Although this model is ideal for recording music, it can also suffice for stuff like podcasts, voice-overs, field recordings, and even home studio recording. This Audio-Technica in particular features a built-in headphone jack with volume control to allow you to directly monitor mic with no delay. It also comes with a mix control which lets you blend your microphone signal with pre-recorded audio. This is by far one of the most popular USB microphones ever at this point.
The Yeti serves as one of the best microphones with USB connectivity for anyone who needs a multi-pattern model for recording or streaming. It features tri-capsule technology and 4 different pattern settings — cardioid, omnidirectional, stereo, bi-directional —all of which can be switched to, at just the click of a button. The proprietary 3-capsule technology is designed to deliver rich, detailed sound, while coming with studio controls like headphone volume, instant mute and microphone gain — you are in charge of the recording process.
The Yeti is equipped with a 3. The Samson has a plug-and-play operation, in which it is compatible with both the Mac and Windows operating systems, no drivers required. It also has two pattern settings: Although the mic is super compact, it still spits out a solid frequency response of 20 Hz — 18 kHz and a resolution of bit, Again, the Samson Go Mic is perfect if you need something low-profile and inexpensive and travel a lot since it folds into a wallet-size for easy storage. The Shure MV5 is by one of our favorite mic brands to exist, and this one is another economical and compact model that serves as one of the best USB mics for people looking for a simple plug-n-play device.
It also features 3 DSP preset modes, headphone monitoring capabilities, and 2 color options so you may find the setting that fits the situation best. The Shure MV5 is tuned to capture human voice with clarity and tone — ideal for music, video voice-overs and podcast recording. You can also read our Shure MV5 review for some more information. The next model we will talk about poises to be one of the best USB microphones for people who need something extremity low-priced to record vocals or instruments.
The CAD U37 is a large condenser, cardioid patterned microphone that can bring the recordings directly to your PC or laptop.
It has a side-address design which is popular among broadcasting, TV, and home recording studios. The cardioid pattern on the U37 minimizes background noise and isolates the main source sound — ideal for home recording or podcasting. Its smooth, extended frequency response allow it to capture singing, speech, and instruments, while the dB overload protection switch minimizes distortion from loud sources.
Almost to the end of our guide, we have the pocket-rocket MXL Tempo. MXL was a little late to the USB game but they made up for it with a nice little sleek solution here. The Tempo is one of the of best USB microphones used for mobile vocal recording, so things like voice memos, on-the-fly recording, dictation or legal dispositions can be done easier with better quality. It features a lightweight, condenser design which makes it very portable so users can record vocals and other sounds on-the-go via a USB 1. For being such a small size, the Tempo still provides a solid frequency response of 40 Hz — 48 kHz — perfect for vocals, podcasts, and video chats.
The MXL Tempo also comes with a built-in high fidelity headphone jack to give the user the ability to monitor and assess their recordings. This mic is compatible with a number of computer music programs, as well as over-the-internet communication systems like ooVoo, Skype, iChat, and Google Talk. Mid-range condenser microphones The previous mics were moderately priced and quite suitable for most VO recording tasks. Condenser mics have always been a perfect fit for studio recordings, and for good reason. Thanks to its lightweight diaphragm, a condenser microphone follows sound waves more precisely than its dynamic sibling.
Of all types, condensers reveal the widest frequency range, clear transients and greater sensitivity. That said, reasonably priced condensers may be well-suited for advanced home users, amateur musicians, and voice over talents that need to upgrade their existing devices. It features a new large-diaphragm cardioid capsule that allows for a maximum sound pressure level of dB.
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This allows for very high-output recordings. For acoustic instruments, the Neumann TLM offers a fast transient response, but the best applications for this mike are vocals and voice overs. It comes with a built-in pop screen to remove plosives and a stand mount for increased stability. The reasonable price and flexibility make this device a great fit for home recording and project studios. The peculiar thing about this device is its rectangular shape. Despite this questionable design solution, it provides a beautiful deep sound.
All you could expect from a top-notch large diaphragm condenser mic, and more. Voice over actors comment that it can be easily used outside the booth, highlighting its powerful filtration of background noises. Devoted users also cite the broad dynamic range and durability of this mic. Similar to other tube microphones, you need to warm it up for a while so it performs its best. Make sure you turn it on and keep it on standby for twenty or thirty minutes before recording an audio lecture.
