Samson Q9U Professional Broadcast Microphone Review: A Versatile Unidirectional Mic That’s Perfect for Voiceovers & Podcasts

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The Lowdown

Overall, the Samson Q9U Microphone is a great substitute for those who don’t want to spend the hefty price of the Shure MV7. The biggest flaw is that the one onboard function you’d use the most (the mute button) potentially won’t truly let you know it’s active unless you have a bit of muscle memory regarding when you pressed it. The fact it doesn’t come with a desk stand also seems like a bit of a misstep. But for $200, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better mic with audio quality like this that outshines its minor design flaws.

Overall
3

Pros

  • USB & XLR connections
  • Audio monitoring
  • Professional look (without the windscreen)

Cons

  • Lack of mic stand
  • The mute button is abysmal
  • Windscreen is ugly
  • Can pick up background noises in the wrong circumstances
  • The windscreen makes this otherwise professional-looking mic appear cheap
Samson Q9U Professional Broadcast Microphone Review: A Versatile Unidirectional Mic That’s Perfect for Voiceovers & Podcasts Listen to this article

As a podcaster, having a microphone that can do “a little bit of this, a little bit of that” regardless of the circumstances is ideal. Whether you have an audio interface or simply want to plug it into your computer, the Samson Q9U Professional Broadcast Microphone is a mic that truly grows with you. 

Samson Q9U Professional Broadcast Microphone

A dynamic broadcast microphone, the Samson Q9U Professional Broadcast Microphone is the quintessential update my podcast setup needed with its dual functionality as an XLR and USB microphone.

I’ve previously been quite fond of Shure’s MV7’s ability to do this, but one of my glaring issues with that particular unit is its outdated connectivity. This isn’t a problem with the Samson Q9U’s ability to be connected via USB-C, which allows me to connect directly to my Macbook Pro.

Here are some official specs listed by Samson: 

Microphone Type: Dynamic
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Frequency Response: 50Hz-20kHz
A/D Resolution: 24-bit/96kHz
Max SPL: 140dB SPL
Output Impedance: 250 ohms
Self Noise: 23dB A weighted (USB)
Sensitivity: -57 dBV/Pa (1 kHz) (XLR), 16 dBFS/Pa (0 dB gain, 1 kHz) (USB)
Color: Black
Features: Swivel Yoke Mount
Connector: USB, XLR, 1/8″ (headphones)
Power Source: USB bus-powered
Dimensions: 7″ x 3.1″
Weight: 2.13 lbs.
Included Accessories: USB cable
Manufacturer Part Number: SAQ9U

The Samson Q9U Professional Broadcast Microphone doesn’t include much, except for the microphone itself, some paperwork, and two cables: one USB-A to USB-C, and the other being the USB-C to USB-C.

The cables themselves look a bit unique compared to your standard USB cables. They likely need a bit more voltage to power up the microphone hence the added notches on the cables. The inclusion of two kinds of USB cables is a very nice touch since it allows you to plug into legacy and cutting-edge devices.

Samson Q9U Professional Broadcast Microphone with accessories

Samson states that the Samson Q9U boasts zero-latency recording, which I can attest works effortlessly. I’ve recorded every week for the past two months with my Samson using our podcast. Using the toggle that switches between mid boost or low cut allows me to get the perfect audio no matter which platform I’m using for recording.

We’ve hosted many live recordings on Clubhouse recently, which, when plugged into my Zoom P4, allows me to facilitate audio from my computer while still speaking clearly courtesy of the onboard controls of the Q9U. In Clubhouse and Stereo for recording, I switch to Low mode on the Q9U, eliminating the background audio surrounding me.

Recording in a non-treated room means that if I don’t speak directly into my Samson Q9U, it will catch me on the low-end and sound distant, so I try to stay between 6-12 inches away from the directional pattern of the microphone to sound more clear when speaking. With the mid-boost on, I dislike how I sound as it sounds way too bassy and robotic. 

Samson Q9U Professional Broadcast Microphone

I did miss the Shure MV7’s onboard volume control, as well as the LED lights that let you know if you’ve muted the mic. The single mute button at the front of the device doesn’t illuminate when active or not, which I think is absolutely ridiculous, especially when recording.

Too many times, I’ve muted myself during recording, and my co-hosts couldn’t hear me because I thought my gentle tap of the mute button was allowing me to speak again when in all actuality, it was the opposite. It’s the type of issue that seems minor but can be frustrating in real-life use. 

Samson Q9U Professional Broadcast Microphone

As you can see on the back of the Samson Q9U Professional Broadcast Microphone, you’ll get the mid boost and low cut settings, a headphone jack for audio monitoring, and the USB-C port for connectivity.

The headphone jack is great for monitoring when NOT connecting to a physical interface, but I almost exclusively used an audio interface to balance the levels accordingly in my testing. When I would plug the Q9U into my MacBook Pro directly to record, I noticed slight feedback of myself talking, which annoyed me enough to go back to my interface instantly.

You can change this setting in your computer’s settings if you chose by either a third-party app or volume control, but for my particular use case, I need to balance levels.

Samson Q9U Professional Broadcast Microphone

Since the Q9U has a cardioid polar pattern, it picks up audio directly in front of the capsule. Unfortunately, in my room that hasn’t been treated for audio recording, it’s picked up distant ambient noise, including our sink running or even the TV in the next room. I find myself editing quite a bit in post-production because a caveat to the Samson Q9U Professional Broadcast Microphone is that it will certainly pick up as much as possible with (and without) the windscreen.

I just wish the included windscreen was a bit more form-fitting to the microphone because the included one just makes the mic look cheap, hiding the more professional, elegant-looking design underneath. 

Samson Q9U Professional Broadcast Microphone

If there’s anything I could’ve potentially changed about the Samson Q9U Professional Broadcast Microphone besides the terrible windscreen, it would be the included stand.

The mechanism that allows it to be attached to a tripod or boom arm is shock absorbant, but the issue here is that the mic itself can only be situated in limited positions. If you want to angle the mic more than at a 90-degree angle, you’ll have to do a bit of finessing, but you can find ways to work around that with the right mic stand. 

Samson Q9U Professional Broadcast Microphone

Overall, the Samson Q9U Microphone is a great substitute for those who don’t want to spend the hefty price of the Shure MV7. The biggest flaw is that the one onboard function you’d use the most (the mute button) potentially won’t truly let you know it’s active unless you have a bit of muscle memory regarding when you pressed it. The fact it doesn’t come with a desk stand also seems like a bit of a misstep. But for $200, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better mic with audio quality like this that outshines its minor design flaws.

The Samson Q9U Professional Broadcast Microphone sells for $199.99; it is available on Amazon.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: USB & XLR connections; Audio monitoring; Professional look (without the windscreen)

What Needs Improvement: Lack of mic stand; The mute button is abysmal; Windscreen is ugly; Can pick up background noises in the wrong circumstances: The windscreen makes this otherwise professional-looking mic appear cheap

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About the Author

Greg Alston
Diehard Apple fanboy, and lover of all things tech. Born and raised in Washington, DC, Greg enjoys spending time with his wife, family, and friends, live sporting events, good bourbon, Tetris, and pizza. In that order.