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Shure X2U XLR-to-USB Signal Adapter
Price:$99.00+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2015
I'm comparing this to the Focusrite Scarlett Solo, which (at the moment) costs $30 less, for recording voice-over using a good dynamic mic, the Electro-Voice RE27 N/D.

Shure X2U's advantages: the Shure has separate controls for mic gain, headphone volume, and headphone mix (playback vs mic); the Focusrite does not have the mix control. The headphone gain gets good and loud. The unit comes with straps allowing you to mount it directly to your mic stand, which is handy; it requires no shelf space. The Shure is very compact.

Shure's disadvantages: clearly audible self-noise. Recording in a quiet room at similar sound levels -- that is, with the preamps turned up high and the recorder's level peaking around -12 -- I could clearly hear self-noise coming from the Shure and not from the Focusrite. I heard it during recording and it showed up on playback. Also, the Focusrite sound (even aside from its internal noise) was better -- clearer high end. (And, not that I care since I'm only doing voice-over, but the Focusrite has two inputs: one XLR for your mic, and one line/instrument input; the Focusrite also has both USB and RCA outputs. The Shure just has the XLR input and USB out.)

So I'm returning the Shure and keeping the Focusrite.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2011
I purchased the X2u primarily to use in conjunction with my Shure Beta 58A mic for some voiceover work on my PC. It works like a charm. I am using 64-bit Vista, and I have had no problems at all with hiss. I wonder if this might happen more with condenser microphones, but I have none to test. Recordings on my PC were crystal clear, however, with perfect reproduction.

I am also working on another project using a Playstation 3, in which I will be creating some videos for my niece and nephew. Ideally, I was hoping to have something I can plug into the Playstation and record directly there. I tested the X2u with it, and it works! Sound quality is not ideal, but based on my experience with it on the PC, I attribute the quality to compression on the recording itself, not a result of the hardware.

Overall, I am completely satisfied with this adapter. It works as advertised, and I thankfully had none of the problems others have mentioned. I would absolutely recommend this adapter.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This USB adapter from Shure has proven to be a very good and useful device. It is very solidly built, works quite well, has many features, and no flaws which I could find. There are very few items I find which deserve 5 stars, and this qualifies hands down.

It feels heavy and solid in one's hands, connects with a mic via an XLR connector, and uses a USB cable to connect to a computer. It has a jack for headphone (or other audio monitoring) output, a push button for phantom power for condenser mics, some LEDS to indicate audio levels, volume controls and is powered by the USB port.

It is a simple matter to connect it, open an audio recording application on a computer, and start recording. I have used it with a number of professional condenser mics, and it works very well. My current favorite for web conferencing is to connect a Shure 393 pod/table mic, and that combination is fantastic. The 393 is a great mic, has a configurable on/off switch, and a warm audio quality. Together, they make an outstanding combination for web conferencing, or any other application using live audio input to a computer.

(Just remember to use headphones or earbuds for audio monitoring, as you will always have feedback problems with live speakers and an open mic.)

Highly recommended.

UPDATE: Nov. 26, 2011

Just did a little experiment with this unit and a 393 on two MSI Wind desktops running Ubuntu and Mint. It works great! I was able to overdub in mono and stereo using Audacity, and discovered that the "Monitor" knob actually pans back and forth between the live mic and playback for overdubbing in real time.

Pretty cool piece of "kit," as the Brits would say. Very handy. My next test will be with a nice studio condenser mic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2012
Yes Sir, Shure came through once again. Shure is a name you can TRUST, they're an old time company with 80+ years experience and well known in the HAM radio field, not to mention Broadcast Radio. Shure has been around for ages and they know audio like you wouldn't believe. Well I bought this neat'O little X2U XLR to USB and was blown away. WOW, I use it to turn an RE20 Mic into a simple USB mic. (See my review on the RE20)
The SIZE: 5" inches long X 1.25" thick, and it has Weight, VERY Heavy to feel. I expected it much smaller but that's OK Size doesn't bother me I'm still blown away. It's awesome. There is NOTHING any better !!!!! You miss out not purchasing this item? You will be making a mistake. Infact it helps mic's sound better than what they normally do. Trust an Old timer I'm a grandpa of 6. You can TRUST Shure and you can take my word as being gold. This is an awesome converter. I recommend XLR cord:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001UR9DN2/ref=cm_cd_asin_lnk
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2014
This compact, well-made device is necessary if you have an XLR mic and want to hook it up to a computer and you don't want to mess with a mixer. It costs $60 more than the Blue Icicle, but it is much sturdier and has a headphone jack. If you use a condenser mic, it can provide the phantom power. If you use a dynamic mic, you can skip the phantom power. I use it with a Heil PR40, and they are a perfect combo for me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2012
I bought a cheaper one of these made by a different company, and it worked OK, but it felt cheap and I wanted something a little better. I decided to give this one a try solely based on name recognition and boy am I happy I did!

