Whether you have started to record podcasts or live streaming the gameplay on Twitch, it is essential to improve your audio game. To help you achieve professional-quality audio, Manufacturers have started to roll out professional microphones that allow you to record your audio in high-quality, crystal clear sound. Besides that, if you are a gamer, you can’t overlook the significance of the right gaming microphone.
A good gaming microphone makes communication easy and intact with your teammates, and that’s what can open doors for you to victory. With the help of a gaming microphone, gamers can easily chat with their teammates, devise strategies to beat their competition, and can achieve new milestones.
There are a lot of gaming microphones available in the market but what is perfect for you is a little challenging to find. To educate you about microphones, we stacked up few things which, if you know, can help you in finding the best microphone for you that can be used for game streaming, recording podcasts, recording songs, recording voice-overs, and whatnot.
A microphone is not the basic elements you need in your gaming or recording setup. Before you invest hundreds or even a thousand bucks, make sure you really need a microphone.
Why Need A Microphone?
The microphone offers several benefits to users. If you are a gamer, it is a great accessory that you should be having. A good microphone eases the process of communication and allows you to talk to your teammates when you are indulged in a heated battle. On the other hand, if you are a content creator or music artist, a professional-quality sound will have an impact on listeners. With the help of a microphone, music artists can achieve professional and studio-level audio quality, without having studio sessions.
Having the right microphone also serves its benefits to streamers. There are a good number of reasons why you should get a microphone if you are into streaming or podcasting. To leave an impact on your audience, you need to ensure that you have got your hands on the right microphone. Today’s best microphone features different patterns and some allow you the flexibility to change the polar patterns which pick up the nuances of your sound and deliver rich quality audio to your audience.
There are a lot of other professions where a microphone is a must-have gadget on the desk. Below mentioned are some of the professions that use microphones:
- Voice-Over Artist
- Audio Recording Artist
- Sound Mastering engineer
How To Choose The Right Microphone?
There is an overwhelming number of options up for grabs when it comes to buying the microphone. However, that does not mean you can simply go out there and randomly buy one. If you are on the hunt for buying a new microphone, there are a few things that you should consider. Take a look at the factors that you should consider before finalizing your decision.
1. Polar Patterns:
One of the major factors you should consider while buying a new microphone is Polar Patterns. Polar Patterns mean the sensitivity of the microphone when used from different angles. A microphone for one-to-one interviews is not suitable for a gamer who needs a one-sided polar pattern which is also called a Cardioid pattern.
- Unidirectional/Cardioid – The unidirectional is also known as the Cardioid polar pattern. In this, the Microphones are able to pick up sound from different directions. A unidirectional polar pattern is one that picks sound from one direction only. The advantage of the unidirectional microphone is that it comes in handy when you want to block outside noise. All you have to do is point the mic at you, and it will simply pick up your voice, eliminating the background noise. In case, your job involves recording audio, or you are a Twitch/Youtube streamer and there is ambient noise around you, a unidirectional microphone should be on your radar.
- Omni-directional – On the other hand, omnidirectional microphones are the ones that pick sound from all directions. This type of microphones is a great choice for musical artists, or multiple actors playing on the stage. These types of microphones are also good for recording interviews.
- Bi-directional/Figure-of-Eight – If you are looking for a microphone to conduct job interviews or one-to-one talk, it is a good idea to go with Bi-directional microphones which are often known as a figure of Eight. The Bi-directional microphones record audio from the “in front” side and “behind” side eliminating the other two sides. So, depending upon what your purpose of buying a microphone is, you can take your pick accordingly.
For better understanding of microphone polar patterns, watch this Youtube video from Recordeo or read this.
The size of the microphone is another important consideration that will play a significant role while traveling or for portability reasons. A microphone should be lightweight which means when needed you can comfortably move it. On the other hand, it should allow easy adjustment in terms of height. Today’s best microphones come with a solid and sturdy stand that allows users to record audio while eliminating background noises. Moreover, a not-so-bulky microphone also takes less space on the table.
Along with that, there are streamers who don’t want to show the microphone on stream and some are okay with that. Which one is you also matters when you are buying a gaming microphone.
3. XLR Microphone vs USB Microphone –
Deciding between XLR Microphone and USB Microphone often creates confusion among people. Well, if you have just started your passion for podcasting or recording, it is recommended that you should go with the USB Microphone which can be directly connected to your computer or laptop. You will not need any other additional gear to set up a USB Microphone. On the other hand, if you are a professional and need a high-quality recording or streaming, XLR Microphones should be on your radar. XLR microphones offer a bunch of flexibility but it requires extra hardware to connect and record.
There are some microphones like the Shure MV7 that come with both USB and XLR ports. Shure MV7 is professional gear and there are endless possibilities with that microphone. You can consider that one if you want both USB and XLR ports.
4. Handy Features
While looking for a gaming microphone, make sure to look at the features that the microphone has to offer. For instance, you would want to have a microphone that lets you easily adjust the volume. The volume button should be within your reach. Other than that, if your purpose is to stream and record podcasts, it becomes important for you to have a dedicated Mute button that can mute your mic right away. This will prevent bloopers from coming in your way while you are LIVE on Twitch or Youtube.
Moreover, there are microphones that come with 3.5mm sound monitoring jack. You can plug in the headphones to monitor the sound you are recording. This way you can remove any noise in the audio using DAW softwares.
This is, by default, one of the important things while you are buying a microphone for yourself. You can buy a microphone under $100 and you can even buy a microphone for a hundred of thousand dollars. A decent, good quality microphone can cost you around $300-$400 but that totally depends on you. For beginners, a $100 microphone is good to go.
So, these are some other important features that you should be looking at while buying a new microphone.
How to buy a Great Microphone: Final Words
So, if you have just started playing games or recording or podcasting, microphones are essential peripherals that will elevate your experience. However, with plenty of options to choose from, finding the right one becomes a bit difficult. And that’s when you can rely upon our microphone buying guide that will help you in making the right pick.
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