With the giant push to create more programming for audio and video streaming formats, so many are looking for that quality edge in how they reach their audience. A crisp, clear sound eminating from a quality microphone assists in bringing a closer connection between the two. Yes, there are a ton of options out there, but outside of pouring tens of thousands of dollars into retro-fitting your studio, is there a more managable way to complete this task? While not the perfect solution, the MOVO VSM-7 Large Diaphragm, Multi-Pattern Studio Condenser Microphone (MOVO, MSRP $124.95 availabe now on Amazon.com) can take someone a long way toward meeting those goals.
Packaged with a shock mount, XLR cable, and pop filter, the MOVO VSM-7’s design and heavier-than-normal weight (29oz) feels like the microphone should have some punch coming right out of the box. The XLR cable provided allows for ample length to connect to an available sound mixer. Once connected to a stand or extending arm (not supplied), the microphone stands out for its quality and diverse options.
Obviously the main drawing ticket of the VSM-7 is the multi-pattern directional design. The ability for the unit itself to transmit via cardioid, bi-directional, and omnidirectional patterns allows for a variety of options on how to choose the way one wishes to record. The microphone has settings for streaming alone (Cardioid), interviewing one-on-one (Bi-Directional), or a roundtable discussion (Omnidirectional). Sometimes when comparable microphones to the MOVO get asked to multi-task it often is inviting that piece of the equipment to do too much. Thankfully though with the VSM-7, and the support it gets with the 0db to 10db switch to help find just the right pitch, it’s able to handle all three well enough to utilize as an option for all three of these settings.
The sound quality is as good as advertised, as my voice, which is known to go off into high and low ranges at any given point in time more than most, was picked up well by the VSM-7. Playing back the voice samples were satisfying as it came with no pops and almost imperceptible background noise. The level of detail in broadcasting while using the microphone proved to me that if one has all the accompanying equipment (mixer or pre-amplifier) to work through, that this product should be a leading choice on their list to create better sound.
Sound quality is paramount when it comes to recording, and the MOVO VSM-7 has that, but there are some quibbles that keep the unit from reaching its full accessibilty potential. The lack of an easy USB connectivity will probably be an entry barrier for some, especially upon the realization that extra audio equipment will be required (mentioned above) for regular use. This puts the microphone at an immediate disadvantage for those looking at an affordable option that allows for easy plug-and-go operation. For a studio that is in need of more microphones this is an almost perfect alternative, but for those running a simple home operation, having to add more on besides the microphone itself can be intimidating (not to mention more costly). Not coming with an expandable arm or stand (which costs around $10 each), is a slight misstep that would have been a more convenient pack-in as well.
But despite the needed equipment add-ons the MOVO VSM-7 distinguishes itself as an outstanding microphone capable of delivering quality sound for a relatively reasonable price tag. For those with a setup already that is condusive to such a XLR condenser fit, the performance of this unit will not leave you disappointed. In the race to acheive a clear, detailed voice in order to reach a broader audience that enjoys what they hear, it’s nice to know that MOVO has provided budding streaming hosts, broadcasters, and podcasting connoisseurs a really good option.
(Please note that for this review, Pop Culture Cosmos/Game Source did receive a review code/model/sample from the company/developer/public relations firm responsible for distribution to the press.)