REVIEW – George Lucas said: “Sound is 50% of the movie experience.” You might not make the next Star Wars movie, but if you stream games, endless Zoom calls to work, record your own music, or just want better sound for whatever project you do, a good microphone is essential. The KMAG M11 USB microphone is a good low cost option for capturing audio for your next multimedia project.
What is that?
The KMAG M11 USB microphone is a tube-shaped condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern. A cardioid model means that it picks up sound from the front and sides of the microphone but rejects most of the sound coming from the rear. This is a fairly typical microphone jack pattern compared to the usual omni mics on a laptop or phone, which pick up sound from all directions, potentially increasing noise and background noise in the room. your audio recordings.
What’s in the box?
- Micro USB KMAG M11
- Foam windshield
- Tripod microphone stand
- Pop filter
- USB-A to USB-B cable
- USB-A to USB-C Adapter
- User’s Guide
- Sampling rate: 48 kHz
- Bit rate: 24 bits
- Microphone: 16mm large diaphragm condenser
- Polar pattern: Cardioid
- S / N Ratio: 90 dB
Design and functionality
The KMAG M11 USB Microphone is a 4.3 inch long tube shaped black aluminum device. The microphone, stand, and pop filter seem solidly built. The screws used to tighten the bracket and pop filter are plastic, so you’ll have to be careful, but otherwise it doesn’t look cheap.
The microphone has a volume button and an echo button. Volume is used to increase or decrease the amount of volume that will be recorded. Echo adds reverberation to your voice as it is recorded. In a post-production setting, you would normally add this after recording the vocals during the mixing process, but for a live stream, if you need to add reverb to your vocals or instrument. , that would be a convenient way to do it.
There is also a headphone jack on the microphone for listening to your audio without the delay inherent in listening to your computer’s audio output.
The last control of the KMAG M11 USB microphone is one button. This button can be used to turn the microphone on and off (for example if you don’t want to be heard during a Zoom call). This button also activates noise reduction; Simply hold the button down for three seconds to turn it on and three seconds again to turn it off.
Installation and configuration
Installation is as easy as plugging in the USB cable (and the USB-C adapter if needed for your device). Once recognized by the computer, it will appear as a separate input and output device, each labeled M11 (allowing the use of the microphone as input and headphone output).
When I first plugged the KMAG M11 USB microphone into my MacBook Pro with the included USB cable and USB-C adapter, I got audio for a few seconds, then weird and distorted sound, then nothing . I had to unplug the microphone and plug it back in to pick up the sound. This has happened a few times, and also with another cable I had, but eventually I was able to get clean sound from the microphone and recorded the sample included in this review. I’m not sure if this is just an issue with this specific microphone or if all of them would have the same issue. Guess it’s a problem with my setup somehow, but I’m not totally sure.
The KMAG M11 USB microphone is also compatible with some phones and tablets that support USB-C.
I made a test recording with this microphone as well as another with a Shure MV7, a popular new USB microphone for podcasting and video work. I tried to record two other XLR microphones with an audio interface but couldn’t get it to work with my computer.
Audio example of the KMAG M11 USB microphone:
Shure MV7 audio example:
What I like
I love the feel of the KMAG M11 USB microphone, the weight, included accessories and ease of use for plugging in and recording, the built-in headphone output for monitoring echo-free audio, and the reverb option.
What i would change
I wouldn’t change much on the M11 microphone. I’m not quite sure how useful reverb is on a microphone like this. Maybe I would like to take the reverb knob off and put a headphone volume knob in it instead.
For the price, the KMAG M11 USB microphone is a good candidate for an external microphone to give you better sound quality than that built into your laptop or headphones. Considering how important audio quality is in a video conference, YouTube video, game stream, or that next blockbuster movie, this is a good place to start improving the quality of your production.
Price: $ 29.99
Or buy: Amazon
Source: The sample for this examination was provided by KMAG.