightly less tinny and I liked that you get multiple cables to be able to connect it with different devices. The feature set is nearly identical but it does cost a little more than the Yeti, and I think it is still a pretty good option to consider. I found that when connected to my Android mobile device (Samsung Galaxy Note 9) the UM800 performed just as well as it did as on my computer, though I did have to ensure the cable was tightly plugged in otherwise there would be line noise/distortion captured from the cable.

Buy it at Amazon: MOVO Photo UM800 Desktop USB Microphone [Affiliate Link]

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