BOYA BY - PM700 Review

Streaming can be one of the leasure activities, a source of extra earnings or even living. Podcasts - a growing area where everyone can express their thoughts. Discord is a very popular software among players, that connects people from all corners of the world. Between all these three, seemingly different things, there is one common aspect – the necessity of the microphone. Of course, the microphone can be found on almost every headset, however, such microphones do not offer high sound quality and you will certainly not take listening pleasure. So your attention can really be attracted by the Boya BM-PY700, a solid-looking condenser USB microphone for podcasters and players with four different polar patterns.

Packaging

The microphone arrives in a medium-sized unpretentious-looking box, which shows photos of the product, technical data, and explanation of four selectable polar patterns. The box design doesn't look extravagant, it seems reliable as there are no screaming "Gaming Ready" or "Twitch High Quality Certified" badges, but just what interests the buyer – appearance, technical characteristics and modes. 

When opening the packaging (top), the potential user can see the surface of the black foam with the recesses on the sides for the fingers – the top padding can also be removed by removing the microphone itself. The microphone itself is attached to the stand already in the factory, so it remains to be turned over and put into service. The box also includes a Micro USB to USB cable, instruction, warranty card and moisture absorbing silicon gel bag. In short, packaging is well done– there is no doubts as fas as quality is concerned.

Connecting 

The microphone is attached to the computer with a rubberized (not braided!) black cable. The computer, is attatched by a usual USB connection, to the microphone – Micro USB, which is quite dissapointing – but since the cable is dettachable and the microphone is one of the less-moved peripherals, so the choice of the manufacturer can be justified and one can just ignore it. The cable is flexible, non-thick (like most Micro USB) and... too short: For those using individual microphone arms, the cable will be too short and even when you connect the microphone to a computer standing next to mic itself, you'd have difficulties pulling the microphone closer than the cable allows you to get far to the standard 1.8 meters – so you have to look for your longer or buy a new cable. So, this is a drawback of  the microphone from the first moments of trying to use it.

The microphone does not have software, it can start to be used as soon as you are connected, you just need to change the audio input device in your computer settings (all this is explained in the attached manual). If you want or need to edit an audio signal, you can install additional software from external developers – e.g. Voicemeeter Banana or Potato 

Design 

Microphone bungee is made of metal, looking from the front it resembles a letter U and from the side - L-letter profile. The construction of the standitself is solid, powder-painted in black. Fingerprints on the stand do not accumulate too easily, but leave the marks – so the bungee always looks a little "fingered" and to deal with it, unfortunately, is quite pointless. The bottom of the stand is covered with a thin layer of dense material that does not scratch the surface of the table and prevents the microphone from slipping. The screws for attaching the microphone to the bungee are ordinary enough, but when the microphone is rotated, it does not loosen too quickly – othough they have to be tightened from time to time. The cable coming out of the microphone does not have any kind of support on the stand, only the gap between the branches holding the microphone – nothing to be surprised at, but the cable at least does not extend in the wrong direction.

Generally, the microphone stand gives a blank impression: huge, not comfortable to be taken by hand and occupies quite a lot of space on the table. The impression is that the stand was created according to a list containing the necessary features, which, without greater coordination, were converted into a real product, regardless of the needs of the user and the convenience of use. So here is another minus for the microphone – uncomfotable, huge stand. Well, if we don't want to bother with it, we'd suggest buying a separate arm stand which will be much more convenient:it will be space-saving and will have a cable holder.

The microphone itself is painted in the same way as the bungee – powdered black. Fingerprints are accummulating a little slower than on the bungee, but the body still looks a little "used". The microphone membrane is covered with a wire double mesh, under which the pop filter is installed. The body narrows down, has a snout to the bottom, so mic doesn't look sleady – more like a little thicker stage microphone. The front of the microphone has a mute button that glows in red color when active, the simplest indicator that is easily visible and helps prevent misunderstandings during conversations. Under it there is a green LED that indicates that the microphone is connected to the computer. The diode is not too bright, its color is  not annoying as well. Further below ther  is the sound adjustment knob with marked increments and indentations of the headset connected to the microphone. In the first days, the knob rotates unevenly, but after a while the uneven resistance equals.

