I often have people ask me how to make good sounding recordings of their youth bands, sermons, or voice overs for videos without spending a fortune on gear. Before I found out about the Shure X2u, I’d recommend a cool mic like the blue snoflake or snowball.  The Shure X2u is called a signal adapter, but it is far more.  It’s powered totally off a standard USB port, and allows you to plug a mic cord into one end while outputting the audio to your computer through the usb.

What is most interesting about the X2u are all its additional features.  It has an integrated mic preamp which will make the audio sound much better and more full.  It will power microphones that require what’s called “phantom power” or +48v.  It has a headphone jack that you can use to monitor the input as well as three dials that control mic gain, volume, and monitor volume.

This little piece of equipment allows you to use the mics you already have, either run through a mixer into the X2u or plugged up directly into the unit, instead of having to go out and purchase a usb mic that will probably not sound nearly as good as the mics you already have, and not give you the option of plugging in a mixer and using multiple mics.

You can get the Shure X2u at Amazon by itself for $120, or bundled with tried and true SM-58 microphone for $199 (a $220 value).