Buying a good quality microphone can cost the most demanding a few hundred euros. But there are high quality and versatile solutions at a very attractive price, such as the Fduce SL40.
I recently found this microphone on Amazon that costs about €100, and looks reminiscent of the Shure MV7. And in this review I tell you my opinion about this dynamic microphone.
Unboxing and first impressions
Unboxing the Fduce SL40 is quite simple, as it should be, but also very comprehensive. This is because the box basically comes with everything you need to get started with it, aside from the microphone itself.
This one already comes as a frame, which you can attach to any arm or tripod of your choice. It even came with a box adapter that allowed me to easily connect it to my old mic boom.
The microphone also comes with a sponge that will protect the capsule from external noise or dirt. But that’s not all, because it is a very versatile microphone that you can connect via XLR to an interface or via USB-C to your computer.
To that end, it comes with a quality XLR cable included in the box, as well as a USB-C (for mic out) to USB-A cable. And if your computer doesn’t have USB-A ports, it comes with a USB-C adapter for use in a newer MacBook, like I did.
First impressions after unboxing are very good as it seems to me that Fduce has paid a lot of attention to detail on this product. Users receive the necessary accessories to start using the microphone right away.
Fduce SL40 Technical Specifications
- Microphone type: dynamic
- polar pattern: cardioid
- Frequency response between 50Hz – 14kHz
- Sensitivity: -54dB +1.5dB
- Sampling Rate: 96kHz
- Bit rate: 24 bit
- Impedance: 600 ohms
- Interface Type: XLR and USB-C Type-C
- 3.5mm jack input
- Cable length: 2 meters
My take on the Fduce SL40
design and construction
When we look at the Fduce SL40, we immediately think that it is inspired by the Shure MV7 or the classic SM7B. But unlike other models, this is an above-average build product for the price.
For starters, it has an all-metal finish. This gives us the confidence that it will be a durable product and can even withstand accidental drops. In addition, it seems to have good finishes.
The buttons are very responsive and clickable and Fduce seems to be doing a lot of work in this area. The same can be said for the XLR, USB-C or 3.5mm jack inputs, which are well built and robust.
As for the microphone, I only have good things to say. It is a microphone that I consider quite beautiful, also because the eyes also eat. And with the buttons on top, they’re easily accessible for use in USB-C mode. This is because in XLR mode you will be doing those controls from your audio interface.
The microphone frame is also quite robust, with two screws on the side that can be tightened or loosened to your liking. It’s interesting because this gives you some rotation for the microphone, but it would be even more interesting if it allowed you to rotate the microphone 360 degrees.
The microphone sponge filter is of medium quality, serving to protect it and use it from a reasonable distance. So if you want to avoid so-called “spikes”, it is advisable to use another sponge with more depth or an additional pop filter.
On the microphone itself we have 3 buttons for essential use. The center button is used to mute the microphone with a press, or to toggle between own gain and headphone gain with a long press.
Since you have an indication of whether you’re controlling headphone volume or microphone gain, you easily know which one you’re using. To do this, it is enough to look on which side the blue light is on.
To later increase that gain, just use the “+” and “-“ buttons, according to your taste. The buttons do a little clicking, but they’re much quieter than other options I’ve tried in the past.
To know if you are transmitting audio, or if the microphone is muted, you will see colors. Blue means it’s operational, while red means it’s muted.
This is a microphone that is simply plug and play. As I mentioned earlier, the fact that it’s hybrid allows you to use it in two ways: via USB-C, connected to a computer, smartphone, tablet, or directly to a camera.
Or via XLR, where you’ll connect it to an audio interface. It is this interface that you then connect to your computer, for example, to do your streaming.
In the audio tests I share below, I try to show you the audio quality you’ll get in USB-C mode (connected directly to my MacBook Air). The audio interface is something I don’t have, but it helps you access even better results.
In addition to the audio quality over USB-C, I also show you how it compares to my old Blue Snowball or the microphones on my MacBook Air M1.
For the price, the audio quality is good if you are going to use it in USB-C mode connected to your computer, for example. This is an option that’s out there, and it’s especially good if you’re on the go and can’t take an audio interface with you. It is a very fat and deep sound, ideal for podcasts, streaming or voiceovers.
What is good to point out is that these recordings were made in my office, which is still a bit empty, and as such with a lot of echo. Thus, in a space with better sound insulation, the results will be even better.
The microphone is designed to be used from above. This means you’ll have better audio capture from the top, and this decreases if you move to the sides or towards the cable entries. You can get good results at a distance of between 5 and 15 centimeters from it.
Conclusion on the Fduce SL40
Due to its versatility, this is a microphone that can be used by people who make podcasts (my case), but not only. It could be the microphone to use for those who do narrations, or even if you usually make music recordings (in this case I recommend the XLR mode). Basically, he’s a do it all.
Because it works via USB-C and XLR, it’s a versatile product. The USB makes it easy to use in any situation, simply by connecting it to your computer or smartphone and performing the gain controls on the microphone itself.
For those who want the best quality, the XLR connection is there. It is this connection that will allow you to take advantage of the full potential of this microphone, connecting it to an audio interface. But I can tell you that the audio quality over USB-C leaves me quite satisfied. On both connections, no additional microphone power is required.
Audio quality is good for the price, as is the build. The fact that it’s all metal, with very tactile buttons, gives us the feeling that the microphone will last a long time. And the best compliment I can give it is that it will start to be the microphone to use for my 4gnews podcast recordings. It’s hard to find fault with it, considering it costs around €100.
The Fduce SL40 is available on Amazon Spain for €101.65. But you have a 20% discount code, which basically makes the product only €81.32. Shipping is free to Portugal. For more information, you can consult the Fduce official website.
€101.65 with 20% discount code
Strengths of the Fduce SL40
- Robust and well built metal microphone
- Easy to use clickable buttons
- Possibility of use via USB-C or XLR, plug and play
- Pretty good recording quality for the price
- Good audio isolation
Points to improve of Fduce SL40
- It would be interesting to be able to move it 360 degrees on the stand.
- The original sponge filter is of medium quality.