It seems like everyone nowadays and everyone is streaming on YouTube or Twitch. And it isn’t difficult to see why. You can use apps free of charge and share your game sessions with friends. Who knows? You might also get a few followers if you have a friendly personality. Of course, if your videos are dark with a grainy sound, this isn’t going to happen. It is important to have a high-quality microphone to get the best stream possible.
So what makes a good mic for streaming? In short, you’d like a microphone condenser. A microphone condenser is perfect when it comes to getting rich, detailed vocals.
If you ever saw an album recording on a sound-stage, they used a condenser microphone. This is different from a lavalier mic, usually used for mobile applications. What the singer uses at a concert is a lavalier device. We have the benefit that they only pick up sound from a thin cone that is placed before the microphone. This can reduce unwanted noise and help eliminate feedback. On the downside, however, it detracts from the richness sound.
We will, today, be reviewing the TONOR TC-777 Microphone, a USB microphone which is specially designed for use with a desktop or an iPad.
As such, streamers consider it a perfect pick. But is the high quality worth investing in? And with what kind of applications is it compatible? Let’s look closer, and see what it’s pitch is!
- Plug and play on most systems.
- Durable build quality.
- Easy to set up and use.
- Good frequency response and sound quality.
- Can pick up some rumble if not properly isolated.
- Not compatible with Xbox consoles.
The TONOR USB Microphone is a lightweight, desktop-friendly microphone. The package contains three parts, which can be assembled quickly in a matter of minutes. The microphone itself is the first piece. The bottom half of the microphone is a blue-gray case, taped to fit in with the mount at the bottom. You can also see the silver TONOR emblem on top of your case, with the silver band at its top.
The pickup and a metal panel that covers it stand out from the top of the box. An optional foam cover is also available. For indoor use, this should not be required. Nonetheless, it can be helpful to reduce wind noise if you use your mic outside.
A 60-inch USB cable sticks out from the bottom of the device. It is fastened by the help of a reinforced mount, so that it can flex without getting easily ruined. And, thanks to its fairly long string, you can place it anywhere on your work desk and still be able to reach your PC.
A basic shock mount is the second component of the kit. This is a rubbery spring-loaded clamp that’s structured in such a way as to remove vibrations.
Of course, the mic can rumble if there is an earthquake. But it will not be noisy just because somebody walked through the room. It’s easy to open and close the shock mount by opening a couple of clips. A 4″ pop shield is connected to the 7″ gooseneck on one side. This pop shield is essential to reduce sudden pops from sharp sounds, such as the P and K letters. Adjust the gooseneck about 2 inches from the microphone and you are good to go.
The shock mount is fitted with a bracketed fixture mounted on the third portion of the unit: the tripod. The tripod sports three-round rubber feet, which further help reduce vibration.
It also prevents your mic from skidding during use. You can tilt the bracket 180 degrees to ensure that the microphone is directly pointed to the mouth. The mount can also be swiveled, allowing you to position easily and conveniently.
The whole unit is 9 cm high when fully fitted, provided that the microphone is fully vertical. It is also quite lightweight, with scales tipping at just 12.2 ounces. It’s highly portable and can be easily carried everywhere. That said, the kit does not come with a carriage case. Be sure that your microphone is well-padded before you go on a tour.
The TONOR mic can also be installed on a standard boom stand in addition to being sitting on your desk. The threaded insert is normally 5/8 inch in most boom stands. In this situation, the shock mount is easily attached without any fiddling. You may need an adapter to use a smaller 3/8-inch insert that does not come with the kit. That said, it’s not a big deal. You can buy an adapter for the price of a cup of coffee!
The Quality of Sound
We have come to the conclusion that the TONOR USB Microphone Condenser is well-designed. However, just how effective is it at gathering sound? This is, after all, its main function. First off, it uses a cardioid condenser pickup that provides outstanding clarity.
As opposed to a dynamic microphone, it’s range does not just cover a tiny area opposite the microphone.
However, when you are directly in front, you get better clarity. When you move to a corner (90 degrees), the volume is slightly dissipated. It’s going to fade even faster from there. There is no pickup right behind the microphone. This is intentional because it reduces the echo of the speech from the wall.
As a result, you should carefully think about placement and ensure that you set the back of the mic facing the wall. If there are several hard surfaces nearby, it may be wise to put a number of baffles on them, to minimize echo. A low-density foam fits best for this purpose.
However, pink foam or even a pillow is more effective than nothing.
With regard to quality, a specimen rate of 16 bits at 44.1 KHz is obtained. This is really good quality, even if you want to record music. You won’t have any issues with spoken word recording or streaming. Most computers are going to work very well with it. That said, you may need a sound card if you’re streaming Fortnite at a low bitrate on a Laptop. Still, you will be able to reduce the bitrate again using most audio software. You will not get the same richness of sound as you would with a higher quality. But then, and on the bright side, you will not need a sound card either.
As for the frequency response, you would be looking at 100Hz to 16KHz. This is a very large range, and you will be able to pick any kind of noise you make with your mouth. You would want to use something a little higher end for instrument recording, up to at least 20KHz.
But this is not important for streaming. However, it may still be of concern to use the very low end. Everything below 2KHz can typically only be heard as rumble. Some recording software lets you set a cut off point so that the unwanted noise is removed. That said, if your shock mount is working correctly, “rumble” should not be an issue.
The TONOR microphone is very responsive. It can collect sound from any point between -38dB to +3dB. This is a relative measure. So, to get the best results, you will want to adjust your input level. Too big, and you are going to experience clipping. Too low, and some of the finer sounds will be skipped. This does not only apply to TONOR but to any other microphone. So, take your time to set the location and input settings of your mic and you’ll be okay.
The USB Condenser microphone TONOR is plug and play on most systems. It even uses a USB 2.0 and not a USB 3.0 or 3.1, ensuring that even older devices are able to function. Simply attach the USB cable, and the recording is ready. The microphone is Mac, PC and PlayStation 4-compatible. However, on the PS4, no audio advancing software is available. But you can use third-party software on Mac and PC to improve your results. That being said, the TONOR microphone is not enabled by Playstation, phones or iPads.
Another useful feature is that your headphone jack is still free because it is a USB microphone. As a consequence, during your stream, you can use a game headset. Simply select the on-board sound of your computer as your secondary stream audio source. Leave your speakers off, use a headset, and you won’t have to worry about the irritating echo of the game.
- Overall Rating 8.8
- Sound Quality 8.5/10
- Compatibility 8.5/10
- Build Quality 9.0/10
- Ease of Use 9.0/10
So, is getting the TONOR TC-777 microphone worth it? Or is it just another knock-off? It is in general one of the best in its price range of condenser mics. The design quality is, first and foremost, very good. You get a nice tripod and a really well-built shock mount. Not only that, but the USB cable is long enough for virtually all purposes.
The sound quality is very high with a broad dynamic range. It has a very simple directionality, with a good spectrum and minimal echo. The dynamic range is also strong, and the sound spectrum is very responsive over a wide range of sounds. Your volume level is all very well, whether you talk low or loud.
Lastly, almost any system can be used with the TONOR USB Condenser Microphone. You can stream without downloading the drivers, regardless of whether you are on a PC or Mac. You can also stream on PlayStation 4. With this, even console gamers can participate in the Twitch fun.