Fifine K683A vs. Rode Podmic + Fethead + Scarlett Solo – Cheap vs. Expensive Microphone Comparison

Hey, this is Jan from Virtual Summit Mastery. In this blog article, I’m doing something different, something I’ve never done before. I am doing a gear review and I’m super excited for this because when you’re hosting neutral summits, we need to in podcasts. And when you’re creating audio or video content, you need a good microphone.

And the better microphones get expensive really, really quickly. So I am very happy that Fifine. What we’re seeing on the screen right here. Has sent me their K683A type C USB microphone that comes with a pop filter, a volume dial the mute button, a monitoring jack for recording, and costs just 53 USD for comparison.

The setup that I’m rocking right now, the microphone that you are seeing in the camera that is the Rhode PodMic is mounted to the Rode boom arm. The cable goes from the PodMic into a Triton Fethead pre-amp and then it goes into a Focusrite Scarlett Solo. So that is a setup. I outline in the description below this video. I’m not going to dive deeper into this, but we’ll obviously compare that against the Fifine.

And my setup currently costs around $300, maybe $400 roughly around that price point. It is easily 7X more expensive than the Fifine K683A. So take everything I’m saying with a grain of salt because it’s not an entirely fair comparison, but I have to work with what I have.

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So I, yeah, I’m comparing my current setup against the Fifine right here. And when you look at this, look at this image, it. Decent. It actually looks pretty good. I like that stand. I like that. It has, uh, the pop filter integrated, which is really important. It also seems to have a microphone button.

Measure the volume, and then there’s a headphone button so that you get the output, not through the speakers. When I’m doing a call, for example, you can use that headphone button instead of your speaker. So that’s obviously very helpful. And when you do in summit sessions, it is even mandatory. I would say that you use headphones.

Now let’s dive into this. Let’s see. What this microphone comes with. First of all, let me grab the box real quick. This is the box that you are getting. It’s just a simple, I want to say just a simple package, nothing really, too exciting. It’s a little bit blown out by my lighting. Bear with me, but it’s a firefight microphone.

I’m not getting paid to say anything positive, by the way, I just received this review unit, but they don’t pay me to say anything overly positive or negative. So the packaging is okay, nothing extraordinary. But then again, it’s, it’s a package. So who cares about that? As long as the goods arrive properly, this is the microphone itself and it looks really good.

It is really heavy actually. So you can see. It has those buttons, that the volume button and then the mute button at the top at the back end, you see the audio Jack for the headphones, 3.5 millimeter, the standard Jack, you can adjust it very nicely. So on that stand, you can adjust it in various positions.

Very handy. I don’t think it works with a mound though. Maybe it does. Let me see. So when I unscrew it, let me see if I could theoretically, Mount this to the, to the boom arm here. I don’t think so though. Um, it takes its wire. There we go. So this just a one C yeah, it’s just a screw Mount here. For my boom arm that won’t work, maybe it will for yours, but then at the bottom, as you can see, there’s only the USB port for the USB cable.

So let’s bring this back into the, into the stand. And then what we’ll do is compare yeah. The audio levels and compare the sound quality. So that’s finalized this optical review here, so we have. Uh, the stand that’s one thing you might be interested in. I’m actually a little bit worried about the stand.

Not because it’s not sturdy, but because it is so low. So my current microphone is up way higher. I show some pictures, uh, showing them side-by-side so you can see what the difference is. And I’m worried to be honest, I’m just readjust this here. I am worried that that very. Uh, distance to the microphone will impact the sound quality, but we’ll see, I do my best to make it as fair as possible.

So, so far you’ve been listening to my Mike, let me bring this up on the screen real quick so that you can see all the components I’m using right now. Well, the road part, Mike retail for 112 euros, I am in Germany and the zoom in here a little bit. So this is, I love the design of this microphone, by the way.

There’s this mic and 112 euros here. It is on the road site yourself. So let’s turn this to English.

It’s really good. I really like it, but it needs a hefty preempt. This is an exit microphone. So you cannot plug this into your computer. What I have used or what I’m using right now, not too happy with it because there’s a little bit of a steady static hiss going on, but this is not in the audio. What I am using is this trite on FedEx.

Is this an audio amplifier that you can plug in between the microphone and the audio interface? This is around 80 bucks. I think it’s, I think I paid around 70 euros for this, that try to unfed head. It just goes into the, uh, audio interface in between the microphone. And then for my audio interface, I have a focused right.

Scarlet solo. So let’s see, this is 104 euros. This is actually the one that I have. So you can, you can find this for yourself. Of course, this is what I have in this slot that goes to microphone. And then here. Uh, headphones out and you can monitor yourself using the direct monitor button as well. So, uh, to round up the road, port Mike around 112 euros, maybe 120, 130 USD, then you have the same for this focus, right?

So that’s 250, let’s say, and then you have the Triton pheta for on 80. So we’re looking at 300 2330 ish, the setup. Then you need cables for that. So maybe three 40 in the end. Again, this is not a fair comparison. So I’m comparing something that costs 340 years. And maybe that maybe let’s say $300 for the sake of simplicity.

I’m comparing a $300 setup against a $53 microphone. So let’s see how this compares for now. You’ve seen on her. For most importantly, you have heard the audio through the. Rolled pop mic through my main setup. Let’s now switch gears and change to the Fifine microphone. I’m really looking forward to this.

Okay. So now I am recording through the Fifine, and I immediately feel uncomfortable because I don’t have the microphone in my face or no, I don’t have the clear distance and keeping the same distance to the microphone is tough because it’s not right in my field of vision.

