Among the masses of content creators, like streamers, YouTubers, podcasters, and other smart folks there are a few go-to brands and products for the production equipment. Today we want to have a look at one of the new contenders that want to challenge the status quo of the audiovisual technology landscape. Welcome to our review of the UM700 USB microphone from Movo.
Movo was kind enough to send us a sample of the UM700 microphone, so we were able to get some proper hands-on experience rather than just report on spec sheets and online imagery. Especially for content creation, it’s great to read about a product, just like you do know, but there’s nothing better than trying the products out in realistic environments.
Also kindly allow me some words about my background, so you know what my opinion might weigh on a review for a microphone. I completed the state-controlled apprenticeship in Germany and passed the written and practical exams to become a certified audiovisual and event technician. I have been working full-time in the audiovisual industry for more than 15 years now and can appreciate professional audio equipment as much as semi-professional and consumer solutions.
What’s the Movo UM700 USB all about?
Movo is a Los Angeles-based brand that has been established sometime around 2014 with the aim to provide content creators with affordable solutions to turn their visions into a reality and share their work with the whole world through social media. The UM700 USB microphone from Movo is a great alternative to microphones such as the Blue Yeti or the HyperX QuadCast, so if you are looking for equipment and are not hellbent to get a brand that everybody uses, you can stand out of the crowd by using the Movo UM700 and even safe some bucks in the process.
Pros and cons of the Movo UM700 USB
Of course it makes sense to add some thoughts on pros and cons when doing a review and test for any kind of product. Here are some of my thoughts on this product.
What’s good about the UM700 mic?
The boxing of the Movo microphone is simple but does its job. Our sample product arrived well without any damage. I also like that they included a pop filter, even though at first that looked like it’s simply a protective foam around the sensitive area of the microphone to prevent transport damages. This pop filter had some dents in the foam but after a couple of days outside the box, it regenerated itself. However, you don’t have to use the pop filter they put into the box if you already have one that might be already part of your setup.
The Movo UM700 desktop mic looks very professional with its simple design. It’s all black (unless you go for a special edition in silver or white) and there are only very subtle LED elements on the controls of the product. To be honest, I feel like products that are all RGB elements lighting up permanently are cool for about one day, but maybe people who watch videos should not be distracted too much by the technology and focus on the people instead. Of course, decorative elements and technology like that are cool, but they should not play a major role in product research and development. A microphone is there to capture audio as well as possible. If you want decoration, then go for decoration as separate elements perhaps.
The swivel stand is included with the product and appears to be pretty solid. I can’t imagine that anyone would knock this baby over accidentally. If you want to use another kind of stand or mount, you can of course remove the stand it came with and install it the way it makes the most sense to capture audio as you need it. The buttons, knobs, and potentiometers are similar to the Blue Yeti microphone and provide you all the control you need to use the UM700 in more than a single recording scenario. They have a dedicated hardware potentiometer for the gain and they have a switch that lets you choose between the four microphone capsule characteristics which are stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional, and bi-directional.
Related article: Elgato Wave:3 Premium Microphone for Digital Creators
The best part of it though is that the audio quality of the Movo UM700 is very similar to the Blue Yeti or HyperX QuadCast in comparison, despite it being more affordable to beginners and budget-concerned professionals. If you compared all the three without knowing being able to watch which microphone is currently used, it might be that not many would be able to tell the difference. There are no compromises in audio quality and that means to me that Movo achieved the goal they set for the UM700.
Anything that’s not good about the Movo UM700?
There are a few things that are perhaps not perfect for the Movo UM700 and that’s alright as well. When you aim to make a product that is more affordable to the established competition, there has to be a sort of compromise and compromises are fine as long as they are clearly known and there’s no compromise for the audio quality. So what could have been improved?
Audio engineers and other professionals might complain about the lack of an XLR port for the microphone which is the standard in audio equipment most of the time. The UM700 comes with a USB connector and you can quickly hook it up with any desktop production station or laptop without the need for additional hardware like a mixer or an amp. Like any budget solution, the UM700 comes with an old standard for USB which is a USB micro connector.
This is an old standard and not everybody uses these anymore but at least they put a cable in the box as well so you can start right away without ordering any other cables or adapters. The only other thing that I found slightly inferior to the Blue Yeti is that the haptics of the buttons, knobs, and potentiometers feel less professional. This is likely also due to savings made on the production side, to make the product more affordable to influencers and content creators who are not yet raking in the big deals. Again, I think this is a tolerable aspect since it does not affect the product’s audio quality and your audience will not be able to tell the difference either.
Tech specs and facts
In order to save you the time to look up the technical specifications on the UM700 product page, please find below the details for this product. The source for this data is the official Movo homepage but you are welcome to have a look on your own if you’re looking for any other information there.
- Diaphragm: 0.55″ (14 mm)
- Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: -45 dB ? 3 dB @ 1 KHz
- Polar patterns: Stereo, Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Bi-directional
- Power consumption: 5V/150 mA
- Sample rate: 48 kHz
- Bit-depth: 16 bit
- Headphone amplifier impedance: 16 ohms
- Headphone frequency response: 15-20,000 Hz
- Connector: Micro USB (USB cable included)
- Dimensions (collapsed): 4.4 x 3.8 x 7.9″ (11.2 x 10.8 x 20 cm)
- Dimensions (expanded): 4.4 x 3.8 x 11.6″ (11.2 x 10.8 x 29 cm)
- Weight: 2.3 lbs (1.04 kg)
If this doesn’t mean anything to you, because you’re more creative than technical, this is also no problem. The product is very simple to use and the tech specs are only for you just in case you want to compare with other products.
Price and summarizing thoughts
The Movo UM700 represents a great alternative with some saving potential without losing (noticeable) audio quality. Below I have also attached a great video which was recorded by Jordan Swartzendruber from 9to5Toys which includes a direct comparison of the audio feed of various microphones. If you watch that you can get a better feeling for the actual audio value of this product without buying several microphones first just to test them.
The Movo UM700 currently costs around $79.95 on Amazon. The Blue Yeti in comparison is sold for $108.29 right now and the price for the HyperX QuadCast is $178.50 as of now. So you can decide for yourself what kind of money you want to spend on a desktop microphone and if you truly need everything that comes with the more expensive solutions. I know no other product in this particular niche that is more affordable than this one, without losing significant audio quality.
YouTube: Movo UM700 Review and Sound Test: Affordable high-performance USB mic
Photo credit: The images were taken by Christopher Isak for TechAcute.
Editorial notice: We have received a review sample from Movo through their PR agency for testing purposes.