Whether you want to play games or chat with your family or friends on Skype, or want to work from home, you will surely need a microphone. You may already have a microphone with your computer, but is it good and working well enough? The best types of computer microphones depends on your usage. If you want to do podcasts, record videos, or make YouTube content, you will surely need a different hardware.
Consider Audio Interface and Form Factor
If you are looking to buy a microphone for regular use, you should review the microphone styles and audio interfaces. These are two options for audio interfaces:
- USB: Plug your microphones via USB port. This type of mic may have audio processors and pre-amps. A good microphone should have all the features that has a high audio quality so that you can work without any extra gear.
- Analog: You can put this type of microphone directly in your 3.5mm input audio jack. This port offers you flexibility to add audio processing and pre-amp gear between your PC and receiver. In the absence of this gear, you would have to rely on the motherboard of your computer to handle the duties of a receiver.
Both types of computer microphones are available in different sizes and shapes. A stand-alone receiver is available in USB and analog varieties. You can buy one as per your needs.
Webcam with a Built-in Microphone
If you want to use your microphone for common purposes, you can purchase a receiver with a built-in camera. It is a good way to save money. You can use the built-in microphone of your computer or buy a webcam with an integrated microphone. Your microphone will work well in both situations. It is essential to pay close attention to the sound in your room and ambient noise while chatting or making a video call. If you want to do something else, such as recording podcasts, this microphone will not work.
Dedicated Microphone for Video Chat and Games
If you frequently need a microphone for games and video chats, you should get a dedicated headset with an attached microphone or a stand-alone one. If you want to buy one headset for your office, you can try a Wirecutter headset. You can keep the microphone of this headset near your mouth and control the volume. Some receivers can cut your surrounding noise, and you can talk to anyone without any distraction.
For Podcasters, Musicians or Video Creators
If you want to record an audio, it is time to buy a headset with high-quality audio and microphone. This type of computer microphone can be more expensive compared to others, but you will need a professional microphone to record your voice. You will need one with soundproofing qualities to get a clear sound. You can buy a low-end cardioid microphone because it is very affordable. If you can spend more, it will be good to invest in a microphone with the super cardioid pattern. This microphone has the ability to pick less noise from your surroundings.
Types of Computer Microphones Available in the Market
You can connect any microphone to your computer. Traditional microphones plug in your sound card or line, but various advanced microphones bypass a sound card and can easily connect through a USB port. It is easy to use professional microphones on your computer through USB with the help of microphone preamplifier.
Headsets can be a single or stereophonic earpiece with one boom microphone. It will help you to hear and talk at the same time, and it is suitable for recording applications. You can use this microphone for computer telephony and play games.
This type of microphones were popular before the arrival of monitors with built-in amplifiers. This microphone is cheap, and you have to plug it into the sound card of your computer. It is a particular unit for podcasting and recording. It is mainly designed to pick up numerous people in conference calls at once. The capabilities of the traditional microphone are limited.
Sound-Card Microphones vs. USB
You can plug this microphone into USB port or sound card. Microphones, plugged into your sound card, are easy to use and connect. They work through the sound system of your computer. The audio quality of your microphone will be based on the quality of your sound system. If you have a low-quality sound card with interference and noise, this will not be a good choice for you. In this case, you can use analog microphones because they have their processor to cover analog signals into digital streams.
If a computer microphone is not good for your work, you can buy a professional microphone. You need a particular power source to connect professional microphones. These receivers use a 3-pin XLR connector. You may use a preamplifier microphone. Some receivers can connect to your computer via USB port. You can install an internal sound card in your PC. It offers high-quality connections (audio) for preamplifiers and microphones.
Various companies design webcams with a microphone. You can purchase this accessory instead of buying separate products. These devices are designed to reduce clutter on your table. You can use it for audio and video chats. Some models of these webcams can be attached to the top or side of your monitors with the help of a clip. The cam should face the user while capturing video and audio. These are digital devices and easy to connect via USB port to your personal computer.
Different types of computer microphones are available in the market, and you can buy one depending on your needs. It is essential to consider your usage, frequency of use, types of work that you want to do with your microphone, and voice quality. Microphones of different prices are available; hence, it is easy to buy a receiver within your budget. If you want high-quality voice recording capabilities, you should get ready to buy an expensive model. Typically, expensive models possess various features and capacities.