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Rating and Reviews: Samson Q1U USB Mic

Perfect for entry-level recordists and home podcasters, the Samson Q1U USB microphone features high-quality electronics for supreme sound quality.

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"Absolutly amazing. You have to get one." submitted July 10, 2006

By a customer from hotmail.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Hip-Hop
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Sound: It sounds great, but of course could be better. Feature: Other then the USB output there isn't really all that many special features. Ease of Use: Couldn't be easier, just plug it in and go. There is no software at all. As soon as you plug it in, it automaticly installs the drivers which takes maybe 5 sec. and your recording. Amazing ease of use I would rate it a 15 if I could. Quality: Very reliable, sturdy, strong, and well built. Sound quality is of course a littl lower then a studio mic, but still definetly not bad. Value: Amazing value. You can't find quality like this for that price. Manufacturer Support: Havn't had to deal with support. The Wow Factor: I guess it's not really "amazing" but it definetly looks good. Overall: An absolutely amazing product. Definetly a must-have for any home recorders. Wow I love this thing.
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"excellent principle, but very disappointing results." submitted February 3, 2007

Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Recording tech.
Music Style: news gathering / interviewer
Back to Product Information
Sound: I never noticed the Niagara falls were that close ! The noise level is simply unbearable as soon as you give it some gain (35DB S/N is worse than what you get from the worst PC motherboard soundcard). How can they say it's got a "high quality mic preamp" when, if you look at the PC board inside, they bypassed the preamp and connected directly to the variable gain stage, feeding the output of one channel back to the other channel's input (try to record in stereo and you'll see what I mean). Adding a separate, good quality op amp would have turned this lemon into a very capable device while adding less than 1$ to the production cost. Properly used, the chip itself (an AK5371) would have given average but decent performance. Feature: It came with a desktop stand, a clip, a little carrying pouch and a 10ft USB cable. Good. Ease of Use: On Windows, it works right out of the box with the standard USB audio drivers. It's very simple, but there is a drawback when using the default USB driver. as soon as the machines goes in any sleep mode or screensaver, the volume is reset to a very low level unless the application software continuously sets it to it's intended level. I tried to use it with Dragon Naturally speaking (as a last resort before I decided to send it back) but after entering the screensaver, I had to manually readjust the level every time. The samson "SoftPre" driver / applet is a nightmare ! First, I tried it on a Win2k machine. Despite the software being designed for XP, it installed flawlessly, not even warning me of any incompatibility. Running it gave ... a memory overflow error ! Call that graceful exit. So I installed it on my XP laptop. Everything worked well (except some uncertified driver warnings), with a little exception: the mic was still controlled by the standard USB drivers, and despite many attempts, trying anything I could find on the Samson site, I could never make the mic work with softpre and had to uninstall it. Those problems are very common among Q1U owners (Google is your friend) Quality: The mic itself feels solid and well built, it would certainly deserve a better electronic circuit. It's sold as a handheld mic, but since it uses a standard "B" type USB connector, you can't really use it that way, since the slightest tension on the cable will simply unplug it (or at least make the connection very unreliable). For desktop uses, a condenser mic (or even a low cost electret) gives a better sound. Value: Not better (except the look) than an entry level mic / sound card. It simply does not deliver on it's promise. Manufacturer Support: Too many flaws, I returned it before I had a chance to contact them. The Wow Factor: I definitely want the same (a USB dynamic mic), with decent electronics, working Windows drivers and a lockable connector. Overall: It was not usable as a handheld mic (weak USB connector), had way too much noise when trying to use it as a desktop mic, and it could not even work well as a voice recognition mic (input level reset with Windows driver/"SoftPre" drivers non functional). I finally returned it.
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