2

Rode NT USB vs. Apogee Mic | DESKTOP VS. PORTABLE!

Hi friend and Welcome aboard!!

Before we get into the Rode NT USB vs. Apogee mic comparison, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

You’ve come to the right place!!

Rode NT USB vs. Apogee Mic

Rode NT USB vs. Apogee Mic

What I will bring you in this review

  1. Ratings/Price
  2. Specifications
  3. Summary
  4. Pros
  5. Cons
  6. Video Review
  7. Who this mic benefits?
  8. What you will need?
  9. Thoughts from Stu’s Notepad
  10. Consensus/Conclusion
  11. Similarities & Differences
  12. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

Apogee Mic

Apogee MiC 96k

Apogee MiC 96k

Ratings/Price

Specifications (for iPad, iPhone, and Mac)

System Requirements

iOS:

  • iOS version: 6.1 and later.
  • iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPad Pro (9.7-inch), iPad Pro (12.9-inch), iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini 4, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2, iPad mini, iPad (4th generation), iPod touch (6th generation), iPad touch (5th generation).
  • Connection: Lightning iOS devices.
  • Power: From iOS device.
  • Software: Made for GarageBand.
  • Other software: Twisted Wave, Bossjock Studio, Apple video camera.
  • Works with any Core Audio compliant application on iOS.

Mac OS:

  • Mac OS version: 10.7.5 or later.
  • Computer: Mac, with an Intel processor.
  • Memory: 1 GB minimum of installed RAM, 2 GB recommended.
  • Connection and power: Any available USB port on a Mac.
  • Software: GarageBand, Logic Pro, MainStage,
    Pro Tools (v. 9 and later).
  • Works with any Core Audio compatible application on Mac.

In the box:

  • MiC 96k.
  • iOS Lightning cable.
  • Mac USB cable.
  • Desk top tripod stand.
  • Microphone stand adapter.
  • Quick start guide.

 Features:

  • PureDIGITAL connection for pristine sound quality.
  • Studio quality cardioid condenser microphone.
  • Up to 96kHz, 24-bit analog-to-digital conversion.
  • Studio quality microphone preamp with up to 40dB of gain.
  • No configuration, just plug in and record.
  • Control knob allows easy input level adjustment.
  • Multicolor LED for status indication and input level monitoring.
  • Designed for vocal and acoustic instrument recording.
  • Also great for recording interviews, podcasts, voice overs, and audio for video.
  • All metal construction.
  • Extremely compact and portable.
  • Works with GarageBand.
  • Bus-powered by iPad, iPhone or Mac (no batteries or external power required).
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Specifications (Mac and Windows)

System Requirements

Mac OS 10.9 or later

  • Computer: Mac, with an Intel processor.
  • Memory: 2 GB of RAM minimum.
  • Connection/power: USB port on computer.

Windows 10 or later

  • ASIO4ALL driver (required for professional applications only).
  • Computer: Windows PC with Intel/AMD x86-64 processor.
  • Memory: 4 GB of RAM minimum.
  • Connection/power: USB port on computer.

In the box:

  • MiC 96k.
  • USB cable.
  • Tripod.
  • Microphone stand adapter.
  • Quick Start Guide.

Features

  • Made for Mac and Windows.
  • PureDIGITAL USB connection for pristine sound quality.
  • Studio quality cardioid condenser microphone.
  • Up to 96kHz, 24-bit analog-to-digital conversion.
  • Studio quality microphone preamp with up to 40dB of gain.
  • Control knob allows easy input level adjustment.
  • Multicolor LED for status indication and input level monitoring.
  • Designed for vocal and acoustic instrument recording.
  • Also great for recording interviews, podcasts, voice overs, and audio for video.
  • All metal construction.
  • Extremely compact and portable.
  • Bus-powered by Mac or Windows computer (no batteries or external power required).
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Summary

The Apogee MiC 96k is an example of a product that is worth the asking price for the most part. It’s sound is really phenomenal, it’s compact and durable, and it’s portable and convenient. The only real downsides are lack of direct monitoring, and a tendency to become noisy at times. The upside is that it can be used with your mobile devices as well as simply a stand a lone unit.

Pros

  • Plugs right into iPhone and iPad. Easy plug and play with your devices.
  • Great for vocals.
  • Compact, durable design. Very portable!
  • Pretty well balanced, with an emphasis on the upper mid-range. The sound quality overall is extremely clean.
  • Good warranty.
  • Does not pick up a lot of background noise when it’s not supposed to, i.e. when you’re recording vocals or instruments.
  • Does come with 30 pin connector for older model iPhones.
  • Broadcast quality mic. On par with the RE20.