On the other side of the body, the microphone sensitivity adjustment and direction mode knobs are located above each other. Sensitivity adjustment knob is the lower one: easy to rotate, with pleasant indentations. However, the wheel itself is too small and unincontional – it is not easy to grip it with fingers; since microphone sensitivity is rarely adjusted, it is possible to understand such a solution, but when it is necessary to rotate the wheel, it will not be pleasant. The direction mode change knob is identical in shape and size to the sound adjustment knob on the opposite side, but with strong tactile feedback that prevents unintentional change of mode.

At the bottom of the microphone there is the connector for headphones, Micro USB and a stand. The headphone jack is sturdy, the cord does not accidentally pull out. Unlike the headphone jack, the connector for the Micro USB cable is quite loose – the cord iwobbles a bit, can be easily unintentionally pulled out and raises reasonable concerns about the longevity of the port. And the stand connector is a standard 5/8", which can be used to connect the microphone to another stand; Unfortunately, the connection is not in the middle of the microphone, but is pushed slightly to the back, so when the microphone is installed, it can be looking a bit frustrating.

Sound quality 

The 3.5mm headset connector at the bottom of the microphone allows you to hear what is recorded in the microphone without delay, a convenient and useful feature. However, here, the microphone "limps": In your computer's audio settings, Boya can be selected as an output device – and yes, the sound will be transmitted, but the sound from the microphone will still be heard in the headset. Therefore, here is a trifle that will not allow you to hear the sounds of the game alone when playing with friends; they will be complemented by even more enhancement of the sounds of your environment – computer fans noise, mouse click.

The microphone is attached to the computer directly using a USB connection, which means that the amplifier is installed on the microphone itself: there will be no difficulties with additional equipment, but this advantage is also a disadvantage. Boya will suit those who need just a single microphone – live streaming, podcasts or communication, but those who want to engage in more complex sound-related activities (e.g. recording of vocal or instrumental music) will limit the integrity of the microphone (in theory not very much, but will have to spend a lot of time combining and reconciling the software).

There are four different modes of sound: multi-directional, cardioid, stereo and bidirectional modes. The choice is wide enough to suit all different ways of using the microphone – podcasts, streaming, communication, or recording of musical instruments. So here is a substantial and solid plus for the microphone for versatility and a convenient mode change wheel.

Microphone specifications are not worthy of a respectful impression and can be described as decent. The frequency diapozone completely fills the sounds human hears – problems will arise unless you try to record whale songs. 16-bit depth and 48kHz speed – USB connections between microphones are numbers that often found and which guarantee high-quality sound and bandwidth.

The sound quality of the microphone is good. Both low and medium and both high frequencies clear, clean. The voice of the speaker is clear, alive; for example, when communicating in Discord, the interlocutor seems to be sitting a few steps away – the voice sounds natural and pleasant, and there is no impression that the interlocutor is located right next to the ear. As with all microphones, Boya has to build near the sound source (this will require a longer cable – the attached cable is too short for this) and reduce the sensitivity – which allows you to get rid of surrounding noise and soften your voice as if it's too harsh. While the determination of maximum sensitivity determines the appearance of white noise.

Meanwhile, the microphone stock stand is what spoils the sound. For example, when Boya is placed on a table on which the keyboard and mouse are placed, the microphone will capture every click of the keyboard , due to a the vibration coming through the table, which the person does not even feel. It also happens to the mouse –while moving the mouse quickly, the microphone will allow listeners to hear any sound of its movement every time  when it touches the pad.

The conclusions and verdict

In short, Boya is a microphone with a good inside, but not particularly good appearance. The microphone raises two thoughts – looking at the technical data and listening to its sound there is nothing to add: everything looks and sounds perfect. However, taking the microphone into your hands and using it gives the impression that the design was not thought out really well: a short Micro USB cable, the bulky stand, an uncentered rack connector, and the dust collecting surface. So if sound quality rather than design or convenience is a priority and there's a arm stand ready to use, then Boya BY - PM700 is a good choice. But if you want something more attractive to look at or "playerish"... the microphone will not offer it. In conclusion, the microphone is worth its price, but before buying it, it is worth considering whether its shortcomings will not complicate the use of future situations.