The Rode NT USB Mini is a compact USB microphone designed for players, podcasters, musicians, streamers or voiceovers. Introduced in February 2020, it’s a smaller and extra reasonably priced various to the unique Rode NT USB from 2014, a microphone I personally use for many of my YouTube video voiceovers.

The Rode NT-USB Mini prices round 99 {dollars} or kilos, whereas the bigger NT-USB prices round 169 {dollars} or kilos, though do look out for bargains on the older mannequin. I’ve made a video beneath exhibiting you across the Mini and the way it compares to the unique mic, together with plenty of audio comparisons. For those who’d prefer to learn extra about them although, please hold scrolling.

 
 

Right here’s the unique NT USB on the left and the Mini on the appropriate, and it’s clear to see how way more compact the Mini is. Surprisingly although, the Mini really weighs a number of grams extra at 585g versus 520g, due to its metallic bracket which permits the mic to rotate inside by 360 levels. Each really feel reassuringly strong and substantial in your fingers. Within the first bonus over its older sibling, the Mini has a built-in pop filter whereas the unique is equipped with a big, separate filter that makes it significantly bigger to hold round.

Each mics share lots in frequent. They each make use of condenser capsules with a cardioid polar sample, which implies they’re directional and designed to pickup audio primarily from the entrance, a little bit from the perimeters and largely reject it from the rear. Rode quotes the frequency response of each as 20Hz to 20kHz, though the dynamic vary of the Mini’s conversion is increased at 24 bit versus 16 bit on the unique; for many work although you’re extra more likely to discover the distinction of their capsules.

They’re designed to be used on table-tops with their equipped stands, or mounted on an non-obligatory growth arm or mic stand. The Mini’s stand is extra handy although, connecting magnetically in comparison with a extra typical screw-in tripod for the unique. 

They’re each Class Compliant USB units which implies they’ll work on Macs, Home windows PCs and even tablets as long as there’s a USB port to ship energy and obtain the audio; you’ll be able to’t join them on to an analogue mic enter on a digicam. Whereas the previous NT USB employs a standard USB B port, the brand new Mini opts for extra fashionable USB C, though each are equipped with cables that finish in a USB A plug; the Mini’s equipped cable is far shorter.

Each have 3.5mm headphone jacks with zero latency choices which allow you to immediately monitor audio at once. Each have quantity controls, and you’ll push to click on the Mini’s to change between monitoring the mic immediately or utilizing it as a headphone amp in your laptop. However the unique NT USB sports activities a second dial to regulate the combo with audio from the pc which may be helpful for balancing the volumes when gaming or speaking to somebody; this is among the essential advantages of the unique, however that mentioned, I didn’t discover its absence a giant difficulty on the Mini. 

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So which one must you purchase? By way of audio high quality, I actually just like the sound of each mics for voice work, though personally really feel the unique NT USB has the sting, and should you’re in a largely mounted location I’d say it’s price spending the additional; definitely should you’re an present NT USB proprietor who, once more, largely data from one location, I see no purpose to change. Audio fashion and high quality is after all extremely subjective although, so you could favor the Mini.

However one factor isn’t subjective and that’s the comfort of the Mini on the subject of portability. It could not weigh lower than the unique mannequin, nevertheless it does take up means much less house in your bag, doesn’t want a separate pop filter, and is faster to mount on its equipped stand. For those who document in several areas, the Mini is simpler to move and sooner to setup when you get there. As such I’m planning on utilizing one for my journeys away once I must document respectable audio, say, from a lodge or assembly room. It’s additionally cheaper, though do look out for reductions on the older NT USB.

In the end should you don’t already personal a good USB mic for this type of work, I’d advocate the unique NT USB you probably have a semi-permanent or mounted location, however I’d go for the NT USB Mini should you’re extra probably to make use of it in a number of areas. Each can after all do both very effectively, however that’s my private suggestion now that each fashions can be found.

Test costs on the Rode NT-USB Mini at Amazon, B&H, or Wex. Alternatively get your self a replica of my In Digital camera ebook or deal with me to a espresso! Thanks!

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