Whether you’re starting a podcast, a YouTube channel, or a streaming channel, there are plenty of reasons why you might need a better microphone than the one built into your devices. Fortunately, finding a plug-and-play USB microphone has never been easier. There are plenty of options on the market at every price point.
One of the best names in the USB microphone world is Blue and its Yeti devices. However, that isn’t the only option. For those who need to keep a budget in mind, the Movo UM700 is a capable alternative with a great build.
Simple and Sleek
Movo might not be a household name. However, it is an up-and-coming brand that offers affordable gear for aspiring creators. The UM700 is one of its newest products and also happens to be one of its most impressive.
Those who are familiar with the Blue Yeti will see the similarities between that device and Movo’s UM700. Both microphones share an upright design mounted inside a sturdy metal stand. The UM700 is secured to the stand with a screw on either side, which tightens to hold it in place and loosens so you can position the microphone with ease. This design allows you to fold the microphone down and make it more compact for traveling. There is also a 5/8-inch thread on the bottom of the microphone for those that want to mount it to a different type of stand.
Meanwhile, the UM700 features a sleek black design that looks great on camera. If you’re using this microphone to stream or plan to show it in a video, you won’t need to worry about it being in sight.
On the front, the microphone has a mute button as well as a volume dial for headphone audio. Speaking of, you can connect your favorite pair to the UM700 via a 3.5mm audio jack to hear what you’re recording as you do it.
The back of the microphone has a dial that controls the recording pattern (see below) and the gain (how sensitive the mic is).
Outside of those controls, you won’t find much in terms of customization. The UM700 doesn’t come with companion software like the Blue Yeti. On one hand, that makes it incredibly easy to set up and use. On the other, it may be a hindrance for experienced creators that want total control over their audio settings.
When it comes to making content, you need a device that captures clear, crisp audio. A USB microphone allows you to capture additional depth and tones that built-in mics can’t pick up. In terms of sound quality, Movo’s UM700 performs admirably considering its price.
It features 48kHz audio capture and the adjustable gain means you can record sound exactly to your liking. Unless you’re an audio fanatic, it will be difficult to tell the difference between the UM700 and a slightly more expensive microphone like the Blue Yeti. If anything, the Yeti is able to capture low-end audio a bit better. That being said, any shortcomings can easily be addressed in post-production with a little fine tuning.
Inside the microphone’s grill is a tri-capsule array that can capture audio in a variety of ways. That makes the UM700 perfect whether you’re recording audio in a studio by yourself, are chatting across the table from a friend for a podcast, or need to capture all the sound in a space.
The previously mentioned pattern knob allows you to change how the microphone records. It offers four settings, including stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional, and bi-directional. Cardioid is the most popular setting for recording audio on your own. Meanwhile, bi-directional lets the microphone pick up sound on both sides, which is ideal for podcasting with a guest. The stereo setting is best for recording music or vocals.
Balling on a Budget
The Movo UM700 certainly isn’t the best microphone you can get. The most expensive microphones can cost upwards of $10,000. By comparison, though, the UM700’s $100 price tag is a steal for everything it offers.
Aside from its performance, the microphone comes with a few extras in the box that make it an even more valuable addition to your setup. The first is its two-foot micro-USB connector. While all USB microphones come with a cord, this one is unique due to its length. For instance, the Blue Yeti’s cord is just a few inches long, making it difficult to position the microphone on your desk. That isn’t an issue for the Movo UM700.
Meanwhile, the microphone comes with a foam windscreen that fits atop the metal grill. This helps reduce clicks and breathy noises that might occur if you’re too close to the microphone. It’s also worth noting that many microphones don’t come with this extra accessory. Those who are serious about sound quality will often purchase one separately. As such, it’s nice that Movo includes it in the box.
As noted, the UM700’s $100 price tag makes it incredibly attractive whether you’re on a budget or not.
Movo UM700 vs. Blue Yeti
It’s clear that the Movo UM700 and Blue Yeti are poised for competition. From a hardware standpoint, the two microphones are almost identical. The main difference is that the Blue Yeti is a bit flashier with additional features through Blue’s companion desktop app. The UM700’s look is also a bit more subtle since the Blue Yeti comes in a variety of finishes.
In terms of performance, however, the two are closely matched. The software-based features of the Blue Yeti aren’t essential for most users and don’t make enough of a difference to warrant the higher price tag. If you aren’t comfortable buying from a brand you haven’t heard of, then the UM700 probably isn’t for you.
However, if you’re willing to look past that, this is a terrific USB microphone that’s worth every penny. Again, for the price, it can’t be beat.