Professional Microphones In this high-end category, I cover the outstanding mikes used by artists, musicians, broadcasters, and other voice professionals. Quality voice recording encompasses a slew of characteristics, and pro mics match them all in one way or another: If you are serious about your sound, welcome to the world of professional gear. This mike delivers the utmost quality for the money. The TLM utilizes the classic transformerless circuit employed in many Neumann models, and combines top-notch noise reduction with high sound pressure levels.
The TLM also works efficiently against plosives and pop noises. These characteristics make the mic suitable for a wide range of applications, from home recording to professional broadcasting and studio recording. See how these two popular models stack up against one another and make up your mind. Equipped with feedback suppression, it delivers superb sound quality and ease of use. See it as a part of your voice over home studio equipment? This exceptionally pricey mic supports three directional patterns: Neumann fans have a more affordable choice though.
A lower option, the Neumann TLM, also delivers great quality recordings. It fits the expectations of broadcasters and home studio owners. This mic is extremely sensitive; users maintain that it renders emotions and nuances with great efficiency. Other must-haves for voice over recording Watch this video and learn which equipment Israel Hyman, a voice over expert, suggests for home studio recording.
Headphones A must-have device for you to monitor audio tracks while recording voice overs. When recording voice overs, make sure you are in a quiet room and wear headphones. If you need to pick one model, my recommendation here is the Sony MDR For more details, check out my article on headphones. Microphone stands To avoid shakiness and sound disruptions, use a mic stand that suits your facilities and preferred position. A desk stand is a smaller, desktop alternative to a standard microphone stand.
A studio arm can be attached to a table with a removable clamp or fixed holder. If you prefer standing, your best option is a microphone floor stand, a longer model with boom arms. The latter will provide more flexibility in choosing the right angle and position for the mic. Here are my recommendations in each category: Arm stands: A durable and convenient model that you can easily fold and carry around if needed.
Smart pick! Floor stands: Samson MK A sturdy tripod boom stand that comes with a mic clip. Very lightweight, easy to transport. Make sure to check it out! Desk stands: On Stage DSB. Solid solution for voice over talents and podcasters; comes with an adjustable height. Sturdy and ergonomic.
Pop filters Basically, pop filters serve to improve your speech flow. Depending on the model, the screen can be metallic or made of a nylon fabric. Cheap and cheerful, it comes with a degree flexible gooseneck. Another job of a pop filter, when used with a condenser microphone, is to protect the capsule from tiny particles of saliva that inevitably fly out when you speak. Longer contact with moisture will corrupt the sensitive capsule. As for dynamic microphones, most of them already come in a protective capsule that has a foam pop-filter that goes in between the protective metallic grid and microphone capsule.
Plus, a dynamic capsule is more tolerant to moisture. However, an extra layer of pop filter on a gooseneck may be helpful. Shock mount A shock mount is a suspension device that prevents a mic from picking up rumbling sounds from the desk or floor. Voice over talents may use a shock mount to suspend a mic with special bands, thus absorbing most unwanted noises.
The type of shock mount totally depends on the particular microphone. Sometimes shock mounts are bundled with the mic. If you need a standalone device, I recommend you check out Neewer. This shock mount isolates most condenser mics and offers smooth angle adjustment. Durable metallic structure, great option for broadcasting and voice overs. In order to amplify the sound, i. Preamps come in all sorts and shapes: The important thing is to get the most out of your gear and deliver better gain, less distortion, and hopefully the desired sound character. This model is a classic one-channel pre with an independent D.
Belonging in the mid-range category, the ISA One does its job just right, and produces a clear well-weighed sound with impressive headroom. Want to learn more about preamps? Check out my dedicated article! Need to plug an XLR microphone into a computer? An audio interface is the solution.
Many interfaces include various inputs such as XLR and instrument input jacks usually combined as well as outputs, such as headphones and speakers. All interfaces that have an XLR input have a phantom power switch and a built-in preamp which is decent for most tasks. Also, most interfaces let you monitor the sound you record directly. My recommendation for a USB interface is the Focusrite Scarlett Solo 2nd Gen a great mic preamp that comes with embedded phantom power.
Best-in-class conversion rates, universal compatibility. XLR Cable An obvious means of connectivity for your audio recording environment. I suggest using foot mic cables — long, thick, and durable. Naturally, you should choose a good length for your setup, but too long is always better than too short. This is the type of thing that you set and forget. An isolation filter surrounds the back part and sides of a mic and absorbs unwanted echo, but at the same time leaves the subtle ambient echo, which is not bad at all. This is a portable and adjustable foam shield for stand mount or desktop use.
