Computer microphone sensitivity

There are a ton of different microphone options, and a long list of specifications for each. Which of these matter and which are just hype?

Form Factor

The biggest difference between microphones is their form factor. This should be the first thing that you decide on.

If you’re a gamer or just prefer all-in-one devices, a is a good choice. Headsets are headphones that have a microphone attached to them. The quality and comfort of the headphones and the microphone vary pretty widely, so read reviews of models in your desired price range.

If you already have a good pair of headphones or you just want something cheap and easy, a desktop microphone works best. These include some sort of base so that you can just place the microphone on your desk and you’re good to go.

If you’re considering doing some podcasting or other audio recordings, you should look into a professional microphone. These are larger, heavier, and are designed to be held either in your hand or in a mic stand – which can be an additional expense. The most common professional mics are either dynamic or condenser. Dynamic mics can take a beating, so if you’re rough on your electronics, they’ll hold up better. Condenser mics are more fragile, but in general do a better job reproducing sounds.

There are a few other form factors that may work better for you, like lapel mics that you can clip to your shirt, or conference room microphones that are designed to be in the middle of a table full of people. If you have a specific need, a quick web search should reveal the ideal microphone form factor to look for.

Connector

There are fortunately few options for how your microphone can connect to your computer; however, there are some important differences between the options.

A 3.5mm connector is the same as the plug from most headphones. Most computers – even laptops – have a 3.5mm microphone connection, so in most cases, you can just plug your microphone into the 3.5mm jack. However, the on-board sound features of most motherboards and laptops are not very high quality, so if you’re planning to do any podcasting or recording, you might need to invest in a dedicated sound card with a 3.5mm mic input.

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Good microphone for voip

by frprovis

I'm trying to use skype but the microphone doesn't seem to work very well. I'm using WinXP on Dell Laptop with SigmaTel builtin audio. I've turned the microphone volume to max using control panel.
First, I tried a logitech headset. The speakers worked fine, but the microphone sound was very weak. Now I'm trying a labtec desk mic. It says -67dB/uBar sensitivity, but I still have to position it right against my lips to get a nice loud sound, which is a nuisance and also causes static. I've both the skype self-test feature and Microsoft SoundRecorder to test the microphone--in both cases, with both microphones, the sound seems weak unless I put the microphone directly in front of my lips and speak loudly

Popular Q&A

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How do you make conference call computer to computer?

There are many different methods, but Skype is definitely one of the easier ones. It's free to call other skype users, and you can have conference calls of up 5 people with the current version.

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