Apogee MiC Plus & HypeMiC | Which one is right for me?
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Apogee MiC Plus & HypeMiC | Which one is right for me?

Apogee are considered by many as innovators in the world of digital audio. They helped to shape the sound of early digital audio when they developed specialised anti-aliasing filters for digital recording systems in the mid 1980’s. Now the whole world relies heavily on digitised audio systems that use this technology, for recording, listening and broadcasting. Today, Apogee produces a number of fantastic digital audio products for hobbyists and professionals alike.

The MiC Plus & HypeMiC from Apogee are high quality USB Microphones, designed for mobile content creators. They plug straight into your computer, tablet or phone via USB to capture studio quality recordings direct to your device. On the surface, both of these microphones look pretty similar. If you’re considering picking up either of these MiCs, you might be wondering - ‘what is the difference between them, and which one will work best for me?’

In this article we’ll discuss what makes both of these MiCs a great option creators, but also what sets them apart. Ultimately, we’ll help you decide whether the MiC Plus or the HypeMiC is the MiC for you.

What can Apogee MiCs be used for?

Perhaps it’s best to start with the features and applications that MiC Plus & HypeMiC have in common. For a start, both these USB microphones are great for the following applications:

  • Recording Vocals

  • Voice Over & Narration

  • Recording Acoustic Instruments

  • Audio capture for Video

  • Podcasting

  • Live Streaming for Gamers / Musicians

  • Conference Call Audio

If you need high quality audio capture for any of these purposes, both the HypeMiC and the MiC Plus have got you covered. They’re also super compact, allowing you to take them on the road for a fully mobile recording setup that fits easily in a rucksack.

Premium Cardioid Capsule

HypeMiC and MiC Plus both feature a studio-quality condenser capsule for capturing hi-fidelity audio. The frequency response is smooth and evenly balanced, making it great for a wide variety of sound sources. This is partnered with a super low-noise preamp, built straight into the microphone to amplify its output. It can provide a maximum of 46dB, allowing you to capture the most delicate of sounds with minimal noise. The combination of the two equates to professional results with your recordings from either MiC.

PureDIGITAL Connection

When you think of a simple recording chain - from Microphone to a Digital Audio Workstation - it would normally look something like this:

Microphone > XLR Cable > Interface > USB Cable > Computer

HypeMiC and MiC Plus take the XLR Cable and Interface out of this equation, as it plugs straight into the computer via USB instead. The PureDIGITAL connection, featured in both MiCs, handles the conversion of analogue signal from the capsule, to the digital signal that's sent to the computer. Apogee’s conversion technology is well known for its transparency and accuracy, so you can rest assured that the audio you put in is exactly what you’ll hear coming back out. These converters can handle audio up to 24bit / 96kHz, which is more than enough digital detail for pro-level projects.

Headphone Monitoring

The headphone output, which appears on both the HypeMiC and MiC Plus, allows you to listen to audio coming directly from the MiC capsule, and also from the device you’re plugged into. The direct feed allows you to monitor yourself with zero latency (no delay time), which is pretty important when recording audio that needs to be in time e.g. for music.

Audio playback from your recording device is mixed direct feed, so you can listen to takes or overdub to backing tracks. The button above the gain wheel lets you set the perfect balance between you and the playback.

Cross Platform Compatibility

The MiC Plus and HypeMiC are compatible with a number of operating systems, and come pre-packed with three cable options, ensuring you can connect to your device straight away. When connected, you should see MiC appear in your DAW or App’s Audio I/O devices. 

Both MiCs are compatible with the following systems:

  • Windows 10 - USB-A or USB-C included

  • Mac OS 10.9 or Later - USB-A or USB-C included

  • iOS 9 or Later - Lightning Cable included

To check full compatibility and other specs visit: https://apogeedigital.com/products/mic/specifications

Useful Accessories

Apogee provides some handy accessories to accompany both their MiCs. However, this is where we start to see a little difference. 

MiC Plus comes with a small desktop tripod so you can place it on a desk or surface nearby. This is pretty useful if you need MiC Plus in close proximity to your recording device. It also comes with a microphone stand adapter, allowing you to place it on a full size stand for recording.

