M- Audio Producer USB Microphone: A Good, Cheap Mic

This condenser microphone offers a simple, affordable solution for home recorders. It delivers pleasing sound, comes with a built-in headphone jack and preamp, and, conveniently, connects to a computer’s USB port. What distinguishes the Producer from similar models is its seamless integration with M-Audio Session and Apple GarageBand software. It also stands out for its ability to monitor the master output of the software while recording via a built-in headphone jack. This feature greatly reduces latency.

The Producer looks like the archetypal modern condenser cardioid-pattern mic with a metallic grille covering its capsule. The body below the grille is blue, with a 3.5mm headphone jack toward the bottom of the front side, and, of course, there’s a USB connection where you would normally find the XLR connection. One problem with the design: The included tripod (which is suitable only for desktop recording) tips over far too easily.

I was impressed with the overall audio quality of this microphone, considering its low price. Vocal recordings were crisp in the mid-high frequencies, and the mic showed no distortion. My only real audio complaint was that when I switched to my computer’s headphone jack as the output source, serious latency issues made it harder to record tracks.

The M-Audio Producer is an excellent choice for a first microphone. The USB connection eliminates the need for other expensive links in the chain, and the mic is reasonably priced, without sounding cheap.

Price range
M- Audio Producer USB Microphone: $100

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