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Saturday, July 31, 2021

JBL CSUM 10 compact microphone review: Clarity and affordability

Priced at Rs 5,799, the JBL CSUM10 is half the price of many other microphones like the Yeti Blue and it not really a pushover in any sense of the term.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Rs. 5799
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi |
June 20, 2021 10:15:37 am
JBL CSUM 10 microphone, JBL CSUM 10 for podcast, podcast, podcast microphones, budget podcast microphonesJBL CSUM 10 is a very company microphone. No, it’s no lapel mic, but is about half the size of the Yeti. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

The pandemic has converted me into a podcast lover. Till then, it was something I would listen to once in a while. Even though I had started a tech podcast, it was not really top of my mind. But the months of isolation where along with the inability to meet people you were also struggling with the lack of an avenue to exchange ideas and learn new concepts, made me use the podcast as a tool to reach out and to listen.

My lack of enthusiasm for podcasts also meant, I was not that equipped to do record the same. So I would often be toggling between AirPods and my phone record to ensure the best quality. But over the past few months, I have been toying with the idea of investing in proper microphones. I tried out the Yeti Blue USB  microphone last year and was impressed at how it upped my podcast game. Now, it is the JBL CSUM10 compact microphone which will feature in Our Own Device, my weekly tech podcast.

JBL CSUM 10 microphone, JBL CSUM 10 for podcast, podcast, podcast microphones, budget podcast microphones The JBL CSUM 10 is easy to use. In fact, as easy as things can be. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

 

JBL CSUM 10 is a very company microphone. No, it’s no lapel mic, but is about half the size of the Yeti. It has a stable, heavy, base that keeps it in place on the table and does not move around easily. The microphone’s direction can be adjusted to be towards you when recording a podcast or aimed at giving both sides equal weightage when you are doing an in-person interview for instance.

There are two ports at the back. One is the USB port for your laptop — since I use a MacBook, I had to use a converter to connect to the USB-C port. There is also a 3.5mm jack to connect to your earphone and monitor the sound quality. This comes with its own volume control too. There is also a mute switch, which is handy.

The JBL CSUM 10 is easy to use. In fact, as easy as things can be. It is plug and plays in every sense and at the most, you will need to go to setting and select this one as your microphone. Since we use Zencaster to record podcasts, you can see as you log in which device has been recognised as the microphone.

JBL CSUM 10 microphone, JBL CSUM 10 for podcast, podcast, podcast microphones, budget podcast microphones Interestingly, the microphone also makes a difference when you are speaking in online workshops or just holding a team meeting. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

The microphone also has two modes — omnidirectional, when it records directly, and cardioid when it has a wider 180-degree listening field. It is best to just adjust these modes and not tinker with the angle of the microphone itself to get the best recording.

While I used wireless headphones, or just the microphone on the MacBook to record podcasts, there would always be a bit of adjustment required to get the audio right. But with the JBL mic, the clearance from my podcast editor was swift and accompanied by a ‘Perfect’. So it does make a noticeable improvement. Maybe you can also hear the difference between podcast episodes from earlier and in the past couple of weeks.

Interestingly, the microphone also makes a difference when you are speaking in online workshops or just holding a team meeting. So I would suggest this for those who are online a lot as speakers at events and webinars.

Priced at Rs 5,799, the JBL CSUM10 is half the price of many other microphones like the Yeti Blue and it not really a pushover in any sense of the term. I think, I might just buy this one for my podcast adventures.

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