Choosing a microphone can be a scary thing. Unless you get a chance to hear it, you really don't know for sure what your are spending your money on. However, there are many aspects of microphones you can research to lead to a happy purchase. Don't forget to sign up for our Blue Baby Bottle Giveaway!
1. What will you be using it for?
Microphones can be used in the studio, live on stage, giving a presentation, or even speaking in classrooms. Every microphone serves a different purpose, and you need to know that purpose before you make an investment that won't pay off.
2. What type would work best for your source?
There are 3 common types microphones used today: Moving coil dynamic, ribbon and condenser microphones. Moving coil dynamics like the Lewitt pictured above are very durable microphones and can withstand high levels. This is why they are great for live sound and extremely loud sources in the studio. Ribbon mics, such as this Oktava ML-53 are very natural sounding microphones and are usually very quiet. They are also very fragile. These tend to have a special place in a studio. Many engineers use them for recording vocals, guitar cabinets and room mics. Condenser microphones come in all shapes and sizes. Large diaphragm condensers tend to be great on voice. Many of them, like this Aston Spirit go for a colored sound to make the human voice sound "better." I use quotations because this is a very subjective term and changes meaning between microphones. Condenser microphones can be found in classrooms, on cameras as shotgun mics, and even on news anchors collars as lavaliere mics. For the bedroom podcast creator, USB mics also exist. Sometimes there are different versions of some studio mics in a USB format. They get the job done, and done well.
3. What is your budget?
As with any purchase, you need to know what you can spend. Your budget, in many cases, will determine the quality of microphone you have access to. That's not to say you can't get a great sounding mic for less than $500. Brands like Rode, Lewitt and Audio-Technica have been providing very high quality sub $500 microphones that are very well respected in the studio world for quite some time.
4. Is aesthetic construction important?
In the studio, it rarely matters what the microphone looks like, as long as it sounds good. However, many live situations require a microphone to be discreet or at least look appealing. For example, broadcasts have their own style of microphone due to the fashion in which they are used. The are end-fire microphones and are easier to position and speak into than a side-address microphone. If you need help picking out a microphone, we have a massive selection, and our product specialists will be happy to help you both in our store, or over the phone. We can get you into the best possible mic for your budget and application. Don't forget to sign up for our Blue Baby Bottle Giveaway! If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at 855-269-0474 or stop in our store in downtown Appleton! Try a mic before you buy a mic! As always, enjoy FREE shipping on every order in the continental US! If you like what you read, check out our other articles here.