Samson C01U - White noise and low sound

Hello everyone!
Four or three months ago, I bought Samson C01U, because I heard many people were saying that it is a very good microphone, without white noise or any other problems, but when I tested my microphone, I was slightly dissappointed, as I heard white noise in the background. I usually recorded at 50% volume, but I discovered that I couldn’t hear myself very well, so I pushed it to 60%, and now the white noise is even more noticeable. That brings to my next problem, that I can’t hear myself very well even at 60%. I don’t know, maybe it is problem on my side, but it seems for me that my voice is quiet sometimes.
I don’t know if the white noise and voice problem is happening because of the product, or because of my computer, so I will post here some examples of audio with white noise (at 50%) and voice (60%).
So, I would like to know your opinion, if you think that white noise and voice is OK, or if I should start to worry.

White noise:


Thank you!

Tell us make and model number of the computer and what version of Windows, Mac or Linux. It may not seem to be relevant but it could be.


Well, I don’t know if I got it right with the make and model part, but this is what I got. I didn’t buy this PC in any shop, but built it.
Model manufacturer Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
System model To be filled by O.E.M.

I am using Windows 7 Home Premium Version 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 - 7601

Noise is analog, and that means it’s coming from the preamp inside the microphone.

There is always some noise from a mic preamp, and I don’t know if what you are getting is normal for that mic, or if yours is defective… The noise isn’t terrible, and it’s better than you’d get with your average cheapo “computer microphone”.

There is a slight chance that there is noise coming into the mic from the USB 5V power supply. You can try a different computer (or maybe just a different USB port).

But if you send digital-dead-silence over the USB bus, you’ll record dead silence.

Make sure you have selected the USB mic as your recording source. If you record “Stereo Mix”, there are other potential sources of analog noise.

Thanks for answer, DVDdoug!
I will try to test my microphone on other computers and see how it works. The sound isn’t that bad, as you said, but I needed crystal clear sound for podcasts, where I can’t remove that white noise. It was even biggger dissappointment for me when I saw videos of other Samson C01U users with absolutely no other noise than their voice.

Have you tried Effect > Noise Removal in Audacity? It is normal that there is some noise, and normal to remove it (if you want a “studio recording” effect).


Also if it is not stating the obvious, are you close enough to the mic?


You can also try a noise gate (Effect → Gate). A noise gate simply kills the sound completely when the signal falls below a certain level. (Or, it can be adjusted to just reduce the volume.) Of course, it only kills the sound in the audio file… Any noise introduced by the playback system will remain.

But, it’s something you should experiment with. It can sometimes sound weird and distracting when the background goes totally dead-silent.

Likewise, you need to experiment with Noise Removal because you can get artifacts and sometimes, “The cure can be worse than the disease.” The good news is both of these tools work best when you have a constant low-level background noise, which you have.

I know how to remove noise, but what bothers me is that this microphone was supposed to be perfect for podcasts, where I can’t remove hum, that’s the case.
But thanks for responds! I really appreciate it.

I’ve just listened to your “voice” sample. It sounds fine to me. The main thing that I hear in the “silences” between words is you breathing.
What I don’t understand is why the noise level is higher in your “Voice” recording than in your “White noise” recording. Did you change the recording level between those two recordings, or have you processed the “Voice” recording to reduce the noise?

We ran into another problem with USB microphones a while back. Someone discovered a driver or some combination of system software that made a huge difference in the performance of the microphone. All you need is a “handle” on the characteristics of the analog portion of the mic (a physical knob on larger analog mixers) and you can tune the difference between the noise and your voice volume.

But yes, USB microphones are shortcuts and not perfect. You generally have to bend your performance to their abilities and their abilities are designed to keep the most people out of trouble. You can’t recover from overload, so they tend to be quiet.


Steve: No, as I said, the noise sample that I recorded was at 50% volume. By that I wanted to show that even at this “low” volume level, the white noise is hearable. The voice sample is at 60% to reduce the voice.

Kozikowski: So, by what I understood, you say that I should buy analog mixer, so that the performance is better? If yes, then it sounds great, only if I will find some money, to buy such thing, but thanks for the answer!

So shouldn’t the noise be louder in the voice sample, since it is recorded at a higher (60%) level than the noise sample (50%)?.

Microphone recordings are never completely free of background noise.

I don’t have headphones with me at the moment, but as far as I can tell the background noise level in this recording is not unreasonably high: Voice:
In the short spaces where there is only background hiss, it measures at well below -70 dB, which is pretty good for an inexpensive USB microphone.
What do other people think?

Well, you are right. It is very good for inexpensive microphone. Maybe I should stop panicking that much.

Well, after a long time I am here and I tested some other things like lowering sound etc. But there is one interesting thing. When I covered my microphone in my hands, so no sound comes in, the hum is quieter, even if I take my hands away from it. What could this be? There is still some hum in the background, but I don’t know where it comes from, since my computer is very quiet and there are no other sounds coming from outside or in my room.