Starting your own podcast or streaming series can be a bit overwhelming. Especially, when you consider the cost that goes into buying into the required gear to make it all happen. One of the biggest investments is going to (usually) be your microphone. However, it doesn’t always have to be as expensive as one may think. The Stage Right by Monoprice Complete Podcasting and Streaming Bundle is a great example of this.
Your average condenser microphone would normally run you $100+. This is actually still the case when you consider that someday you will likely upgrade into a prosumer or better option. An example of this is the Fox USB mic by beyerdynamic. A decent option you might consider upgrading to someday, but with a price tag of $150, it isn’t exactly the best option for beginners on a budget.
Instead, the Stage Righ bundle features a number of useful products to get you started with for only $89. It comes with a mic, a boom/arm, USB cable, ring mount, pop filter, windscreen, and headphones.
A pretty decent roundup of parts, which checks off many of the items that would be on your list if you were looking to get started from scratch.
Of course, $89 seems quite a bit cheap for what you get. So speculation was present when we starting digging into everything. Thankfully, once again, we were surprised in the end by how everything performed.
So let’s break everything down and review piece by piece
This is comparable to just about every affordable boom/arm option out there. You can typically pick them up for around $20. In fact, we are pretty confident that they are all made in the same factory and then shipped out to all of these companies for resale/rebrand.
Thankfully, these arms (“booms”) work really well. They can easily hold the weight of a microphone and pop filter. It’s only when you decide to use them for something else (something a bit heavier) that they can sometimes fail to hold the weight attached. We make use of these arms all over for various projects like webcams, ring lights, microphones, etc. They hold their weight almost every time.
It also has the USB cable pre-ran through the arm. This keeps the cable run clean and out of the way. The USB running through the arm is also of decent quality as well. A decent amount of insulation/jacket, while remaining quite flexible.
Like everything else in the kit, these headphones are entry-level. They will not compare to any high-end option. Instead, they compare to a $20-$25 pair of headphones you’d find on the shelf. However, they do provide a decent range for being as simple as they are. You won’t get a lot of bass, nor will you get a full range of exciting sound. However, they don’t sound terrible. They work perfectly fine when you are simply looking to monitor your voice.
The headphones are crisp, without any kind of muddiness we can sometimes find in entry-level options. They even come with a 1/4″ adapter, extending your use capabilities to amps that require this. The cable is long enough for just about any normal situation and they are incredibly light. There is no discomfort at all.
A fantastic entry-level USB cardioid condenser microphone (up to 16-bit/48k) that is user-friendly since you don’t have to worry about a phantom power solution in-line between it and your computer. You simply plug it in and you’re off.
It has your basic controls on the side, including microphone gain (volume) and headphone gain (volume). You also have a mute button and a place to insert your headphones.
The audio it produces is very clean for what it costs. We wouldn’t use it as a vocal mic, but for podcasting/streaming a talking head, it is perfect. In fact, it sounds better than a few mics we have run across that are $20+ more than the value of this one. You can hear an audio sample here (taken from the below unboxing video):
There are no pattern change options or anything, but this is expected for an entry-level solution like this. It sounds like a $40-$50 option to be honest when comparing it to other models we have worked with over the years.
This is where we finally start to run into things we don’t like, with the exception of the pop filter. The nylon pop filter is your typical pop filter solution. It’s it built-well, features a strong gooseneck, and gets the job done.
The foam windscreen is a foam windscreen. It works as a foam windscreen should. However, it is squashed into a slot, deforming the shape of the foam. This makes it unusable if you plan for it to be on camera. Thankfully, if you are using it indoors, you won’t need it if you are using the pop filter. It’s just unfortunate that it is so misshaped when the packing job is great everywhere else.
This isn’t much of a concern though as in many cases, you won’t be using the windscreen. You can also find an affordable replacement online.
Where we do have a solid complaint, is the ring mount. The mount is durable and will get the job done when it comes to holding the mic. However, it doesn’t do a good job at reducing physical noise from transferring into the microphone.
This is the same with any ring mount like this. It isn’t designed to act as a shock mount. Therefore you are going to hear every vibration, tap, or bump, involving the surface the arm is attached to, the arm itself, or anything physically touching the surface the arm is attached to. You can hear some example audio here (taken from the video below) where we are tapping or softly pounding the desk the arm is fastened to:
As you can hear, you hear everything. So you have to either attach this to a separate surface and try not to bump into it, or you’ll want to invest in a shock mount to help reduce this noise (making sure to match the thread style of the mic).
As mentioned in our video below, we felt that they could have included a shock mount. Even if it raised the price $5 or so. The resulting effect would be more than worth it.
In the end, this wound up being a terrific kit of items. The most important, the microphone and headphones, delivering a crisp/clear performance. The headphones aren’t really anything special, but again, they aren’t bad. The microphone, however, is fantastic for the price. The sound it produces will benefit any beginner looking to get started.
Adding everything up (when it comes to our own comparative/estimated values) we’d say the bundle is absolutely worth it. We estimate the value to be around $90-$100. So at $89.99, it feels about right (and it comes with free shipping).
It is unfortunate that they include a ring-style mount instead of a shock mount. A shock mount is absolutely vital when it comes to recording/streaming clean audio with reduced impact noise transferring into the microphone. It feels like they could have included one without increasing the price much. However, that was really our only stink about the kit that had an effect on the score.
|30Hz ~ 18kHz
|-36dB ±2dB (0dB = 1V/PA @1kHz)
|Maximum Noise Level
|USB Cable Length
|5.9 ft. (1.8m)
|ø2.3″ x 7.3″ (ø58 x 185 mm)
|Condenser microphone, headphones, microphone boom with integrated USB cable, mount bracket, mic clip, windscreen, pop filter
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