The first set of USB mics that we saw were … well, cute. The Samson Go Mic and Go Mic Direct are both small microphones (emphasis on the micro) that plug directly into your USB ports. The Go Mic Direct is only a few centimeters tall and wide and sports a cariiod-pattern mic that swivels to best point at the sound source.
The Go Mic is not only small, but can boasts multi-pattern configuration. Yes, you can configure this minature microphone to be cardiod, omni and figure-8. And it can clip onto the top of your laptop screen.
On a little bigger scale, Samson not only still has the popular Meteor USB microphone, but has now introduced the Meteorite USB microphone – a microphone in the shape of a little round ball that rests on a magnetic base. The design reminds me of the popular Snowball Mic from Blue Microphones, except this is about a quarter of the size. Not to mention that it comes in traditional chrome and seven other colours ranging from hot pink to orange to white.
Samson was the first to introduce a high-quality condensor microphone powered by USB in the C01. It has re-introduced that mic in the C01B – the same mic with some enhancements and an added headphone jack for direct monitoring.
Something Other than Microphones
For a small band, the one with the PA is the one who gets to throw his or her weight around. Samson has some elegant solutions for the gigging musician.
The Expedition 308i (300 watt system) and XP1000 (1000 watt system) are mixer/amplifier/speaker packages that seem to pack some useful features as well as break down into single self-contained transportable packages.
The amplifier / mixer have microphone and line inputs as well as Bluetooth functionality to interface with any Bluetooth-enabled audio devices. The XP1000 also boasts a USB Wireless port to interface with Samson’s Stage XPD1 Digital Wireless Microphone System – essentially a USB dongle that interfaces with a Wireless Microphone.
Both of these systems collapse down into self-contained portable units weighing 40lb (308i) and 50 lbs (XP1000).
Itty-bitty Wireless Mic Systems
The Airline Micro wireless microphone systems look to be something from the Jetsons. With a matt-stainless steel finish, these small UHF systems not only look great, but will also not detract from what’s important – the talent.
The Airline Micro Earset system includes a water-resistant earset transmitter that wraps over the ear and has a small omnidirectional microphone at the end of a thin bendable boom. The receiver is also small in stature and both can be inserted into a dock that charges them for a continuous use of 5-6 hours.
The Airline Micro Camera system includes a small belt-pack transmitter connected to an omni-directional lavalier microphone that can be charged for up to 7-8 hours of continuous use. The micro receiver can be mounted on a hot shoe mount and the kit comes with 3.5mm and XLR camer connectors for use with professional video cameras.