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Movo UM700 USB mic: an affordable way to boost audio quality

The Movo UM700 Desktop Studio Microphone is an affordable mic aimed at podcasters and videographers doing voiceovers or to-camera pieces. At around $100, I found it delivers excellent bang for the buck to videographers.

My primary need for a USB mic is for video narration, but I found it also performed really well for other scenarios – even if it didn’t quite live up to all of its promises …

Look and feel

Anyone wanting to use this in to-camera footage, or video podcasts, should have no fears about this microphone appearing in shot. It looks both professional and premium, and could easily be mistaken for something considerably more expensive. To my mind, it looks better than the Blue Yeti, which is probably its closest competitor.

The UM700 measures a little under 8 inches long by 3 inches in diameter. On the included desk stand, it sits at around a foot.

It’s almost entirely metal in construction, with a few plastic elements like the volume and gain knobs. It’s a dark gray in color, with a relatively discreet logo and other lettering in a lighter gray.

On the front of the mic is a volume control for live monitoring through the headphone socket, a green power LED, and a mute button with a neat embedded red LED. On the rear is a gain knob and a pattern selector.

The underside of the mic has a micro-USB socket for the included cable, as well as a headphone socket. Finally, there is a standard 5/8th screw socket for mounting on a stand or arm.

Specifications

The UM700 records broadcast-quality 48kHz/16-bit audio, with a standard frequency response range of 20-20,000Hz. Sensitivity is -45dB at 1KHz.

The mic claims to have adjustable patterns, via a selector knob on the rear:

  • Cardioid (front pickup, best suited to solo use)
  • Stereo (two-channel pickup, ideal for interviews)
  • Bi-directional (front and rear)
  • Omnidirectional (equal pickup all-round)

I’ll explain below why I say “claims”!

In use

Plugging the mic into my Mac (using my own USB cable, as the supplied one is USB-A rather than USB-C), it was immediately recognized, allowing me to select it for audio input.

My primary need for a desk mic is for adding voiceovers to product videos, and it performs really well – noticeably better than my Blue Snowball, which is kind of the default affordable desk mic.

You can hear an example of this from 1m 45s in the video below, which also features footage of the mic (though I’m actually reviewing another product).

YouTube Poster

I also tested it in interview mode, having a conversation with my girlfriend, me on one side of the mic, her on the other, using the bi-directional pattern. This too worked really well.

Finally, I tried it for a micro-short film. This only has one piece of recorded audio, right at the end (the rest are sound effects), and I was using the Movo UM700 as backup for my Tascam DR-40X sound recorder. It proved so good that I opted to use the Movo audio.

YouTube Poster

For me, then, this is a really good all-round mic.

I said above that the mic claims to have four pickup patterns. I tried all four, both for their intended purpose, and mis-using them – for example, using Cardioid for an interview setup – and I have to say that any difference between them is best described as subtle. I wouldn’t get over-excited about this feature, then, but neither is it remotely problematic, as it works well for all usage scenarios.

Movo UM700 pricing and conclusions

We did a full review back in January, in which my colleague Jordan Druber was impressed.

Overall, with its high fidelity sound, physical controls on the body, and robust build quality, the Movo UM700 looks, feels, and sounds great. I do think that it can benefit from some EQ tweaks in post, but I put a little bit of EQ on most of my microphones. For $100, it’s a great way to get started with content creation without the higher price of the other microphones.

For videography use, I think it’s a really flexible tool that has enabled me to up my audio quality for voiceovers in particular, at a price that is well within the reach of the average YouTuber.

The Movo UM700 Desktop Studio Microphone is available from Amazon.

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