The microphone has become a staple of headset equipment in recent years. However, this did not make them disappear from the market, and although it is not surprising in any way when it comes to high-quality microphones that allow you to record in high quality, the sense of the existence of these up to PLN 200 seems to be an interesting topic for debate. Today, however, we are not going to think about it, because today we have a Tracer Premium Pro test for you, i.e. a microphone on a stand, available for purchase at the price of PLN 175.
Packaging and included accessories
The first impression after receiving the Tracer Premium Pro microphone box is not particularly negative. A large cardboard box may not impress with its workmanship and design, but it is safe to say that it is “environmentally friendly”, although it was definitely not the manufacturer’s goal, which is revealed by the interior itself. In it, in addition to the instructions, we find a total of seven elements secured both in a two-piece foam and in plastic bags.
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There is no reason to be surprised. The Tracer Premium Pro set includes traditional, for microphones of this type, a combination of a round stand, a stand, a screw-on pop-filter on the boom, a foam to stretch the microphone, a basket with rubber bands, or a thick, 250 cm long USB cable in a rubber cover. The manufacturer himself boasts that this model does not require any configuration, thanks to the USB and can be connected with other stands, thanks to the universal 1.1 inch thread for the microphone holder and 5/8 for the tripod.
Assembly and build quality
Looking over the instructions clearly shows that there is not much to do with the assembly of the whole, but it is the perfect moment to get acquainted with the quality of Tracer Premium Pro. We start the fun with the base, which connects the metal body with a plastic base and praise the manufacturer for that, because the complete lack of anti-slip pads in combination with metal would make our countertops one large collection of scratches after a long time. Unfortunately, for a strange reason, Tracer did not even try to make a simple foam to keep the microphone on the desk stable, making the Premium Pro microphone very easy to move.
An adjustable metal stand, ranging from 21 to 31 centimeters, is screwed into the clearly defective base, which is enabled by a simple plastic stabilizing “screw”. Then it is good to stretch the foam over the metal microphone as well and insert it into the basket with adjustable deflection after tightening the clamps before proceeding to screwing it onto the stand. Thus, we will protect ourselves from possible damage and so in the end we will only have to screw the filter to the stand and connect the attached cable to the microphone.
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The result of these few minutes of twisting is a traditional, black-clad microphone in the form of a regular at your desk, which … looks good until we look at the details. I am talking about a squeaky and, by the way, ugly looking through a wide gap, combination of two round plastic pop-filter with unblocked screws, sharp edges of some unfinished metal fragments and three significant design flaws. You can also complain that the pop-filter arm is screwed in, and not permanently attached to the mounting clip, which is additionally devoid of a washer on one side, protecting the paint against scratches.
First of all, the Tracer Premium Pro cable has a ferromagnetic core not at the USB-A connector plugged into the computer, but USB-B plugged into the microphone port. Secondly, the low weight of the microphone makes it not only easy to move it, but also to tip it over, which causes the third poorly thought-out element – the pop-filter boom. According to the instructions, this one should be mounted on the narrower side of the stand, and although it works well then, it also increases the center of gravity and causes the microphone to simply tip over under the influence of gravity.
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Unfortunately, we cannot cheat physics, so we have to bend and then we have to attach the pop-filter to the lower, thicker part of the stand. This solves the problem, but at the same time raises another in the form of a potentially easy scratching of the stand itself. Some may also complain about the boom’s problem with maintaining the originally set swing, but otherwise the Premium Pro Mic has no downsides that would completely disqualify it. So it’s time to move on to the most important thing.
Tracer Premium Pro record quality
Cardioid character, condenser driver, frequency response in the range of 20-20000 Hz and sensitivity of about 45 dB – this specification does not evoke any hoots or hoots, being in fact an output set for many microphones and only the additional noise reduction function stands out here. At the same time, Tracer Premium Pro is not below the standards, so it’s hard to complain about it. Similarly to the issues of adjusting the height and tilt of the microphone, thanks to the adjustment of the basket and the tripod.
As it is a “low-mid-range” microphone, I will indulge in extensive commentary. In brief? It’s good, but it’s best if you compare the above recording with the following models for PLN 100, PLN 400 and PLN 450:
Tracer Premium Pro test – summary
As of the day of writing this review, the Tracer Premium Pro can be bought in many places for around PLN 175, but I also found an offer of PLN 135, so this is definitely an example of a microphone from which we cannot expect too much. The reality confirmed it, because the performance and some design decisions of the company give a lot to be desired, but this model copes well with recording, offering the right quality for its price, although you have to remember that you pay a lot here only for additional equipment.