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USB vs XLR? True Difference? Please help my decision
Old 15th May 2016
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
USB vs XLR? True Difference? Please help my decision

Hey guys, I have been fighting myself for a month or so now deciding on a microphone to get. I have tried XLR set-ups VS USB and I cannot truly find a difference, I'm sure my ears are just untrained the only differernce I notice is more hiss or less hiss.

I just want a microphone for TeamSpeak, and broadcasting via Twitch. I have tried multiple set-ups, as AT2020 W/ Focusrite Scarlett Solo, Blue Yeti, AT2020USB, Sterling Audio St51 W/ Behringer Q802usb, ( was terrible hiss ). I don't think honestly I can find a HUGE difference in clarity personally. The best set-up I had was the Scarlett w/ at2020 XLR ( mogami gold cable ). But even then compared to the usb version it wasn't that big.

So my question is for what I'm doing, if I were to get say, a Blue Spark, and paid $170 after taxes for it, would I be making a mistake by not spending that $170 on a Interface/Microphone set-up? I almost feel like getting a more expensive $150+ usb microphone is pointless, when you can build a mixer/interface and microphone set-up for that much.. Yes it is more cables which can be annoying.

I'm just trying to make sense of all this. Buying the Blue Spark @ $170 over something like a Steinburg UR12 w/ Sterling Audio ST51 would that be a dumb decision? Will I lose a ton of clarity? Please let me know, It would be much easier to just order a Blue Spark Digital, or Rode NT usb, or a usb microphone in general! PLEASE just give me a straight answer or tell me I'm to new to this to be overthiking it this much LOL!
Old 15th May 2016
  #2
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
The reason why you're not hearing much difference is coz you're using some low end condenser microphones with XLR output & also coz of what you said about your ears being untrained.

to put it simple, XLR is better quality than USB, any day.

but it really doesn't depend on just the kind of connection that the mic. has. it depends on your interface, your wire and your monitors as well.

with that being said, i own a Blue Baby Bottle and i use it with my Scarlett 2i4 for my home studio set up.

If you wanna know the reason why XLR is better than USB microphones, i can explain the theory in another reply.


GD 47 Muzik
Diploma in Audio Engineering
SAE Mumbai, India.
Old 15th May 2016
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
See and that's why I feel like spending under $200 on a XLR set-up is pointless because the quality is going to shine much over a usb microphone in that price point I would assume. I was using a Mogami Gold Cable, with Sennhesier HD600's into a magni/modi set-up for my amp/dac. I assume that would and will pick-up good detail. Anyhow do you think it's pointless investing into a Steinburg UR12 with an MXL 770, or AT2020 over say The Blue Spark Digital, or the blue yeti? I don't have future plans at all to upgrade a microphone, or the interface. So it's going to be a one purchase thing. I feel like the XLR route is only good if I plan to do future upgrades and etc, ( expand )
Old 15th May 2016 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChriffeR ➑️
See and that's why I feel like spending under $200 on a XLR set-up is pointless because the quality is going to shine much over a usb microphone in that price point I would assume. I was using a Mogami Gold Cable, with Sennhesier HD600's into a magni/modi set-up for my amp/dac. I assume that would and will pick-up good detail. Anyhow do you think it's pointless investing into a Steinburg UR12 with an MXL 770, or AT2020 over say The Blue Spark Digital, or the blue yeti? I don't have future plans at all to upgrade a microphone, or the interface. So it's going to be a one purchase thing. I feel like the XLR route is only good if I plan to do future upgrades and etc, ( expand )
not really about the XLR being a good option only if you need to upgrade in future.

the XLR is the right way to go, the USB is just something that is for convenience, it can't match XLR microphones quality.

The whole fundamental is to keep the AUDIO, ANALOG, for as long as possible,

what a XLR mic does is that it just focusses on being a mic and capturing audio.

What a USB mic does is that it tries to be a mic and then tries to be a A-D converter as well and miserably fails at both. lol

But really, any condenser microphone below $200, also isn't a very wise choice to make.

so if you have the budget, then the right thing to do is to go for the XLR microphones, at least a Rode NT-1A, otherwise u can try going for a cheaper but a better solution than USB microphones, is to get a dynamic microphone, for example Shure SM 58. that's what i'd suggest getting over the USB microphones.


Hope This Helps
Cheers!


GD 47 Muzik
Diploma in Audio Engineering
SAE Mumbai, India.
Old 15th May 2016
  #5
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
I don't want to do a dynamic microphone to be completely blunt. I had the ATR-2100 and the Shure SM48 and I absolutely hate having to be SO close to it! I'm thinking about buying the Blue Yeti Pro, and use it as USB for now, then next paycheck or the next one after I'll get an interface, since it's XLR and USB as well. What's your thoughts on that? Microcenter has it for only $179.99 instead of $230+
Old 15th May 2016
  #6
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
i'm not sure that i understand your question... you want to buy an interface and then get an XLR later onwards ? the interface being XLR and USB as well ?? i'm not sure if you understand what an interface is, judging by what you're writing, but i might be wrong and misinterpreting what you're saying.


