Author Topic: Looking for USB microphone suggestions  (Read 503 times)

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Offline smbaker

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Looking for USB microphone suggestions
« on: May 29, 2018, 02:19:10 am »
For years I've been using a cheap logitech desktop microphone, https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Desktop-Microphone-Black-Silver/dp/B00009EHJV. Although currently priced at $110 at Amazon (LOL, Amazon), this is a ~ $20 mic. Listening to myself, I don't feel that I sound very good on this mic. I'm looking to upgrade to something newer, and wondering what others use.

I've been looking at the Blue Yeti which does seem to be a popular microphone, and there's a "yeticaster" package that bundles it up with a boom mount (boom mount would be great for keeping it off the desktop). My concerns are twofold: 1) I've heard it's very sensitive and my computer room / lab is quite noisy with lots of fans running, and 2) My primary use for this mic would remain video conferencing for work. I don't wear headphones with video conferencing, and I'm a little concerned that a super-sensitive mic could present echo cancellation / feedback issues with my speakers. Maybe that's all handled in software these days. The mic has to work well for video conferencing, or I shouldn't buy it.

Finally, looking at mic reviews, I can see that a lot of people have a mic sitting a few inches in front of their mouth. I'm not that guy. Mine is going to be a couple feet away. Is this going to present a problem with these higher end mics? Is it just a matter of upping the gain (and putting up with more background noise) ?

Any thoughts? Thanks.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Looking for USB microphone suggestions
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2018, 02:28:04 am »
The reason most people keep the mic close is to minimise reverb pickup. If you have the mic 2 feet away, you'll need to acoustically treat the entire room to get a good result. If you also have noisy equipment in the room, forget it. You'll never be happy with the result.

You didn't set a budget, but the Audio Technica AT2020USB and Rode NT-USB are pretty good USB mics that a lot of people use for speech.
 

Online Richard Crowley

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Re: Looking for USB microphone suggestions
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2018, 02:31:37 am »
It is true that condenser (including electret) microphones are generally more sensitive than dynamic microphones.
And it is also true that if you seek more distant usage, a more sensitive microphone would be a better choice.
However, OTOH, using it for hands-free videoconferencing at a distance is a difficult application.
Particularly if your room has even average reverberation from reflective surfaces (desktop, walls, ceiling, etc.)
And even more so if you have lots of ambient noise from cooling fans, etc.

Have you considered a lightweight Bluetooth headset? Many people dislike wearing big headphones or headsets.
But there are options that are very lightweight.  So much so that you could forget you are wearing it.
 

Offline smbaker

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Re: Looking for USB microphone suggestions
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2018, 03:40:41 am »
You didn't set a budget, but the Audio Technica AT2020USB and Rode NT-USB are pretty good USB mics that a lot of people use for speech.

I'd say budget is around $100 to $200 with any accessories (stands, etc) included. Both those mics look like potential contenders.

Have you considered a lightweight Bluetooth headset? Many people dislike wearing big headphones or headsets.
But there are options that are very lightweight.  So much so that you could forget you are wearing it.

That's not a bad idea, I do have some bluetooth earbuds that I use when watching TV that prove how much can be achieved in a light weight, though they are earbuds only, no mic. The one thing I would want to avoid is anything large -- absolutely no heavy over the ear cushions that would make my ears run hot (unpleasant thoughts run through my head of sitting through a 4hr meeting wearing my Dave Clark aviation headset...). Do you have suggestions for an ultra-lightweight headset?
 


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