Over the past several years, USB microphones have come a long way. A concept that started simply as a way to make digital recording on a budget more convenient and easier to do has evolved into a viable solution that even professionals can use on a regular basis.
A perfect example of this trend is the Lewitt DGT 650 USB microphone which, apart from being a high quality multi-purpose USB microphone in its own right, also works as a 24-bit, 96kHz USB audio interface for Windows, Mac OS and iOS, providing an all-in-one solution for mobile use. Talk about packing plenty of audio recording power in a small package!
Package Contents / Build Quality
First things first, the product is packed in a compact cardboard box containing the following items:
- The DGT 650 microphone and breakout box
- The DGT 50 SHx shock mount
- A large foam windscreen
- A sturdy tabletop microphone stand
- A USB key containing the drivers and software
- And a set of cables for connecting the microphone to Windows, Mac and iOS devices.
The microphone feels very sturdy and the dark color scheme with green and white accents looks rather nice. It’s quite a hefty piece of gear made completely out of metal, and it really feels like a solid, well built product. The included microphone stand provides adjustable height and angle, making it easy to fit the DGT 650 rather comfortably in most podcasting and home recording setups.
Design / Connectivity
The front panel sports the input gain monitor, a set of backlit parameter status indicators and a “push and turn” jog dial which is used to adjust the microphone’s settings. The USB port on the right side is used for charging the internal Li-Ion battery, which provides 3 hours of standalone use. The battery is only active when connected to an iOS device, as the microphone will charge itself automatically when connected to a PC or Mac via the data connection.
The included breakout box features a headphone jack, a line input, a MIDI input and data connector for connecting to a PC, Mac or iOS device. The line in and MIDI inputs come into play in DGT 650’s singer/songwriter mode, which makes it a rather unique offering on the USB microphone market.
Recording Modes And Sound Quality
One of DGT 650’s biggest strengths is the amount on recording modes on offer. The mic can be used in X-Y stereo mode which is suitable for podcasting, field recording and capturing live performances; cardioid mode for recording vocals and instruments; stereo line-in mode for recording stereo sources directly and, our absolute favorite, the Singer/Songwriter Mode which records the microphone and line input as separate tracks.
This last mode is tailor made for solo artists and composers who need a highly portable and easy to use solution for recording their vocal and instrument performances. To make things even better, the built-in MIDI input makes it possible to connect older MIDI devices which don’t offer USB connectivity.
Having such a wide range of patterns and recording modes on offer makes it possible to record an entire project while relying completely on the DGT 650. The microphone can be used to capture anything from vocals and acoustic guitars to drums, keyboards, and even MIDI instruments.
Since it’s meant as an all-round microphone suitable for a variety of different recording scenarios, DGT 650 captures balanced, uncolored recordings that are very clean and true to the source. This provides a good amount of flexibility for recording a range of different audio sources, at the cost of having to do a bit more EQ and saturation work in post in case you’d like to imprint a certain added character to your recordings.
For example, the mic won’t instantly add air and sparkle to a vocal recording, but it will capture all the nuances of the vocal performance in high detail, making it easy to slightly boost the highs in post in order to achieve the desired effect. This is a good compromise, one that makes the DGT 650 a truly versatile all-in-one recording solution (or a “Mobile Recording Studio” as printed on the packaging). In addition, the microphone can operate in up to 24-bit / 96 kHz quality while providing 110 dB of dynamic range and using high quality low noise analog preamps, resulting in clean, professional sounding recordings. Lewitt has also included two-step pre-attenuation and optional 12dB high-pass filtering for getting rid of low end noise.
In order to use the microphone on a PC or Mac machine, you will need to download the latest drivers from Lewitt’s website and install the included DGT Control Center application. The app provides direct access to the settings which are otherwise controlled using the jog wheel on the front panel. After installing the drivers, the microphone will appear as a new audio device with two inputs, a MIDI input and stereo outputs.
For iOS users, Lewitt Audio has created a dedicated app called Recorder which can be downloaded from the App Store. Apart from the basic audio recording functionality, the iOS app features multiple recording modes, a compressor and a reverb, tagging, notes, and a neatly organized archive of past recordings.
It’s really hard to find anything negative to say about the DGT 650. The only thing that comes to mind is the lack of Android support, but that is a minor thing to be honest. The fact that Android as a platform has its fair share of audio hardware issues is common knowledge by now (mostly caused by the fact that Android devices are manufactured by so many different companies, resulting in compatibility issues), which is why we really can’t mention DGT 650’s lack of Android support as anything else but a slight nitpick.
For a mobile user, Lewitt DGT 650 is a fantastic portable recording solution that offers compatibility with all major platforms. Whether plugged into a laptop or connected to on iOS device, it’s a great way to get high quality audio recordings on the go. For use in smaller studios or minimalist home based setups it also makes a lot of sense, since having the USB microphone and the audio interface combined in a single package saves a lot of space while providing all the necessary audio recording features.
One of the most impressive standout features is the singer/songwriter mode which is a godsend for composers and solo artists who want to capture their ideas quickly and in high definition. It is much faster than using a cumbersome studio setup, while offering high quality multi-track recording that can’t be achieved with a phone or a field recorder.
DGT 650 is a versatile and extremely easy to use plug and play tool which provides great sounding results and fantastic features for the price. The package contains everything you need to start recording high quality audio on your iPhone, iPad, or laptop. If you’re looking for a high quality USB microphone that can handle anything from recording vocals in a studio to capturing the performance of your band, podcasting, or even field recording to an iOS device, you can hardly go wrong with Lewitt Audio’s impressive DGT 650 mic.
See also: Lewitt DGT 650
Lewitt DGT 650 Review
Lewitt DGT 650 is a versatile and extremely easy to use plug and play recording solution which provides great sounding results and fantastic features for the price.