This thing is made of metal, not cheap plastic. It has a very nice heft to it that I like. The best thing about it though is the "monitor" jack on the side and the "Monitor Mix Control" knob. When you first hook this sucker up to your computer it sets itself up as both a mic AND a speaker. The reason for this is because that headphone jack on the side allows you to use this thing as an external USB soundcard! If that's the only thing it did it would still be worth $100. The "monitor mix" knob can be turned all the way in one direction so that you only hear the mic output in your headphones. You can also turn the knob all the way to the other direction to only hear the sound coming from your computer. If you leave the knob somewhere in the middle you can hear a mix of both your mic and your computer.

All in all I am VERY impressed with this little gadget. If you need an XLR to USB converter, you should definitely skip the other ~$25 ones and buy this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2012
Microphone input to a PC for me has always been horrible. The on-board connectors have lots of noise, the microphones themselves have a low signal as it is, hitting the "microphone boost" checkbox in Windows 7 only served to make it worse, etc... So I purchased this small device as both a way to get a good connection to the PC and amplify the audio properly. Specifically my setup was from a Sony ECMMS907 Digital Recording Microphone, gender-changed using a Hosa Coupler 3.5 mm Female - 3.5 mm Female Stereo or Mono, adapted with a Hosa XVM-110M Right Angle 3.5mm TRS to XLR3M 10 Ft, and then amplified and converted to PC USB use with the Shure X2U XLR-to-USB Signal Adapter. I was worried about signal loss with all these connections, but it works perfectly.

The important dial for me to play with was the mic gain - skipping mic boost and lowering levels in Windows. In that state, I did notice that if the mic gain was put all the way up to the limit, background noise would start to infiltrate and the quality would degrade quickly. Keeping it just shy of that limit worked fine. Essentially you have to play with it a bit to get the best sound.

The device is made of a very solid metal, which gives me more faith that it will hold up to occasional drops. The XLR connector is likewise metal as well. The USB connection to Windows 7 64-bit was painless: device drivers installed automatically (no CD required) and it showed up as a recording device under Control Panel->Sound and in application listings like Skype. Packaging was well done too. There was a plastic form inside the cardboard box that provided plenty of support in shipping. For transport after opening, they include a pouch to put it in. Not required, but a nice attention to detail.

At $100 it's certainly not cheap, but if you need something to give you decent recording capabilities in a home/home-office setting without going pro, it'll do the job.
See my product images for some more details from the box.
review image review image review image review image
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2012
Feels like you could drive nails with this; it is well-built and reliable. My computer recognized it immediately with no special drivers. Very pleased with it in conjunction with a Shure WH20XLR mic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2012
The X2U works as advertised. It allows using XLR microphones with computers via the computer's USB connection.

The device feels solidly constructed. Its preamp is reasonably quiet and in line with what I'd expect for a $100 audio device. The on-board headphone jack for monitoring is nice as is the bright LED indicating phantom power (48v) is on. It takes its power from the USB connection-so no batteries needed. No drivers need to be installed to use the device-both Macintosh and Windows computers recognize it as a USB audio interface by simply plugging the device into USB.

Minor quibbles: The phantom power switch is a bit easy to accidentally turn off if you aren't careful handling the device while recording, and there is no way to lock it on. The mic gain on the preamp is adequate, but I'd personally like to see more gain-understanding that this is a trade off between sensitivity and noise.

All said, I'd recommend this product.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2013
This one device just replaced my previous setup including soundboard, preamp, and another gadget with way too many knobs. I record voice actors and vocal talent, and the only way I could get the quality I wanted before was to have equipment that, because of my occasional use, I could never remember how to adjust. I lived in fear of turning the wrong knob, adding a new set of headphones, bumping the levels on the mixer, etc. Just wish this was around, or I knew about it if it was around, before I sunk over $600 on that other stuff.
It's easy to use, easy to set up.
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