I recently was in the market for a new microphone, and the BM-800 caught my eye – for under £40 (at time of writing), the microphone looked very appealing – it was cheaply priced, however had sparkling reviews and looked very good.
If you are looking for an inexpensive microphone, the BM-800 is a great choice. As it is a condenser microphone, it captures more detail and low volumes than your typical dynamic microphone. For the average person, the BM-800 is a great choice, however if you are looking for something that is crystal clear, you may want to save up more.
The BM-800 looks good – it has metal housing, made out of weaves of steel net with the microphone in the middle. On the bottom of the microphone, the XLR port is a standard one, made from metal – it has a clip on it that allows the lead to clip into the microphone and stay in place. The microphone comes with a windscreen, which is made of nice material, and a black cloth guard, ringed with plastic but nice feeling (I did have issues with the black cable holding it drooping at times however).
The microphone is easy to set up – it took me around two minutes, and no tools are required. The boom is easy to put together, and stays in place. The shock-mount is tight, and the microphone does not move. In general, built quality is excellent for the microphone. The bottom of the clamp has padding, so your table doesn’t get damaged. You can rotate the microphone away from you if you aren’t using it.
Typically, with condenser microphones, you’ll want to get a microphone pre-amp such as this one in order to supply the full 48 volts to the microphone, and really get the best out of it. If you plan to use this microphone for singing, music, or podcasting, it would probably be a good idea. I only use the microphone for talking to friends, so I didn’t really think that it was worth buying a pre-amp simply to make myself sound nicer to my friends. Therefore, I simply used the microphone plugged into the 3.5 mm audio jack on my motherboard (I have a dedicated sound card), and used software boosting. This would likely be your setup if you were looking for a cheaper microphone too.
The microphone has a frequency response range of 20Hz-20kHz, and testing confirmed this – the microphone was able to pick up very high and low frequency sounds – and a sensitivity of -34dB ±3dB. Output impedance is 150Ω ±30%, and is not variable. The microphone sounds good, even when underpowered and no phantom power. It picks up finer details, that previous microphones I have used have missed, and there is minimal noise in the background. The microphone isn’t as warm as more pricey microphones, however it still has a nice level of depth and warmth for the price point. With a pre-amp, the results would be even more impressive.
To conclude, the BM-800 is a great microphone if you are limited budget wise. It works well without a pre-amp, and results would be better with one. Construction is great – everything is made out of metal, and feels very high quality and can take a beating. Note that the microphone has no onboard adjustments – no power, volume, impedance adjustments – nothing. However, I have not found this an issue (especially when regarding price point), and in fact like the simplicity.
If you are starting out as a Youtuber, podcaster, or require something better than a headphone microphone, give the BM-800 a look. I’ve been impressed with both the build and audio quality that the microphone delivers, and really enjoy using it.