As a beginner YouTuber, crafting my setup was a lot harder than anticipated. I had never even heard of microphones like the CAD U37, and honestly was distracted by the search for the right video camera to pay attention to mic quality at all. That's the problem when designing your home studio. You have to be a master at everything.
You need to know which cameras look best and which microphones sound best, to start, Then you have to know what editing software has enough how-to videos on YouTube to learn how to use it. And when you go to look at a product like a microphone, you don't even know if the specs you're looking at are good or not! We'll take you through everything there is to know about the CAD U37 to help you decide if it's the right mic for you.
Similar Microphones to the CAD U37
There are a few budget microphones that excel in their price range, with the CAD U37 being one of them. Each of these microphones has their own unique characteristics that set them way above any other low priced microphone in their market. The MXL 990, MPM-1000, and Blue Snowball Ice are examples of such a microphone.
- 3/4" gold-sputtered diaphragm Attractive vintage body style with champagne finish 30Hz-20kHz frequency response 130dB maximum SPL Sensitivity: 15MV/pa Equivalent noise: 20dB (A-weighted) Wired with Mogami cable
The MXL 990 is a condenser microphone that, like the CAD U37, sounds great for a low cost. The microphone has a generally flat frequency response that sounds pure and true. There's not a lot of pizazz thrown into the mix, allowing the microphone to capture a genuine sound that works great with voiceovers. When it comes to sensitivity, the MXL 990 isn't anything special and runs par with similar microphones. The same goes for the microphone's construction, although the metal body does put the MXL 990's durability above the CAD U37. On Amazon, where you can purchase the MXL 990, it has a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. You can buy the MXL 990 for between $ to $$.
- Entry-level price for recording studio-quality sound
- Ideal for video commentary and Podcasting projects, or isolating instruments on a crowded stage
- Cardioid pattern picks up what's in front without catching echoes, background noise, or other sounds nearby
- Large diaphragm condenser microphone with 20 to 20,000 Hz-wide frequency response
The MPM-1000 cardioid condenser microphone is yet another microphone worth more than its price. On Amazon, you can purchase the MPM-1000, where it has a rating 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewers on Amazon say the microphone sounds very clear and that it's perfect for voiceovers and podcasts. The microphone has a very tight cardioid pattern that does a tremendous job at canceling out background noise.
On the other hand, if you move around a lot, you may tend to move out of range of the microphone's pattern. Because of this, the microphone is more suited for podcasts and singing compared to casual Skype calls. You can pick up the MPM-1000 for between $ to $, making it a great option for those who want a more professional feel to their studio.
- Custom condenser capsule offers crystal clear audio for Skype, Messages and FaceTime
- Record vocals, create podcasts, and add narration to your home movies
- Add crystal clear audio to recordings for YouTube. Frequency Response: 40 -18 kHz
- Easy plug and play directly to your Mac or PC-no drivers to install
- Snowball iCE is a USB 2.0 device (USB 3.0 compatible as per USB 3.0 backward compatibility specification).Sample/word Rate: 44.1 kHz/16 bit
With a similar price to the MPM-1000 and CAD U37, the Snowball Ice cardioid condenser microphone manages to hold its own against the two. It does lack features such as the CAD U37's -10dB pad and bass-reduction. The Snowball Ice stays competitive though through its smooth and warm sound. You have to stay pretty close to the mic to get the most out of it.
Nonetheless, when you do, it pays off. The microphone does a good job at canceling out ambient noise and sounds excellent for its price. YouTubers constantly rave about the Snowball Ice since it's such a great starter microphone. The microphone is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon where it's available for purchase. If you decide to buy the Snowball Ice, it runs between $ to $.
Diving Deep into the CAD U37
On the surface, the CAD U37 looks like any other cheap microphone. When you start digging in, however, this cardioid condenser microphone has a lot to offer. Packed with features and loaded with high-end specs, the CAD U37 makes a great addition to any home studio.
- Large condenser microphone element for warm, rich recordings
- Cardioid pick-up pattern minimizes background noise and isolates the main sound source
- Smooth, extended frequency response is excellent for singing, speech and instruments
- It has 10dB overload-protection switch minimizes distortion from loud sound sources
- Bass-reduction switch reduces room noise
What the CAD U37 brings to the table
For a budget microphone, the CAD U37 has a boatload of features that come along with it. Even $ microphones will lack features found in the CAD U37. What's most important though is that the features packed in the CAD U37 aren't for show. They do help take the quality of your recordings up a notch.
Plug and Play
With a USB connector and no drivers needed for installation, the CAD U37 is a very simple and easy mic to use. Whether you have a PC or a Mac, you simply plug in your CAD U37, and you're good to go. Doing this makes the microphone very handy for traveling and everyday use.
The CAD U37's large-sized diaphragm helps the mic capture low frequencies. Because of this, the microphone is suited well for the human voice. This means the mic is perfectly fit for tasks including recording podcasts, music or making Skype calls.
Recording only what's in front of it, the CAD U37's cardioid pattern reduces surrounding noises. Because the CAD U37 is such a sensitive mic, the cardioid pattern is an essential tool in keeping every little sound from sneaking into your recordings.
