Samson Audio C03U Recording Pak review

Turn your Mac into a fully fledged podcast-recording studio

Fame and fortune could be yours if you make a good podcast! And this will help

TechRadar Verdict

It may be overkill for most people, but there's no denying the quality on offer here


  • +

    Great sound, attractive price

    Strong software and accessories

    Aluminium, padded flight case

    Shock-resistant suspension stand

    Precision engineering


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    Everyone's making a podcast these days, and why not? Hosting them online is cheap, and all the web-building tools we use have easy podcast integration. Even iWeb has a one-click podcasting facility. And if this Samson microphone proves anything, it's that professional voice recording in a studio setting needn't be expensive.

    The mic comes with a brilliant stand that includes a shock-resistant rubbery cage attached to a solid, heavy base. The sound quality is a step up from the headsets we normally use.

    The C03U has a multi-pattern condenser, so it can capture audio in several ways. Flicking a three-way directional switch between modes lets you chose which direction to record in. You get omni (all directions), cardioid (to the front), and a figure of eight pattern for recording in front and behind the mic only. Different modes lend themselves well to different types of recording.

    Next to the direction switch is a quick volume-cut switch that cuts away 10dB, or adds it going the other way. This could be handy during times of heavy background noise.

    Ideally, this mic wants to be on a desktop in a studio, but as it's USB powered, you could easily take it out with a Mac laptop and do your recording remotely.

    It doesn't require a driver - it gets OS-level support out of the box. Optional drivers are included if you want to change things like level metering and phase control. The package also includes Sonar CakeWalk LE, which is good software for recording and mastering the audio you capture.

    Overall? A clean-sounding and fully featured package. was the former name of Its staff were at the forefront of the digital publishing revolution, and spearheaded the move to bring consumer technology journalism to its natural home – online. Many of the current TechRadar staff started life a staff writer, covering everything from the emerging smartphone market to the evolving market of personal computers. Think of it as the building blocks of the TechRadar you love today.