Starting in 1980, Samson Technologies began developing wireless microphone systems. Today in over 140 countries, more than 250 of their products are sold. From small beginnings as a two-person operation, their USB microphones are now the industry standard.
Samson has certainly done a classy job with the styling on this microphone. We dare say it resembles some sort of a sci-fi space probe. The Samson Meteor is designed to be multi-purpose, but we think it is best suited for podcasting, online teaching, or light-duty demo recording.
There are so many USB microphones being produced these days of varying quality. Is the Samson Meteor just a cool design, or is it one of the best USB microphones available? Let’s find out in our in-depth Samson Meteor Microphone review…
This is a very solid-looking microphone, fashioned out of thick plates of chrome steel. It is very much designed with that old retro styling in mind and is very pleasing to the eye. It has dimensions of 80mm x 49mm x 49mm, which is a good size for transporting to locations. Plus, it weighs in at only 263 grams.
This clever engineering design allows the three legs to be set at various angles on your desktop to achieve the perfect position towards your mouth. These three legs also fold back to sit flush with the microphone, making it easy to carry around.
The Meteor microphone can also be connected to a regular microphone stand. It is a little awkward, though, with the back leg needing to be extended when it’s plugged in. Other than that, it is one of the best portable USB microphones available.
The Meteor microphone contains a 25mm diaphragm condenser with a cardioid pattern. The audio recorded is 16-bit at 44.1 kHz or 48kHz. Likewise, it features a dual-stage grill to help prevent popping and location wind noise.
A cardioid pattern means it picks up best from the front. The sides and back pick up some signal, but not a lot. This makes it a good location microphone, as you never know if you may be recording in noisy environments.
Controls and Connections
On the front, you will find a mute button, a volume control, and an LED indicator. The LED indicator will turn amber when the microphone is muted and will also flash if your audio signal is clipping. The volume knob is only for your headphone level, and to be honest; we found it a little tricky to turn.
Around the back, you will find the USB port and a 3.5mm input for your headphones, which are positioned close to each other.
Plug and go…
As with many of these USB microphones, they do not need drivers. You simply plug it in and set it to be your recording device within your computer. The USB transports the signal digitally, outputting 16-bit at either 44.1 kHz or 48kHz. 16-bit. Therefore, this kind of microphone is best for close-vocal work.
No XLR input is a little gripe for us, as there are plenty of USB microphones at the same price range with do have one. As we have said in other reviews, having two output sources to record on location helps if one recording device fails.
For a microphone at this price range, the sound was excellent. It was not overly-colored and felt crisp and clear. It has a very acceptable sound quality that would work well with voice recording. Certainly a good choice for one of the best USB microphones for Podcasting.
The headphones connect directly into the microphone and allow for zero-latency monitoring. We don’t know how useful that would be on a windy location and if you would get enough monitoring level. Headphones are useful so you can hear issues in your recording, and to figure out where your optimum distance from the microphone is.
What’s in the Box?
The Samson Meteor microphone comes with a USB cable and a small velvet bag to keep it safe from scratches and bumps.
Samson Meteor – Specifications
- 25mm diaphragm USB condenser microphone.
- Cardioid pickup pattern.
- Frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz.
- Zero-latency monitoring with the stereo 1/8″ headphone jack.
- Weight: 263 grams.
Samson Meteor Microphone Review – Pros and Cons
- Cool retro design.
- Plugs into any computer via USB, with no drivers needed.
- Works with most computer-based digital audio software.
- Easy to set up.
- Chrome-plated body.
- Very good audio quality.
- Works with iOS devices using Apple’s Lightning USB camera adapter.
- Easy to carry around.
- Good price.
- No gain control.
- No XLR input.
- Hard to turn the headphone volume knob.
- Difficulty connecting to regular microphone stands.
- Limited to 16-bit at 44.1kHz or 48kHz.
Looking for Something Else?
To find the microphone that’s right for you, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best USB Microphones, the Best Lavalier Microphones, the Best Condenser Mics Under $200, the Best External Android Microphones, and the Best External Microphones For iPhone you can buy in 2021.
You may also like our comprehensive Audio-Technica AT2005USB Review, our Samson Technologies Q2U Review, our Shure SM58 Review, our AKG Perception 220 Review, and our Blue Baby Bottle Review for more superb mics currently on the market.
Samson Meteor Microphone Review – Final Thoughts
While it has a very acceptable sound quality, we could only imagine using it for podcasting. As well as online teaching and laying down rough demo ideas to be recorded again later. There are plenty of better microphones on the market, like the Samson Q2U, for example, which comes with an XLR input.
If we were out recording on location, we would much prefer to have a more robust microphone. And something that looks a little less flashy. If it failed to work for any reason, the people waiting to be interviewed would be wondering why you didn’t bring a proper microphone.
We think the Samson Meteor Microphone is a perfectly good microphone for the price, and it does sound very good. We do feel it is better for home use or taking on your Podcasting travels as opposed to serious studio recording.
So, until next time, happy recording.