I recently had the opportunity to test out the new Movo UM700 USB Desktop Studio Microphone.
Movo Photo is an L.A.-based dealer that offers its own products along with those of others in the field of audio, video, photography and lots of accessories for those disciplines.
The UM700 costs about $100. The company markets it as “a Blue Yeti killer.”
To throw the specs out first, it stands about a foot tall on its desk mount and weighs just over 2 pounds.
It is a solid mic as far as its metal body and overall build, and certainly has the physical feel of a mic that will stand up to time, with a notable exception to be discussed.
It uses a 1/2-in he diaphragm and shows a frequency response (per manufacturer) of 20 Hz–20 kHz. As a USB microphone — no XLR — it’s limited to the world of PCs and laptops. It pulls its 5V power over the USB (at 150mA per manufacturer’s specification), and that is to power the internal headphone amplifier (using a mini 1/8-inch stereo jacks).
The sample rate listed is 48 kHz with a 16-bit depth. According to the company the headphone amplifier output impedance is 16 ohms, and headphone amp output frequency response is 15 kHz–20 kHz.
Choose your pattern
What makes this microphone unique for an affordable USB microphone is an adjustable polar pattern.
On the back of the mic are two controls. One for mic gain/sensitivity, and the other for pick-up pattern. By rotating a solid switch, it can have a stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional or bidirectional pick-up pattern.
The front of the mic has a headphone volume adjustment, plus a handy “mute” button (which illuminates to remind you that it is muted). It has a green indicator light to show you when it has a connection and is powered. One other feature is the 5/8-inch threaded opening in the bottom for a standard mic mount. Though you can’t swivel the mic on its included stand, it can be removed and used with a microphone stand, gooseneck or boom arm.
How does it sound? This is always a subjective question when working with microphones. So much relies on an individual’s own voice; mine is lower. For that it sounds decent.
It has a “proximity effect” to it, meaning you can “color” the audio quality of the mic by working it close or far. This is not something I like with mics in general, but some mics (like the EV RE320 and 20 series) are excellent at producing the same tonal quality no matter what the distance.
On the positive side, the adjustable pattern is a cool feature, and using a mic in stereo mode for some situations (like an interview where you only use a single mic) really provides an excellent “audible image” of the interview. You can hear the placement of the people in relation to the listener (or the mic). This is very nice.
The sensitivity is also a plus, though it should be noted that there’s enough gain to the mic to really increase noise as well.
Though I’ve had this mic for testing for about a month, there is a notable weakness. The micro USB connection on the bottom of the mic is flimsy. Mine is already loose and occasionally causes an intermittent issue.
That is a serious flaw and, in my opinion, likely to cause failure and a short life. Unless they redesign it with a much more robust connection (or full-size) USB, I wouldn’t recommend it because of that problem.
For the quality of the sound, features and otherwise robust built, it’s a shame that a 25-cent connection limits this microphone.
Movo UM700 USB Desktop Studio Microphone
Thumbs Up: Nice sound, multipattern mic in USB connection format; compatible with Windows and Mac
Thumbs Down: Flimsy USB connector
For information, contact Movo Photo at 1-800-354-1739 or visit www.movophoto.com.