All new for 2020, we have one of our favorite brand in Samson always coming out with at least one new model we love to have in the microphone game. Here we have a USB and dynamic microphone to be readily available for ‘broadcasting’, which can translate into useful for podcasters, streamers, gamers or really any desktop or computer types of recording alike. What’s first important here to note is that it is indeed both USB as well as XLR connective, so you can either do some plug-and-play like many other USB mics out there or use it in a traditional recording sense in a studio and hook it up to your microphone preamps or audio interfaces. Here are some details of the Samson Q9U dynamic microphone.
Features of the Samson Q9U
- Dynamic capsule (neodymium magnet and humbucking coil)
- Polar pattern: cardioid
- XLR analog output
- USB-C digital output
- 24-bit / 96 kHz recording resolution
- Switches: Low cut filter or mid-presence boost
- Built-in dual layer windscreen
- USB cable included
- Mute button (both XLR and USB outputs)
- Compatible with Windows and Mac
Highlights of the Q9U broadcast microphone
The Samson Q9U offers some great zero latency recording with a switchable mid boost or low cut, one of our ‘essentials’ especially in the broadcasting recording world since switching it to the low cut will help rid some lower frequencies microphones tend to pick up, especially higher sensitivity mics. In regards to vocals or talking tracks, getting more of the higher frequencies or really just cutting out the unnecessary low-end helps our voices sound a bit ‘brighter’ and less ‘muddy’. Boosting that middle tier of the frequencies can also help attenuate important parts of our voices. I typically do this with a lot of my vocal tracks, especially the backing ones. I however am not usually a fan of the switches on the actual microphones because capturing the raw audio first and then EQ’ing in post-production gives us more flexibility, but it will really depend on personal preference.
The Q9U has a humbucking microphone capsule, which in Layman’s terms means in some moving-coil mics, there is an implementation of a mechanism that reduces the pickup of EMI (electromagnetic interference). It also has dual-layer wind screens and air-pneumatic shock absorbers inside of the mic which is a big plus to not need either an external pop filter (you can still use one to be extra safe) or a shock mount, so you’re getting all of that in just the mic unit itself. Just set that up on your desk or hook it up to a traditional mic stand or arm stand and you’re good to go. The cardioid polar pattern is going to be efficient in keeping that voice right at the center and rejecting any off-axis or ambiance pickup around you. Definitely make sure your environment is as quiet as possible, but this extra help in the overall design of the mic will be a plus.
Pair that up with a solid 24-bit / 96 kHz and we’re in business here. We would’ve liked it to compete with some other USB mics within this price range that offer 192 kHz, but in the end what’s really make or break about resolution nowadays is the bit-rate. Unless you’re in straight up professional movie studios or recording studios (which don’t even come close to using USB mics), when it comes to the difference between 96 and 192 kHz, it’s extremely difficult for human ears to notice. It doesn’t hurt nowadays when it comes to nit-picking certain mics and models to see which we should actually buy; however, this is very small facet in our opinion and the audio quality in this microphone is still promising.
Concluding our Samson Q9U review
We definitely recommend this for only those who are streaming or podcasting, or any other word or use you can think of that falls under the umbrella of ‘broadcasting’. We have indeed seen dynamic microphones such as this used for music recording, but more geared towards instruments, such as guitars, kick drums or guitar cabs; however, there are probably some better options out there for you, especially at two-hundred bucks street pricing.
It does have built-in gain stage which means we’re not needing any phantom power necessarily, which helps it act as a standalone USB microphone if that’s what you need it to be. The fact that it can convert into also an XLR mic to be used with mic preamps or audio interfaces in a more traditional setup is a big plus in our opinion, considering a lot of mics really don’t have that yet. Is this a trend we’ll be starting to see in the coming years? We think so to be honest, because ultimately, why not? It will help us blend the two most popular ways of connecting to a recording setup nowadays. On top of this, we don’t see a lot of USB ‘dynamic’ mics either, most of them are simply condenser. You can read our best USB microphones guide for some popular competitors out there.
The Samson Q9U broadcasting microphone definitely brings a lot to the table of microphones, and spins some different features we haven’t seen a mic come equipped with. In terms of ground breaking or game changing, we usually review products and say ‘no’. But to be honest, if you’re in the broadcasting game and need a flexible solution to recording (and if you do some music or other applications on the side as well), this is going to be a very solid choice if you can afford it for a few hundred Benjamins.