Samson’s Meteor Mic is compact, shiny, retro, and totally cool. It also works perfectly for making music with Garage Band, recording podcasts and communicating through Skype and iChat. The MSRP is US$99, but I found it for around US$40 at Amazon.
The USB Meteor Mic from Samson
The integrated legs fold and bend for carrying and allow the microphone to be tilted. It features CD-Quality 16-bit 44.1/48kHz resolution and flat frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz. It plugs directly into any Mac for instant use.
There is a USB cable included with the package, although I would prefer a better quality cable. There is a mic stand mount built into the bottom should the user want to add that feature. The body is chrome-plated. There is a built-in ⅛-in headphone jack with volume control at the plug-in point. The headphone and USB jacks are placed on the back of the mic so they don’t get in the way. There is a mute button on the front of the microphone.
Various elements of the Meteor Mic
This microphone will also work with your iPad and, again, there is no setup necessary. When you plug it in, using an adaptor, it counts as the iPad’s audio out as well as the audio in, so you’ll need to have some headphones plugged into the mic if you want to hear what you’ve recorded.
The Meteor Mic connected to an iPad and a Mac
Using The Product
I did a couple of different things to test this microphone. The first was to record a podcast. For this I plugged the mic into my MacBook Pro and also used headphones. The scripted podcast lasted ten minutes. Since I am short (5 ft 3 in) I had no problem getting good consistent sound through the microphone with it placed on my desk next to my computer. Were I taller, I would have needed to place it on a box to keep it in good range of my voice as proved necessary in my second testing adventure.
I truly love the mute button on this microphone. I can not say that loud enough. Placed as it is, right on the front of the mic, I found I could instantly mute when necessary. This will be a dream feature during podcasts that include numerous people when you don’t want ambient noises distracting from others conversations.
The second test involved my daughter who graciously brought over her computer, complete with prerecorded Garage Band music and recorded vocals using the mic and headphones. The quality of those recordings were excellent, and she was very pleased with them. We did have to place the mic on a box to accommodate her height.
The final test involved using the mic with my iPad 2. To use any USB product with an iPad one must have an adaptor. The Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit (US$29) works perfectly for this. Note: it is not included with the microphone purchase.
Anyone who enjoys making music with their iPad should love this capability of the Meteor Mic. We had great fun playing around with it, but there are some musicians who are very serious about making music using their iPads and this mic has a major advantage for them: they can get the mic very close to their iPads when recording.
Do I recommend it?
I do. It is versatile, well built, and does what it is designed to do. It produces good sound.