The NW700, BM800 and similar microphones

Microphones of all types
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superphool
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:45 pm

The NW700, BM800 and similar microphones

Post by superphool » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:35 pm

The Neewer NW700 and similar are extremely common types usually sold very cheaply in ebay and other sites, frequently described by sellers as "Studio condenser" microphones.
NW700-Box_400.jpg
NW700-Box_400.jpg (140.79 KiB) Viewed 287 times

They usually have an XLR to 3.5mm connecting cable with them, which is supposed to make them work when connected directly to a PC or laptop 3.5mm microphone socket.

They rarely work well like this, if they even work at all.

There are a number of problems with the descriptions and parts supplied:

They are an electret microphone, using a small aluminium capsule which can typically operate from about 3 to 5V; these would be at their best if directly connected to a PC/laptop microphone input as those supply 3 - 5 volts and are designed to directly connect to a suitable electret microphone capsule.
NW700-Capsule_400.jpg
NW700-Capsule_400.jpg (86.56 KiB) Viewed 287 times

The microphones as supplied have additional electronic built in to allow them to connect with XLR type microphone inputs on equipment, as used by many, many types of microphones.

The XLR microphone connections on most equipment are capable of providing a 48V supply to power the electronic in mics that need this, and the NW700 etc. have circuitry to regulate this down to an appropriate level for the electret capsule, and to drive the balanced line XLR connection.

When a microphone built for this 48V system is connected to a device giving only 5V or less, it's not surprising that it does not work properly.


Some sellers say the microphone buyer should also purchase a separate 48V supply unit to run the microphone, however a lot of people who have done this still cannot get any audio via the 3.5mm cable.


The microphones do normally work properly, within the limits of the components used, if connected to a standard XLR microphone input that can provide the needed 48V phantom power. Used like this, they are an "OK" mic, as long as you do not pay more than £10 to £15 for them.

For comparison to the one above, this is a true condenser mic capsule:
Condenser_mic_capsule_400.jpg
Condenser_mic_capsule_400.jpg (131.07 KiB) Viewed 287 times

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