The relentless march of technology has delivered much of the audio quality once available only in a professional recording studio into the home. For those who desire a return to the classic mellow warmth of the golden age of terrestrial radio and broadcast television, MXL is about to introduce what is said to be the world's first USB ribbon microphone. Given a vintage look reminiscent of the classic RCA 77-DX model from the late 1950s, the MXL UR-1 cardoid pattern microphone offers CD-quality analog-to-digital conversion and comes bundled with Mixcraft LE recording software.

USB microphones like the Meteor Mic from Samson Technologies and Blue's Yeti Pro may have the vintage look of their classic ancestors, but the UR-1 from MXL – the pro audio division of Marshall Electronics – offers a vintage ribbon sound to go with that golden age of audio retro feel.

"We are the first in the industry to combine today's recording technology with classic microphone design," MXL's Perry Goldstein stated. "The classic sound of a ribbon microphone is ageless and it will certainly give today's artists a new dimension to their recordings."

The UR-1 USB Ribbon Microphone's velocity dynamic ribbon diaphragm is housed in an all-metal body with a double-shielded grill, finished in gold and silver, and is complemented by low noise, high dynamic range modern circuitry with 16-bit 44.1-48 kHz Delta Sigma analog-to-digital conversion and a 20Hz - 20kHz frequency response. There's also a built-in headphone jack for latency-free, real-time monitoring.

The 8.75 x 4.5-inch (222 x 114 mm) UR-1 will be shipped with a carry case, USB cable and mic stand when it's released in June for US$499.95.

MXL says that it will be taking the new microphone along to the summer NAMM in Nashville between July 21 and 23, if you want to get a closer look.