GD 47 Muzik
Diploma in Audio Engineering
SAE Mumbai, India.
Old 15th May 2016
  #7
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Yes you are mis understanding lol, I know what a interface is. I'm saying the Blue Yeti Pro, the microphone has USB and XLR capabilities. So I am saying that I would use it for a week or two with the USB function, then when I can afford a USB Interface Mostly a Focusrite Solo, I would then use the Blue Yeti Pro, with the XLR port instead of USB, run it into my Focusrite Solo W/ Mogami Gold XLR Cable, :-)

maybe you're unsure of what the Blue Yeti Pro is?

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Microphon...=blue+yeti+pro
Old 15th May 2016
  #8
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
I did know about Blue Yeti, but didn't know that it supported USB as well as XLR.

Anyways, yea, that's the way to go then. (y)
Old 15th May 2016
  #9
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Thank you! The regular yeti is ONLY USB but the pro Is both, also supports 4 different patterns as well, and does 24bit/192 recording!

Thank you!!
Old 16th May 2016
  #10
Lives for gear
 
MarkF48's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Go with an interface with two channels and XLR mic. That way you can use any mic that's XLR, upgrading to a better mic easier, and having an interface with two channels allows use of a second mic or other mono sound source if you should ever want to. The interface would also allow you to use a channel strip between the mic and interface for compression, expander, or EQing if desired.

You'll likely want a shockmount. Look one up for the Yeti Pro and see what it adds to the cost.
Old 16th May 2016
  #11
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Only other options I'd really be able to do is, pick up an steinburg ur12 with an At2020 or Mackie blackjack 2x2 onyx, I'm not sure which interface has better pre amps. I only wanna spend $200.
Old 16th May 2016
  #12
Lives for gear
 
krushing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'd advise getting a mic with XLR connections as well...BUT seeing the applications are TeamSpeak and Twitch streaming...dunno, as you've noticed yourself, at this level there isn't going to be much of a quality difference. The room you're in is going to make a lot more difference than the quality of preamps or even the ****ty built-in pres and A/D in an USB mic.
Old 16th May 2016
  #13
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
That's why I felt USB was fine because it's simple and, the applications i use limit me.
Old 16th May 2016 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChriffeR ➑️
That's why I felt USB was fine because it's simple and, the applications i use limit me.
Quote:
I just want a microphone for TeamSpeak, and broadcasting via Twitch.
I think the USB mics are perfectly adequate for your purposes.

I think a lot of the 'get an interface', 'get a better mic' advice here on Gearslutz is coming from an assumption of music production. To converse with your teammates in a gaming situation is not all that demanding from a 'sound quality' point of view. Nobody will be criticizing your A to D conversion!

A mic that is recommended for singing is not necessarily what you want for communication anyway. The phone company boosts the midrange on purpose. It sounds kind of crappy, but that's where the speech intelligibility lives. The idea is that when your house is on fire and you call 911, the dispatcher wants to hear your address, not the 'rich bass' or the 'crisp overtones' in your voice!

I think a USB mic will be just fine for your purpose, because your purpose is functional, not aesthetic.
Old 17th May 2016
  #15
Here for the gear
 
omnireq's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I agree with Joeq. Also,being able to do 192k recording doesn't matter, since it's worthless to actually use, though 24 bit is useful for production work to push down the noise floor. But, if you're just routing straight to Teamspeak and not doing a bunch of manipulation to the sound it probably won't be useful for you either. For transferring speech, 44.1k is actually more than is strictly necessary, considering that covers a much broader frequency range than needed to capture voice already, so 96k and the insanely silly 192k won't matter whatsoever here
Old 17th May 2016
  #16
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
I really didn't pay much attention to your use.. lol my bad.
Old 17th May 2016
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
If you don't think there's an audible difference and it's being used for broadcasting and gaming, use the USB, save the hassle.

Make sure to check your recordings to see if there's really no difference though.
Old 17th May 2016
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Joeywhat's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
There is absolutely ZERO reason to use an XLR mic and have to deal with all the associated hassles for your uses. Internet broadcast for what you're doing does not require crystal clear sound. Get a good USB mic and call it a day. Literally none of your listeners will know or care what mic you're using, and the good USB options offer very good sound for amateur broadcast purposes (and even some professional applications).
Old 17th May 2016
  #19
Lives for gear
 
DirkP's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
My Lewitt DGT650 feels discrimated against reading this thread...
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