If you’re ready to start your new podcast or have been podcasting for a while, then you know the importance of getting the correct equipment for the job at hand.
Not everyone needs to be a professional podcast, and for those that are happy doing it as a hobby, or as a side gig to their regular job, then you don’t necessarily need to pick up the most expensive microphone on the market.
The Samson Q2U is considered one of the highest quality entry-level microphones you can purchase, and our review will take a look at whether it stacks up against similar products on the market.
As we’ve already mentioned, the Samson Q2U is an entry-level microphone, and the price tag represents this. You can purchase the basic bundle for around $70, or spend a little more and get the podcasting pack bundle for an extra $50.
For the price you pay, this microphone is extremely effective at being able to ignore noises, and specifically focusing on picking up vocals for a live recording. It does this with its pickup pattern.
In comparison to other microphones that use condensers (see also ‘What Is A Condenser Microphone?‘), such as the Blue Yeti, this setup is much more sensitive to background noise.
Dynamic microphones are also beneficial as they don’t require you to use phantom power and can be used with a number of audio interfaces.
One drawback of using this microphone is that we did notice that it was sensitive to plosives. But this can be corrected or limited when using a pop filter, which we recommend you use for your recordings.
Sound quality is one thing, but the way that it is connected is another. And the good news is that the Q2U has both a micro USB and an XLR connector that allows it to be used with a basic computer setup, all connected to an audio interface (see also ‘Best Audio Interface For Podcasts‘) or mixer.
This is a handy feature as you can choose between having a USB microphone or an XLR microphone, especially for those that are not ready to take the plunge and invest in an XLR mic.
If you are going to be using the XLR functionality and recording with a mixer, then you can simply attach the USB cable and record via your computer.
USB microphones are also versatile as they can be used for recording outside or in a studio, which is convenient if you are not in your home set up, and are recording on the road or at another venue.
Another feature is that you can use both outputs to record at the same time, which will allow you to have a backup just in case something happens to one of the recordings.
There’s nothing worse than speaking for 30 to 60 minutes and realizing that your recording has not worked.
You can also use the microphone jack and use a headset to monitor the sound levels. This is a super feature that can help prevent any delays in the audio or an echo (see also ‘How To Stop Echo On A Mic‘) being present in the sound.
The amount of money that you are paying is one thing, but the amount of accessories that come included is another.
If you go with the baseline model without any of the accessories, you are missing out on an amazing array of accessories, so it might be worth paying the extra $50.
Included in the extra bundle are the XLR cables, USB cables, microphone stands, a pop filter for protection against harsh sounds, in microphone clip, a windscreen, as well as a pair of HBO headphones.
The only thing is that this podcast package does not come with a storage case, which is a shame, as we imagine that many people would like to transport their microphones and accessories around without damaging them.
You can purchase a case for your microphone, but we feel the should have been included in the complete podcast package bundle.
Comparisons To Other Microphones
You might be wondering how it stacks up against other models in the same category. It’s mostly comparable with the Audio Technica ATR2100x.
Which contains many of the same features; such as being easy to use, a decent sound quality, having both a USB and XLR connection, and being reasonably priced.
Both microphones will be able to capture good quality audio that can challenge even the most expensive microphones.
However, when we compare the sounds of both of these microphones, we feel that the Q2U has a slight edge, as it produces a more resonant and fuller sound.
It also has better tonal quality and is better at picking up the audio you want to be picked up, and helping to block out background noise.
The upside of the ATR2100x is that it has a USB-C output as opposed to the regular USB. This allows it to be plugged into MacBooks and will charge slightly faster.
Where Would You Use This Microphone?
It doesn’t matter the type of microphone you’re using, your environment has plenty of sound-dampened room.
Unless of course, you are going to be recording in a live environment with plenty of noise, this microphone tends to be quite forgiving even in loud environments with plenty going on.
Realistically you would stick to using this in your recording studio for your home setup, but it will do just as well if you need to take your recording equipment with you to a hotel room or a venue.
We recommend that you make the most of the headphone jack so that you can pick up on any potential audio issues in the environment, as opposed to waiting when you get home and then listening to the audio after the fact.
If you want to make the most of this microphone, then you should follow one of our guides on optimizing your home recording studio or recording a podcast for two people.
The more work that you do upfront, the less work that you have to do in the editing phase, such as cleaning up any echoes or removing any unwanted background noise.
The good news is that this microphone is easy-to-use and comes down to a plug-in and play setup. You won’t be fiddling around for too long, and you can simply attach the cable to the microphone and then plug it into your device.
However, if You want to use the XLR connection, make sure you take the time to understand how mixers (see also ‘Best Podcast Mixers‘) and interfaces work.
XLR connections will let you plug it into a sound system that can apply to pre-amp effects, which. Simply plug the Q2U into the XLR cable and then plug the interface into your computer by the USB.
Overall this microphone is still doing the rounds as one of the best entry-level microphones for podcasts and is suitable for both beginner and advanced podcasters.
It’s perfect for a simple setup that can run directly into a computer, or if you want to take the time, you can create a heavily customized setup that can evolve mixes and digital recorders.
There Were a couple of downsides, such as it’s not coming with a case, and that there are some plosives that may affect the audio quality without the pop filter attached.
But the overall sound quality was decent, and there are enough accessories for the perfect podcast starter setup.
Final Thoughts – Samson Q2U Review
If you’re about to podcast for the first time, I’m or you’re a veteran podcast that is looking for a cheap microphone, then this is an excellent option for you.