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on 24 May 2014
I bought this for two purposes. One is to record presentations given to people in a room / given over a conference phone and to capture the sound in high quality and clearly. It does this perfectly, it is very sensitive and captures a very natural sound. Being a boundary mike it lessens the effect of room echo and picks up clearly over a range of 3-5 metres away from the speaker. The next best thing to a speaker wearing a radio mike. The second purpose is for me to record one to one consultations, so I can give the person a recording of the session. Again it performs brilliantly.

So some criticism of it. Firstly it only shows as a USB audio codec, so you need to select that for recording. By default the level is very low, and you need to open the recording controls to increase the recording level from it. Default is about 1/10th, but I find that 1/4 level is much better, for speech, some clipping (over level) will not affect the end result at all.

Like any microphone it has a proximity effect for bass ranges, and speaking close to it, it picks up a full range very clearly and with high fidelity. However it has no windscreen, and I have a tendency to 'pop' microphones, so any close vocal miking (which in all honesty is not what this is designed for) does require a pop filter.

Another issue is that the capsule isolation could be better. On a surface it will pick up sounds through that surface, but it is easily solved with a small piece of foam rubber. I use a piece the same size as the base and only 3 mm thick, and it works very well with the unit sat on it.

All in all I have given 5 stars as it does exactly what it says it does. I own and use a lot of microphones (mostly studio types) and this ranks very highly, and the drawbacks I mentioned are easily addressed.
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on 5 August 2017
I bought this to record backup audio for interviews. Straight out of the pack it just wouldn't work properly. Either the cable supplied or the connection on the back of the mic is faulty, causing it to stop recording. As a result, my laptop defaulted to internal mic - which was terrible. Definitely NOT suitable for purpose.
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on 10 January 2017
It's overpriced but it works. It didn't solve all of out remote conferencing issues - although laptops without corporate scumware, McAfee which is worse, and a network not thrown together by a moron might have done that for us - but when used with a PC that the outsourced IT support people hadn't permanently ruined it worked very well over every non-work-controlled network we tried.
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on 2 March 2014
If you are a regular user of conference calls, Skype, Webex etc. via your laptop or PC you will know the frustration when some participants are too far from the built-in mike and therefore inaudible. Also, many laptops have poor recording quality and the mike can be in strange places, such as in the keyboard (like on my Toshiba). In that case all that the participants can hear is the hammering of keys, or else your wrist is resting over the mike hole and no-one can hear you.

This portable USB mike solves these problems. Sensitive to the whole room, it can be placed in the centre of the table, away from keyboards, to pick up all participants clearly. Surprisingly good sound quality, even from people further away.

The device also serves as a logical speaker device, but beware - you have to plug in a separate speaker using a 3mm jack plug. Otherwise your application selects the external speaker automatically, but nothing can be heard! (Alternatively you can select internal speakers in the relevant application, but you need to know to do this.)

The MXL AC404 is quite heavy, so not a pocket device, but it's excellent performance is well worth it.
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on 1 February 2013
I needed a microphone for recording meetings and presentations where a roving microphone is not practicable. Using Audacity on a Windows 7 laptop I have been able to record meetings in a school hall, including presenters and questioners without any PA and produce a perfectly audible mp3 file.
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on 12 February 2014
The microphone is very good at picking up whispers and minute sounds at large distances. Ideal for meeting rooms or for capturing audience answers (small-medium crowd).

The voice sounds more tinny than with high grade personal microphones.
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on 10 July 2012
We purchased this after reading previous reviews on this site and are very happy we did. We use it for video conferencing in our conference room and those on the other end are able to hear everyone in the room (5m x 10m say). When we tested it ourselves we were actually quite surprised with how clear the sound was.

The mic is a solid piece of kit and comes with a 2m USB cable. We have plugged the supplied cable into a USB repeater cable as we are approximately 8m (5m repeater cable and 3m basic extension) under the floor to the computer. To date we have had no problems with the setup. We have used the mic with both Skype and Microsoft Lync.

Not the cheapest unit out there and not the most expensive, but we feel it is value for money at £78.
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on 27 February 2013
I had been looking around for a decent microphone for our work conference room. Having tried several types that use the sound card jack plug, including boundary mics, I had been sorely disappointed. None were as good as the mic in the webcam, however, I wanted to move the webcam away from the meeting table so needed a replacement mic. This one fitted the bill and is very sensitive and great for our conference room 6m x 4m. No brains set up and robust I woudl have given it 5 stars if it had a mute or off button on the device.
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on 5 February 2015
Bought this to improve sound quality on conference calls on Skype, where it could be difficult to hear everybody around a table. With a Mac, it works straight out of the box (no software installation required). My initial impressions are extremely good, exceeding my expectations: good range, high clarity, no interference and feedback. It also works well for one-to-one conversations.
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on 3 May 2012
I bought this to use with a piece of voice control software on my PC (VoxCommando)
Using this microphone I'm able to shout across the room to control my media PC.
It's very sensitive, sometimes a little too much as it picks up the words being said by the film on the TV so clearly that the film can start controlling itself at times :)
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