Just as we are absorbing and understanding the major impact of the recently released XDM-100, XCM-50 and UNIFY software, RØDE today announced yet another new addition to its USB microphones, called the NT-USB+. Based on the NT-USB (which I reviewed back in 2014), the NT-USB+ is a professional-grade USB microphone loaded with next-generation features, thanks to its new preamp and DSP (digital signal processor) which allows APHEX effects, including a compressor, high-pass (low-cut) filter, noise gate, aural exciter, and Big Bottom. Activating them live (or live-to-drive) requires one of many RØDE apps, including RØDE Connect (macOS & Windows), RØDE Reporter (Android & iOS) and RØDE X UNIFY (Windows only so far). Indeed, you can use the NT-USB+ with Android and iPhone too. More information is below, with links to be notified when I release the upcoming review and a last minute surprise regarding software compatibility.
Key features of the NT-USB+:
- Studio-grade condenser capsule and tight cardioid polar pattern, delivering pristine audio ideal for recording vocals (singing), speech and instruments
- Ultra-low-noise, high-gain Revolution Preamp and high-resolution 24-bit/48kHz analog-to-digital conversion for professional sound quality with stunning clarity
- High-power headphone output for zero-latency monitoring, complete with level and mix controls
- USB-C output for plug-and-play connectivity with computers, smartphones and tablets
- Internal DSP for advanced audio processing powered by APHEX – including a compressor, noise gate, aural exciter and Big Bottom effects
- Includes high-quality pop filter and desktop mount – an all-in-one solution for recording professional sound at home or on the go. Also allows mounting on a boom.
- Designed and made in RØDE’s state-of-the-art facilities in Sydney, Australia
The NT-USB+ is based on the original NT-USB, which was released in 2014 (when I reviewed it).
The NT-USB+ features a studio-grade condenser capsule that evokes the sound of a classic large-diaphragm condenser microphone. Delivering warmth and clarity, with a full frequency response and tight cardioid polar pattern for clear, focused audio, RØDE says that it excels on everything from vocals (singing) and speech to acoustic guitar and other instruments. The NT-USB+ features enhanced circuitry, with RØDE’s ultra-low-noise, high-gain Revolution preamp technology – first introduced with the RØDECaster Pro II – as well as upgraded high-resolution 24-bit/48kHz analog-to-digital conversion for pristine audio quality. It also features an internal DSP, which allows users to apply advanced APHEX audio processing via RØDE’s free multitrack recording and live multi-source streaming software, RØDE Connect. This includes a high-pass filter for cutting out low-end rumble, a noise gate for eliminating background noise, a compressor for delivering punchy and balanced sound, and the aural exciter and Big Bottom effects for radio style voice tone.
The NT-USB+ features a class-compliant USB-C output that is plug-and-play compatible with macOS and Windows computers. It is also fully compatible with any Android or iOS smartphone or iPadOS tablet, making it an excellent portable recording solution (as long as you have a semi-treated environment). It comes with a pop filter for minimizing plosives (which I’ll be confirming in my upcoming review), as well as a tripod mount for positioning on a desktop, although I recommend mounting it on a boom. It also features a zero-latency headphone output for monitoring audio with no distracting echo or delay, complete with level and monitor mix controls.
Last minute revelation from RØDE
At the last minute, RØDE also revealed that in addition to using the NT-USB+ with all of the aforementioned apps for live (or live-to-drive recording), there is one more option:
We’ll also now be able to unlock the advanced DSP via RØDE Central. This means we can activate the compressor, noise gate, high pass filter and/or APHEX processing via our computer or smartphone and use it with any other software or app, making it even more versatile.
Price and availability
The NT-USB+ is shipping worldwide and available now for US$169. To find out more, head to rode.com/nt-usb-plus.
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