The Microfone Fifine Technology K670 USB Condenser was acquired in AliExpress FIFINE Official Store. This microphone plugs directly into a USB port on the computer, in other words, it already includes its own audio interface. It plug-and-play and pantry drivers. Has a jack 3.5mm for headphones providing a return without latency and comes with a table support with 3 height levels. It is considered a great low cost alternative for those who cannot or do not want to invest in more expensive microphones, as Blue Yeti.
Motivation and Choice
This is a piece of equipment that I wouldn’t even have thought of buying, were it not for the pandemic. Before her, microphone was something of occasional use, and I always thought that the microphone that came with Sound Blaster Zx, that I acquired there in 2013, it was great size.
With the start of the pandemic and work at home, the microphone went from its supporting role and became an essential item. And that's when the microphone Sound Blaster Zx began to show his shortcomings. Its intake is very good, even over a considerable distance, but it also means that it also catches children who are screaming all the time on the street (and disrespecting the isolation), the dogs that bark, and the noisy neighbors.
I've always used the feature CrystalVoice connected, acting on noise reduction and acoustic echo cancellation. It Works very well, nothing is heard of that constant pickup noise but, on the other hand, the voice is a little muffled, without life. And the intermittent noises, the kind I mentioned before, are still heard.
Capturing the sound of the whole environment is nice in conversations with the family. It is more immersive, there is a greater feeling of being “present” when we hear all the little noises. But for work this is not cool.
That's when I remembered that there are almost 20 years old I bought a dynamic microphone Lesson SM-58 to use with the college band. I connected it to the P10 input of the Sound Blaster Zx. Behold, the Lesson SM-58 presented a more pleasant sound, more alive. Because it is a dynamic microphone, it also captures much less ambient noise, and it's more directional. But, even with the volume at maximum and the card configured with a gain of + 30dB, he was still a little low.
The next item in the past to be rescued was then a sound mixer. 6 channels of Wattsom, which was also used at the time of the college band. With it I was able to control and increase the microphone gain, besides being able to adjust bass and treble. The output of the mixer I connected to the Sound Blaster Zx. And so I turned around for several weeks.
But to be holding the Lesson SM-58 all the time it was also uncomfortable. And there I went to rescue another item from the past: a RMV pedestal, also used at the time of the college band.
I actually think that dynamic microphones are better suited for work at home. Professional artists use condenser microphones only in studios, with very well controlled acoustics, no noise, without reverberation. In live performances they use dynamic microphones because this is what works best in environments where noise is unavoidable.
But with the pandemic far from over and with no forecast for the end of work at home, more and more the whole installed paraphernalia was bothering me. It disrupts movement, disrupts cleaning, disturb everything.
So I left in search of a better solution. An audio interface would be nice. I could buy a good common microphone and eventually I could also connect the guitar or guitar on it. But, let's be realistic, this would be a sporadic use and most of the time I would have just one more thing on my bench. And the cost of an audio interface and a good microphone would be an investment that I wasn’t up to.
A more practical and cheaper solution, although more limited, it was simply a USB microphone. They already have their own audio interface, dispensing with the sound card circuit. So the connection is direct with the PC, without intermediaries.
I immediately discarded the most expensive options like Blue Yeti and other famous brands, after all I'm not a radio host or youtuber professional to make an investment of this level justified. Keeping an eye on Chinese brands that have a good cost-benefit ratio, soon the Fifine as the strongest candidate.
The Microfone Fifine Technology K670 is top brand and costs around R $ 300, a very good price for what it offers. Several reviews, nationals and internationals, made a lot of praise for this microphone. After watching several of them I decided, was the Fifine K670 that i wanted.
Unboxing and Tests
The Microfone Fifine Technology K670 comes in a rigid cardboard box, in the style of cell phone cases. Inside it we have the microphone, manual, USB out, the support, and an adapter.
At first I installed it with the support at the lowest level, and put it in front of my monitor, so that it would be at a distance of 40 ~ 50 cm from my mouth. It has a nice blue light that stays on whenever it's connected.
