Rode NT-USB Mini Review: Fantastic Compact USB Microphone

The Rode NT-USB Mini is a compact and easy
to use USB microphone for voiceovers, conference
calls and much more.
The microphone features a USB Type-C connection,
built-in pop filter and plug and play use.
The microphone has a very compact design,
making it far easier to travel with and set
up on the go in comparison to something such
as the Rode Complete Studio Kit, this makes
the microphone easy to move around to record
or for use with, for example, vocals, streaming,
conference calls or recording instruments.
The microphone is constructed from a black
high-quality metal and nylon construction
which makes it durable and feel well-built.
The NT-USB Mini is also integrated into a
tilting mount so the microphone can be angled
towards your mouth, this is particularly useful
as the magnetic attaching base the microphone
comes with is quite small and if placed on
a desk, could be quite far away from your
mouth.
For the best sound quality, the microphone
really needs to be as close to your sound
source as possible.
The microphone can be mounted onto a different
microphone stand or arm, such as the rode
DS1 or PSA1, as it includes a thread mount
adaptor, but alternatively, you could stack
some books together or place the microphone
on a box to save some cash and get it closer
to your mouth.
Despite this, I still do think the compact
stand is quite useful as it does mean that
you can easily put the microphone in a bag,
without it taking up too much space, and set
it up with ease when you want to record.
The front of the microphone is home to the
face of the microphone capsule, which is housed
behind the microphone’s integrated pop filter,
as well as some Rode branding, LED status
lights and headphone volume level knob, which
works in tandem with the 3.5mm headphone output
on the rear side of the microphone – essentially
meaning the microphone can be its own audio
interface.
Also, on the back, you’ll find the USB Type-C
connection which is the sole connection for
connecting the microphone to your device,
making it easy to get up and running.
Rode includes a 2 metre USB Type-C cable in
the box which should provide plenty of length
for most users.
Overall, the design of the microphone is extremely
nice, and it comes in at a very accessible
form factor – even though this may be Rode’s
entry-level USB microphone, they have not
cut corners on the design.
The NT-USB Mini is a condenser microphone,
with a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz,
this provides a wide scope of frequencies
that the microphone can capture, making it
great for not only recording vocals but also
instruments with a 48 kHz sample rate and
24-bit bit depth, this will provide you with
high-quality recordings that are rich with
detail.
The microphone features a cardioid polar pattern,
which means it picks up audio from in-front
of the microphone.
For the form factor and the size, the sound
quality that the NT-USB Mini delivers is fantastic
and can capture clear and detailed voiceovers,
with excellent clarity and sound that you
would expect from Rode.
The quality that Rode has included for the
price is undoubtedly worth it.
As I have stressed earlier during the review,
the placement of the microphone does have
a significant impact on your recording quality
so you will want to ensure the microphone
is appropriately spaced from your sound source,
at roughly 10-15cm, and also facing the sound
source due to the cardioid polar pattern.
The NT-USB Mini also features an integrated
pop-filter which will help reduce the impact
of plosives that may come from words such
as “because” or “people” as the phonetics
of the B and P can send pops of sound towards
your microphone, so having a pop filter built-in
is great to see.
The convenience of the smaller stand and form
factor does have a consequence, unlike the
larger NT-USB, the NT-USB mini cannot be mounted
into a shock mount as the pivoting mechanism
is built into the microphone itself.
This could result in bumps or surface noise
being picked up by the microphone as there
is nothing to dampen the vibrations.
The microphone also features zero-latency
monitoring modes which can be useful for checking
your sound during a recording, this works
in tandem with the headphone output on the
microphone and can be activated by pressing
down on the volume knob to activate.
Rode claims that you should be able to power
a pair of high-impedance headphones with the
microphone’s headphone output but unfortunately,
I do not have a pair of high-impedance headphones
so I have been unable to test this.
If you’re looking for a compact microphone
that can offer fantastic quality sound for
the price, the Rode NT-USB Mini is a fantastic
option.
It is great not only for voiceovers and recording
instruments but the smaller form factor also
makes it more practical for using during online
meetings and video calls.
The microphone includes a one-year warranty
that can be extended to two years by registering
the microphone on Rode’s website.
That’s been it for this video, if you liked
it, please consider subscribing.
I will leave a link to the microphone in the
description if you’re interested in picking
it up for yourself.
Thanks for watching and I will see you in
the next one.

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