How To Choose A Recording Microphone

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Choosing the best studio microphone for you, with all of the options available on the market, can be a challenging task. Determining what and how you will be using your mic will dismiss some of the fish from the vast sea of product options. So before you explore the oceans’ waters, take a moment to nut out what your performance needs and wants are from a microphone.

Usage category

A.k.a., the ‘for what’ category. What tasks are you going to perform with a recording mic? Perhaps you have a home music studio; if so, is the microphone for recording voice or instruments, or both? Perhaps you will be recording podcasts or voice-overs, generating YouTube videos, or something completely different…

As in a killer gaming mic, or a proficient, external computer microphone for the home office. The main reason you are shopping around will help to determine where to begin your microphone search. At this stage, your search has been narrowed down to the genus of fish or, at least, its natural, geological waters. That is the easy part done.

Microphone type

Now for the hard, but fun part. The ‘how’ question takes you into the next stage of your microphone purchasing journey. How will you be using your recording microphone, and how much will you be using it? In other words, what is your style, that divine purpose? Determining your style narrows down the playing field to the school of fish from which you will eventually catch your dinner.

Below are some of the types of microphones you might be interested in searching for. Each type will introduce a few models to give you a better picture of what awesome models are available to you and some of the features they have.

Studio recording

Plug-and-plays conjure the image of childhood gaming you might take with you on long car rides, but plug and play USB recording microphones are nothing but savvy tech. Another mic type for serious consideration is XLR mics, which some purists might consider the only way to go for in-studio recording. Some features to choose between are condenser mics for better response with music recording versus dynamic microphones.

Do you have a need to live stream broadcasts? You might want to consider a microphone bundle with a shock mount and tripod boom stand, cables, and more. According to Best Studio Mics, a great all-rounder is the Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone K669B.

DSLR videography

An external mounted mic for your DSLR camera will need some fundamental features to be of maximum benefit for videography, such as shock absorbency, an ambient noise filter for sound precision, and high-quality audio clarity. Search DSLR microphone reviews for specific model comparisons. Also, be aware that some microphone models work best or fit the specific camera makes and mounts.

Gaming

Once upon a time, XLR mics had the serious advantage of having a superior condenser and, therefore, better sound over USB mics. But this is no longer the case. USB technology has caught up to XLR, so unless you need the ability to plug into a mixing board, your choice is already made, especially since XLRs aren’t considered “practical for gaming.” Now you just have to choose your model and features, e.g., headset versions, background-noise cancelling, in-game immersion, etc.

Other microphones

There are other microphone options for the home computer, video conferencing, karaoke, podcasting, etc. You can choose between ribbon, USB, condenser, dynamic, and wireless versions for each.

The bottom line

Whatever your requirements and desires, there is a recording microphone or two out there designed for your needs. To find the best studio microphone it’s made easier when you narrow down your personal feature requirements. It’s a big ocean, so if you get stuck out in the deep, helpful advisors will fish you out.

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