In the world of desktop audio for podcasting, streaming, and otherwise recording purposes, Blue has long held the crown without fail by way of its Yeti line. There just hasn’t been a mic that offered that solid of entry-level option for audio needs. Fellow consumer-grade A/V developer Movo might have what it takes to sneak into the throne, though. Recently, it launched the UM700 USB Desktop Studio Mic, and while a bit basic, it features all of the things I previously liked about the Blue Yeti at an even more affordable price.
UM700’s style and service
The UM700 USB microphone is a rather tidy package. It isn’t much more than its stand, the mini-USB cable, and the 2.3 pound microphone itself, but for this simple setup, you get a pretty decent plug-and-play audio system. The UM700 features 48kHz audio capture, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack, mute button, volume dial, gain dial, and pattern dial with four polar settings (Stereo, Cardioid, Omnidirectional, and Bi-Directional). It also features a pretty much full metal build, tri-capsule array, and two side-mount screws which can be used to compact it down into a more travel-friendly form.
In this way, I feel the UM700 offers just about everything I liked about the original Blue Yeti package. It’s a little bulky on my desk, but also no more than the Yeti was. It doesn’t have the glitz, glam, RGB features, and showy swagger of other “gamer”-styled mics. It’s just clean and sleek in its matte black finish.
For its part, the mic did a fairly serviceable job of offering fairly clean and clear audio once I had adjusted the gain settings to my liking. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer much in the way of customizable features. This is a pretty much true and standard plug-and-play device. There is no software available with the UM700 with which to customize your user experience. I also feel as though the volume settings are set a bit on the low end for headphones. I had to adjust the volume knob to about 75% just to get the normal sound I’d get out of having my headphones plugged into my PC directly. Outside of this, it mostly does what it’s supposed to do, but little more, which is kind of the point here.
There’s good reason to put Movo’s UM700 up against the Blue Yeti that goes beyond functionality. They’re basically 1-to-1 on what kind of features, mechanical options, and overall quality they offer. Where the UM700 has the Blue Yeti beat is on price. Where the Yeti currently retails at $130, the UM700 undercuts it at a crisp $100, and has just about the same level of feel to show for it. I feel as though the knobs might have been a bit tighter on my previous Yeti at opening, but outside of that, the UM700 is a very proper budget competitor to one of the most well-known entry-level mics in the game.
Entry level device at a competitive price
So there you have it. I don’t think the UM700 is particularly special or outlandish in its design or performance. However, it does do exactly what it means to do. It offers a serviceable audio capture that is easy to setup and play with right out of the box. The lack of software for any kind of customization is a slight shame in a time where that feels like an industry standard in accessories. Customization software might have helped with my pitch shift issue. However, at $100, the UM700 does everything its most prevalent competitor does and still manages to come in at a more wallet-friendly price. If you’re looking to get into podcasting, livestreaming, or other beginner’s effort requiring audio capture, the UM700 is a pretty sturdy, reliable, and low-risk investment.
This review is based on a sample product provided by the manufacturer. The UM700 USB Desktop Studio Microphone is available for $99.95 direct from Movo’s website and through partnered retailers.
Movo UM700 desktop Studio Microphone
- Sturdy metal build
- Solid array of mechanical features & function
- $100 low-risk price tag
- Good & reliable entry-level audio capture
- No software
- No customization beyond basic function
TJ Denzer posted a new article, Movo UM700 USB Desktop Studio Microphone review: Adequate & affordable audio