Updated on Apr 14, 2021
The Samson Go is one of the more unique microphones my team and I have worked with over the years. For a traveling vlogger with a tight budget, it's honestly the perfect tool to bring with you, and for many others, it can be just as effective. We work with a wide assortment of microphones here, and not often do they fall within this price range. We'll be considering this as we think about the best podcast microphones under $100.
Microphones have come a long way, even since I was a kid. The lack of extra components required to power them, the simplicity to use them, and in this case, the small size, represents the evolution of microphones. Sometimes, however, the advantages we get out of these unique mics can come with their own caveats. The Samson Go is small in size, but is that always a good thing?
For today's review, we'll be testing out the sound performance of the Samson Go. We'll take into consideration some of the most powerful features they offer, and then dive into any downsides the microphone comes with. Afterward, we'll look at some of the best alternatives and you'll have an idea of what to do next.
First and foremost, let's talk about the size of the Samson Go. It's so small that it fits in the palm of my hand. It has a unique fold-up design that allows you to throw it into your pocket as you're moving from place to place. For those who are constantly on the go, particularly doing travel vlogs or outdoor podcasts, you'll quickly see how advantageous this single highlighting feature will be.
The Samson Go also uses a USB connection, allowing you to plug-and-play. Unlike many other condenser microphones that you would see in a studio, the Samson Go doesn't require Phantom Power. If you're unfamiliar, the reason this is noteworthy is that other studio microphones would need to obtain that type of power from a microphone preamplifier. Being USB compatible is essentially saving you atleast $100.
The Samson Go offers two types of polar patterns; Cardioid & Omnidirectional. A polar pattern controls what sides of the microphone can record audio, with Cardioid being the front of the microphone & Omnidirectional being all sides. Both of these features have their own advantages. Using a Cardioid polar pattern will minimize the level of background noise the microphone picks up, allowing you to capture more of your voice and less environment.
The Omnidirectional mode, however, will have stronger audio depth. As it's able to record a full 360-degree radius of sound, the frequency response goes from Cardioid's 80Hz - 18kHz to the wide range of 20Hz - 20kHz. That "wide range" I mentioned is the common spectrum of what the human ear hears. Frequency response plays a huge role in the quality of a microphone as it portrays the depth of your recording and offers more authenticity.
The other important factor in the audios quality is the sample rate. The Samson Go has a bit-depth/sampling of 16-bit / 48kHz, aka "CD quality".
The last feature I want to touch on is the optional attenuation pad. This drops the microphone sensitivity down a whole -10dB. This is great for people who speak loudly or recording louder sound sources. It will help prevent the microphone from clipping (distortion).
The Samson Go has a few very specific purposes that I think it's best suited for. Right off the bat, I've found it to be the near-perfect microphone for new vloggers who are working on a budget. The size & portability make it perfect for on-the-go recording, and the different polar pattern modes can be great to experiment without in nature.
The Samson Go can be used for much more, of course. A lot of people use it as a replacement to their built-in computer microphone. If you do a lot of Zoom or Skype calls, you can see how the Samson Go would be a major upgrade for you. You can also use it for singing! I would try and find a quiet room and use the omnidirectional mode, and if you're a loud singer, you can take advantage of the attenuation pad.
We're also living in a time where online platforms are becoming more and more popular. Whether you're on YouTube, Tik Tok, or doing Twitch streams, you can easily take advantage of the Samson Go. It's very affordable and will offer you enough quality to create enjoyable content.
The major downside I've found with the Samson Go is a little sacrifice we have to make for this small, easy-to-use, and portable microphone. Because of the way, it's built, it's really difficult to set up a pop filter with it. If you're unfamiliar with what that is, they're the little mesh screen you place in front of a microphone to reduce Plosive noises. These are the clipping sounds your mouth causes on certain syllables like "B" and "P".
I'm not saying it's impossible. You could try and clip one onto your computer, use a stand without the microphone inside of it, just to hold the pop filter. Heck, you can even try and make your own pop filter. At the end of the day, this is a pretty important feature for microphones, so I'm listing it as a major con for the Samson Go.
Best Used For
When it comes to finding the best alternatives for the Samson Go, the assumption is you might want something better, at a little more cost. We have two suggestions for you, one that comes out a bit over the $100 mark, though well worth the cost. The second recommendation we'll show you still falls below the $100 mark but is perfect for podcasts or streaming.
The Blue Yeti is one of the most popular USB microphones on the market right now. You'll see them everywhere, from YouTube to home studios, thanks to the versatile condenser layout. The multi-polar pattern selection is a highlighting feature, as depending on how much background noise you have to deal with, you can expand the full radius of what this microphone records.
If you're looking for a little more punch with a studio flare, the Blue Yeti is definitely worth the money. If you find it's a bit more than you're willing to spend, then checkout our next choice.
The Audio-Technica AT2005USB+ is designed as a vocal mic, and works for anything from singing to speaking. Many people use it with their podcasts because of how well it can make your voice sound. It offers very crisp high ends with a little low-end flare that gives your voice some volume and authenticity. I definitely prefer this one over the Samson Go for anything speaking-related, and it's almost just as portable.
I recommend giving it a look if you can spare a little more room in your budget. If not, you're still in great hands with the Samson Go!
Overall, the Samson Go is one of the best portable microphones under $100. The design work they put into it allows you to travel without any hassle. I love the foldable design with their case so that I can slide it right into my pocket, and even power it with my phone to use as an on-the-go field recorder! Considering the price point it falls under, it's really difficult to complain about it. While writing this review, I discovered a good friend of mine has been using it for the last 6 months as a gaming microphone on their streaming channel as well.
The lack of a pop filter (and difficulty to connect one) is a serious bummer for me, as it's very sensitive to noise. As long as you keep a little distance, you shouldn't have too much issue, but still worth keeping in mind before you make your final purchase.
Let us know if you buy one and tell us what you think! Is it worth the money to you? Is it the perfect vlogging microphone as many people have been saying? You tell me, as we love hearing your valuable feedback. And feel free to post any content you've created with it.
Posted on Apr 13, 2021
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