Whether it’s starting your YouTube channel. A new home studio. Or starting your very first podcast on iTunes, you need to sound great. And the right microphone makes all the difference in the world. Not all mics are equal. So let’s dive in to get you set up with the right mic with this eazy-peazy buying guide! We’re here to help you bring out that artist in ya!
These mics are good for audio/voice recording. Gaming & live streaming too. Ideal for home or are most commonly found in professional studios. Use this microphone when instrument details and precision are important, like for recording your voice (for your next hit song). Also, good for acoustic guitars or live music instruments. Condenser mics are sensitive to sound by design for a buttery smooth sound response.
Ideal for singing live. Lasts longer & is reliable. Great for podcasting too. Tend to be inexpensive and affordable for all budgets. Perfect for beginners. Helps you lower background noise. For example, hitting your desk, typing, clicking, & chewing gum. Also it’s a good choice for outdoor stages & festivals.
Ribbon microphones are the closest thing to a human ear. Yup. These act like your ears. Meaning, ribbon microphones are natural mics. You can use ribbon mics to capture the sound of a musical instrument, your own voice, & even the environment of the room. All due to the unique figure 8 polar pattern. These have a reputation for being fragile and delicate. Has been a longtime “go-to” favorite choice for audio junkies to record “larger-than-life” vocals.
Wireless microphones are super-convenient. It’s 3 parts: The microphone, a transmitter, and a receiver. These are very popular in TV broadcasting. For the entertainment industry. For public speakers. Also used by interviewers & by singing performers too. Wireless means no messy cables to trip over.
They’re almost as good as wired mics. Why? You gotta watch out for latency or time delay. No one wants to hear an echo. Look for a wireless mic with almost no time delay and you’ll be set!
Your computer's inbuilt microphone won’t cut it. This type of mic will help you get started on your podcast. Hey, Joe Rogan had to start somewhere right? But unlike Joe, you want an edge. Sound that carries you & your guests vocals well. This type of mic is perfect because of high quality recording capabilities. For best sound quality, each person should have their own mic. Instead of sharing one microphone….Go ahead, be selfish! A special type of connection called External Line Return (XLR) is your ideal setup for 2+ people.
Plugging in an XLR mic is better than a USB type mic because it gives you better sound quality. This three-pin XLR microphone is in most audio & video pro studios…AND IS PERFECT FOR YOUR HOME TOO!
This cool little type of mic comes in wired & wireless flavors. Are perfect for interviewing and hands-free operation. Don’t get confused, Lavalier & Lapel mean the same thing. They’re convenient and easy to use. They usually clip on to your shirt near the buttons or collar. Once you’re set up with your Lav / Lapel mic, you’ll forget you even got one on! These tend to be sensitive to sound though and can pick up noise. Keep in mind if you record or interview several people at the same time, everyone should have their own mic.
If not, you’ll look silly in asking to, “PUFF, PUFF, PASS….” the mic! Last, these little wonders are pretty-good for on-stage performances. And are good for speeches, concerts, interviews, singing, and recording too. They’re flexible & handle a variety of sound jobs. So give ‘em a try!
7 Top Microphone Brands
If you’re looking for variety at different price-points, consider this name brand. Has sparkling-clear pure audio quality. Great for “blow-the-roof-off” type of powerful performances. A good option for WIRELESS & CONDENSER type of mics.
A solid brand. Nice variety of wireless and condenser mics to choose from. Used in podcasting circles also. Consider this brand to kick-off your podcasting career! The MXL BCD-1 Dynamic Mic for Podcasting and Vocal Recording comes with a bonus pop filter & boom arm. It’s ready “out-the-box” for ya and perfect for starting your YouTube channel, like now!
A great brand to consider too. Has a wide selection of wireless, dynamic, and condenser mics to choose from. Known for a microphone of choice for Paul McCartney (The iconic Beatles Band). This brand delivers sound quality above all else.
If choice and variety of mics is what you’re looking for, this brand delivers. It’s a reputable brand in the microphone & music space. Whether you need a condenser, wireless, dynamic, or vocal microphone, this brand’s got your back.
Nady is the king of wireless! Nady is a pioneer. Having the world's first In-Ear Monitor System in the history books. It’s the number one choice in public speaking circles, broadcast, & school.
You just can’t go wrong with a Nady mic! Doing your 1st podcast? Then, the Nady DW-44 Quad Digital Wireless Lapel & Headset Microphone System is what you need. Has 4 headsets. So get 4 friends together and create podcasting magic!
To please your beginner tastes, these Wireless & Condenser mics are a good choice. (Professionals use these too.) Give these microphones a try. Need to go mobile? Then, get the Samson Go Mic Mobile Digital Wireless System. This mobile kit has everything you need for “On-the-go” work.
Our last brand but not least of course, is the Electro-Voice. This heavyweight has been around since grandpa was a young lad. Yup. The Electro-Voice RE20 mic for example, is a professional cardioid dynamic microphone. Used in broadcasting since the 1960’s. An oldie but goodie.
Cardioid means it looks like a heart OR is Unidirectional. Meaning the mic picks up sound waves in the direction the mic is pointing. And does a good job of canceling out noise coming from behind the microphone.
It gives background noise A Good slap-in-the-face! Making it easy to keep your mixes clean. Last, you’ll appreciate that it has lower output than condensers. Very helpful when recording loud sources. Think live concerts.
Well there you have it folks. A crash-course in microphones. Now you have the trust in yourself in knowing what mic is best for you. Start your YouTube channel. Buy that mic for your new home studio too. Or begin your very first podcast on iTunes. Now, you can buy your microphones with confidence!