Here at Everything Microstock, we do a lot of audio work: recording screencasts, podcasting, voiceover work, commercials, audio for video, etc. One of the biggest time savers is recording audio directly into your audio application or digital audio workstation (DAW) via a convenient USB link.
While there are a ton of “USB Microphones” out there that plug into your Mac or PC, for high end work, we also use the Shure X2u XLR-to-USB Signal Adapter.
The Sure X2u is a USB powered adapter that allows any XLR microphone to connect through the USB port on your computer, virtually turning any mic into a USB mic. What’s great about this approach is that it allows you to utilize those warm large diaphragm, directional shotguns, or or other special purpose mics you’ve already invested in.
Features of the Shure X2u
The X2u offers a straight forward plug and play setup for modern PC or Mac computers and comes with the USB cable (and a padded case to keep everything in). Beyond the obvious, the X2u also offers these great features:
- XLR Connection With Phantom Power – Hook the X2u up to virtually any XLR Mic. It optionally supplies the +48V phantom power to power up the mic and has a control for mic gain.
- Onboard Headphone Monitoring of Mic or Playback – The X2u has a 1/8″ headphone jack with volume control built directly into the unit to provide zero latency monitoring. This monitor function allows you to monitor either the mic itself, or the audio playback mix coming back from your PC, or mix the two. This is similar to the monitoring function on top USB mics like Blue Microphone’s Yeti Pro.
- Onboard Tri-Color Peak Indicator – An onboard indicator will tell you if you are operating in safe, hot, or peaked audio levels – a really handy feature to have at a quick glance.
Please see the technical specs section at Amazon.com.
Here’s an example of a recording done with the Shure X2u XLR to USB Signal Adapter:
This is a reliable and great quality product from Shure, a top name in sound equipment. If you already own one or more great microphones, consider teaming them up with the Sure X2u to turn your great XLR mics into great USB mics!
Have a great XLR or USB mic to recommend? Share a comment below with which mic you like and how you use it.