The Sennheiser Profile USB Microphone is a quality-built product with thoughtful functionality right at your fingertips.
Sennheiser did send me this microphone for review, but all opinions expressed in this blog post and YouTube video are my own.
I’ve reviewed a number of Sennheiser on-camera microphones on this blog before—you can read that blog review here— so I’m excited to be able to add this Sennheiser Profile USB microphone to my review as well.
The Benefits of a USB microphone
Professional microphones usually connect to an external interface that captures the audio coming into the microphone. This requires a separate recorder from your video capturing device. A USB microphone on the other hand simply connects to your computer, allowing you to capture the audio on your computer in your favourite audio capturing application.
This not only negates the need for a separate recording interface, but is much more convenient, and offers a faster workflow for a fraction of the cost. USB microphones are also charged by the device it is connected to, which eliminates the need for a secondary phantom power source.
The Sennheiser Profile USB microphone comes in two sets:
|Standard Set | MSRP $169 CAD
|Streaming Set | MSRP $259 CAD
3m USB cable
Boom arm with integrated cable management
Soft case for the microphone
Sennheiser Profile USB Microphone
Sennheiser promotes this USB microphone as a microphone for streamers, gamers, and podcaster. I’m not any of those, but I can find great use for this Sennheiser Profile USB microphone for my video creation.
The Profile USB microphone has a cardioid pick-up pattern which means, it captures audio that is directly in front of the microphone, and rejects as much as it can from all other directions.
The image on the right (courtesy of Sennheiser) indicates the microphone’s sensitivity to different audio frequencies surrounding the microphone, located at the centre point.
I’ve been using the MKE 600 on-camera microphone for my previous videos, but since I’m placing the camera right in front of my refrigerator in my kitchen (yes, I sometimes make my videos in my kitchen!), I will often pick up room noise from the microphone.
The MKE 600 shotgun microphone is a highly directional super-cardioid microphone which means it does an extremely good job of attenuating noise from all around the microphone (except from the direction the mic is pointing to). I will admit I love the quality of the sound it picks up as it’s vibrant and open.
Having the Sennheiser Profile USB microphone directly in front of me, the microphone does a really good job of picking up my voice and not a lot of the room noise. It provides a deep, rich, bass tone that you can often associate with podcasts or radio talk-shows.
The two are different, and each provide their own character and sets of advantages.
The Sennheiser Profile USB microphone feels solid to the touch. It has a metal housing, knobs are firm, and the microphone swivels in the yolk in a solid manner without any give.
The Boom Arm
The construction of the boom arm matches the microphone’s solid build quality. In fact it’s so stiff that if you’re not careful when moving it around, you may put too much pressure on the clamp that’s clamping your desk, perhaps even marking the desk if it’s made of soft materials.
The boom arm comes with an integrated cable management system where you are able to tuck away the 3m USB cable (that is also included in the Streaming set) so it’s not just dangling around the arm, or wrapping around the arm on the outside. It’s a small detail but one that is very welcome.
The Sennheiser Profile USB microphone is not just a pretty microphone, but it also has all the functions built right into the microphone itself. This is really convenient as it allows for full functionality of the microphone without having to fiddle with any software on the computer.
From the top of the microphone, we have:
Soft-touch mute button
The mute button is the only button on the microphone itself, and is soft-touch which means there is no audible sound when you press it. As soon as you press the mute button the audio will be muted immediately. The lights surrounding the soft-touch mute button and the gain control dial immediately below turn red giving you a visual indication that you’re on mute.
Gain control dial
The gain control dial allows you to change the recording volume of the microphone. This is really useful to have on the microphone itself as it allows you to change the volume without having to enter your computer’s application.
If you talk too loud and the sound starts to clip, the light around the dial will turn yellow. It’s a great visual indicator to let you know you’re talking too loud.
Device mixing dial
The device mixing dial allows you to control how much of the microphone audio you want to hear in addition to the audio coming from your computer. For my use, I typically don’t have anything playing on my computer so I leave this on the microphone side at 100%.
The headphone dial allows you to change the volume of the headphones that you attach on to the back of your microphone. These headphones are used to monitor the audio level of your microphone and make it a lot easier to hear yourself.
The back side
The back of the microphone has two ports:
- Headphone jack
- USB-C port
The headphone jack allows you to connect a monitoring headphone directly to your microphone, allowing you to easily monitor the sound you are recording. The advantages of this is you will have no lag from what you are recording to what you are hearing on your headphones.
When I connected my headphones to my laptop, there was about a 1/4 to 1/2 second lag from when I was speaking to what I was hearing on the headphones. That really messes with your brain!
The USB-C port allows you to connect the microphone to your computer. I use my MacBook Pro computer, and just used the default Quicktime Player application to record an audio file. Controlling the audio level directly on my microphone, I really didn’t need any sophisticated program to use the audio file afterwards.
I brought the audio file into DaVinci Resolve and used it as-is without any further processing on it. Your workflow can’t get any easier than that!
You can watch my YouTube review on the Sennheiser Profile microphone where I do a comparison between it and the Sennheiser MKE 600.
The Sennheiser Profile USB microphone may be Sennheiser’s first USB microphone but don’t let that fool you. With a solid build, great sound, and full functionality right on the microphone, it’s surely one you should consider if you’re looking for a USB microphone.
My boom arm is super tight but hopefully over time this will loosen up a bit so that I can more easily change the angle of my microphone when in use.
Have you used a USB microphone before? Let me know what you think below in the comments.
Pin the image on the left!