At such an attractive price point, does the K688 hold up to all of its positive reviews? And how does it compare to the Shure SM7B? Read on to find out if this should be your next microphone.
In a world where newer models often let loyal users down, the FIFINE K688 microphone is a great follow up to the K658.
With an upgraded professional look, lower price, and most importantly – better sound; you’re going to have a tough time finding a better microphone for streaming or podcasts at this budget.
Who Should Get The FIFINE K688 Microphone?
The fact that you’re reading this review means you’re likely looking for a microphone that’s going to sound great, without having to shell out a few hundred bucks.
If you’re a streamer or podcaster wanting that nice deep professional sound that’s familiar with most top streamers and podcasts, but you’re on a budget, then you won’t be disappointed with the K688.
Compared to the ever popular Shure SM7B (which we’ll talk about further down), this is the best bang for your buck.
What’s In The Box?
After opening the sleek box, you’ll find the following items nicely organized inside their own compartments:
- The K688 Microphone with pop filter and Shock Mount pre-attached for you.
- An 8.2 foot USB C to USB Cable. Long enough for most setups.
- A 5 / 8” Male to 3 / 8” Female Adapter for your mic boom arm.
- And of course a user’s manual to assist you with your mic setup.
Design & Build Quality
First off, this mic looks sexy as hell. This is the standard for that professional content creator look.
The microphone is cased with a sleek, smooth, metallic feel, and feels extra sturdy.
The gain knobs on the back have a premium twist to them. Not too loose, not too stiff.
The touch-sensitive mute button is perfectly responsive and easy to control.
The pop filter is a charcoal gray which provides a nice accent to the black finish of the mic and shock mount.
And don’t get me started on how soft and luxurious the pop filter feels. I couldn’t stop touching it when I first unboxed it.
There was a slight chemically smell from the mic when I first opened it up, but that’s pretty standard for tech, and after a couple of days it’ll suppress.
Overall the K688 mic is built fairly strong, and surprisingly feels lighter than it looks, which is great because my cheap Neewer mic arm can easily support its weight.
Requirements To Use The K688 Mic
Thankfully there is no software required to run the K688 mic, which is great because it seems like everything these days is trying to get you to install their app.
To keep the mic stationary and under control you’ll need a mic arm of some sorts. This doesn’t come with the kit.
To run the K688 microphone you can either use the USB cable that it came with and plug it into your computer, or an XLR cable that goes from the mic to an audio interface. Unfortunately they don’t supply the XLR cable which was kind of a bummer.
If you choose the XLR route you won’t be able to use the volume controls or mute button on the mic unless you have the USB plugged in simultaneously. It’s recommended to plug the XLR in first, before the USB.
You can also use this mic with your PS4 or PS5 using the USB cable.
How Does The K688 Sound?
Without having to make any adjustments, your listeners will be thinking you paid more money than you actually did for the K688 microphone. Right out of the box it has a sound that you could easily get away with not having to EQ or process at all.
With the K688 you’ll be getting that nice warm full body sound that you typically hear from mics like the Shure SM7B but for a fraction of the cost.
You’ll notice a slightly lesser quality when using the USB instead of an XLR. It was a bit more thin sounding (you lose just a tad of the low end warmth) compared to the XLR/audio interface setup
I found the plosives and S’s to be a little strong where I felt comfortable with the mic distance. But you can combat that by sitting a bit further away from the mic, angling it maybe 10 degrees off centered, or even loosening the pop filter and pulling it up a bit to give more space between the mic and the screen.
FIFINE K688 vs Shure SM7B
While I don’t own the SM7B, if you’re anything like me you watch a ton of content creators who use the Shure microphone so you should be familiar with how it sounds to make a fair comparison.
To my ears the Shure SM7B has a bit more fuller sound than the FIFINE K688 mic. As it should though, for a microphone that is a few hundred dollars more.
The things that the K688 has going for it are the price to sound quality ratio, and the ability to use USB.
Not to mention the Shure SM7B is known for needing a lot more gain to power it, oftentimes needing a cloudlifter setup.
So the price point and ease of use make the K688 very appealing for a budget content creator or someone just starting out.
FIFINE K688 vs Audio-Technica AT2005 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
I don’t know how likely people will want to know the comparison between these two mics, but since the Audio-Technica AT2005 is the microphone that I was using prior to getting my hands on the K688 I figured I’d share the sound differences.
The main sound difference between the AT2005 and K688 is that the Audio Technica mic has a much clearer and brighter sound, but lacks the deep low end that the K688 has.
FIFINE K688 Pros and Cons
Wrapping up this FIFINE K688 mic review let’s go over the pros and cons.
- Plug and play. Super easy to set up, and sounds great without needing any adjustments.
- USB and XLR compatible. Added benefit of working nicely with a dual PC setup.
- Can use the mic with your PS4 or PS5.
- Touch to mute works really well.
- Doesn’t need much gain to get it sounding loud enough.
- Premium quality and sound for a budget price.
- No XLR cable included.
- If using the XLR connection, you’ll still need to plug in the USB to use the mute/gain on the mic.
- Pops, T’s, and S’s are a little strong if you’re used to speaking closely to the mic.
Final Verdict Of The K688 Dynamic Microphone
This really is the best bang for your buck mic available right now for that standard content creator sound.
If you have the money, then you’ll definitely get a better sound from something like the Shure SM7B.
But I think if you’re still here reading this review then you’re more interested in saving a bit of cash than you are sounding marginally better. 99% of your audience won’t even be able to tell the difference anyways.
Get the K688. It’s a solid deal. Plus, if anything, get it just so you can feel how dang soft this pop filter is.