For quite a while I used MacSpeech Dictate with the built-in microphones and both my iMac and my MacBook Pro. Recently, however, I began using a microphone whenever I dictate. While I find it a bit inconvenient to set up and use a microphone every time I want to dictate something, especially when using my MacBook Pro, the increased accuracy of the transcription more than makes up for the few seconds it takes to get ready.
I have been using a number of different microphones but one of my current favorites is the Go Mic from Sampson. The microphone is highly portable, easy to setup and use, and offers great sound quality. Let’s take a look.
Further expanding on its diverse line of USB microphones, Samson introduces Go Mic, the ideal portable recording microphone that clips to your laptop.
Go Mic is perfect for recording music, podcasts or field recording, but its range of functionality extends beyond typical USB microphones. Ideal for voice recognition software, iChat, web casting and even Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Go Mic is the ideal solution for recording on the go.
Because of its custom, compact design, the Go Mic can clip right onto your laptop or sit unobtrusively on your desk. Plug and play operation also means it’s completely compatible with a Mac OS or Windows, with no drivers required.
The microphone itself is small. Closed it is about one third of the iPhone (if held in portrait and cut horizontally across). It comes with a small, nice zippered holder that lets you throw it into a gadget bag without worrying about damaging the microphone itself. In addition, it ships with a mini USB cord for plugging it into your computer. Strikingly, there is no space in the case for the cord and, in order to use the microphone, you need to bring that along. A case that held both would have been nice. Finally there is recording software that is Windows only.
The microphone itself is a nice looking unit.
When closed it easily folds into itself and is held shut using the permanent clip that is part of the mic itself.
Once the microphone is pulled out and flipped up, however, the same clip can be used to secure the unit to the top of a notebooks screen or anything else for that matter. The clip is quite strong and will hold the microphone securely without worry of it shaking loose. While the microphone itself is plastic the base is molded zinc. It’s heavy enough to hold the mic study and has a rubber base that protects the microphone from bumps and shocks when it is sitting on the desktop.
The microphone has a windscreen that protects it and reduces wind noise and the ever annoying popping sounds when articulating the letter P. A colored LED light indicates that the microphone is on and flashes red if the input signal is “clipping”.
The microphone base also has a “mounting hole” and includes the necessary adapters for mounting it on a standard microphone stand.
A mini USB connector is used to connect it to the computer and a .35 mm stereo jack can be used to connect headphones or studio monitors.
Finally it has a switch which can be used to adjust the microphone to one of three sound patterns. The three settings are described in the following way buying the company
…you can pick whichever pattern is more appropriate for your specific situation. Use the tightly focused cardioid pickup pattern when recording a podcast, acoustic guitar or vocals. Or use the omnidirectional pattern to capture the entire room, whether you’re jamming with your band, webcasting with a group or conducting an online meeting with multiple members in a single location.
The microphone can be used with both Mac and Windows computers. If you’re using Windows there are some drivers that need to be installed. In addition, it ships with software for creating and editing sound. If you are using it with a Mac, however, is even more difficult process — you plug it in.
Here is a recording of the company’s description of the microphone using the mic itself and the iMac’s built-in microphone.
When I first listened to these recordings the sandard iMac input actually sounded a bit better to me. But the Go Mic’s recording has less background noise and. as a result, yields a better quality transcription. And because it is small and light carrying it in my gadget bag is easy to do.
More information can be found on the company website.
The microphone has an MSRP of $89.99 but is currently available from Amazon.com for $49.22.
What I like –
Small, compact, easy-to-use. Offers good sound quality in a small, relatively inexpensive package
What needs improvement –
Carrying case included space for be included USB cord since it is required for use, the microphone itself is made from relatively cheap feeling plastic