Samson Q9U Hybrid Dynamic Broadcast Microphone Review

Samson Q9U Hybrid Dynamic Broadcast Microphone Review

Buy it at Amazon: Samson Q9U Hybrid Dynamic Broadcast Microphone [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Crystal clear, warm and natural sound, easy setup, versatile.

As a content creator, I understand why many folks often choose USB condenser mics when they’re first starting out – they’re affordable and can sound pretty decent without a lot of post-production editing. However, once you reach a certain level of proficiency and production value, investing in a good quality broadcast mic is the natural next step to up your game. As a hybrid USB and XLR mic, Samson Q9U gives you the convenience of using the mic via USB, when you’re on the go and don’t want to lug around extra equipment, but also has XLR for more advanced recording situations. For beginners, it’s nice to have the XLR option to grow into down the road at not much more upfront cost.

You’ll receive the microphone 7ft USB-A to USB-C cable, 7 ft USB-C to USB-C cable, and a quickstart guide. The microphone comes permanently attached to an integrated yoke, which allows it to tilt about 90 degrees and has a 5/8”-27 thread mount on the bottom. The body has a matte black finish and it consists of an all metal zinc alloy/steel construction, weighing in at a little over 2 lbs. The mic comes with a removable foam wind screen over its metal grille which houses an internally shockmounted unidirectional cardioid capsule. Inside, there’s also a humbucking coil that reduces the amount of pickup of electromagnetic interference and radio frequency interference. On the bottom are the ports and EQ toggles: low-cut and mid-boost. The headphone port on the left is for monitoring headphone output, there’s a 3-pin XLR plug in the middle, and USB-C output port. On the side of the mic is a mute toggle which is activated when it is pressed-in and unmuted when the button is raised. The difference can be subtle though, and there’s no LED indicator, so if you’re not using monitoring headphones, double-check to make sure you’re not muted when you start recording and vice versa.

The mounting post on the yoke has a ball bearing nut to make it easy to mount the mic onto a stand or boom, but note that you’ll need to supply your own in order to use the mic, as it won’t be stable just sitting on the nut on a tabletop. I recommend using a short fixed or telescoping tabletop stand with a 5/8” male thread. If your mic stand has a 3/8” thread, you’ll need a 3/8-5/8” adapter. The other thing this mic doesn’t include is an XLR cable, which you also need to supply yourself if you want to use the mic with an audio interface or a mixer. Since this is a dynamic mic, it has an internal pre-amp and does not require phantom power when using with an audio interface. Connecting the mic to a computer via USB-C is basically plug-and-play; since the drivers are all built-into the mic it should automatically be installed when you plug it in, and you don’t need to install any additional software or drivers. The mic’s levels can be adjusted using the volume slider in the device's properties on a Windows 10 machine.

Because this mic has a cardioid polar pickup pattern, it primarily captures sound from in front of the mic where it’s pointing and rejects sound from the sides and the back. Of course, dynamic mics also produce the proximity effect, so the closer I speak to the mic the more bass tones and low frequencies it will pick up. When compared to the Blue Yeti Pro X condenser microphone, the sound was much less tinny. However, when using the Q9U with my Scarlett Solo audio interface, I found that the pickup levels were not as high versus using the USB connection. However it’s still usable and never gets to the point where it peaks or distorts.

You can use the 1/8” headphone output jack for latency-free monitoring of the mic feed, but I found that when using the Scarlett Solo, I had to plug the monitors into the AI itself. You can also record directly to a mobile device like a tablet or cell phone, and though the volume of the monitor headphones in this case was pretty low, the levels recorded were actually quite good. Regardless of which connection type you choose, the max output bit-depth and frequency this mic can produce is 24-bits at 96kHz. This hi-res format generally allows you to retain more fidelity in post-production, though you’re probably not going to hear any difference versus a recording at 44.1kHz.

Overall, I found that the Samson Q9U is warm and natural sounding and sounds quite a bit less tinny than most condenser USB mics. The audio captured is clear and crisp with minimal background noise and hiss, though the mic can be sensitive to surface vibrations if you’re using it on a desk with a computer that has a fan running. I do wish that it had LED lit indicators on it to let you know when you’ve got certain features activated like the EQ settings, mute, or even just power, but all I could find is a faint green glow inside the headphone jack when the mic is plugged in. Even though I’m mostly using this mic for voiceovers and speech, I feel that it would also perform well for singers and musicians.

Buy it at Amazon: Samson Q9U Hybrid Dynamic Broadcast Microphone [Affiliate Link]

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