Audio, not Audi-“no”: How to find a microphone that will make you sound good online

Whether you’re a music lover or a record producer — or, whether you’re a businessperson or teacher with lots of virtual meetings – one thing you’ll have in common is the need for a good microphone.

So, without further ado, here are some considerations to help find the best microphone for you.

What is the purpose of the microphone?

Firstly, ask yourself what you will need the microphone for. This will help you to determine which type of microphone might be best suited for your needs.

For example, if you are looking for a microphone to amp up your home recording studio, you’ll likely need a different style of microphone for someone who merely needs it to dial into remote meetings.

In fact, even within each purpose can lie different variations that should be considered. If you’re wondering what is a webinar tailored microphone, for example, this depends on whether you will be a participant in the webinar or the host. After all, the host will likely look for a higher sound quality than someone who only uses it for the Q&A section.

What types of microphones are there?

Now you’ve worked out the purpose, next you’ll need to know the different types of microphones available to you, and which specifications best suit each application.

As a general rule of thumb, there are two main types of microphones:

  • Dynamic

A dynamic microphone contains a tiny coiled wire inside a magnetic field. This is connected to a diaphragm. The sound waves move through the diaphragm, which picks up the vibrations. The coil then turns the vibrations into an electric signal.

  • Condenser

Condenser microphones use capacitor plates rather than magnets and a coil. This gives them an increased sensitivity to smaller vibrations that dynamic microphones might not pick up, making them better suited for applications in which you need to pick up more delicate sounds.

In addition to this, microphones come in all different variations. If you are looking for a ‘plug and play’ mic, you’ll likely lean towards a USB mic, whereas live performers might prefer one that plugs directly into their amp.

In addition, you might also consider the shape and size of the microphone. Again, musicians might opt for the classic ‘pop star’ mic, ‘recording studio’ mic, or even a mic more akin to vintage rockers. On the other hand, someone working in a call centre would probably appreciate the functionality of a headset with an attached microphone.

How can I make sure it sounds good online?

Before logging into any video call or webinar, or hitting record on your next demo, it is absolutely essential that you test the audio. By testing it in advance, this allows you the opportunity to make sure everything is plugged in correctly, the device and software are compatible, and, if any issues occur, you have the chance to iron them out beforehand.

If the sound quality is not as good as it should be, you can look at different software, install soundproofing in the room, consider sound-isolating shields or filters, and try out different mounts, positions, and stands.

With these tips in mind, you can go from audi-oh no to audi-oh yes and have a better chance of finding a microphone that will make you sound good online.

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