How to choose a good Microphone?

The use of a microphone is clearly not limited to the stage for performances. Its use varies not only for the performing artists but also extensively for the media and entertainment sector for broadcasting. Be it a radio station or a news room, it is essential to know how to choose a good microphone. Ranging from hand held mics to condenser mics to lapel mics, the use and requirement differ in different scenarios.

Microphone is not used for only stage performances but it has lot more of application too. So, before buying a microphone certain things must be considered. The features like size brand cost etc. must be considered.

Types of microphones and Their uses

As it is an expensive piece of gadgetry, being aware of choosing a good microphone becomes all the more important. For the use of the media industry, all three variants mentioned above are essential. Hand held mics are used for location coverage and reporting and it is important for them to be padded and of good quality so as to handle external noises and vibrations. For a studio setting however, lapel mics and condenser mics are extensively utilized. It becomes a high priority to know how to choose a good microphone in such cases as they produce high-fidelity sound reproduction barring the unwanted noise and vibrations. On the other hand, microphones also have extensive usage in the recording studios, where the condenser mics again come into consideration, and for live stage shows, where ‘hand held mics’ are most popularly used. Hand held mics are available in wired and wireless variants.

How to choose a good microphone?

Apart from size, cost, brand, etc. we have directionality, frequency, impedance and handling noise must be taken into considered. Under directional pattern, it is better to use a less directional mic in position close to the sound source than to be further away using a hypercardioid. It must be kept in mind that the frequency must be appropriate. As a rule of thumb flat response patterns are best but most of the time tailored response is better. For impedance, it is always better to have low impedance than high impedance. It must be remembered that it work by converting sound waves into electrical signals. So, the diaphragm must be protected.

History and Producers of Microphones

Over the years manufacturers like Shure and Sennheiser have dominated the industry and continue to be the ultimate choice for anybody unsure on how to choose a microphone. For beginners and professionals alike, these companies offer a wide range of microphones as per the user’s requirement and use. A person may opt for a cheaper option in offerings from Philips or Panasonic or Shure’s expensive line, but the art of choosing a good microphone at the end of the day continues to be a highly technical one. So, it is better to take guideline from a technical expert or an engineer before choosing a microphone. To get best microphone it is important to take advice from one who have bought and a reliable shop or distributor.

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5 thoughts on “How to choose a good Microphone?”

  1. Ankit, this article is very informative but you could have provided some more points to consider while choosing a microphone. Specially what specifications manufacturers provide and how these affect its quality. Thanks !!

  2. good guide buddy, i think microphones must be taken with great care as they  all must not harm our ears..

  3. good guide buddy, i think microphones must be taken with great care as they  all must not harm our ears..

  4. I see the stand-up comedians using a white mic that hooks around their ear and comes close to the mouth but not in front of the mouth. What are these mics? I’ve not seen these mics in regular stores here in Pune. Perhaps I’ve not visited the right store, that’s why. :-) Please share some info on these mics as well; I’m sure such a mic will help me in singing while playing keyboard/harmonium.


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