Sennheiser needs little introduction, but there’s a chance you’ll know the company best from its headphones and soundbars. In the world of pro audio, meanwhile, it’s perhaps most famous for its microphones, some of which have achieved legendary status (I’ll also personally recommend the MK4 for podcasting to anyone who asks). Enter the company’s newest offering, the $130 Profile USB microphone, which aims to bring some of that pro audio magic to the worlds of podcasting or streaming.
The company doesn’t make many USB microphones, so it’s fair to say that the Profile is Sennheiser’s go-to for the creator market. The space now dominated by the Blue Yeti or the Rode NT-USB, among others. Not only is it similarly priced, but it offers the same key features, like gain control, direct monitoring, and a mute button (something not all USB mics have, but probably should).
One little touch that makes the Profile stand out is its built-in “tilt” mechanism. While the Yeti and NT-USB, for example, can be tilted via their brackets, the Profile can be set to your preferred angle without an additional bracket. Underneath is a standard 5/8” thread for attaching to boom arms and brackets. You can also buy the Profile in a $199 package that comes with a dedicated boom, which has its own original design that’s a little less imposing than rivals like Rode’s PSA1+.
Fortunately, Sennheiser has bucked the general trend of making podcasting/streaming microphones larger than necessary. The Yeti ($100) is massive (even the Nano is on the chunky side), the NT-USB ($170) isn’t much smaller, and other popular options like the HyperX Quadcast ($140) and even Elgato’s Wave 3 ($150 ) feel big in comparison. At $130, the Profile is also on the more affordable end among its rivals.
Of course, the number of features doesn’t matter if it doesn’t sound right. Of the three microphones mentioned here, which are far from exhaustive but do cover two popular alternatives, the Profile is the closest to the Blue Yeti, which isn’t a bad thing given its sustained popularity. There’s a fairly steep shelf below 100 Hz with some light enhancement around the 5 and 12 kHz areas, the latter of which is common for adding some of that elusive vocal “sizzle.”
Overall, the sound profile is very much in line with what most streamers and podcasters will be looking for: fairly neutral with a slight boost in frequencies that give most vocals extra clarity. Combined with the competitive pricing and full suite of gain/mix/mute settings, Profile makes a very compelling case for itself.
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