When it comes to streaming, voice-overs, and capturing voice for videos, there are various levels of microphones. Anyone on a budget or looking for something to get the job done has the in-built microphone or possibly a headset with some kind of mic. Those looking to improve things further have a USB microphone, which does a good job capturing vocals but isn’t perfect. Finally, there are more professional setups that require an XLR and some kind of audio interface, which is where the Movo VSM-7 falls. With a lot of features at a fairly affordable price, is it a good step towards building your channel or is it a lot for very little?
Much to my surprise, VSM-7 is a contrast to a lot of products we look at and the previously reviewed UM700. Instead of highlighting features or talking about the brand, Movo kept things simple by giving the simplest of details on the front, with something of a mission statement on the back. It instantly suggests, if you’re looking at this product, you know what you’re getting, which is interesting, to say the least. Similar to their other microphone, VSM-7 is held securely in foam with a small cut out to prevent damage to the microphone and keep cables and accessories in place.
Unsurprisingly, the good build quality and attention to detail found on UM700 are also present on VSM-7. Not only is there good weight and a sturdy metal frame, but it also looks like a higher-end product. For example, the shock mount is held in place by little metal hooks that look a lot fancier than the plastic frame and simple hooks found on other products. On the front is an included pop filter that looks a lot nicer than one that goes over the microphone, along with doing a good job of blocking unwanted noise. Important controls, like the high-pass filter switch and db pad switch, which we will talk more about later.
Before we get into the actual qualities of VSM-7, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into. Like nicer quality microphones, it uses a three-prong XLR connection. A 10-foot cable is included, perfect for setting it up in your space. It also does not include a stand and it simply won’t work without either finding one that accommodates it or getting a boom mic arm. Move sells one, ASM-5 if you’re curious, which we did not get to test but at $19.95 it’s probably a safe choice and perfect to pair with VSM-7 if you don’t already have one. This is also a microphone that requires phantom power, so an audio interface is required, with it supporting 24V and 48V. While I won’t get into suggestions for an audio interface, I will say to remember this is an important tool to bring the experience to the left and I would suggest investing in it. Finally, Movo only included three of the usual four polar patterns with this model, resulting in stereo (left/right side recording) being excluded. This shouldn’t impact a purchase, though important to know.
Once set up, VSM-7 proves it’s worth the hassle. Where UM700 had amazing potential, that was often lost due to background noise and distortion, VSM-7 manages to fully capitalize on it. Not only do I get a great capture that sounds very similar to what others say is my natural voice, it handles background noise a lot better. I honestly had no issues getting it to detect what I was saying, how I was saying it, and capture it in a way that was satisfying enough to publish.
Part of what makes it a bit more polished is the high-pass filter to eliminate some of the lower sounds and the db pad switch to potentially handle peak distortion better. Due to it being a simple switch, it’s a lot easier to figure out what settings work and when to switch between them but finer touches need to be handled outside of the microphone.
VSM-7 Review – Verdict
A microphone like VSM-7 honestly won’t appeal to everyone. Some people just want to plug it in and have it work and others love the idea of just connecting it directly to their console to stream. However, anyone looking for a good quality microphone that does a lot in a professional-looking package will likely be happy with it. Not only is it pleasing to look at, but it does also a fantastic job capturing sounds to bring the intended experience, be it a simple podcast or exciting let’s play to life.
[Editor’s Note: Movo VSM-7 was provided to us for review purposes.]