Samson G-Track Pro review
If you’re prepared to invest in your audio kit, then the Samson G-Track Pro USB microphone offers astounding quality whilst also being remarkably easy to use. Whether you’re a newbie streamer, a seasoned YouTuber or even a part-time musician, there’s plenty to play around with when it comes to this microphone.
Design & Build
This is not a small mic, measuring at 116mm x 268.5mm. If you’ve got a video setup then you’re likely to see it in the shot, so that has to be an aesthetic you’re comfortable with. It’s also relatively heavy at 1.6kg, so not the easiest if you’re looking for something you can transport out and about in comparison to lighter microphones.
The front of the mic comes with multiple settings to play around with. You get a choice of three polar patterns – Omnidirectional (picks up sound from all directions), Cardioid (picks up sound from directly in front) and bidirectional (picks up sound from the front and back in a figure-8 motion).
There are three adjustable dials on the G-Track Pro, one for the microphone sensitivity, one for the headphone volume and another for an instrument if you’re looking to record music. You also get a mute button, which is useful if you’re recording audio that’s broadcasting live and you want manual controls.
There’s a little LED light on the front, which is green when the mic is recording, and orange when it’s on mute. You can also switch directly between recording in mono or 2-track, something particularly useful for musicians.
The microphone has a classic and professional look with a matte black metal finish, and in the US you can get it in metallic silver. It isn’t jazzy by any means, but it should fit in with any other home or work setup rather easily. It comes on a circular desktop base with hinges so you can tilt the mic towards the direction you want.
You can take the microphone off of the base and mount it onto an arm should you wish, though it only fits with select products. Check Samson’s website for more details.
Connection wise, you get a 3.5mm headphone jack to connect your headphones, and a cable which has a USB-A end to connect to your PC or laptop. You also get a 1/4inch mono instrument input, which you can use for electric and bass guitars, or line signals for keyboards, drum machines and mixers.
Sound & Performance
Physically setting this microphone up is pretty straightforward – quite literally plug it in and off you go. There’s no dedicated software for this microphone, just go into your audio settings and make sure it’s registered for both your microphone input and for headphones. Then use whichever your preferred recording software is to work the mic – like Audacity. You can create two mono tracks if you’ve plugged in an instrument.
Something to keep in mind when setting up the mic is to check your frequency levels (which you can change on the device advanced settings). You’ll need the output to be set at 48000 Hz – as otherwise the audio appears deeper than usual.
I used the G-Track Pro for recording podcasts like Tech Advisor’s Fast Charge, streaming on Twitch and taking video calls. I found the microphone picked up noise extremely well, even only turned up halfway. I used it on the Cardioid setting primarily, and it did a great job at blocking out most outside noise providing it was positioned close to my mouth.
When used within a quiet room, the audio was crystal clear, rich across bass, mids and highs and all in all could easily pass for close to studio quality to the untrained ear. There was hardly any popping sounds if held a reasonable distance away. When its positioned closer they do occur, so getting an additional pop-filter could be worth your while if this is a concern.
If you switch to omnidirectional, it would pick up outside noises such as planes, and even conversations from other areas of the house. In an ideal world, this microphone would be best suited to a small studio where noise can be blocked out, but if you’re looking to use this for multiple people it will certainly do the job – just be aware that it’s quite sensitive to its surroundings.
Naturally as this is a USB mic, audio processing will not be to the same standard as professional-grade microphones, but this isn’t something that will be immediately noticeable to the everyday consumer, only to sound engineers and audio whizzes.
Value for money
Pricing for the Samson G-Track Pro varies massively between countries. In the UK, it currently starts from a hefty £175 at the time of writing, and you can currently buy it from Bax Music and Currys. Meanwhile in the US, you can get it for much cheaper, starting from $129.99 from the likes of Best Buy.
If we go off the UK cost, this isn’t exactly a budget microphone, but for the quality and breadth of features that it’s capable of, that’s a completely fair price for what you get. If you’re in the States, this is an absolute steal.
The real selling point of this microphone is that it combines the practicality of being a desk mic that’s perfect for podcasters, but it also has an instrument input. Lots of musicians would typically have to buy a separate audio interface for recording with a USB mic, but the Samson G-Track Pro brings everything together in one neat little package.
If you’re a beginner in the world of streaming, podcasting or filming videos, then dropping a lot of money on this may be a bit too much of a stretch. You could opt for something a little cheaper like the Blue Yeti Nano if you’re just looking for something for casual use.
If however you’re serious about your audio, and want something that is versatile, professional and will fit within your home recording studio, then it’s worth spending that extra buck or two on the Samson G-Track Pro.
Whilst there are cheaper options available, you just cannot fault the audio quality that you get with the Samson G-Track Pro. It produces professional sound-quality recordings, and yet it’s accessible enough for anyone to use.
If you’re looking to level up your home recording studio – whether than be for streaming, podcasting or recording your next album – then you can’t really go wrong with this microphone.
Samson G-Track Pro: Specs
- Polar Patterns: Cardioid (unidirectional), bidirectional, omnidirectional
- Sample Rate: Up to 96kHz
- Bit Depth: 16 or 24-bit
- Capsule: Dual back electret condenser
- Frequency Response: 50Hz–20kHz
- Dimensions: 116mm x 268.5mm diameter
- Weight: 1.6kg
- Controls: Mute, Mic/Instrument/Headphone Volume, Monitor On/Off, Mono/2 Track
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