After doing a number of speaking arrangements, I find that I have been using a number of different microphones. I have to admit that I am not really used to talking into a microphone yet so I have been thinking that maybe I should practice.
This means that I need to get my own microphone. So I have been researching what the top vocal microphone is. I was surprised about how many different options there are.
What To Look For When Choosing A Microphone
A microphone can make or break a project. A vital piece of equipment for any recording project, the microphone can define how good or bad the project will go and therefore some special attention should be given to it. Everyone should know what to look for when choosing a vocal microphone: function, noise cancelling, plugs, options, and software compatibility. While there are other considerations, those are the biggest ones that anyone should consider when looking for a good microphone for a specific project or game.
The biggest issue is the function of the microphone. Most microphones are used for general recording, such as for video narration or podcasting, while others are used for games or recording music. The quality of the microphone can vary depending on the potential use, and quality can make a difference depending on the use. If you are recording music or singing, for example, then the quality has to be as good as you can get it, but if it is just for communication then you can get away with somewhat poorer quality. In short, the function determines how good the microphone has to be, and the more professional you need the sound the better that the microphone has to be.
Noise cancellation may sound like just an option, but it can actually be an important feature. Noise cancellation is the ability of a mic to deal with extraneous sound beyond a certain radius; depending on the situation this can actually be a good thing or bad and thus needs to be debated. If you are trying to record something or require sounds to be crystal sharp, such as when using software that translates speech to text, then you need a mic that virtually ignores anything more than a foot or two from it. On the other hand, if you recording a band or panel then noise cancellation may actually be a bad thing. As such, debate if you even need noise cancellation when looking at a microphone.
How the microphone plugs into the device is also important. In general, your options are 25mm, 35mm, 35mm split, or USB. The 35mm split option has two 35mm jacks with one for listening and the other for recording. For most people the difference between the options is slight, and the 25mm only applies for phones and some other devices. However, for those interested in the best sound and most options for recording, the options from best to worst are USB, 35mm, and 35mm split, if the options are available.
Some microphones are geared to specific systems rather than being essentially plug & play hardware. In that regard it is important to look at software compatibility issues and to see if the microphone is meant for a specific system; all this means is that the microphone has been optimized for the operating system in question and takes advantage of specific features of the operating system in question. It is thus important to look at any suggestions on the package itself.
Obviously the features of the microphone should also be taken into consideration, such as mute functions, length of the cord, and any other detail that you may consider important. A long cord, for example, is great for people that tend to do a lot of walking and talking, while others prefer Bluetooth capability as it allows discreet use of recording devices. As such keep in mind whatever specific features you are looking for and make sure that the microphones have the feature in question. Ultimately, the microphone needs to have whatever features you need, and you should not settle for anything less.
Looking for a mic for podcasting? Maybe look at these podcast starter kit suggestions from Everything With Podcasting.