Hello, hello. If you’re reading this it means that you may be somewhat interested in audio, or at the very least, are in the market for a new, affordable pair of headphones. Well, look no further than these Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro ANC Headphones, down to $100 from the original list price of $130. Available in four colors, The Souncore Liberty 2 Pros are the latest in a steady brand compatible with both Apple and Andriod. The headphones themselves have targeted ANC (active noise cancellation) and boasts HearID, a personalized EQ that looks inside your ears and analyzes the shape for a customized listening experience.
The Liberty Air 2 Pros also have up to 26 hours of playtime and seven hours of playback with just one charge, and if you use the charging case (you should!), you’ll get three re-charges. Of course, they come with noise-canceling microphones so you can take Zoom calls in peace, especially if you have too thin walls and too loud neighbors. And honestly, these are great competition to the original AirPods and the AirPods Pro which are about $150 and $250, respectfully.
Originally launched by musical instrument manufacturer Gibson, Neat’s Widget microphone line looked like something Jessica Rabbit would sing into in Toontown. Founded by the co-founder of Blue Microphones Skipper Wise, the company recently released the Bee Line, a collection of desktop and portable microphones in bold yellow and black. The engineer behind Blue Microphones, Martins Sulespurens, is also moving to Turtle Beach in the acquisition.
“We are entering the growing global streaming and microphone market with two significant advantages – the visionary leadership and engineering expertise behind some of the most renowned mics of the past 30-plus years, and Neat‘s impressive 2021 product lineup,” said Juergen Stark, Turtle Beach CEO. “We’re thrilled to welcome Skipper Wise, Martins Saulespurens, and the rest of the Neat Microphones team to the Turtle Beach family.”
The microphones are priced in the $140 range and are aimed at digital broadcasters who are looking for a unique, visually-arresting microphone with USB capabilities. With podcasting seemingly more popular than ever there’s a big demand for an easy to use and good sounding microphone. That these also look interesting feels almost like a bonus.
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The companies did not reveal the terms of the acquisition.
The MikMe Pocket is something you don’t know you need until you try it. Created by a hardware startup in Vienna, Austria, this pocket-sized audio record is the second product in the MikMe line and, arguably, and it makes it easy to record meetings, vocals, and video soundtracks with a box the size of a pack of cigarettes. No fancy audio interfaces, no big microphones that only work with your phone. No juggling of multiple apps. Just a small box the size of a battery pack that lets you immediately mic up and start recording directly to your phone.
The device is a 2.7 inches by 2.8 inches by 0.9 inches metal box with one bold recording button on top and controls for levels on the side. A small wire hook lets you attach it to your pocket or belt as you would a battery pack for a microphone, which makes sense because and it includes a small lav mic with a windscreen on a 47-inch long cable. It attaches via Mini XLR, which means you can switch the mic out in the future for other Mini XLR devices, or replace it if it ever gets damaged.
The MikMe is an audio recorder aimed at journalists, videographers, and influencers. Unlike the other recorders on the market, the product is dead simple: you turn it on and press record. A huge red light tells you when it’s recording and you can easily sync the audio to your phone for editing. The app can connect to three units at a time, allowing you to create multitrack projects on your phone, and it offers 24-bit audio recording at up to 96 kHz. The included app also has a video mode that lets you record audio and video simultaneously, ensuring that you never accidentally start recording with the wrong device and lose the audio for a shoot. Further, the app ensures your audio is synced to your video, a problem that crops up when using the standard video gear popular with photographers.
One amazing feature? You can’t turn off the MikMe when it’s recording, ensuring you won’t accidentally sit on your mic pack and destroy the shot. It also has a low-latency headphone port so you can monitor as you record.
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If none of these features sound particularly interesting then this $450 recorder probably isn’t for you. There are plenty of low-quality, low-cost recorders out there, including the F2 from Zoom. The premise behind this device, however, is that it’s an all-in-one solution that lets you record video on your phone and audio using the lavalier mic included with the MikMe. The result is going to be superior to anything you get out of a lower cost unit while still offering similar quality to the traditional Sennheiser lav mics popular with video professionals (but none of the complexities of figuring out an audio interface solution). Because it’s completely phone-based you don’t have to worry about turning on receivers, pairing transmitters, or swapping out batteries—the MikMe lasts about an hour on one full charge, by the way, and can hold eight hours of audio.
I tested the MikMe over a long weekend of recording and the resulting audio was clear and crisp. In the test above the gain is set at default levels so it sounds a little low, but because the audio is cleaner than normal you can ramp it up slightly without destroying the track.
I also tried the MikMe in the worst possible configuration with the lav mic about three inches from my mouth. There were plenty of popped Ps and breath noise, but the audio was clear and usable.
MikMe also included a demo track that sounds far better and is far peppier. With a bit of editing, you can feasibly get similar sounding audio.
Again, if you’re looking for something that will let you record on-camera interviews or high-end audio, the MikMe is a great choice. While there are a number of similar and cheaper recorders out there, the MikMe’s phone integration is unparalleled. That said, if you’re used to dedicated audio devices that connect directly to your DSLR or video camera, this is definitely not the package for you.
The MikMe ensures that your TikToks, Instagram videos, and YouTube reviews won’t sound awful. It doesn’t do much more than that but, in many cases, that is more than enough. Sometimes $450 to escape all the hassle of managing interfaces is worth it.
A small, simple voice recorder for video creators.
The usability and price hovers on the border between pro and consumer but leans towards professional video performers.
Press a button to record, press it again to stop. Doesn’t get much simpler.