Check out the photos and the video of the unboxing from the Microfone Fifine Technology K670:
The interface of the Fifine K670 it's just USB 1.1, so that any USB port, even the oldest, they can handle it without any major problems. These are the data I got from him through Sisoftware Sandra:
Root Hub: USB Port #1 Status : Device Connected Manufacturer : FIFINE Microphones Device Connected : FIFINE K670 Microphone Device ID : VEN_3142, DEV_0001, PRT_00 Device Version : 1.0 Serial : REV*** USB Version : 1.10 Speed : Full (12Mbps) Configuration Settings : 1 Open Pipes : 2 Transfer Type : Interrupt Data Packet Size : 16bytes
The gain from Fifine K670 is adjusted in two places: on the microphone volume button and on the Windows sound control panel. The two gains are independent and add up. No Windows, the default volume is 79, Which is equivalent to +14,7 dB. Recording is in 2 channels, from 16 bits e 44,1 KHz or 48 KHz, equivalent to CD and DVD quality, respectively.
I soon realized that keeping the microphone on the table, even with the volume knob at maximum, the gain is not enough to capture the voice at a good volume. It is necessary to increase the gain in Windows, but then the ambient noise also stands out and even the bench vibration, because of the PC itself, starts to be a problem. Voice pickup is very good, fuller, seeming to occupy the frequencies better, but the background noise in the moments of silence was very uncomfortable.
At first hit a disappointment, will the Fifine K670 would be worse than the microphone of Sound Blaster Zx? But then I realized that I always used the microphone Sound Blaster Zx with noise reduction and acoustic echo reduction enabled. I did a test turning off these options and the noise was unbearable, much bigger than in Fifine K670.
Time to face reality: you can't use the Fifine K670 there is 40 ~ 50 cm away, supported on a vibrating table, throwing the gain up there and hoping it doesn't pick up noises. I took the RMV pedestal back and installed the microphone on it. Then I could leave the microphone close to my mouth, reducing the gain and leaving the noise at a much more acceptable level, but still present.
My next step was to try to find some outside filtering out noise from the Fifine K670, so how can you do Sound Blaster Zx with any microphone connected to it. There are many audio processing software that do this type of filtering offline, but I needed a filter acting in real time, to use in video conferencing, for example.
That's when I found the NVIDIA RTX Voice. It is a plugin that uses NVIDIA RTX GPUs, as my RTX 2060 Super to make noise reduction using artificial intelligence. The result is fantastic! Background noise disappears completely. Furthermore, remember noisy neighbors, of the puppies barking, screaming children? Everything also magically disappears. Even the keyboard sound disappears. Just the voice. And important detail: the sound is not muffled and full of artifacts as in common noise filters.
NVIDIA does not give details, but I'm sure that NVIDIA RTX Voice uses deep neural networks (deep learning) to obtain such a result. The feature certainly came to boost sales of the RTX line, but there are reports of users who were able to install it and use it on GTX cards. Apparently it only uses CUDA cores. The GPU frequency and memory, that typically stay in 300 MHz and 405 Mhz, respectively, on my board when it's idle, go up to 1470 MHz and 6801 MHz, respectively, when NVIDIA RTX Voice is enabled.
Unfortunately it is necessary to open and close the plugin manually when we are going to use it, because keeping it turned on unnecessarily increases the power consumption of the GPU and prevents the computer from sleeping (enter standby).
The NVIDIA RTX Voice is so good that I was able to Fifine K670 to the pedestal that accompanies it and places it on the table, playing the gain up there without hearing any little noise. But I didn't want to abuse the plugin and soon I returned the microphone to the RMV pedestal, to speak closer and keep the gain lower. Then I ended up buying an articulated table stand, thus eliminating the RMV floor stand, that hindered mobility and cleanliness.
An interesting feature of Fifine K670 is output P2, that allows you to connect headphones to achieve non-latent audio feedback, avoiding the Ruth Lemos effect (Caramba, it's been a while! I'm getting old…). But there is one drawback: the sound of the headphones is controlled by the volume button, the same that controls the microphone gain. The ideal would be to have two independent buttons: one for gain, another for volume. I already knew about this limitation when I bought the Fifine K670, but I didn't care because I don't use return.
The P2 output behaves like any Windows audio device, you can even direct all the audio from the PC to it, and not only the return of the microphone. So, one way to get around the limitation of the volume button is to control the volume of the headphones, or the microphone gain, or even both, through the Windows sound control panel.