But since the Fifine doesn’t have this mount, I mean, yeah, it’s not in the shot, which is a good thing. Actually, I really like this, but it just takes some getting used to, I think that’s not the biggest deal in the world. If I just had this microphone, that will be totally fine.

To be honest, I’m just using this for 15, 20 seconds, or so. So there’s no reason to feel comfortable even with that microphone. Another thing that surprised me is I did some test runs before that, to figure out how the game needs to be, how the volume needs to be. You have to crank up the gain quite a bit in this distance.

So there’s roughly like two. The way that’s what, 30 centimeters, something like that. Um, I have to put up the gain quite a bit. And when I have my micro, my headphones plugged in, as you can see right now, I’m monitoring myself with my headphones, which is a great feature for such an affordable microphone. Monitoring is something that I think is mandatory for any microphones.

You have to be able to monitor yourself to hear how the audio levels are. Monitoring is really, really important. And so I’m glad that I find has this. This is actually a really good feature for Fifine. I didn’t expect that on a $53 microphone, but when I look at this right now, um, I think it is really for the, for the price.

It’s surprisingly good, but the one thing. Annoyed me was that that needs some tweaking. I think maybe I’ll be able to get it right when I use this for longer, but when you’re monitoring yourself, the audio comes through so loud. I mean, it is really, really, really loud. And I have to be very careful that I don’t accidentally touch anything on the microphone when I’m waving with my hands here, because this is really loud on my ears.

I have those ear buds in here. Um, it hurts. It’s really loud. I even had to turn down the windows sound levels because I had to put up the gain so much, but then it increases the, uh, the volume levels for the monitoring as well. So that is kind of like a bugger because then you have to reduce the volume levels or I’ve touched it.

Ouch. Um, that is kind of a bugger because then. What happens is the audio comes through so loud that it’s not pleasant anymore, and that you cannot work with this. So I turned down the volume levels on windows to accompany for that I’m, I’m at maybe 15% volume level, really? So this is really, really, you know, um, but overall, I mean, I’m impressed with this.

I’m looking forward to hearing what you think about the V the audio quality. I mean, obviously it likely isn’t as good. I haven’t listened to this myself yet, so I’m surprised. And then in a minute as well, but for the first impression recording this and what comes through my headphones from monitoring, there’s a little bit more of an echo, which is to be expected because the gain is so high.

And even though I have like this thing over, there is an acoustic foam panel and I have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 more spread around the room. Even with those big foam panels, I still have a bit of echo, but then the gain is so high that this probably has to be expected. So let’s switch back to the road. I think we have a lot of audio quality from the Fifine right now.

There’s a lot of recording going on from the firefight. And I switched back to the desktop. I edit this video, clip myself. And then you will get my first impression. And obviously, you’ve already had your first impression. So put that below in the comments. I’m really excited to hear what you think about the Fifine, whether I am okay with my assessment or whether I’m on point with my assessment, whether you completely disagree because I’m no expert for audio quality.

I’m just somebody who does interviews regularly and who needs good audio quality. What is a good microphone and what, what, what sounds good and what doesn’t sound good, but I can’t necessarily explain why something sounds good? I just know when there’s a pleasant sound and when there’s an unpleasant sound, but that’s just a basic understanding of what I have I’m by no means an audio engineer or something, but let’s switch back to the desktop.

Let’s get this edited and we’ll see how this turned out. Okay. I just edited the video and I have a few technical issues with VMix. In fact, I am not going to show you the editing process because I always get an audio feedback loop when I record the system audio. I would need a separate computer, according to the VMix documentation, to run that NDI feature, to record the system audio from this PC on his separate machine. And that is something I cannot do at the moment.

As you’ve seen and as you’ve heard for yourself, the audio quality of the Fifine is really good. I am very surprised by what this microphone is doing for the price point. I highly recommend it. If you are on a tight budget, I haven’t seen a microphone packed with so many features at this price point yet again, I’ve not been paid to.

Uh, say positive things about firefighting. And I’ve been very clear with the team of firefight before they, or when we reached out and before they shipped this item to me that I would not hold back if I have any criticism and the audio levels in the microphone monitoring is really the only, only thing that annoys me.

And I’m pretty sure that I could figure this out over time. So what can I say? I’m just looking at the 500 right here. A decent migrant is decently heavy. That is a great thing. It’s not built cheaply. I think it’s a metal case. It is a metal case. Um, I really like it. I really do. And I’m gifting this to a friend of mine who just started his own business.

He’s coming over one day after recording this video so that he can get this. I just gave him a call while editing this video. It is a really good microphone. I recommend it. If you are on a budget below $60, I haven’t seen a microphone that I just coming close to it yet. So yeah. What can I say? Let me know what you think about the audio quality that the firefighter produced, especially in comparison to this one, to the road, port mic, which one do you like better?

And I have to say when I was editing the Fifine shot, not having a microphone in there. Well, it’s actually really nice. It really enticed me in getting probably notify fine button, maybe a shotgun mic, or something like that, so that I can record myself without having a microphone in the shot.

The advantage of having a shotgun microphone is that I can move around with my hands as freely as I want to. And I don’t have to be careful about touching anything like I have to with microphones right in front of me.

From this test, I can say that the Fifine is a decent option if you’re on a tight budget for a microphone. Thank you so much for watching. Don’t forget to hit that LIKE button and to smash the SUBSCRIBE button – or what all the fancy Youtubers say.

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