I just picked up a Samson Q1U for a student as a going away present. He wants to do some webcam lessons or something (we’ll see how that goes…….yeah). Anyhow, there are a number of USB microphones out, or adapters for Microphones to USB. The Samson was a well under $100 mic that includes a little stand as well (I think I paid like $65 or something).
For the money, this mic is great. It sounds good, and it is stupidly simple to set up. On a Mac, you plug it in, and it shows up right away. You simply select it as the input, and off you go. It can be used in Amadeus, or whatever your recording program is. There is a noticeable latency though when you record.
I really didn’t do that sort of testing with the mic, I just simply plugged it in, and did some sound quality/tone tests with it (as it was a gift and I had to wrap it up and give it the next day). It really sounds great. Like a Shure 58, but not quite. Sounded pretty close to my Shure 58 that I have (keeping it fair, just recording the 58 in 48K, 16 bit). Maybe closer in sound to their Performance Gear 58, though I’ve never seen one of these in the wild. The frequency response graph for the Samson looks better (ie more flat, which is a good thing).
Verdict: For $65, this is a great mic. Sounds great. Simple to use. Comes with Cakewalk for you Windoze people. Brainless setup on the Mac side (plug it in, and it shows up). If you can deal with the latency (or not have to hear yourself while recording), then this mic would be ideal for someone wanting to record but not wanting to spend hundreds of bucks on an interface, mics, and cables. 9 out of 10.