These are the package tracking information with the Microfone Fifine Technology K670 USB Condenser:
2020.08.05 14:08 (GMT-7): Delivery successful 2020.07.22 08:07 (GMT-7): Accepted by Last Mile Carrier 2020.07.16 21:40 (GMT-7): Arrived at destination country 2020.07.15 10:10 (GMT-7): Departed country of origin 2020.07.15 10:10 (GMT-7): Departed country of origin 2020.07.13 18:07 (GMT-7): Shipment arrived at country of origin post office 2020.07.13 01:14 (GMT-7): Shipment left country of origin warehouse 2020.07.12 13:53 (GMT-7): Shipment at country of origin warehouse 2020.07.12 13:23 (GMT-7): Shipment dispatched
And these are the information obtained on the site of the station:
05/08/2020 14:05 [REMOVED] / SP Object delivered to the recipient 05/08/2020 10:33 [REMOVED] / SP object out for delivery to the recipient 04/08/2020 13:32 INDAIATUBA / SP Objeto encaminhado de Unidade de Tratamento em INDAIATUBA / SP for distribution Unit in [REMOVED] / SP 30/07/2020 16:04 ITAPIRA / SP Objeto encaminhado de Unidade de Distribuição em ITAPIRA / SP for Treatment Unit in INDAIATUBA / SP 30/07/2020 09:37 ITAPIRA / SP Objeto mal encaminhado Encaminhamento a ser corrigido 27/07/2020 09:20 INDAIATUBA / SP Objeto encaminhado de Unidade de Tratamento em INDAIATUBA / SP for distribution Unit in [REMOVED] / SP 24/07/2020 10:27 CURITIBA / PR Objeto encaminhado de Unidade de Distribuição em CURITIBA / PR for Treatment Unit in INDAIATUBA / SP 24/07/2020 10:25 CURITIBA / PR finalized Customs supervision 22/07/2020 08:25 CURITIBA / PR Objeto recebido pelos Correios do Brasil Informar nº do documento para a fiscalização e entrega do seu objeto. Click here My Imports 14/07/2020 14:33 HONG KONG / Objeto encaminhado de País em HONG KONG / countries in International treatment unit / BR Informar nº do documento para a fiscalização e entrega do seu objeto. Click here My Imports 13/07/2020 18:38 HONG KONG / Objeto postado Informar nº do documento para a fiscalização e entrega do seu objeto. Click here My Imports
Note that 24 days in transport. The package arrived very quickly in Brazil, but then Correios, with your usual incompetence, made the biggest mess by sending the package to the wrong city and taking more than a week to correct the error. And there was nothing wrong with addressing.
The seller was also kind of slow in shipping. You put a tracking code, and after a few days sent a message with another code:
dear customer Since the logistics company did not scan the package in time, the original tracking number has become invalid We have arranged to send the package again, the new tracking number is: [REMOVED] I’m really sorry for the inconvenience. Any questions, please feel free to contact us.
With that, the package ended up being effectively posted after 13 days shopping.
Por fim, This is the table-summary of purchase:
|Product Name:||Microfone Fifine Technology K670 USB Condenser|
|Name Original:||FIFINE USB condenser microphone for computer professional recording MIC for Youtube Skype meeting game one line teaching 670-1|
|Store:||AliExpress FIFINE Official Store.|
|Current value:||R$ 274,09|
|Payment Method:||Credit Card Visa International|
|Shipping Type:||Aliexpress Standard Shipping|
|Shipping Fee:||R$ 68,60|
|Package Home Country:||China|
|Time in Transit:||24 days|
|Type Marked Content:||Others|
|Declared Value:||USD $2.0|
The Microfone Fifine Technology K670 and the NVIDIA RTX Voice are a perfect pair for me. With the Microfone Fifine Technology K670 I can make very good quality recordings, sound very well captured, filling the frequencies well, at the level I see youtubers professionals doing. Except, é clear, by the compressor filters, equalizadores, etc. that need to be added, after all no microphone works miracles alone, and professionals also use a lot of filters.
The NVIDIA RTX Voice takes care of disappearing with pickup noises due to the high gain that saves my voice. And it also disappears with all the ambient noise, like children screaming in the street, puppies barking, noisy neighbors, and even the notification sounds from my own PC and cell phone, which I don't even have to bother to disable before making a recording or participating in a video conference.
So, I am quite satisfied with the Microfone Fifine Technology K670. I would be satisfied without the NVIDIA RTX Voice? Probably yes, but in this case I might also have to invest in improving the acoustics of the environment to avoid reverberation (open the cabinets, maybe), probably also have to use a shock mount to avoid microphone vibration noise, since my new articulated support is connected to the workbench. Por fim, I would have to settle for having the special participation of dogs and children from the neighborhood in my recordings and videoconferences. Mas cabe lembrar que qualquer microfone condensador bom precisaria dos mesmos filtros ou dos mesmos cuidados.