Although you want your mic to be able to capture low-frequency sounds, sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. Sounds such as wind, bumping your mic stand, and HVAC systems have a low frequency. Turning on the CAD U37's bass-reduction helps you cancel out distracting noises which often ruin recordings.
Further broadening your options, the CAD U37 also has a -10dB pad you can choose to turn on and off. Using this feature will help minimize any distortion or clipping caused by singing loudly or yelling. We don't know why you're recording yourself yelling, but you'll be set with the CAD U37.
Extending the CAD U37's podcasting and voiceover abilities, the side-address design of the mic helps you set up your home studio easily and efficiently.
Looking at the specs
Starting off, the CAD U37 has a respectable 16bit/48k sample rate, which beats the popular Snowball Ice's 44.1k sample rate. The frequency response is an equally impressive 20Hz to 20kHz. Like many microphones of its price, the CAD U37 only has one polar pattern. That polar pattern is the cardioid pattern which is best suited for solo podcasts and voiceovers. Keeping with the studio trend, the microphone is a condenser mic. This gives it exceptional sensitivity at the cost of picking up more background noise. The microphone weighs two pounds and dimensions of 7 inches by 9 inches by 2.5 inches.
Reviews of the CAD U37
To give a pragmatic look at the CAD U37, we looked at what top reviewers and actual customers had to say about the microphone. We figured if buyers and reviewers alike shared common sentiments about the CAD U37, they were more likely to hold some weight. For reviewers, we looked at what the Microphone Geeks and Microphonetopgear.com had to say about the mic. To get a good look at what owners were saying, we looked over the reviews left on Amazon.
Calling the CAD U37 a great beginner microphone, the Microphone Geeks feel you get good value out of the CAD U37. They say throughout their review that the mic isn't anything spectacular, but it's a great mic if you just need something affordable. In their review, they say the CAD U37 has decent sound quality, especially for its price. They say it's not as crisp as pricier USB mics. They also say the microphone has a cheap plastic body, but again, it's to be expected due to its price. It's apparent that CAD did their best to keep the U37's cost low without giving up sound quality.
Image via Amazon
More about the sound quality, the Microphone Geeks said the large diaphragm of the microphone makes it well suited for capturing vocals. Whether you're an amateur musician or looking to record voiceovers, the Microphone Geeks say the CAD U37 should do the trick. The final note left by the Microphone Geeks was to get a pop filter since the microphone tends to pick up plosives. With a pop filter, the Microphone Geeks say the CAD U37 will be a great step up from a built-in laptop microphone.
The folks at Microphonetopgear.com feel similarly to the Microphone Geeks, saying that if you want an inexpensive mic, there's no better choice than the CAD U37. They said in their review that the CAD U37 has a right amount of clarity and warmth. Like the Microphone Geeks, they say the CAD U37 isn't one of the crispest microphones, but that it's not a huge issue. Overall they felt the microphone had superb sound for its price and that it's perfect for desktop recordings.
On Amazon, where the mic is rated 4.0 out of 5 stars, buyers share the sentiments of the two previously mentioned publishers. The majority of reviewers say the sound quality of the mic is great for the price you get it at. Often they'll say the microphone sounds comparable to $ mics. Buyers state the microphone has excellent sensitivity, and that the build quality of the mic is average despite its plastic body.
The sensitivity does have its downsides, however, as one reviewer states the mic will pick up a fair amount of background noise. Some buyers also report the mic has a high sensitivity to electrical interference and will pick up a buzzing noise. At the end of the day though, reviews by Amazon buyers and leading publishers tend to be positive. Even though it has its issues, the mic provides some of the best sound quality compared to other budget microphones.
Perfect for the podcaster and musician with a tight budget, the CAD U37 costs between $ to $. Because of its solid audio quality combined with its superfluous features, the microphone's price is a great deal. If you decide it's right for you, you can pick the microphone up on Amazon.
How we created our review
We started the process of creating our review by looking at the features and specs of the CAD U37 mentioned on CAD Audio's website. We then looked over the top reviews on the CAD U37. When looking at reviews, we made sure to check for consistent issues, and praises reviewers shared about the mic. After that, we looked over Amazon reviews to see how buyers felt about the microphone. Again, we paid special attention to what opinions were shared by most reviewers to ensure the claims were credible. After gathering and cross checking our information, we took special care to present the information in an objective manner. We strove to create a review that gave a thorough look at the CAD U37 while incorporating a vast range of opinions and perspectives.
Summing Up the Pros and Cons
You'll see when looking over the pros and cons that the CAD U37 still is a budget microphone. Compared to other budget microphones though, the CAD U37 does quite well for itself. Its audio quality is good, it has many useful features, and it stays limited in its drawbacks. Other budget microphones like the MPM-1000 do, however, cancel out background sounds better than the CAD U37. Therefore, the CAD U37 may take a little more care to set up. When you do though, it'll be more than worth it.
Is It Worth the Purchase?
For those who are looking to capture casual YouTube videos or podcasts, the CAD U37 is the perfect mic for the job. It has a lot of functionality at a low price. If you're looking to capture top-of-the-line audio, then obviously you're going to have to spend a bit more. However, the CAD U37 is a superb entry point into audio recording and even intermediates will be happy with what it provides.