If you are looking for an affordable USB microphone, you should take a closer look at the K669 from FiFine. We put the cardioid microphone through an extensive test and compare it with the FiFine T669 Bundle including microphone boom, shock mount and pop filter. What do the inexpensive recording devices perform?
|Model:||FiFine K669; FiFine T669|
|Sampling rate:||16 bit; 48kHz|
|Frequency:||20 Hz – 20,000 Hz (K669);
50 Hz – 20,000 Hz (T669)
|Characteristics:||Cardioid (cardioid characteristic)|
|Connectors:||USB-A for connection to PC (K669 and T669)|
|Weight:||604g (microphone); 1,508g (microphone including arm)|
|Length of microphone arm (T669):||76 cm|
|Price (T669 Bundle):||€ 59.99*|
|Price (K669):||€ 29.99*|
Scope of delivery and differences
When looking for an affordable USB microphone, manufacturer FiFine has two interesting models up its sleeve in the form of the K669 and T669 respectively. From a purely visual point of view, both recording devices are like two peas in a pod.
From a technical point of view, however, it is confusing at first, because the manufacturer’s website does not list any differences in terms of specifications. However, if you compare the enclosed manuals of the microphones with each other, but more about that later.
Let’s start with the inexpensive K669, which comes in a compact package. The scope of delivery turns out, according to the price, quite manageable. In addition to the microphone and the USB-A cable (2.5 m long), there is only a small tripod stand in the box. The thread for connecting to a microphone boom can be unscrewed if desired in order to use the K669 in a shock mount or a so-called spider.
The FiFine T669 is a completely different case, as it is a low-priced bundle consisting of a microphone, microphone boom, shock mount and pop shield. The scope of delivery is absolutely impressive. In addition to the microphone itself, the box contains a detachable USB cable with the same length as the K669.
Furthermore, the manufacturer includes a table mount, a microphone boom that can be extended to a maximum of 76 cm, a shock mount, an additional foam pop filter, an optional two-layer clip-on pop shield and the tripod stand. In short, absolutely everything you would want for the most flexible use of a microphone is provided here.
Design and finish
Let’s start with the FiFine T669 bundle first, or rather its workmanship. This is merely on a decent level, but doesn’t even come close to the quality of the Trust GXT 255+ ONYX that we only recently tested. In view of the approximately 120 euro lower price, however, this circumstance can be gotten over.
The microphone boom itself is made of metal, but is still quite light. However, it offers, even when tightening all screws, a little too much play, so that the microphone can accidentally adjust in use. The screws and threads are okay in terms of workmanship, but they are not as precisely processed as one would wish. Considering the price, the workmanship is okay, but the entire package does not seem really stable. An impression that is confirmed in practice, but hardly has a negative impact in use – at least as long as you don’t change the microphone’s position every minute.
We like the workmanship of the microphone itself much better. Both the T669 and the K669 offer a compact case with a length of 120 mm and a diameter of 48 mm. There’s nothing to complain about here: both recorders feel high-quality and offer no gaps or sharp edges. The built-in 16mm capsule microphones fit behind a metal grille, while both units are equipped with a removable threaded mount that can be quickly and easily unscrewed when used in a shock mount. Neither microphone offers an LED indicator, nor a mute button. Only a single rotary control for adjusting the volume on the front was installed by FiFine.
Neither of the two microphones has an integrated pop filter, but the T669 bundle comes with a corresponding foam attachment that, together with another two-layer filter, further enhances the sound quality. Alternatively, both components of the K669 can be purchased inexpensively from third-party manufacturers.
Points are deducted from the T669 for the not quite well thought-out installation in the shock mount. Although the microphone is held securely in position, the upper frame of the spider almost completely covers the microphone volume dial, which makes it completely unusable. This should have been solved better.
Both the FiFine K669 and the T669, rely on a cardioid characteristic in terms of the recording pattern. Accordingly, the microphones want to be placed relatively close in front of the mouth and aimed frontally at the recording source. Both offer a maximum quality of 16 bit at a maximum of 48kHz, but they differ in terms of the maximum frequency range.
While the K669 covers a spectrum from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, the T669 only gets going from 50 Hz. At the same time, the T669 is more sensitive and comes to -43dB ± 3dB at 1kHz, while it is -34dB for the K669. Does this make a difference sonically? No, because both microphones offer really good audio quality for this price range.
Voice recording is done with quite high dynamics and we are always clearly understandable. Of course, the recording quality can’t quite keep up with a much more expensive microphone, especially a slight reverb is omnipresent. However, background and background noise are suppressed quite effectively, while the maximum volume can more than hold its own without unpleasant distortions.
It is also noticeable that the sound benefits noticeably from the installation of the pop protection. Not only are plosives and sharp S tones reproduced much more smoothly, but we also like the sound’s warmth better in general, even though the dynamics suffer a bit from the installation. In terms of sound, both microphones are okay, but they do not offer a significant advantage compared to a standard gaming headset. The following video shows how the two FiFine microphones sound.
Although the FiFine T669 and the K669 don’t make any noteworthy mistakes in terms of audio quality, we find it extremely difficult to give a clear buy recommendation for the USB microphones.
On the plus side, both devices have a good build quality (at least with regard to the microphone) and are very easy to use. Unpack, connect, start. It really couldn’t be easier. The T669 in particular, in combination with the microphone boom, pop filters and accessories, is a very attractive overall package, although the workmanship of the materials could be better.
On the other hand, current mid-priced gaming headsets are at least on par in terms of acoustics and sometimes even offer a much better, higher-resolution sound.
If you absolutely want to rely on a microphone due to your streaming ambitions in terms of aesthetics and want to spend as little money as possible, you will be well served with the FiFine T669 and K669. However, for a little more money you get a much higher quality, even from our own house in the case of the FiFine K678.
FIFINE T669 price comparison
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