The Rode NT-USB Mini is a compact and easy to use USB microphone for voiceovers, conference calls and much more. The microphone features a USB Type-C connection, built-in pop filter and plug and play use.
The microphone has a very compact design, making it far easier to travel with and set up on the go in comparison to something such as the Rode Complete Studio Kit, this makes the microphone easy to move around to record or for use with, for example, vocals, streaming, conference calls or recording instruments.
The microphone is constructed from a black high-quality metal and nylon construction which makes it durable and feel well-built. The NT-USB Mini is also integrated into a tilting mount so the microphone can be angled towards your mouth, this is particularly useful as the magnetic attaching base the microphone comes with is quite small and if placed on a desk, could be quite far away from your mouth.
For the best sound quality, the microphone really needs to be as close to your sound source as possible. The microphone can be mounted onto a different microphone stand or arm, such as the rode DS1 or PSA1, as it includes a thread mount adaptor, but alternatively, you could stack some books together or place the microphone on a box to save some cash and get it closer to your mouth.
Despite this, I still do think the compact stand is quite useful as it does mean that you can easily put the microphone in a bag, without it taking up too much space, and set it up with ease when you want to record.
The front of the microphone is home to the face of the microphone capsule, which is housed behind the microphone’s integrated pop filter, as well as some Rode branding, LED status lights and headphone volume level knob, which works in tandem with the 3.5mm headphone output on the rear side of the microphone – essentially meaning the microphone can be its own audio interface.
Also, on the back, you’ll find the USB Type-C connection which is the sole connection for connecting the microphone to your device, making it easy to get up and running. Rode includes a 2 metre USB Type-C cable in the box which should provide plenty of length for most users.
Overall, the design of the microphone is extremely nice, and it comes in at a very accessible form factor – even though this may be Rode’s entry-level USB microphone, they have not cut corners on the design.
The NT-USB Mini is a condenser microphone, with a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, this provides a wide scope of frequencies that the microphone can capture, making it great for not only recording vocals but also instruments with a 48 kHz sample rate and 24-bit bit depth, this will provide you with high-quality recordings that are rich with detail. The microphone features a cardioid polar pattern, which means it picks up audio from in-front of the microphone.
For the form factor and the size, the sound quality that the NT-USB Mini delivers is fantastic and can capture clear and detailed voiceovers, with excellent clarity and sound that you would expect from Rode. The quality that Rode has included for the price is undoubtedly worth it.
As I have stressed earlier during the review, the placement of the microphone does have a significant impact on your recording quality so you will want to ensure the microphone is appropriately spaced from your sound source, at roughly 10-15cm, and also facing the sound source due to the cardioid polar pattern.
The NT-USB Mini also features an integrated pop-filter which will help reduce the impact of plosives that may come from words such as “because” or “people” as the phonetics of the B and P can send pops of sound towards your microphone, so having a pop filter built-in is great to see.
The convenience of the smaller stand and form factor does have a consequence, unlike the larger NT-USB, the NT-USB mini cannot be mounted into a shock mount as the pivoting mechanism is built into the microphone itself. This could result in bumps or surface noise being picked up by the microphone as there is nothing to dampen the vibrations.
The microphone also features zero-latency monitoring modes which can be useful for checking your sound during a recording, this works in tandem with the headphone output on the microphone and can be activated by pressing down on the volume knob to activate. Rode claims that you should be able to power a pair of high-impedance headphones with the microphone’s headphone output but unfortunately, I do not have a pair of high-impedance headphones so I have been unable to test this.
If you’re looking for a compact microphone that can offer fantastic quality sound for the price, the Rode NT-USB Mini is a fantastic option. It is great not only for voiceovers and recording instruments but the smaller form factor also makes it more practical for using during online meetings and video calls. The microphone includes a one-year warranty that can be extended to two years by registering the microphone on Rode’s website.
Rode NT-USB MiniRode NT-USB Mini
- Great sound
- Portable form-factor
- Plug and play usability
- No shock-mounting option
- Included stand is quite short