Can this USB microphone succeed where others have failed?
Item: sE Electronics 2200a USB Studio Microphone
Price: $399, £199
At A Glance: The sE Electronics 2200a USB is a studio condenser microphone than can connect directly to a computer via USB, saving the need for an external recording interface or preamplifier. The microphone is designed to deliver a neutral, warm sound suitable for both vocal and instrumental recordings at an attractive price. It has a fixed cardioid polar pattern, and is capable of withstanding sounds up to 130dB SPL with low self-noise; which is more than enough for most home users. Its frequency response has very slight lift from about 2kHz to add presence to your recordings and it has switches for a high pass filter and a -10dB pad (for recording loud sources).
High Notes: Unlike other USB microphones, this also has an XLR in to offer increased flexibility (both connections can also be used simultaneously if needed). In USB mode the microphone is simple to use. Once attached to your computer, the 2200a USB appears in your audio device list without the need of any dedicated software or drivers; it works with all common DAW software and operating systems. Also included on the microphone is a mini-jack headphone output with dedicated volume control so that you can monitor your mix as you record.
Off Pitch: The included USB lead is a little short to be ideal.
VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: Although it is not in the same league as top studio microphones, the 2200a USB offers greater recording quality than many other USB microphones currently on the market. It is capable of producing neutral results on vocals and the recording quality produces good sounding home demos. The option to use it via XLR or USB means you could use the mic with your favourite preamp when in your home studio, yet be able to take it on the road with and connect it to your laptop via USB if you needed to. Overall, the sE Electronics 2200s USB is very capable USB microphone that will no doubt appeal to musicians wanting to make budget recordings at home.
Manufacturer’s Website: http://www.seelectronics.com