Microphones don't normally get the glamour. When it comes to making music it's all about the things that, well, make the music: the guitars, the drums, the keyboards, the saxophone, the piano, the violin, the voice, the triangle even. All the while the humble but hard working microphone is left in the background soldiering away, often being abused and seldom praised. Not so today, though. Today the microphone gets to sit centre stage and take all the plaudits thanks to one of the cutest products we've ever reviewed, the Samson Meteor Mic.
This USB microphone is a portable recording artists dream. With dimensions of 80 x 49 x 49mm it genuinely fits in a pocket, it's totally plug and play and it produces sublime recordings. But moreover, just look at it!
Built from thick plates of chromed steel and styled like a classic Shure 55SH side address mic, it just oozes retro class and feels incredibly solid too, yet it only weighs 263g. It's the clever leg design that really brings a smile to the face, though - it's just such an elegant piece of engineering. The three legs fold up to sit flush with the sides of the mic to create a teeny tiny form that can then slip easily into a jacket pocket or bag. You can also use the legs to hold the mic at a different angle, dropping a couple of legs lower to angle the top more towards or further away from you.
A small velvetine bag is provided in the box for keep the whole thing from getting scratched and protect it from light knocks. For more regular use on the on the move, you may want to invest in a more sturdy bag or case, though.
The mechanisms of the legs feel as sturdy as you'd expect from a piece of professional equipment, and once deployed they keep the mic firmly planted. A little semicircle of black rubber is stuck to the end of each leg to stop the mic slipping or rattling against any hard surfaces, and it reduces vibration transfer as well. It isn't enough to totally isolate the mic but assuming you're not clumsy enough to knock the table you're working on - and assuming you're in a relatively quiet environment to start with - you should get noise free recordings. If you do decide a mic stand would be a better bet then there's a standard 5/8" mic stand thread on the bottom.
Sadly the little rubber feet are the only area where this mic's build falls down. They're just stuck on with glue, and not recessed or gripped in any other way, so can peel off if harshly knocked. It's a simple enough task to glue them back on, though.
The suggestion of high build quality continues when you peer between the gaps in the thick steel grilles. Behind here is a double layer of fine wire mesh that is plenty sturdy enough to keep protected the delicate parts inside.
Those parts consist of a 25mm diaphragm condenser capsule with cardoid pickup pattern (i.e. front facing) and flat frequency response along with a "CD quality" 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz ADC and USB interface. This combination provides a high quality recording experience, with a ridiculously easy setup - just plug into a computer via the miniUSB socket (a miniUSB to USB cable is provided) and it will be automatically recognised as an audio input, whether you're running Linux, MacOS or Windows.