How to Choose the Perfect Microphone – Part 1

Are you in the market for a new microphone? Well, if that’s the case, you have come to the right blog post, or rather series of posts. We have a two-part special, designed to lay dawn our findings in a concise manner and, hopefully, help with any decisions you may have to make. It might seem that choosing a microphone should be a relatively simple task; however, with the sheer volume of mic’s available, it isn’t necessarily so straightforward. There are a good many things that you need to consider before finding the perfect equipment. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the key criteria and hopefully point you in the right direction.

What are you Going to Use it for?

Before you jump straight in and buy the first microphone that caught your eye, it’s worth understanding that there are different mics for different purposes. Put simply, you need to match up the microphone with your requirements. Obviously, this will be different depending on if you are using it for amateur, semi-professional or professional needs.

Examples of potential usages could include:

  • Using it for voice typing
  • Creating YouTube content
  • Delivering training sessions
  • On stage – talking
  • On stage – music

It can be safely said that there is a large number of potential uses that someone might have for a mic. Please note that the list above isn’t complete or extensive by any means and there are a great many other usages which involves a microphone. The reality is that most of the mics that you can buy will be made to perform a different task. There isn’t really a “one size fits all”, if you like, when it comes to microphones and their performance.

The key takeaway here is to try best to match up the mic with your specific need. Although you can find mics that claim to be good for everything, these then to be at the lower end of both price and performance.

Matching your Mic to the Other Equipment

Neumann TLM 170 R mt

Another interesting point, once you have made sure you have the right mic for your needs, is to ensure it is well matched to any other equipment that you plan to use. You almost certainly want to consider if you are just going to use it to produce vocals onstage or to enhance the sound of a particular instrument. The reality is there is a world of difference.

For example, there have been cases of people spending a substantial sum (can be thousands) on the acquisition of a Neuman Studio type mic, only to use it in a home recording environment. Sadly, the acoustics will be less than perfect until you combine this mic with a decent high-end mic preamp. In the case above, some of the pain could easily have been avoided if the user would have opted for a more cost effective and less sensitive model.

Hopefully, the two suggestions we provided have set you well on the way to making the right decisions about the new mic you plan to purchase. Of course, stay tuned for the second installment where we aim to give you a few more advices.