Review: Neewer NW-800 Microphpne
9 months ago Jack 0
For recording artists just starting out, acquiring equipment can seem almost impossible to do on a budget. Professionals may have dozens of microphones, recording environment acoustic treatments, amplifiers, monitors, and more. A person has to start budgeting by the thousand to accumulate all of that. There are cheaper, and even dirt cheap options that can get you started though. This one, the Neewer NW-800, is the latter.
I’ve used PA type equipment, industry standard gear, and the cheapest stuff you can find. I bought this Neewer NW-800 mic on Amazon to use with a very cheap USB audio interface for voice over work. The microphone, boom arm, windscreen/pop filter, XLR cable, and interface cost a total of around $85 (I think). Previously, I bought into the “Focusrite is best”, “buy the fancy stuff” mentality and had spent around $350-400 on a setup. The juxtaposition of how much I spent versus how much I used it put a strain on my wallet (and stomach) that I just couldn’t handle.
When I switched to this Neewer NW-800, I quickly learned that my other setup noticeably exceeded the quality of this one. It wasn’t enough to justify the price difference though. See, my voice is pretty awful. I hate hearing myself speak as much as I hate writing the word “I”; which is a lot. To date, no microphone successfully made my voice sound smooth, rich, soothing, or otherwise appealing. To my ear, this microphone lacks in the lower frequencies and adds a little noise to the system. That said, Audacity can equalize and clean up the sound enough for my taste.
What you really need to know about this microphone, from a practical point of view, is that it will most likely surpass your gaming headset or cheap stick microphone.
On to the Product
The product link I shared above matches pretty closely what I bought. You get the microphone, a shock mount to absorb motion and handling noise, a foam wind screen that doubles as a pop filter, and an XLR to microphone jack cable.
A stand for the microphone doesn’t come with the kit. Something like these should work for you.
I’m using a boom arm almost exactly like the one linked, but it may be slightly different. These are extremely inexpensive, so don’t expect maximum durability or quality.
Also, keep in mind that this is a “side address” microphone. That means that you talk into it from the side, not the top. In other words, the axis of symmetry of the microphone doesn’t point at you when you speak.
The XLR to 3.5mm microphone jack cable is sufficient for most systems. I can’t tell if there are any specific requirements about powering the microphone from a mic jack. I lack confidence in the information I’ve read in the past. My computer powers it well, but the sound quality pales in comparison to providing the mic with phantom power through a dedicated recording interface like this one:
My recommendation is that, if you can stomach the cost, buy an interface and an XLR male to female cable to connect this microphone to your PC. If you don’t choose an interface, you should still hear some improvement over smaller and more standard PC microphones.
This microphone gets the job done. If you want to start making YouTube videos on a tight budget with decent quality voice overs, this can work. You should note that the mic is also available under a number of different names with slight modifications. They all seem to have names like NW-800 or EB-800. I don’t have the time to check for differences between them all.
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