Microphone technology has improved so much over the years that we can now fit tiny microphones inside our ultra-thin laptops. Still, the microphones in our laptops aren’t the best quality – they’re tinny, thin, and sometimes unclear. What’s more is the fact that we’re using software like Skype and FaceTime more and more – programs that need a decent quality of audio to ensure that the person on the other end can understand what we’re saying.
The goal of the Samson Go Mic Connect is to seriously improve the quality of your computer’s audio. It’s a microphone that clips onto the top of your laptop, or can be set next to your computer, and it simply picks up any audio just like the microphone built in to your computer would.
Setting up the Go Mic Connect was extremely easy, at least on a Mac. All I had to do was plug the microphone in, and it was automatically recognized as an audio device. The Go Mic Connect actually has a headphone port, so it serves as both an audio input device, or microphone, and an audio output device, for headphones. I personally only used the input function. It’s easier for me to access the headphone port on my laptop, and while it’s a nice option, I didn’t need it. That’s not a criticism – the more options the better, and my headphones sounded fine through the device when I did plug them in.
While the microphone was automatically activated when I plugged it in, to toggle between using the Go Mic Connect and the in built microphone all you have to do on a Mac is head to System Preferences, Sound, and then select Input.
The point of the Go Mic Connect is to improve the quality of the audio for apps like Skype and FaceTime, and it certainly does this. I recorded audio of both my built in microphone and the Go Mic Connect and noticed a serious improvement. While the audio recorded from my MacBook’s microphone was tinny and thin, there was a noticeable improvement in the low end from the Go Mic Connect. In fact, perhaps there was a little too much of an improvement. The Go Mic Connect is a little too much in the low end, making it sound a bit muddy.
A nice touch, I thought, was the mute button on the top of the microphone, despite the fact that most software like Skype and FaceTime has a mute button on the screen – like the headphone jack its a feature that isn’t really necessary, but a nice addition nonetheless.
One of the things that makes the Go Mic Connect far better than in built microphones is the fact that you can change modes to cancel outside noise. The options include the ability to turn on “digital noise reduction,” which I assume works just like a gate, canceling out quiet noises and only letting through louder sounds. The other option is “beam forming” which, according to Samson’s instruction manual works like changing the polar pattern to be more focused. That’s just a guess, just a guess but either way it works well and could be very helpful in places like a busy cafe.
Let’s make something clear. You probably don’t need to improve the audio of your in built microphone for things like Skype. If you generally don’t have trouble with Skype or FaceTime, then there’s no need to buy a microphone to make it better. Not only that, but while it’s nice that the device comes with a carry case, it’s an extra thing to carry around.
Having said that, if you’re an audiophile or someone who has a serious problem with your in built microphone, then the Go Mic Connect is for you. It seriously improves upon your computers audio, and at a comparable price to other USB microphones, coming in at $80 (available at Amazon). Let us know your questions and/or thoughts in the comments below or by starting a new discussion in the PCMech forums.