Do I Need a Separate Microphone for Zoom?

If you’re on the fence about buying an external microphone to add to your Zoom recorder, you’re not alone. Whether you’re recording interviews for your podcast or conference calls for your business, it can be hard to know whether to invest in a separate microphone or just stick with what comes in the box. 

This guide will break down the benefits and drawbacks of using separate microphones with Zoom recorders and help you decide if an upgrade is right for you.

What Are The Challenges With Using A Separate Microphone For Zoom?

A microphone is an important tool to have when speaking at a Zoom meeting. However, not everyone has the budget to purchase one. What’s more is that some people might want to use their own mic, rather than using the mic that Zoom offers. If you are in this category and don’t have the budget for it, then you will need to make sure that your other equipment meets certain criteria before you can start using Zoom meetings

You will need to have an HD camera with good sound quality, and ideally also have an HD webcam with good sound quality too. Syncing both of these devices together can be tricky though as well as you may find your webcam picks up background noise while your microphone is being muted or if they’re not synced correctly then they’ll cut each other out. 

With this in mind, many people opt for just getting a separate microphone which eliminates the chance of dealing with any syncing issues. There are many different options available on the market today including microphones that plug into USB slots on computers, microphones that work with Bluetooth technology, and microphones that require external power sources. 

Read: Home Office Microphone Buying Guide For Remote Workers 

A common misconception about external mics is that they are always better than built-in mics because they can pick up better audio from afar. The truth is though that while some external microphone do offer better sound quality than built-in microphones; others provide similar performance but cost less money. 

So if you aren’t expecting to talk at long distances during your Zoom meeting then there really isn’t much point in spending extra money on an expensive external mic.

How Does A Separate Microphone Affect The Quality of Sound?

A conferencing system like Zoom allows you to have multiple voice and video chats simultaneously. It does this by assigning different participants to different audio channels, with one common channel (called synco) reserved for text chat. 

For example, if there are three people in a meeting, each will be assigned to one of the audio channels and the synco chat channel. Participants who are not speaking on their microphone can still hear the other voices in the meeting through the synco channel. 

If you’re using your computer’s built-in microphone or an external microphone that plugs into your computer, it will have its own audio channel as well. You might find that this is too many channels and would prefer to simplify it down to just two or three. Your solution could be to use the desktop app version of Zoom so you can disable some of these options. You could also purchase a single mic designed specifically for conference calls which has both a USB connector and an analog jack for connecting via cable. 

The quality difference between these two microphones is negligible, so either option should work just fine for conferences.

Read: Best Home Office Microphone Brands In The Market 

What If I Don’t Have A Separate Microphone For Zoom?

If you don’t have a separate microphone for Zoom, you can use your computer’s built-in microphone. This will work, but it’s not ideal. The sound quality will be lower than if you were using an external microphone. With the built-in mic on your laptop or desktop, everyone in the meeting will hear what you say and there is no way to mute yourself while sharing. 

If you’re in a conference room with one of these devices, the conference room mic can also be used as long as it has been enabled to work with Zoom meetings. Just make sure your audio settings are set correctly before starting the meeting so that only those people who are dialed into the meeting can hear what is being said (and not by accident). You can go back and edit this setting once you start the meeting.

If someone invites themselves to the meeting without being dialed in, they will automatically be muted when they enter. 

Another option would be to bring headphones with a mic attached that allows you to chat from your phone (or tablet) during the meeting. Some even allow you to broadcast video via Skype or Google Hangouts. These mics are generally plugged into your device via an auxiliary cord or USB port. 

One last thing: there’s no need for a separate microphone for Zoom if you already have an external camera setup for Zoom video calls like the C920HD Pro Webcam .

What About Having A Separate Microphone For Meetings?

This can depend on what kind of meeting you’re having and the environment. If there’s not too much background noise, you may be able to use your computer’s microphone and speakers with success. For more formal meetings, it may be best to invest in an external microphone and headset. 

The advantage of this is that it will allow you to move around while conducting your meeting. It also means that other people in the room can’t hear your conversation – which is especially important when talking about sensitive topics like HR matters. 

However, if you are looking for something budget-friendly, the Logitech ClearChat Pro USB Headset has been rated among the best microphones for Zoom meetings. 

Read: What Are The Best Types of Microphones?


Zoom’s built-in mic is not the best, but it’ll do in a pinch. If you are looking to invest in your video recording and are debating between adding an external mic or purchasing the Zoom Video Recorder with XLR Module, we recommend buying the latter. It is more versatile and will serve you better in the long run. Plus, if you have an external mic on hand, you can always use that. 

There are many different types of microphones available in the market depending on what you need. So it’s worth considering. For instance, if you’re vlogging and don’t want the camera sound in your videos (we’ve all been there), then a lavalier mic might be the way to go since they’re usually small enough not to be noticed by viewers. And of course there are many different styles of shotgun microphones as well. You just need to decide what kind of mic would work best for your needs before making a purchase.

Donald Felix

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