If you’re looking for a solid voice over or podcast microphone for studio work, and by studio work I mean going into your closet and laying down a view voice-over tracks on the cheap, then the RØDE NT-USB microphone is definitely for you. Not only can you record directly to your PC into audio apps like Adobe Audition CC, Apple Logic Pro, and others. But you can also record on the go with mobile apps on your iPhone or iPad. And did I mention it was under $200? Let’s take a look.
Out of the box, you’ll notice that the RØDE NT-USB is very well built, with high quality anodized aluminum chasis, and a pop shield built on (which you can take off). RØDE has really thought of everything, so content creators can use hitting the ground running. The RØDE NT-USB comes with:
- NT-USB Mic
- desk stand
- stand mount
- pop shield
- zip travel case
- extra-long 6m (20′) USB cable
The mic is a cardioid, side-address USB microphone that can record audio up to 16-bit/48kHz resolution. It’s really simple to use, as you can quite literally plug and play, thanks to the fact that the NT-USB already assembled with pop shield in place. All you need to do is screw in the microphone’s tripod and adjust the angle to your comfort. You can also bypass the tiny mic stand and connect it directly to your own mic stand since it uses a standard micriphone thread.
Once set up, you can plug in the USB cable and go directly into your computer. You will notice a small purple LED will light up right behind the pop filter to let you know that the NT-USB is connected and ready to rock. One word, though, there is a small piece of foam that is in between the pop shield and the microphone. Make sure you remove that because I forgot when I was testing it. Didn’t really affect it much, but I sure felt silly.
Once you have the RØDE NT-USB adjusted to your liking, you can then turn your attention to the two knobs on the right hand side, one being the volume level control into the PC, and the lower knob to adjust your headphone volume. Then you can go into your computer and verify that the RODE NT-USB has been seen by the computer and set as it’s default recording device. I used it with my MacBook Pro and Garage Band on the Mac and it was automatic and I was able to create a new audio track within seconds. Input source gives me either Mono 1, Mono 2, or a Stereo USB option. And since the NT-USB has zero latency monitoring, you don’t need to set the recording software for monitoring. Adjust your volume to account for peaking, and you’re ready to record. You can even set it up with the iPad or iPhone. But you need the Apple camera connection kit to connect.
Recording features include:
- 1/8″ Headphone Monitoring Jack
- Direct Mix Control
- iPad Compatible
- Acoustic Principle: Pressure Gradient
- Active Electronics: JFET impedance converter with
- bipolar output buffer, A/D converter
- 16bit 48kHz, headphone amplifier
- Directional Pattern: Cardioid
- Frequency Range: 20Hz ~ 20kHz, 16-bit/48kHz Resolution Capture
- Dynamic Range: 96dB
- Maximum SPL: 110 dB SPL
- Power Requirement: USB 5v DC
- Output Connection: USB
- Net Weight: 520g
How does it sound? Rich.Very rich I used it to record an upcoming episode of doddleTALKS Tech, and it really gave my voice a rich, professional quality sound. And the build in pop shield fits like a glove, and you don’t have to deal with adapting a third-party pop shield. It’s all built right in (and yes, you can remove it if you choose).
All in all, the RØDE NT-USB sounds freaking amazing, especially considering its $179 price tag. Yes, that’s right. It’s under $200, and that makes it a marvel for guerilla filmmaking, home studio voice overs, music recording, podcasting, and just about everything you need from a microphone. It’ll definitely up your indie game. And it’s definitely going to be part of my studio podcast setup from now on.