Help! My mic is soooooo quiet!

So basically I brought this new mic from amazon call BM800 and I plug it in to my windows 8 laptop, go on audacity and its picks it up but its super quiet, I have to put my mouth literally touching the mic to pick my voice up only a little bit. I put the volume up on it but then its really bad quality. Someone please help me ASAP!

The only “BM800” microphone mic that I can see on a Google search is an ultra cheap “large diaphragm condenser mic” (Manufactured under the name “Shengyue”).
Assuming that is the same one, it has a 3 pin “XLR” connector and requires “phantom power” ( That is, it needs to be plugged into a 3 pin XLR socket that provides around 48 v to power the microphone (for example, a mixing desk or microphone pre-amp). No way that it will work plugged directly into a computer.

I searched Amazon for “BM800 Microphone” and came up with a bunch of hits which all seemed to be the same product with different branding and paint. The listings are pretty consistent in indicating that it is indeed a large diaphragm condenser although one mentions “Neodymium magnet for high signal-to-noise ratio” which seems odd because last time I looked true condenser mics didn’t use magnets. It also advertises “Tailored frequency response provides vocal intelligibility and crispness” meaning “we know the frequency response isn’t flat but we think you’ll like it anyway”.

In any case the microphone is supplied with an XLR to 3.5mm stereo phone plug cable, implying that they believe it will run ok from the 5V supplied by a standard computer mic jack. One of the ads says "Note: this microphone no need the phantom power, and only work for PC and other laptop, not compatible with macbook pro, air. IN ADDITION, THE MICROPHONE COMPATIBLE WITH PHANTOM POWER UP TO 48V, IF YOU HAVE PHANTOM POWER, YOU CAN ALSO USE IT " (sic). (The newer Mac laptops use a common “headset” connector that does not supply power thus the “not compatible with macbook” statement.)

If you have the means, it would be worth checking that the microphone input on your laptop is indeed supplying 5 volts (you’ll need a meter and a M-M 3.5mm stereo Phone cable). The other thing to try would be to find/borrow another computer to test with, or a real mixer with phantom power that you can plug it into for testing.

Check the “properties” for your computer’s mic input. There sometimes is a 10 or 20 dB “boost” option. (Although from your description 20 dB may not be enough).

One Amazon reviewer on this variant:

indicates that he found the level way too low until he sprung $25 for a phantom power adapter.

That is such a BAD advert.
Yes you’re right flynwill, “condenser microphones” do not have magnets, so the advert is definitely inaccurate and misleading.
Also, if it really is a large diaphragm condenser microphone, then the pick-up is from the “front” (vertically mounted), not from the end as shown.
Tailored frequency response provides vocal intelligibility and crispness” - I’m reading that as meaning “very poor bass response, but you can’t get your money back because we told you so”.

I’m amazed that it gets such good start ratings when most of the reviews say that it doesn’t work plugged straight into a computer - “not as advertised”.