Whether you are streaming for thousands or just trying to be heard over the chaos of another Zoom meeting, being heard is incredibly important. The Tonor TC-777 USB mic aims to be an easy upgrade for anybody with a spare USB port, so we cleared some space to find out how it sounds.
While anybody looking to jump into game streaming might have heard of some premium names like the Blue Yeti Nano, or even the more recent Elgato Wave. The popularity and established performance of these brands remain a significant factor in their popularity, yet the Tonor TC-777 might be a reasonable proposition for anybody who doesn’t have upwards of $300 dollars to begin taking their audio input seriously. Coming in at $39.99 on the manufacturer website, the Tonor TC-777 is a USB cardioid condenser mic, similar to the aforementioned brands of mic. It provides an all in one, pre-packed proposition that should allow anybody to simply plug in and go.
Polar Pattern: Cardoid
Frequency Respose: 100Hz – 16KHz
Sensitivity: -38dB +/- 3dB
S/N Ratio: 56dB
Output Impedence: 68 Ohm
Bit Rate: 16 bit
Sample Rate: 44.1Khz – 48Khz
Maxium SPL > 110db
USB Connection: USB 2.0
Out The Box
The TC-777 comes packaged in a solid cardboard case that wouldn’t be unexpected for a model twice the price and ensures that everything shipped should unfold onto your desk with minimal trouble. Included in the Tonor box is a warranty card, providing 2 years of cover for your new mic and a surprisingly comprehensive instruction manual. In a time when most hardware document ion sits online, this inclusion is either a welcome change or more rubble for recycling. That said, it’s unlikely that you actually need any help to set up this USB mic as you slip the TC-777 and the accessories from its packaging. The TC-777 comes almost entirely ready to go from the moment it hits the desk and unfolds to a height of 23 cm. Perched atop a three-leg base, the TC-777 is held in place by a purpose-built shock mount, while a flexible arm protrudes from the same mount and holds a pop filter in place. It’s a compact design that wants for little and doesn’t take up much more desk space than an average Xbox One controller when the tripod mount fully open. If that is entirely too much clutter, then the TC-777 mount can also be removed from its tripod and screwed onto an adjustable arm, just make sure to pick up an additional 3/8″ female to 5/8″ male threaded screw adapter if you intend on doing this.
Even if you chose to wield the TC-77 on a boom arm it should remain fairly inconspicuous while you work away. Just over 1.5 metres of USB cable runs from the bottom of the Tonor, down into whichever USB 2.0 port is free, and while we would have liked it even more if the USB cable was detachable, the shock mount gives some extra wiggle room by pivoting around a full 180 degrees.
Before even turning this mic on it is evident that Tonor has put together an all in one package, providing a ton of flexibility that might even see you through until that first elusive Twitch payment arrives. At just a handful of coffees more than even the cheapest stand-alone USB microphones, the TC-777 feels far more premium than it has any reasonable right to. Beyond the flexibility of the stand and the all in one setup, the solid metal mesh that houses the Tonor’s cardioid condenser capsule provides an adequate surface area to capture any noise and the remaining plastic housing, that tapers down into the shock mount, feels deliberately solid.
Talk To Me
Take a listen to our sample, above, and it is clear to see that the Tonor TC-777 is worth the asking price. Sure, the TC-777 is not a forever mic that will change your life or make you a better gamer, but the condenser capsule at the heart of this audio accessory is worlds apart from the back electret add ons that you will find teetering off the end of many headsets. The clips above give a taste of the solid, well-rounded capability of this device, even compared to the Yeti Nano. The clear and consistent reproduction of vocals is a testament to the quality of this device, while the bundled foam cover and pop filter cut out any unfortunate vocal slip-ups that might cause an occasional crack in quality. While this particular mic fits in below the price point of the Yeti Nano, it gives a comparable one on one experience and when used to capture the spoken word, the TC-777 is incredible value and compared to something at nearly double the price.
Despite this, the microphone’s 16-bit sampling is sure to struggle with a richer soundscape and definitely doesn’t prove to have the same real-world range as something like a fully-fledged studio mic. It also doesn’t end up with quite as warm a tone as more expensive comparisons, but when presented with the compression of major streaming platforms, or even for a one-sided podcast, you’ll find it more than adequate.
The plug and play convenience and relative financial accessibility of the TC-777 does fail it in some regards. Any microphone capsule that is towed along by a USB cable is bound to make compromises, especially due to power consumption. Unlike the 12 or 48V that XLR cables can accomplish with the right preamp, the Tonor’s 5V DC connection doesn’t provide the same punch. Its cardioid polar pattern picks up more incoming audio from the front face of the mic while registering less at the sides and back. While the relatively short range of this, in comparison to other cardioid microphones might sound like a problem, It turned into an unexpected benefit in day to day use.
Despite our assertions that the TC-777 is a little on the quiet side, the range, which seems to taper off significantly around a meter, also cuts out a great deal of extraneous background interference. Coupled with the bundled rubberised tripod feet, foam cover, shock mount, and pop filter, it is unlikely that errant background noise or keyboard warriors are going to cause much interruption on Discord.
Overall, the Tonor TC-777 is a well-rounded mic that does a good job at a budget price. For anybody who needs something more than the hollow buzz of an all in one webcam mic, and still doesn’t want to break the bank then this is a great plug in and go solution. The design is clearly intended for a single user in a desktop or close-range environment that doesn’t already have a range of supporting musical paraphernalia. To this end, it works fantastically and is preferable to something like the Yeti Snowball, which really starts to really rack up the cost when you bundle in its own shock mounting system. There’s almost no setup required, no additional drivers, and no fuss to the Tonor TC-777. It just works. While we might have liked a few extra tweaks like an onboard volume control, power indicator, and maybe even a headset jack, these are some of the compromises you’ll make for the accessibility of the TC-777, and it feels worth it. The Tonor TC-777 is available now from online electronic retailers and the Tonor web store. This is definitely worth considering if you’re looking to be heard for the first time.