Samson Q2U XLR/USB Dynamic Microphone Review

  1. About the Samson Q2U...
  2. Microphone Design and Impressions
  3. Audio Recording, User Experience and Conclusion
  4. Online Purchase Links

Disclosure: The Samson Q2U microphone is purchased via Amazon.

Why review microphones??

The importance and use of microphones have picked up in recent times due to Lets Play and walkthrough videos, live streams, interviews and all sorts of voice-overs. Naturally, many people will get into this genre of work and many would like to know what to get for the price they pay. I was such a person and started researching. Typically, I would go and look towards mid-range but it’s hard to determine what is true mid-range performance without testing any microphones and comparing the difference. I decided to buy the Samson Q2U locally but it was sold here as a standalone mic and podcasting pack. After delays, I had to cancel the order and get a used an opened pack unit from Amazon US as the new ones would take two months to arrive. Yay…

Who is Samson??

Not to be mistaken for Samsung, Samson has been making microphones, headphones, mixers and other types of audio hardware for a long time. The Samson Q2U is not new but what caught my eye is the number of add-ons and accessories they give with this microphone. The recording pack costs $59 in the US and one would assume this microphone may not be as good as it should be. The reviews seemed were favourable and it seems to be a good microphone to start using and reviewing.

Why purchase a Samson Q2U??

The Samson Q2U is a microphone with a USB and an XLR interface, giving you the flexibility to either connect to a computer or via a USB mixer/ audio interface. With volume buttons and an audio jack for latency-free monitoring, the microphone is a very feature-rich package. This microphone comes from a time when many USB microphones were not preferred over the XLR interface for various reasons. Yet there are many other USB microphones such as the more expensive Blue Yeti and the Rode Podcaster. But they are both double the cost of the Samson Q2U. There is the Yeti Blue Snowball which is a USB-only Microphone. Samson has other USB microphones around the same price segment such as the C01U Pro. Audio-Technica has a USB/XLR microphone called the ATR2100 which looks very close to Samson Q2U offering. The only physical difference I can see is the volume wheel at the ATR2100’s base.

Packaging and Contents

The packaging does not look all solid at all. By the time I’ve received this, the packaging shows the wear and tear. Then again, this is a used item.

  • USB/XLR handheld dynamic microphone
  • Ideal for podcasting, live sound and music recording applications
  • USB output for connecting to any Mac or PC device
  • XLR output for connecting to any mixer/PA system
  • On/Off switch controls both USB and XLR audio output
  • 1/8″ stereo headphone output with level control for zero-latency monitoring
  • Dual-color Power/Clip LED
  • Plug-and-play, no driver installation required
  • Compatible with most computer-based digital audio workstation software
  • USB bus-powered via Mac, PC or iPad
  • Solid, die-cast construction with a heavy gauge mesh grille
  • Includes mic clip, tripod stand, tripod stand extension, USB cable (2.25m) and XLR cable (3m)
  • Sound Deck Noise Cancellation Software (Mac OS X/Windows) available for purchase

There is a recording utility though most would simply prefer Audacity. Samson does provide a utility for additional noise cancellation which would be more useful to bundle with over the recording utility.

  • Element Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid (unidirectional)
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz–15kHz
  • Sensitivity: -54dBV/Pa
  • Max. SPL: 148dB SPL
  • Bit Depth: Up to 16-bit
  • Sample Rate: 44.1kHz/48kHz
  • Digital Output: Mini USB
  • Analog Output: XLR
  • Headphone Output: 1/8″ (3.5mm)
  • Microphone Switch: On/Off (USB and XLR audio output)
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5″ (190mm) x 2.2″ (55mm) diameter
  • Product Weight: 0.7lb (0.32kg)

The microphone is very light which is remarkable due to the construction quality and the versatility of the feature set. It is as they say- heavy does not necessarily mean better.

Polar Pattern and Frequency Response

The Samson Q2U’s polar pattern is a unidirectional microphone. The speciality of the unidirectional microphone is that it picks up the sound from the top section of the grille while ignoring the sound to be recorded from all corners and from the rear as much as possible. These type of microphones are ideal for people who don’t have the best acoustics set up for audio recording whether it is on their computer or on the go. This should be perfect for podcasters and streamers who work from home or on the go.

  1. Thanks for the review! Question please. For the Samson mic USB cable going into a laptop/computer, does it matter whether the computer port is USB 3.0 or USB 2.0? For your own computer, are you plugging into a USB 3.0 or 2.0 port? This is a big issue for me because my current USB mic, the $170 Blue Yeti X, only works on USB 2.0, not 3.0, and all documentation on the Yeti X mic confirms this. One of my older Windows laptops has USB 2.0, so my Yeti X mic works with that laptop. But I have 2 newer laptops with only USB 3.0 ports, and the Yeti X mic doesn’t work on those newer laptops on USB 3.0. Yes, I know that USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with 2.0, etc, but in practice this simply doesn’t work my Yeti X mic on USB 3.0. Hence I want to confirm if the Samson Q2U mic can work connected to either USB 3.0 or 2.0 ports. Also, will the Samson mic work connected to a USB-C port (using an adapter tip)? Thank you much! -Casey

    1. Hi!

      I am still using the Samson Q2U. In fact, I bought two of them after giving this to a streamer. All three units are working fine. I am using mine on the USB 3.0 port with the Amazon USB 3.0 3 metre extension cable.

      The Blue Yeti X should have worked just fine on Tue USB 3.0. The only reason I can think of it not working is “maybe” the laptop’s USB 3.0 port runs through a controller which has peculiar hiccups? Pure speculation, of course. Alas, I don’t think there’s a fix for that.

      The newer Q2U comes in two colours- Silver grill/ gunmetal body and then the all-black ones.

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