Mic quality sound test: CAD U37 vs ATR 3350 vs logitech c920

I made this video review for shits and giggles. I had a great idea to make a video where I recorded off 4 different devices and just interlace the sound, alternating one by one. It’s a fairly short test but the audio sources go… iPhone 5, CAD u37 usb mic, ATR 3350 and logitech c920, and it keeps alternating.


What is your opinion?
You are measuring the analog portion of each device and the convenience of operation. Once the signal becomes digital it’s fixed unless you do something messy to it in post production.

Audacity records what the computer gives it and the computer gives it whatever the analog to digital converter provides – past broken streams and bad power supplies. Given healthy computers.


At least once in the testing you used a microphone connected to a system trying very hard to do noise and echo cancellation while it was running. So that’s the bubbling and honky sound. Was that the web cam? Those are the settings for Skype, not entertainment recording.

You have to turn all that off in each system if you want to directly compare microphones. Also when you were talking directly into the lavalier, that wasn’t the lavalier sound in the show. With an omnidirectional lavalier that close to your lips the sound would have been much louder, poppier and denser. Either that, or as above, there is a Skype-style processor in there somewhere “Helping You.” Most modern sound tech’s job is to find all that automation and turn most of it off.

Most microphones respond very differently on and off axis. I’m more than even sure you’re not supposed to be speaking into the end of the CAD U37 Condenser Mic. That’s a side-firing microphone, so you use it like the illustration. That’s an RCA 44BX, a microphone with similar performance requirements.

I’ve been known to record microphone tests with a crumpled newspaper subbing for a white noise sweep test. My LA Times Microphone Test. The problem with that in your case, is at least one and possibly two of the microphones would have tried to cancel it out as undesirable “noise.”

I would not have done the test in a room with echoes unless you’re testing how well each microphone rejects echoes. The lavalier has no ability to reject echoes at all – they work by being close to the performer – so its not a fair fight right out of the gate.

Legacy microphone tests are done by holding the environment and volume constant and examining the different qualities. Any music store will tell you the loudest device always wins.

All the microphones in your test are moving-plate condenser microphones except possibly the one in the iPhone. I’m not sure what they’re doing in there. It’s just some are a lot bigger than others. It’s the best way to get good sound in a really small microphone – except the CAD unit which uses, I think a 25mm wide capsule. They do it the old way. Large capsule to capture sound efficiently and quieter, lower gain amplifier.

So while that video was interesting, I probably wouldn’t be using it to buy a microphone and I would really try and find out what happened to the lavalier. Those work a lot better than that in the real world and they are indicated if you have a slightly noisy environment or you want to maintain the mouth/microphone spacing. See: Every news show on earth.

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