Samson C01 Condenser Mic review
Welcome to my review of the Samson C01 Condenser studio microphone
I will jump right into it by saying that if you are looking for a cheap high quality studio mic, then this microphone should definitely be on your radar.
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You may be asking yourself, “What is a condenser mic and what makes it different from a regular mic?”. The truth is there are many differences and some are more significant than others.
At the end of the day, this mic does the same thing that all mics do – records sound input. What matters is the quality of recording that you get for the price.
Condensers are usually found in the studio and dynamic are more commonly found on stage for three simple reasons.
- 1. Condensers require phantom power to function which not all live settings have. (Check to make sure that your mixer or audio interface has phantom power before buying this mic)
- 2. Condensers are more sensitive and hence more prone to picking up high levels of bleed or feedback.
- 3. Condensers are more prone to handling noise and should preferably not be touched while in use.
Playing live is really the only reason you wouldn’t want a condenser, and since you are still reading this I assume you do want one, so why the Samson C01?
The C01 is built into a sturdy metal alloy casing that screams quality and durability. Once my mic stand fell over and to my surprise the mic was completely fine without a scratch.
The cardioid capsule is 19mm in diameter and features a three-micron thick, gold-sputtered diaphragm construction.
There are no pad or low-cut switches on the mic like some other condensers, which is a shame.
There is a blue LED on the front of the mic that turns on when phantom power is applied.
It comes with the usual swivel mount adapters and a protective case with foam lining for moving the mic around safely. An optional SP01 shockmount is also available.
This mic has been compared to the Rode NT1, which is over triple the price.
The frequency response of the mic shows a gentle drop-off below 80Hz, plus a gentle presence/air boost at around 10kHz.
The response is quoted at 40Hz to 18kHz with levels going down by around 6dB at these points.
Sensitivity is quoted at 33dB/Pa which has been confirmed by testing against other mics with the same sensitivity rating.
The C01 has a bright, open sound which is usually associated with this type of microphone and when compared to a Rode NT1 sounds slightly more sharp and airy while lacking some foundation on the bass end.
However, it does have a sharp and clear sound that really shines on all types of singing vocals. Naturally, it also works very well for hip-hop and voice overs.
Loud shouty/screamy vocals can be less than ideal, with a painful amount of attack coming through on the high-mid frequencies, but this can always be sorted out with a bit of EQ in the right places.
The mic has been noted as being slightly noisy but from my personal experience the ambient noise in my bedroom from my computer fans is much higher then any noise that the mic generates. Sometimes I can hear the traffic and birds chirping outside if I leave the mic on with monitoring enabled.
At the end of the day, the C01 has a lot going for it. By standing up to mics in over triple its price bracket, it has earned a huge amount of love from home studio owners around the world.
This mic has been around for over 10 years now and it is still a major competitor in the condenser mic market.
If you are looking for a versatile recording solution for your home studio without breaking the bank, then pick it up on Amazon:
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