The BM-800 gets tested by popular demand
On this review, we are taking a look at the two bundled gears sent to us by Banggood. One of them is the widely popular BM-800 Studio Condenser Microphone, while the other one is a complementary Suspension Stand to complete the bundle.
Together, the items are valued at under $35, which is around 1700 Pesos when converted. The BM-800 has been a very popular choice for online content creators; basically dirt-cheap, with a fantastic performance according to numerous online reviews. The lack of value oriented yet capable headset and mic combo is also a huge factor into the success of the microphone. Therefore, making the BM-800 a great choice for start-ups. The suspension stand we got is a collapsible scissor type stand. Similar to what you’ll see at your local radio broadcasting stations. Well then, shall we take a look?
The BM-800 is an omni-directional microphone according to Banggood which is not really the case based on the manual. It has a Frequency Response range of 20Hz-20kHz which is rather good on paper.
|Output Impedance||150Ω ±30%|
The Microphone material is a combination of steel net for the mic housing and a zinc alloy for the main housing. The BM-800 has an XLR input with an XLR to 3.5mm cable. That said, there’s no need for a phantom power with motherboards capable of input gain adjustments.
PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:
Our BM-800’s packaging is kinda far from what I expected. It’s just a 2 part foam with tapes to keep everything falling apart. There has to be an external carton one but that’s not the case on our model. I’m pretty sure this is due to the Philippine Customs inspection.
The BM-800 comes with a shock-mount compatible with a standard heads, a wind-screen for the mic and an 8 foot XLR to 3.5mm cable.
Although battered, the suspension stand’s packaging is complete. It has no padding inside but it kept everything together.
The suspension stand is disassembled in four pieces. They are encased inside their own plastic covers and are ready to be assembled without requiring any tools.
DESIGN, BUILD AND COMFORT:
The BM-800 condenser microphone is rather classy looking, with a metal housing unlike some cheap-ass looking ones around the same price bracket. Ours is the gold and black version, known as the only version with a black housing. Note that the new versions has the “BM-800” labeled at the front. It also serves as a mark to let you know the front with the wind-screen in place.
The mic housing is made out of weaves of steel net with the condenser mic situated at the center as pictured. There is no power button nor level adjustments so this one stays on when plugged-in. Levels will depend on your PC if you don’t have a DAC or AMP.
The XLR port is a standard one with a little bit of casted metal left on our unit’s locking mechanism. I suggest cleaning yours for a clean contact.
The shock-mount is rather good with a tight insertion hole for our microphone’s housing. The wind-screen is made of good material too which is nice.
ASSEMBLY AND FINISHED BUILD:
Since the stand and microphone never required any tools to be assembled they are easy enough to build. We started with the shock-mount of course, since it’s the easiest part to be mounted. Notice that we didn’t actually use the included mount from the suspension stand’s bundle. It’s just too small for the BM-800.
The clamp is also easy enough to assemble. We actually appreciated the padded base and the large clamp itself.
It just took us a minute or two to get everything assembled so installation is definitely a breeze.
Our finished build just looks like a proper studio equipment. Now it’s time to test them.
TEST SETUP AND METHODOLOGY:
The vast world of head gears are subjective, and is usually a heated debacle among avid listeners. For an instance, some may favor heavy bass emphasis while others may favor less bass and prefer a richer mid-range or higher frequency range details. In short, a head gear might sound great from someone’s perception while at the same time, it may sound awful to other listeners. There are also things to look out for such as the sound stage, imaging, the general sound signature of the head gear and several others.
Gears used to take cross reference sampling is my SONY MDR-7506 studio headphone. Performance is evaluated with our motherboard’s audio solution, unless it requires other forms of input. SPL should be around 85dBA during the tests. Tracks, movies and games used are outlined below:
- Caribbean Blue – Enya
- Hey Nineteen – Steely Dan
- Unfinished Sympathy – D2
- Axel F – Harold Faltermeyer
- Hotel California – Eagles
- Battlefield 4
- The Witcher 3
- Pacific Rim
- Mad Max: Furry Road
As for microphones, performance is evaluated with our motherboard’s audio solution. That’s unless, the microphone requires other forms of input. Sampling is taken with the Windows 10 Voice Recorder on a 34dB environment.
The performance of the BM-800 is its most important aspect. After all, it is a microphone to start with; and is classified as a studio grade solution at that. Note that we used our motherboard’s microphone input so power is provided via the 3.5mm jack. No phantom power sources are used which should allow us to check its performance with a usual gaming setup. Thus, microphone gain is required to be adjusted.
Microphone performance will vary between solutions and for the most part, the BM-800 impresses. The microphone exhibited a little bit of noise which could be due to the BM-800 itself or our input’s gain. Our audio solution could also be the culprit, adding interference. This is where external DACs and pre-amps comes into play but great performance for the price nonetheless.
Noise could be suppressed further with a high pass filter, or even with your motherboard audio’s noise cancelling feature – basically a high pass filter itself. At the same level and gain, we could enjoy noise free recording without assistance from other solutions. This comes at an expense of eliminated lower frequencies, changing our voice slightly with a noticeable effect. Still, it is far better than the current gaming headset microphones we’ve tested.
Polar pattern is actually more of a cardioid over the stated omni-directional one so the manual is on point. This is best used within an inch of a distance up to a feet depending on the levels.
WRAPPING IT UP:
Banggood’s BM-800 lives up to its name, providing a compelling performance for a value oriented price below $25. It is truly a value oriented microphone with a performance that I haven’t seen yet from other devices under the same price bracket.
Design wise, the BM-800 Studio Condenser Microphone appears to withstand punishment. The housing is made out of metal from top to bottom and only time will tell how much abuse this thing could hold. I am impressed so far though with our bundle. The suspension stand on the other hand appears to be light which is true. It is made out of lightweight metal that actually aided its stability.
Features are definitely limited. Like none at all. There are no power buttons, no level adjustments and no filters. For the price, I am not really complaining. It’s just something that you need to consider.
Both items are under $35 from Banggood and while they are not actually bundled, they are designed to be with each other. If you are looking to start your streaming or gaming career with budget in mind, then look no further.