Until very recently, most users looked at USB microphones with suspicion. Considered by many to be simple desktop microphones for Skype calls and little else, all changed with the pandemic and the global population adopting remote work practices and podcasting and web streaming production from home. As teachers have to teach from home, and many other professionals need to offer convincing presentations, USB microphones offer the convenience of connecting directly to a computer or tablet, with no need for microphone preamps and audio interfaces.
Also, the fact that USB technology has evolved significantly over the past 4 years, with the USB-C interface allowing faster data rates but more importantly, more power, USB microphones could also evolve to become better, professional tools.
Mackie has been on that market already for some time, and as a leading brand of professional audio products, it felt the moment was ripe for expanding its EleMent Series with a variety of new additions. The line of professional-quality mics now grows with three new microphones, all with USB-C: The EM-91CU USB Condenser Microphone, Carbon Premium USB Condenser Microphone, and Chromium Premium USB Condenser Microphone.
"The EleMent Series combines the qualities that Mackie is known for: studio-quality sound, affordability, and Built-Like-A-Tank construction,” says Craig Reeves, Product Manager at Mackie. "And now this great microphone series offers even more versatility and choice for musicians, content creators, educators, and beyond."
In addition to the new USB microphones, Mackie is also now offering their affordable MC-100 Professional Closed-Back Headphones, which were previously only available as part of Mackie gear bundles, as an affordable standalone product that can be purchased separately. Lightweight yet sturdy, the MC-100 headphones are a perfect companion for EleMent Series USB Microphones, creating an affordable, professional setup.
The EM-91CU USB Condenser Microphone can be used for content creation, online meetings, voiceover and music. This plug-and-play, rugged microphone is built with a cardioid polar pattern to help reject unwanted sound. It already existed in a standard XLR version and is now available with a USB connection, although it still uses the old USB type B connector. The box includes a cable for studio and home studio recording. The EM-91CU has a sample rate of 16-bit/48kHz and comes with a shock mount.
Already featuring updated USB-C technology, the Carbon Premium USB Condenser Microphone is designed with Mackie's renowned Onyx mic preamp circuitry, which provides crystal clear sound and ultra-low noise. The rugged construction offers five selectable polar patterns, including stereo, cardioid, bi-directional, super cardioid, and omni. The onboard USB interface plugs directly into a computer for fast, easy recording. The Carbon has a sample rate of 16-bit/48kHz and comes with a mic stand and USB-C cable.
The Chromium Premium USB Condenser Microphone is another updated USB-C model, featuring a built-in 2-channel mixer with instrument and stereo 1/8" inputs. This plug-and-play mic offers four polar patterns, including stereo, cardioid, bi-directional, and omni. Equipped with a built-in mixer stand and USB-C cable, it supports a fixed sample rate of 16-bit/48kHz. The Mackie Chromium was engineered as a complete solution for home recording, podcasts, live streams, and online content creation.
The DB-100 Desktop Microphone Boom Arm is designed with a sturdy steel construction to ensure easy and reliable attachment to any desk. The hook and loop straps included keep the cable secured and provide users with a cleaner look. The PF-100 Pop Screen for the EleMent Series Microphones is an essential accessory that eliminates low frequency pops and thumps for the best possible sound, keeping signal levels more consistent.
The new EleMent Series Microphones begin shipping worldwide in October. Sold individually, the US MAP pricing is $49.99 for the EM-91CU, $149.99 for Carbon, and $199.99 for Chromium. The US MAP pricing for the accessories is $79.99 for the DB-100 and $14.99 for the PF-100. US MAP Pricing for the MC-100 is $29.99.
For more information about Mackie EleMent Series professional microphones, please visit Mackie.com/elementusb.
For more information about Mackie MC-100 headphones, please visit Mackie.com/products/new-mc-series.