Considering the popularity of online gaming and video streaming, it’s no surprise that the market is overflowing with all sorts of related equipment. Most of those who engage in such activities will often look to invest in a microphone that will provide the best quality at a reasonable price. In most cases, famous YouTubers and streamers started their careers with entry-level condenser USB microphones before moving on to expensive home studio stuff. But it doesn’t have to be like that as many companies are looking to provide you with an audio solution that will last a lifetime. Samson Technologies and their G-Track Pro USB microphone is one such solution.
The microphone itself serves as a direct competitor to the best Blue Yeti, Rode and Sennheiser have to offer. It didn’t take us long to find out that it surpasses them all and is, at its price point, one of the best pieces of audio equipment we’ve ever had. Let’s break down why.
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While the visual design of the Samson G-Track Pro falls in line with most other USB condenser microphones, its build quality is where it truly shines. The G-Track Pro is simply put, built like a tank. The build quality is noticeable right out of the box, and its considerable weight gives further evidence that its a serious piece of equipment. This can mostly be attributed to the fact that both the base and the microphone itself are built from the extremely impact resistant die-cast zinc.
Suffice it to say that in our time using it, the microphone suffered absolutely no damage. There weren’t any scratches, and while we didn’t drop it, it definitely feels like it would break through the wall if it was thrown across the room. There’s one area however that doesn’t quite leave the same impression – the knobs. The problem is that they are not fixed firmly in place and instead wobble when you turn them. This can make them less precise but more so makes them feel loose and not as high quality as the rest of the mic.
While its bulk and weight might not make it an ideal choice for travel, it’s still perfectly sized to fit anywhere on even a smaller sized table from where it won’t move thanks to the foam covered bottom. Otherwise, you can easily unscrew it from the stand and use the nifty adapter included in the box to place it on a stand or a boom arm of your choice.
Going from the top, you have the metal microphone grille with a clearly visible layer of foam covering the dual capsules inside. The front of the microphone features switches and knobs that are used to control its various functions while the back has a monitor switch along with the 3,5mm headphone jack as well as the quarter-inch instrument input. The latter input is actually rarely seen on USB microphones and is a great addition if you want to record some music from bass, guitar, keyboard or other line-level devices. While you might find the option redundant if you are using the microphone only for voice recording, it’s still a nice option to have, especially considering that its inclusion didn’t significantly bump up the price of the microphone.
Continuing with the controls present on the front, the switch on the right side allows you to change the recording pattern to figure 8, cardioid or omnidirectional. The left switch determines whether your voice and a connected instrument are outputted on a single track or two separate ones for easier editing. Down the middle, you have a small status LED and a mute button under which are knobs to control microphone gain, instrument input, and headphone volume. The fact that most controls are present on the microphone itself makes it extremely practical to use with no special software required for simple day-to-day usage.
When it comes to performance The G-Track Pro jumps ahead of some of its direct competitors by being able to record up to 96kHz and 24bits in a 20 to 50hz frequency range. Right off the bat, this fact alone generally means the microphone will record extremely high-quality sound that’s a cut above most what most USB microphones on the market have to offer. Sure, the level of sound quality can vary a bit depending on a number of factors, but you can be sure that it won’t be anything other than great no matter the recording mode.
The sheer versatility of the microphone and the number of options you have on the G-Track Pro will require some playing around with. The sound quality will depend on the purpose of your usage, recording pattern and whether you use any kind of software to further mix or edit your recordings. The three recording patterns understandably produce different results with cardioid being the best for a single speaker, figure 8 being good for something like a two-person interview and omnidirectional for a multiple-people podcast.
Most of our testing was done in the cardioid mode during streaming and just general multiplayer gaming. This recording pattern captures the sound coming only from the front of the capsule. It’s in fact so good at rejecting and reducing sounds coming from the back that you could be blasting a game on a set of speakers positioned behind the mic with the sounds barely registering during recordings.
|Polar patern||Cardioid (unidirectional), bidirectional, omnidirectional|
|Capsule||Dual back electret condenser|
|Diaphragm Width/Thickness:||25mm/3 microns|
|Sensitivity||+6dB FS/PA (all polar patterns)|
|Max. SPL:||120dB SPL|
|Bit Depth:||16 or 24-bit|
|Sample Rate:||Up to 96kHz|
|Headphone Output:||1/8″ (3.5mm)|
|Controls||Mute, Mic/Instrument/Headphone Volume, Monitor On/Off, Mono/2 Track|
|Product Dimensions||4.5″ (116mm) x 10.5″ (268.5mm) diameter|
|Product Weight||3.52lb (1.6kg)|
In fact, the Samson G-Track Pro does sound cancellation very well on all recording patterns and brings consistently high sound quality as long as you use each one for their intended purpose and position yourself accordingly. Figure 8 will cancel out sounds coming from the sides, while omnidirectional suffers from a bit narrower, 360-degree recording area, requiring close proximity for optimal results.
With that said, the cardioid mode is definitely the best for consistent, clean and crisp vocals no matter the gain level which should be adjusted depending on your distance from the mic. We achieved optimal results with no sound issues at a 70% gain level and around 20 to 40cm distance from the microphone. While the microphone doesn’t utilize any form od digital signal processing, this didn’t prove to be an issue during intense gaming sessions. Potential spikes and distortions are usually well handled by gain adjustments and good microphone positioning with the front side LED flashing red to warn you whenever your input level is too high.
Headphone monitoring provides a lag-free experience, making it ideal if you are heavy into podcasting or singing. Pops and plosives can occur when in close proximity to the mic but can easily be solved by offsetting the mic or purchasing a pop filter to place over the capsule.
Thanks to the USB connection and all the relevant controls being present on the mic itself, you can just as easily connect it to other devices like the PlayStation 4 and use it with no issues. Of course, having good software to mix your recordings can mean the world in terms of quality, but the G-Track Pro is great across the board even without the usage of one.
All in all, Samson G-Track Pro is an absolute beast of a microphone and probably the best one we’ve used thus far. Its amazing build and sound quality along with the versatility make it unmatched at the same price point. While it might seem like overkill if you plan on using it only during gaming, it’s an ideal choice if you want to take your audio recording setup to the absolute peak of what USB microphones have to offer.