The K688 is a broadcast-style dynamic microphone, that, upon first glance, looks very similar to the Shure SM7B - albeit at a much more affordable price.
FiFine's K688 swings in at around the £90 mark, which is far easier to swallow than the Shure SM7B's whopping £400 price - but the real question is how does the K688 perform? Whilst it would be injudicious to outright say the K688 is on par or better than the SM7B, as far as style and sound goes, it's genuinely a great alternative if your budget doesn't allow for a microphone that costs the same as some second hand cars.
Being a dynamic microphone, the K688 is best suited to situations like podcasts, where the user is the focus. The reason for this is due to the fact dynamic microphones are far less sensitive than condenser mics, requiring the user to be closer (around 2-6 inches from the diaphragm), and in doing so allows them to isolate your vocals and reject background noises far, far better.
The K688 is a dual XLR/USB microphone, which means if you already have an audio interface or mixer, then you just need to connect via an XLR cable (not included) and you're away.
If you haven't jumped into the world of XLR just yet, then you can connect the K688 via the USB-C to USB-A cable and it's up and running - albeit not quite at the same sound quality of the XLR - but it is one of the best sounded USB mics around.
However, the combo route means that should you upgrade your audio gear later down the line, the K688 is able to accommodate the change to XLR.
In the box you'll find the K688 itself and pre-attached shock-mount, a 5/8" male to 3-8" female thread adapter and a USB-C to USB-A cable - no stand is included, so you'll need to supply your own stand or boom arm.
I never use the stands included with mics, always opting to attach to my boom arm, but it is worth noting if you don't already have your own.
The K688 looks and feels fantastic, with a metal body and metal shock mount, along with the best feeling pop filter I've ever felt - it's almost velvet feeling, that whilst a little too thin on the top (more on this further on in the review) feels absolutely wonderful.
As well as being a gorgeous microphone, there is also some features to be found looking around the unit. Up top you'll find the touch-to-use mute button (green when on, red when off), whilst on the bottom you'll see the XLR and USB-C ports, followed by a 3.5mm headphone jack and a dial for monitoring volume, along with a gain dial.
These controls only work when connected via USB, not XLR, so all controls for the K688 when connected via XLR will be done on your audio interface and/or mixer.
Something that isn't a deal breaker at all but bothered me, is the headphone monitoring dial is next to the XLR port, whilst the gain dial is next to the 3.5mm headphone jack - surely they should be the other way around?
Regardless, setting up the K688 is a breeze, and sounds are warm and rich, making the K688 is an excellent dynamic microphone for the price, giving some professional sound to podcasts, audio-books and the like, all for under £90.
The pop filter whilst feeling absolutely dreamy, is a little too thin, especially at the top, and because of the K688's capsule not being fully recessed from the grille, this means it doesn't reject plosives quite as well at times, but with proper microphone technique and position, this can be rectified - you could also tug the pop filter up a little more to create more of a distance, but this may also effect vocals.
The K688 is a genuinely good microphone, and it offers a great opportunity to those already in the XLR scene, and those that just want a plug-and-play USB microphone with the option to upgrade to XLR later down the line.
It's a great looking, great feeling and great sounding microphone, all for an incredible price, and it absolutely deserves your attention.
Overall, the K688 is a terrific dynamic microphone, and whether you're already recording content or just starting out, it's a serious contender for your money. Offering great sounding vocals, gorgeous design and all for a great price, we can thoroughly recommend the K688 for your podcast and recording needs.