Cons

*( ) = Denotes how many folks had the issue.

  • Fuzzy, popping, buzzing, clicking, distortion, interference. The mic is noisy, but this usually only happens during monitoring. (4)
  • Sound isn’t clear and not good on vocals. (2)
  • No 30 pin connector for iPhone? (1)
  • No difference in the sound quality from iPhone or iPad built-in mic. (1)
  • Stand could have been better. (1)
  • No headphone jack on the mic, meaning no direct monitoring capability. (1)

Video Review

Who this mic benefits?

Good for:

  • Interviewing
  • Instruments
  • Vocals
  • Environmental/Ambient sound for film
  • Skype
  • Guitar
  • Saxophone
  • Podcasting
  • Garage Band. The iPhone, Garage band, Apogee mic combo is one of the best around, and should suit you well.
  • Radio
  • Spoken Word
  • Voiceovers for weddings
  • Conference meetings
  • Grand Piano
  • Narration

What you will need?

You will need a pop-filter, as it does tend to pop the p’s. This is true for the majority of microphones. Also, some Acoustic Sound Treatment is always welcome!

Thoughts from Stu’s Notepad

Things to Remember:

  • Connects to your iPad, iPhone, and Mac.
  • It does not have a no latency headphone monitor, meaning the latency time will interfere with live recordings. What is Latency?
  • Use airplane mode when using an iPhone. This prevents interference when recording.
  • Good for video use with the camera app. Connect it to your phone, go somewhere and record something. The sound quality will really impress you!
  • If using a PC, it will work as long as you have a DAW that supports ASIO4ALL. Find out what a DAW exactly is here: Choosing a DAW.  It does not work with Windows 8 or 8.1.
  • You will have to have the gain all the way up when recording solo vocal performances.
  • If you use an Otterbox, you will have to take it off in order to plug in.
  • The mic is deceptively tiny, and about the size of a fat piece of sidewalk chalk. :O
  • The sound quality is very clear, but you may notice that the bass lacks a bit of warmth and the treble is tinny at times.
  • Before firing this baby up, make sure you go to the privacy section of your iPod or iPad and allow the use of a mic in the audio section.
  • Great with the app “Twisted Wave.”
  • You’re able to get sound from near or far away depending on your gain settings. It’s very flexible.
  • The metal grille is only glued on and not soldered. Something to keep in mind, as it may break down around the warranty period.
  • The Apogee MiC 96k has the ability to record HD audio in Logic Pro X.
  • The advertised 24 bits of dynamic range is misleading because of this mics propensity for higher self noise (what you hear when nothing is being recorded). Beacause of this, the claim of 96kHz sample rate becomes kind of a marketing trick. Bit depth vs. Sample rate.

Comes with/does not come with:

  • Comes with a gain wheel so you can control how sensitive the mic is.
  • Comes with a mic stand adapter, tabletop tripod, and lightning cable.
  • The single light on the front is convenient and shows you if the mic is clipping.
  • There is a separate carrying case made for the Apogee, making it great for travel. However it does not come with the mic.

Consensus/Conclusion

A compact, durable and versatile mic that can be a bit noisy at times. It’s also on the pricey side.

Similarities & Differences

Similarities

Differences

  • Noise. The NT USB has less self noise and generally is more silent than the Apogee.
  • Sound. The NT USB is brighter than the Apogee. Overall, the NT USB is more open but with more sibilance. What does Sibilant mean? The Apogee is warmer sounding but also flatter.
  • Features. The NT USB has a headphone output and the ability to directly monitor, while the Apogee has neither of these features.
  • Cable length. The Apogee’s is 1m compared to 3m for the NT USB.
  • Size. The NT USB is significantly larger than the sidewalk chalk Apogee. 🙂

Final Word

I think all things considered, the Apogee MiC 96k is worth the price, despite not having direct monitoring capabilities. The fact that you can record directly into your mobile devices with garage band is really convenient, and the sound quality itself is fantastic. I enjoyed the fellas guitar playing in the video above! You can also straight up use it as a USB mic at your desktop which really seals the deal for me. Add to that it’s durability and portability, and you’ve got a winning formula and solution for sure!!

SEE IT FOR YOURSELF ON AMAZON!!

The NT USB is also a fantastic microphone, but it’s more of a desktop solution. However, I do place it at a close second behind my favorite desktop USB microphone: The Yeti. Interested in learning more about it?

CHECK OUT MY OFFICIAL BLUE MICROPHONES YETI REVIEW!!

Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the Rode NT USB vs. Apogee Mic.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

Which of these tickles your pickle? I would love to hear from you. Until next time..

All the best and God bless,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest