Microphones are necessary to help you record your voice or even sing along to your favorite songs, so you’ll want to ensure you get the best one that fits your budget and needs. Fortunately, plenty of options are available, so you’re certain to find something that suits you perfectly.
This guide will take you through what you need to look out for when choosing the microphone for your computer and give tips on determining what microphone would work best for your needs.
What Is Computer Microphone Used For?
Your microphone is used to record audio. Inputs to the microphone include voice, instruments, and sound effects. Connected to your computer or device via a cable, your microphone can be easily connected to a system through USB or xlr inputs.
Sound quality is important for your work as a freelancer, so you need a great microphone with plenty of input options and sound settings. For your device to pick up the sounds coming from the mic, you need a good-quality mic with plenty of volumes and no background noise interference.
Your current setup should include a studio-quality condenser microphone that plugs in via USB input on your pc and has a great cable length which allows you to move around while recording without worrying about disconnecting anything. The headphone jack lets you listen to what’s being recorded.
A studio-quality condenser microphone is favorable- it fits into your laptop bag when traveling, which means less hassle at airport security checkpoints. It also comes with a carrying case to keep it safe while traveling. While there are more expensive microphones, this one has everything you need at an affordable price.
How To Choose A Microphone For Your Computer?
Choosing a microphone for your computer can be overwhelming. There are so many microphones and brands to choose from that knowing where to start can seem impossible. Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you. Below is a list of some of the best microphones on the market and what they’re best used for.
#1: The Blue Yeti
This microphone is good for recording vocals.
#2: Audio-Technica AT2020
This microphone is great for recording vocals.
#3: Audio-Technica ATR 2100
This microphone is great for podcasting.
#4: Samson Q2U microphones
This microphone is great for podcasting.
#5: The Blue Snowball
This USB microphone can be used with your laptop as a traveling microphone. It is a solid choice here! It’s affordable and picks up sound well for voice recording.
#6: The Spark Digital USB Microphone
This USB microphone can be used with your laptop as a traveling microphone. It’s affordable and does more than just voice recording. It has noise cancellation features, making it perfect for musicians or those who like their music loud in the background when recording video tutorials.
#7: The Shure SM7B model
This is a wired microphone. It’s built well at a professional level but not too expensive. The mic is ideal for someone looking to upgrade their studio without breaking the bank.
#8: The Rode NT1-A Condenser Microphone
This is not of stand or fancy features. It is an amazing investment. It offers really clear audio recordings and is easy to use.
#9: The Behringer C1 Condenser Studio Recording Mic
This microphone is super cheap but still of good quality. It offers crisp audio recordings at a fraction of the price of most other mics.
What To Look For In A Microphone?
What you need to consider when choosing a microphone for your computer is what you will use it for. A more basic mic will work fine if you are recording voiceovers and podcasts.
But if you’re planning on recording music or vocals, your needs will vary and require something more specific and advanced. Here is a list of things to consider:
- What kind of computer am I using? Windows or Mac OSX?
- What microphone do I need (i.e., USB, XLR)?
- Where will I use the microphone (i.e., studio, home office)?
- How much money can I afford to spend?
- What other accessories might I want with my microphone?
Depending on the type of microphone that you purchase, you may also have to buy an interface to go along with it. An interface plugs into your computer’s sound card and converts analog signals from the microphone into digital ones that your PC can recognize. Most interfaces also allow external input from instruments such as guitars and basses, drum machines, audio mixers, keyboards/pianos, turntables, CD players, etc.
Knowing this in advance is important, so there are no compatibility issues later. Other accessories include cables for different uses, like unbalanced lines for live performances or RCA cables if you want to connect a CD player to your mixer so that you don’t have to carry both devices separately.
How Do You Connect A Microphone?
Connecting a microphone to your computer varies depending on the type of microphone you have and the type of computer you have. Here are some general steps for connecting your mic to your computer:
- Plug in the power cord if it comes with one. If not, make sure your computer is plugged into an outlet.
- If it’s a USB Mic, simply attach it to any open USB port on your computer. If it doesn’t automatically install, follow the prompts on the screen to set up your microphone.
- If you’re using a desktop or tower-style computer, you’ll need to connect your microphones’ cables to the back of your computer or motherboard. Locate available ports that match up with the type of cable coming from the bottom of your microphone (1/8 TRS plugs require 3-in-1 RCA input ports, while XLR plugs require 1/4 jacks).
- You’ll then need to turn off any anti-noise filters that may be turned on in Windows Sound Preferences and adjust audio levels within Windows Sound Properties until they’re optimized for voice recording or playback.
Read: Home Office Microphone Buying Guide For Beginners
There are a lot of considerations to make when choosing the right microphone for your computer. Hopefully, this guide has helped you narrow your options and decide what is best. Remember, no perfect microphone will work for everyone, so it’s important to do some research before buying any new equipment. Once you’ve narrowed your choices, try out each option in person at a music store or buy from an online retailer with easy returns/exchanges. And if all else fails, ask someone who knows what they’re talking about!