Comes with steady feet and a one-year warranty for your peace of mind. Acoustic panels Foam panels are also specifically designed to cut down on room ambience. They are usually placed in focal points across the studio.
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Acoustic panels may vary in size and structure: They are good for studios, vocal booths, control rooms, and other recording environments. Product care may include occasional vacuum cleaning for better results. These panels are composed of two-inch wedge foam and provide moderate noise deadening where required. Good value for the money. Highly recommended! Where will you make your recording? At home with no soundproofing: Will draw the curtains at most At home with basic soundproofing: Will apply some foam panels to the wall At home, aiming for a studio setup: Will bring along as much equipment and acoustic isolation as I can In a professional studio.
Need to record audio on the road? This may also be a good option, and you save on an audio interface. If need be, you can utilize the portable as a mic as well.
Studio monitors are an immense upgrade as opposed to common computer speakers or HiFi. Regular speakers and stereo systems tend to alter the sound to make it more appealing, whereas monitors give you a better idea of your recording quality. My recommendation: Yamaha HS7 Watt. This is a two-way powered studio monitor with a 43Hz—30kHz frequency response, room control and high trim response, XLR and TRS phone jack inputs, and more great features. This mid-priced Yamaha model is a real bang for the buck!
For more choices, refer to my article on studio monitors. Software Well, this is not exactly equipment, but you will surely need software to manage your recordings. There is an enormous selection of audio editors, so take your pick. Before you look into the pricey options, check out the open-source Audacity software. Among the major professional offerings, take a look at Adobe Audition CC , a workstation for audio pros that helps you design sound effects and edit audio.
Need more information? In conclusion This listing of voice over equipment packages provides you with some basic shopping guidelines, regardless of budget and professional experience. Jot down a list of essential features to meet your specific tasks. Wipe out the unneeded extras, and there you go.
Like any creative pro, you need the ability to tweak and tune, and possibly produce a couple of test lectures. After all, your voice is only as good as your content. Which of these microphones would you buy? Thanks for your time! Found the article useful? Please share with your friends and colleagues. You may also like Recording a voice-over? Find out what the market leaders like Sennheiser, Sony, Beyerdynamic Need a well-weighed selection of acoustic systems?
Read on for a roundup of the best low-budget Marcos, I know the Neumann models are good for tenors. The Neumann delivers good quality and fits higher male voices. If you are after a mic for studio use only, take a look at the Neumann , which provides a very natural sound. Hope that helps!
Nice to see Tom Olsen in the video! Well, unless you can really hear the difference…. Stan, yes, people can hear the difference. Good sound comes at a price. May I ask, is there a mic that you recommend for a mid-range female voice? One of those is the Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone clean reproduction, good fit for the mid-range, comes fully equipped with extras.
Thorough and complete list. I agree with almost everything here. You can hand hold the mic without generating any microphonic artifacts. It even works with an iPhone and Twisted Wave with an adapter cable. Amazing value, but purchase a slip-over pop filter for best results. Michael, thanks for the suggestion! Let me know more about your price range, applications and setup so I can suggest more devices. I want the sound to feel immersive and intimate, as the final product will be part of an exhibit- like a cinema experience but just audio.
I also need to be able to use the mic for in studio face to face interviews. What would you recommend? Ano, my suggestion here is a good condenser mic like the Blue Yeti. It offers a bidirectional pattern among other features which are good for your purposes. Alternatively, look into the Rode NTK, a large diaphragm condenser with a broad dynamic range.
I have an Apex — is it worthy? I have a deeper voice, with some rasp controllable of course and can do character voices. I also own a Senn. The Apex is cheap and cheerful, a surprisingly good value. It may perform like a pricey pro condenser but you need a good preamp. ART is a smart choice, gives you a lot of headroom. Kris, it has decent vibration rejection by design. How do I know that a specific mic is my optimal choice?
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You need to factor in your setup, your ambience, and your voice. Your first buy may not be the best fit, so might require a bit of trial and error. My advice is not to skimp on it. For pro applications, use pro equipment.
The Top 10 Best Computer Microphones in the Market
Choose wisely and try a few models. Voice Over Equipment. Blue Yeti — a plug-and-play USB mic for beginners Rode NT1A — an affordable solution with great dynamics, for burgeoning voice over talents who are serious about their professional development Rode Procaster or Shure SM7B — for recording long narrations and audiobooks; both are good at noise reduction and work in spaces with poor sound absorption Neumann TLM or Neumann TLM — high-end choices for professional voice overs.