The TONOR PC microphone comes with a pop filter, windscreen, and shock mount. For around £35, it promises a simple plug & play experience via a USB 2.0 data port. Predictably, it’s pitched as ideal for gaming, streaming, chatting, podcasting, recording, Skype, Voice-over, YouTube video, etc. But does this affordable mic live up to its promises?
I was hopeful that this light portable microphone would play an essential role in my kit bag for interviews at conferences. Sadly, my first test recording revealed that it hissed like a snake when I played it back in Audacity. I then tried it with Skype and Discord with mixed results that made me question the mic’s reliability.
I tested the mid-size condenser microphone on a Windows machine, MacBook, and iMac to rule out my machine. But the input volume was too low, even when a few inches away from the mic. Whether you are playing games or on an important conference call, it’s a struggle to communicate effectively hunched over this mic.
Many will find the low price point attractive. But I am struggling to see who the TONOR microphone is aimed at. Streamers will not want to replace their headset for something that has poor sound quality. The sound often feels too distant for gamers to communicate. Recorded audio would not be suitable for YouTube narration without heavy post-production, and it’s not an option for a podcaster for the same reasons.
When purchasing a microphone for any purpose, you will want it to just work with minimal fuss. You also need to rely on it when you decide to use it. The reliability aspect of the mic is my biggest gripe. On many occasions, it lowered my pitch, and a heavy static sound can quickly be distracting.
One lesson I have learned in life is that if you buy cheap, you often end up buying twice. You could pick up the TONOR TC-777 microphone for as little as £35. But after a couple of weeks, I suspect that frustrations around volume levels, background hissing noises will take its toll. It might be easy to set up, but what it doesn’t say on the box is that you will need to invest your time in post-production to make the audio sound passable.
After reading many other reviews for the TONOR microphone, some seem to have better experiences and others. Reliability seems to be a problem for many other users after a few weeks of use, making it difficult to recommend. If you are serious about starting a podcast, but you don’t want to break the bank, I recommend spending a little more on the Samson Q2U instead.
2.0 out of 5 stars For me, it was no better than an internal microphone on a laptop. If you want to create quality content, or communicate effectively online, spend a little more on a better quality product.