This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

The MXL.006 USB is a pretty fancy-looking microphone, but it keeps things simple by plugging into the USB port of a Mac or PC. Usually if you want to use a cardioid condenser microphone, you'll need to hook it up to all sorts of sophisticated electronics, preamps and such, but nothing doing with this baby. Cardiod? That's right, it has that heart-shaped pickup pattern so coveted by pro audio recording studios.

It's plug-and-play all the way, but doesn't skimp on the pro-level specs, with a large gold diaphragm and 20Hz-20kHz frequency response. Even though it looks like it costs a lot more, it'll run you $169.95, available by the end of September. Now if it sounds as good as it looks, it will have our undivided attention.

MXL's USB/Cardioid Condenser Microphone [Bios Magazine]