I have had the The HM-1 from Kel Microphone ($129) for a couple of weeks now.
Despite the sore throat (which seems to have gone now), and the delay in getting the mixer set up (needed a European power supply) I have managed to play around with it a reasonable amount, and I have to say that I love it!
I am using it with Skype, to record the segments for Surfbits, and to record some commentary on a video I am editing.
Now call me shallow if you like but with virtually everything I buy design and quality play a huge part. I do research the features and specifications, but so long as they meet my requirements the final decision is always heavily influenced by design. As such elements of this review will be subjective.
I love everything about the design of this microphone, the form factor, the colour, the texture, the weight and the feel of it.
For those that know about these type of things the vital details are:
Element: 0.5″ Pressure Gradient Transducer
Polar Pattern: Cardoid
Frequency Position: 30Hz-20kHz
Sensitivity: -38dB+/_2dB (OdB=1V/Pa at 1kHz)
Self Noise: 18dB A (IEC 581-5)
Max. Input SPL: 134dB (at 1kHz 1% T.H.D)
S/N Ratio: 76dB
Phantom Power Requirement: 48V DC
Body Dimensions: 2″ x 5″
It was well packaged and came with an excellent shock mount.
As far as I can tell it sounds great. I considered recording a review, but decided to hold off on that ‘treat’ until I have road tested it more with the Mixer so that I can (hopefully) do it justice. So I guess you have that to look forward to.
In the meantime there are some pictures of it over on the Flickr account. None of it ‘in action’ yet, although I will sort some out soon.
My only disappointment? It didn’t have the foam pop filter that it was meant to ship with. I have emailed the company so we will see if their customer service as is as good as their product! I will let you know what happens, and will post any response that I get from them.