Two of the most popular new year's resolutions – right after getting fit – are starting a podcast and start streaming on Twitch. And while many people think you need expensive gear to achieve studio sound quality, the Rode NT-USB Mini proves that's not the case, hence why this inexpensive mic is an awesome Christmas gift idea!
People get all excited to do something different each year when the calendar resets in January. No more me sitting on the sofa watching Netflix all the time; next year, I'll be skydiving every day! And while the thought is admirable, realistically, you're more likely to do less sitting on the sofa and a little more... well, something else.
An excellent place to start is doing something new at home, utilising the knowledge you already have on certain things. Do you know a lot about movies and TV series and are happy to share your opinion with others? Start a podcast! Like playing video games and talking about it at the same time? Start a stream!
As much as we all love looking at the expensive streaming setup of accomplished content creators, the truth is, they all started small and worked their way up as their audience got bigger.
This doesn't mean you need to settle for the absolute worst equipment, of course. When it comes to sound quality, getting the right equipment can not only save you money but also help you produce decent, almost studio-quality sound.
The NT-USB Mini (opens in new tab) brings the stunning sound quality of Rode's studio mics to a compact, easy-to-use USB microphone. Tiny it might be, the NT-USB Mini still offers professional-level audio quality that can be fed right into your laptop or even tablet.
You might think that Rode must have cut some corners to make the NT-USB Mini affordable and small, but ask yourself the question: does it really matter if the sound is 'just' excellent and not out-of-this-world? The truth is, the average person can't tell the difference between listening to a stream using the NT-USB Mini or a microphone twice or three times the price.
That said, it's not like the Rode NT-USB Mini has a terrible sound. On the contrary, it has a high-quality condenser capsule that delivers clear sound in all recording applications, including music recording.
It has a cardioid pick up pattern, meaning it records sound in front of the microphone and ignores ambient noises coming from the sides and behind. Perfect for podcasting!
Better still, the NT-USB Mini has a built-in pop filter for reducing plosives such as the 'b' and 'p' sounds you make that often sounds unpleasant when listening to audio recordings. The Rode NT-USB Mini is compatible with Rode Connect, a capable yet straightforward podcasting and streaming software, which also happens to be free!
From a physical standpoint, the NT-USB Mini has steel and reinforced nylon construction, a stylish matte black finish and an integrated 360-degree swing mount for quick and easy positioning on a desktop, mic stand, or studio arm. There is also a detachable magnetic desk stand that provides isolation from knocks and bumps (can also be removed if needed).
You don't have to be a sound engineer to make the mic work either: the USB output works with computers or tablets, no drivers or software needed; just plug in and hit record!