As an entry-level content creator, one issue I'd always had was hunting down a solid microphone that wouldn't break the bank. There are dozens upon dozens of options out there, and I always felt a bit let down in various ways from the products I'd purchased. I'm using the Blue Yeti X right now as my go-to, but it's a fair bit pricier than what some might be able to invest in upfront. Thanks to Movo, though, there might be a cheaper option here.
This is the Movo UM700, a USB PC mic aimed at reducing the cost of entry to podcasting, game streaming, and beyond. I may find myself slipping it into our best microphones for streamers roundup after this review.
Bottom line: The Movo UM700 punches above its weight given its price, producing a warm, clear recording with a range of pickup pattern options. If you were looking to get into content creation without breaking the bank, this is a good place to start.
- Decent sound quality for the price
- All the standard pickup patterns
- Gain, volume, and mute button controls with live monitoring
- Great price
- Action on the dials feels a bit flimsy
- Mute button is noisy
Movo UM700 mic: Price and availability
The Movo UM700 has a RRP of $99, but Amazon offers a free coupon bringing the price down to $79 instead, making it a great budget option for entry-level content creation. It's available from other major retailers as well, and seems to be well stocked as of writing.
Movo UM700 mic: What's good
The Movo UM700 sports an impressive spec sheet, offering 48kHz at 16-bit sound resolution with a 20Hz to 20kHz standard frequency response. The metallic body houses three recording capsules, and comes with a metal base with a rubberized underside for anti-slip stability. The swivel can be adjusted with two screws on either side, and provides some solid rigidity while also remaining adjustable on the fly. It also has a standard screw socket underneath, for mounting on shock mounts or swivel arms.
In the box you get a micro-USB to USB-A cable which has a far more generous length than a lot of competing products out there. Products like this tend to use micro-USB over USB-C because of the grooves that micro-USB has, helping it to hold the connection in place when angled vertically. To that end, it works as advertised, remaining in place without any issues.
When it comes to sound features, the Movo UM700 delivers. It has the four standard polar patterns, adjustable using a dial on the back. Cardioid for frontal-recording, stereo lets you create a dual-channel sound with left-to-right movements (good for ASMR), there's an omni-directional option for recording everything in the space regardless of the position, and an interview-style pickup pattern for recording both the front and the back of the mic, while ignoring the sides. All of the polar patterns I tested work as advertised, muffling the sound as advertised.
The audio quality is also no slouch either. Right out of the box in the above clip, the Movo UM700 delivers a clear and warm recording profile without obvious clipping or other distortions. The quality isn't the clearest you'll get in the world, but it does punch far above its weight considering the $79 asking price. The dial on the back lets you adjust the gain on the fly for finding the right audio level versus your distance from the mic, and the headphone live monitoring lets you keep your own voice levels in check when you're in the zone.
There's very little to complain about with regards to this mic, so the next section is going to be a bit tough to write.
Movo UM700 mic: What's not so good
The Movo UM700 is $79 (with the current coupon promo), and you do feel that "budgetness" in the construction to some degree. The dials don't have particularly great action, pivoting at a slight angle which feels almost like I'm unscrewing them. It's a minor gripe ultimately, since for the most part you'll probably set them and forget them, but I'm scraping the barrel here.
Additionally, I'm not a fan of mechanical mute buttons on these types of microphones. More and more products are opting for capacitive mute buttons instead, as to avoid interfering with the recording itself. When you hit the mute button on this, it produces a loud click, making it generally unusable if you don't want it to be picked up.
Finally, this thing is a fingerprint magnet. The matte finish for whatever reason seems to love smudges, despite the fact I blasted my hands with soap before unboxing it. I didn't wipe down some of the pictures so you can get an idea of what it looks like in a real setting, but again, minor gripe.
Movo UM700 mic: Competition
The Movo UM700 is a seriously high-value microphone at $79, but I have no idea how long that Amazon coupon offer wants to stick around. But honestly, even if this mic goes back up to $99 it remains a really great option. The Blue Yeti X, which I use, does offer better sound, and LED feedback for volume levels, which I find really useful, but it comes in at a hefty $170. I'm not sure that LED audio levels, brand name, and slightly better sound are worth the extra $90 bucks. I have to admit, I find myself incredibly impressed with what Movo has put out here, given the price.
Movo UM700 mic: Should you buy it?
The Movo UM700 isn't the most amazing or mind-blowing microphone out there, but it should be seen as an entry-grade option for those who are dabbling in content creation, and want to ditch their cheap headset mic or low-end budget option. This might be among the first "great" sub-$99 microphones out there for those who want to get serious about streaming, podcasting, or even recording music, with a decent array of features and solid construction.
You should buy this if ...
- You're a podcaster, streamer, or other content creator looking to elevate your content
- You want a great-sounding mic without breaking the bank
You shouldn't buy this if ...
- You want the absolute best sound recording quality
For $79 with the coupon or even $99 without it, you could do far, far worse than this mic. It has all the right features for those getting into content creation, and does exactly what it says on the tin: no frills, great product, high value-to-price ratio.
Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!