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How to Choose a Microphone for Streaming: Types and Criteria

If you are organizing streams, then you probably understand how important sound quality matters. And in order to have high quality sound, a good microphone is required. So, how to choose a microphone for streaming and what are the mic features you should pay attention to?

Today, a lot of relatively inexpensive, but good-quality models have appeared on the market, so choosing the optimal one is not so easy. Let’s discuss the key features and parameters of this type of equipment.

How to Choose Microphone for Streaming

Why do you need a good mic for your stream?

For sure, there are not many people these days who would not know what a stream is. With streams you can show the events taking place live, demonstrate your achievements and skills in a popular video game, and also just chat with your fans about any topics. 

You can watch the streams on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and WASD. TV. All of these platforms have two basic requirements that allow you succeed in streaming – a high speed Internet connection and a good microphone. 

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If with the first point everything is clear, then the second aspect needs the most thoughtful approach. If the sound quality is insufficient, the career of a blogger or streamer will end before it even begins – viewers do not like low-quality streams.  

A streaming microphone is a device designed to capture and hold voice and transmit it to any type of computer equipment, as well as a smartphone or tablet.

A standard microphone, which is part of headphones and some other gadgets, is not suitable here – in most cases such models are semi-professional equipment, the quality of which is far from the studio one.

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How to Choose a Microphone for Streaming
How to Choose a Microphone for Streaming/pocket-lint.com

Different types of mics for streaming

These days only two types of michrophones are used at the streaming professional or amateur levels – these are:

  • condenser michrophone (capacitor)
  • dynamic microphone studio models

What are dynamic stream michrophones?

Shortly, Dynamic microphones – microphones that convert sound into an electrical signal by means of electromagnetism.

Dynamic microphones are characterized by reduced sensitivity, which decreases rapidly as the range of the sound source increases. 

Their undoubted advantage is the neutralization of echoes and background noise, because this equipment is in most cases installed at concert venues and other performances. 

Of course, there are products of this category with increased sound parameters, the recording quality of these michrophones practically does not differ from condencer models, but their price is not low.  

What are dynamic stream michrophones?
What are dynamic stream michrophones?/mynewmicrophone.com

What is condenser (capacitor) microphone

Condenser microphone is a microphone, which is based on the use of the properties of an electric condenser.

These michrophones are more widespread, since they allow you to record sound of amazing quality even with a modest budget. Such models with the help of a membrane can catch the slightest vibrations, but they also require constant recharge. Accordingly, this implies a significant drawback of systems of this type – the capacitor itself needs constant phantom power. 

In addition, due to the increased sensitivity of the membrane with an increase of the distance from the sound source, a second minus follows – for full and effective use it is necessary to build sound insulation. Otherwise, every street sound outside the window will ruin your recording.

What is condenser (capacitor) microphone?

Technological development don’t stand still, and the demand for streaming microphones is growing steadily these days. To prevent a beginner streamer from getting confused a functional and practical solution was developed – to create a microphones in which all these options are already installed. 

How to choose microphone for streaming: parameters to consider?

How to choose microphone for streaming: parameters to consider?

Consider the following factors when choosing a microphone for streaming:

Directivity is a parameter responsible for the direction in which the sound will be recorded. For home use, a unidirectional one is sufficient. 

Sensitivity – it is indicated in dB, while the lower the value, the better the microphone will record quiet sounds. 

Frequency response – in this case, we mean the ability to record the quietest and loudest sounds without any distortion. The wider this range, the more natural the sound will become – and the high sounds will be clearly distinguishable, and the bass will not disappear.

Connection method. It is better to give preference to USB microphones, as they are cheap, mobile and doesn’t require any additional interface.

For professionals it is a good idea to purchase a high quality XLR microphone. Though it does not have an analog digital converter and preamplifier, so you will need to buy additional equipment to record a stream. 

Design features – conventional table microphones have a stand, with which they are fixed to a horizontal surface. 

However, in microphones for streaming this is not the best solution, since they only take up useful space on the table. Better to take budget lavalier models, especially if several people are involved in the recording. 

If you plan to record broadcasts at home, you should take into account the fact that highly sensitive devices will record even the sounds of household appliances in the next room.

Any additional accessories for the streaming microphone?

Rack

A necessary attribute of any microphone for streaming. It not only holds, but also participates in sound tuning. 

There are three types of racks on sale:  

  • outdoor – used by vocalists;
outdoor - used by vocalists;
  • pantograph – visually resemble a crane;
pantograph - visually resemble a crane;
  • tabletop model – these racks are usually equipped with buttons for easy operation.

Pop filter

This device includes several layers of thin nylon, so that the microphone is protected from “explosive” sounds. Please note that it is better not to buy metal pop filters. 

Pop filter

Spider mount

Helps protect equipment from vibration, which can adversely affect sound during recording. 

Spider mount

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