HypeMiC comes with a more premium package. The tripod stand & mic stand adapter are  larger and more robust, offering better desktop placement and versatility. You also get a pop shield, which prevents plosives (‘puh’ and ‘buh’ sounds) from overloading the MiC capsule. Finally, HypeMiC comes packaged with a carry case, for added protection and for keeping all your accessories together when travelling. It’s worth mentioning that you can buy these accessories separately from all Apogee Dealerships.

And now for the most significant difference between the two Apogee MiCs...

The HypeMiC has a Built-in Compressor

The HypeMiC features a studio-grade analogue compressor, built straight into the signal path. This dynamic processor tames the dynamic range of your recording signal, meaning it brings out the delicate sounds while keeping loud ones in check. It does this in real time, so you end up with a professionally processed sound recorded direct to your device.

Compressors can be complicated to set up, but Apogee have simplified the one in HypeMic to operate in 3 switchable modes:

  • Shape it (Light Compression) - The minimal amount of compression, great for shaping the vocals and instruments in your music recordings.

  • Squeeze it (Medium Compression) - Great for podcasts, interviews and streaming when you want to squeeze a little more pop out of your voice.

  • Smash it (Heavy Compression) - Great for voice recording when you really want to smash it for that big broadcast sound.

You can switch between these modes by pressing the Gain Knob. Once the compressor is active, all you have to do is set your gain correctly, and the HypeMiC will do the rest. If you don’t want to use the compressor for recording, you can always just bypass it which removes it from the chain completely. 

Apogee HypeMiC Overview Video

MiC Plus does not feature any onboard processing, however, pressing the Gain Knob will mute MiC temporarily, without disconnecting it or switching it off. There are plenty of situations where this feature would be useful. As an example - if you use MiC Plus for a Video Conference call or Live stream and you need to leave your workstation, you can easily mute the microphone until you come back. 

In Summary

As we’ve discovered in this article, both the HypeMiC and MiC Plus from Apogee offer exceptional audio quality for a number of applications. The all-in-one package makes them simple to use and highly portable.

But if you need to choose between the two, ask yourself a few questions first:

“Do I need compression?” 

If you’re a vocalist or voice over artist, there’s no doubt you’ll use dynamic processing for your voice. Other instruments will also benefit from some compression, such as guitar, drums etc. HypeMic not only makes that process simple, but it also does it with superb analogue quality! So if the answer is yes, you need HypeMiC.

“Will I be travelling with it a lot?” 

The carry case that is included with HypeMiC ensures safe transport of your MiC & accessories, but it can be purchased separately for MiC Plus. It’s a small difference, but if you know you’ll be taking a MiC with you, HypeMiC is already ready!

“Do I prefer to mix my own audio post recording?” 

The compressor in HypeMiC is a great feature, but for users who prefer to process their audio in post or with realtime plugins, perhaps MiC Plus would suit your needs. After all, most microphones don’t feature built-in dynamics processing at all, and there’s plenty of hardware / software compressors out there!

“Will I need quick access to a mute button” 

If yes, perhaps MiC Plus will better suit your needs. Although don’t forget, a compressor on your livestream mic will definitely help to keep your voice clear and defined above any other audio in the mix.

Other Mobile Recording Devices from Apogee

If Apogee MiCs aren’t really your thing, you might find some of their other digital audio products are more suited to your needs:

Apogee Jam Plus

Features a ¼” Jack Input for Hi-Z / line level sources such as guitar, bass and keyboard. It uses the same converters and connectors as the Apogee MiCs. For guitar, it features an overdrive mode that beefs up your input signal, helping you get some gnarly virtual tones!

Find out more about Apogee Jam Plus.

Where to buy Apogee HypeMiC, MiCPlus and Jam+ in the UK

Thanks for taking the time to read our article of
Apogee MiC Plus and Apogee HypeMiC

For more information on Apogee and their products, please visit our Apogee Product Page.

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This new blog is presented by the team at Sound Technology Ltd, a leading distributor of musical instruments and pro audio equipment in the UK and ROI.