Getting a quality microphone is more important than ever for many PC users. With the boom of streaming, in particular, alongside more traditional uses like podcasting and recording music, it's never been more important to sound good.
There are different ways to go. USB microphones are easier to use but often sacrifice sound quality. Traditional condenser mics sound better but require an additional interface to be used with a PC.
The Samson G Track Pro sits in the middle of these two. And for many, it could be a perfect choice.
A microphone for all things
Pros:Good sound quality.Excellent build quality.Affordable.Built-in audio interface and mixer.
Cons:Heavy and not particularly portable.Dials are a little loose and wobbly.No pop filter or shock mount included.
What you'll love about the Samson G Track Pro
Samson is a well-known brand when it comes to audio equipment, so you expect a certain amount of quality. For the most part, the G Track Pro oozes it. It's built like a tank, finished all in black and comes with a very sturdy desk mount.
|Mic pick-up pattern||Cardioid (unidirectional), bidirectional, and omnidirectional.|
|Mic frequency response||50Hz to 20kHz.|
|Sensitivity||+6dB FS/PA (all polar patterns).|
|Sample rate||Up to 96kHz.|
|Bit depth||16-bit or 24-bit.|
|Condensers||Dual one-inch (25mm) condenser capsules.|
|Input||1/4-inch instrument input.|
There are bits on the front and back to take note of, but the most important functions are out front where you can quickly get at them. You'll find a switch to go between the different modes, a similar switch to go between mono and two-track recordings, and a mute button.
The three dials on the front are what make the G Track Pro stand out. They allow you some basic audio mixer features right on the microphone. You can alter the level of the mic, the instrument and the volume you're hearing through your headphones. On the back, there's a switch to allow you the ability to monitor the sound through your headphones or to disable it.
The instrument is particularly interesting because you can connect a quarter-inch lead from something like a guitar directly to the microphone and record it plus your vocals at the time time, from the same device. With the right cable, you can connect any audio source to it and use it the same way.
Sound quality is very good, and for folks like streamers, the standard cardioid (omnidirectional) pattern is the one to go for. It does a great job of cutting out noise, like keyboard clacks behind it, unless you enable the omnidirectional mode. The other modes are useful for situations like recording a podcast. The cardioid mode has the nicest sound, in my opinion, because it is fuller and a little warmer sounding.
It hooks up to the PC through a single USB cable, and all the audio can be collected into a single recording. Samson includes a code to download some software, but you'll be just as good using something like Audacity.
What you'll hate about the Samson G Track Pro
Even though it's good value at $149, I'd like to have seen a pop filter and shock mount included with the G Track Pro. It's a fairly large microphone, and the first pop filter I tried didn't fit properly. Equally, it's far too large and heavy for the shock mount I currently use. You can buy a Samson shock mount, but it's an additional spend that should have been included in the box.
You need a fairly sturdy duty boom arm if you're going to hang the G Track Pro above your desk. It weighs 3.52 lbs (1.6 kg), with the microphone being just over a pound of that. That's not excessive, but it does have a large diameter.
The weight of the stand is more of an issue if you're going to take this on the road, and it's certainly well-equipped enough that you'd want to. But at over 3 lbs with the stand, it weighs more than some laptops.
You may also find the dials on the front annoying. They're perfectly well attached (it seems), but they feel loose and wobbly when you use them. It's a little unnerving for a product you'll expect to last a while, and especially for $149.
Bottom line on the Samson G Track Pro
If you need more flexibility and higher quality sound than a lot of USB microphones offer, the G Track Pro is worth consideration. Before reviewing it, I was using a Marantz MPM-1000 hooked up to a Behringer USB mixer. The G Track Pro gives almost as much functionality as that combo and takes up a lot less space.
The idea of a quality condenser microphone with a built-in USB interface is appealing. And the G Track Pro is an excellent example of this. It's well made, sounds good and doesn't break the bank. It has a couple of flaws, and I'd really have liked to see a shock mount and pop filter thrown in, but on the whole, it's a very good product.
I think streamers, in particular, would love it, because it gives added quality and control without the need for masses of cables and a mixing desk. You can run it with an external audio device down one USB cable, and convenience like that is a certain winner.
Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine