The Best Computer Microphone for Small Business Use
Running a small business in a digital ecosystem also requires being media savvy. And this means being able to communicate effectively, which entails having the right tools. The best computer microphone for small business use on this list will provide high-quality sound that will let everyone hear what you are saying clearly.
This is not to say the microphones that come with desktops, laptops, tablets, or even smartphones are bad. But it is safe to say they don’t deliver the highest quality audio. Especially if you are outdoors, in a big space, or have bad internet connectivity. This doesn’t mean you need to buy a studio-grade professional microphone setup.
At the end of the day, you want what you say to be heard as clearly as possible. And if you want to sound professional, you will need an external microphone. Take a look at the best microphones for computers on our list for your next small business conversation.
Best Computer Microphone for Small Business Use
Blue Yeti USB Mic
Top Pick: The Yet is a multi-pattern USB microphone that combines three capsules and four different pattern settings. This mic can capture sounds in cardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional patterns. You can use it on everything from conference calls to podcasts and recordings.
It uses a high-quality A-D converter, a built-in headphone amplifier for zero-latency monitoring, and direct controls for headphone volume, pattern selection, instant mute, and microphone gain. And you get all these features without having to install a driver, just plug it in your computer to use it.
The mic is compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8 (including 8.1), and Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher). It delivers a bit depth/sample rate of 16-bit/48kHz, frequency response of 20Hz k-20kHz, max SPL of 120dB.
This microphone is 4.9 x 4.7 x 11.6 inches, weighs 1.2 lbs. (the stand is 2.2 lbs.), and you get a 2-year Limited Warranty.
Apogee Hype Mic
Runner Up: HypeMiC balances audio dynamics to deliver broadcast-ready output with great clarity. It provides sound quality up to 24-bit/96kHz with its premium cardioid condenser microphone capsule. And the headphone output delivers zero-latency recording. The mic comes with a tripod, pop filter, and carrying case and it uses lightning USB (Type-C) and USB (Type-A) to hook up to your computer.
HypeMiC is compatible with any Mac/PC and iOS app that allows you to select an audio device. The mic is 4.88 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches and weighs 7.2 ounces.
Samson G-Track Pro Microphone
Best Value: This mic from Samson is an all-in-one professional USB microphone with an audio interface delivering 24-bit, 96kHz. On the mic, you get a front panel mixer with microphone level, instrument level, and headphone volume controls. You can also select Mono or 2-Track recording modes and Direct Monitor on/off.
Two 1″ (25 millimeter) condenser capsules provide three selectable pick-up patterns – cardioid (unidirectional), bidirectional and omnidirectional. This gives this mic frequency response rate of 50Hz–20kHz.
The microphone is made with die-cast zinc construction with a heavy gauge mesh grille and an integrated desktop base. It is 11 x 6 x 6 inches and weighs 3.72 pounds.
HyperX QuadCast – USB Condenser Microphone
The HyperX QuasCast is a standalone condenser mic with quality sound. You can choose between the four polar patterns (Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, and Stereo) on the mic. It also lets you adjust the sensitivity by using the gain control knob. And when it comes to muting the mic, an ingenious sensor on top cuts the sound off with a simple tap.
An anti-vibration shock mount helps reduce the sound of any movements and a built-in pop filter also reduces muffles or popping noises. The mic has a sample/bit rate of 48Hz/16-bit, frequency response of 20Hz – 20kHz, and sensitivity at -36dB (1V/Pa at 1kHz).
You can plug in this mic into a PC, PS4 and 5, or Mac with a USB cable. At ?5.05 x 4 x 9.8 inches, the mic weighs 1.6 pounds with the shock mount and stand.
Rode NT-USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Rode is one of the most widely used microphones by podcasters, vloggers, and musicians. The NT-USB is a side-address microphone ideal for everything from spoken application to musical recordings. A premium pop-filter that minimizes plosives during speech or singing is included along with a stand mount with industry-standard 3/8″ thread.
The NT-USB has a cardioid polar pattern with a 16-bit resolution, a frequency range of 20Hz – 20kHz, and a maximum SPL of 110dB.
This mic is fully compatible with all mainstream recording applications on both Windows and Mac OS-based computers. This mic is 2.44 x 1.97 x 7.24 inches and weighs 1.15 pounds.
Audio-Technica Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone
The AT2020USB+ is a cardioid condenser mic with a USB output. It has an A/D converter with a 16-bit, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate to deliver accurate sound reproduction. The mix controls on the mic lets you blend your microphone signal and pre-recorded audio. And you can monitor the mic signal from the headphone jack volume control with no delay.
With this mic, you get frequency response rates of 20- 20,000Hz,
This mic is 6.38 x 2.05 x 2.05 inches and weighs 2.6 pounds.
Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone
A portable microphone allows you to generate a quality sound when you are outside of your office. The Samson Go Mic Compact USB mic has a fold-up design for professional recordings anywhere you go. This mic has cardioid and omnidirectional pickup patterns.
The plug-and-play operation makes it compatible with a Mac or PC laptop. The frequency response is 20Hz–18kHz with a 16-bit, 44.1kHz resolution.
This mic is 6 x 1 x 5 inches and weighs 8 ounces.
Features in a Computer Microphone
There are many technical aspects to choosing the right microphone. These are some of the more important features you need to look out for.
- Compatibility: Make sure the microphone you choose is compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux, or your smartphone operating system.
- Connectivity: You need to ensure the mic plugs in directly to the USB port without additional software or drive. Professional-grade microphones will require additional tools to make them work.
- Pop Filter: The more you talk on a microphone, the more you will appreciate a pop filter. In addition to reducing the popping noises when you talk, it will also protect your microphone from saliva.
- Stand: If you are in a long meeting or a podcast, a stand will make it much easier to carry your conversation.
- Headphones: The ability to plug in a headphone is a good option, even though computers already have a headphone jack.
- Volume or Mute Control: Having an easy way to quickly adjust and control the output of your microphone is important. Whether you want to mute or increase the volume.
- Power: If you are going to use your microphone on a laptop or other portable device, you have to make sure it doesn’t draw too much power. If this is the case, you will have to provide additional power with a USB hub.
- Sensitivity: This is the lowest level of decibels at which a microphone can pick up sound. The more sensitive a mic is, the lower sounds you can hear through the microphone.
- Sound pressure level (SPL): The SPL tells you the maximum level of decibels a mic can pick up without any distortion in the sound.
Types of Computer Microphones
There are several options when it comes to the type of microphones you can get for your computer. However, for the vast majority of small business use cases, you only need to know about a couple of them.
A condenser microphone is also called an electrostatic or capacitor microphone. It works by condensing the vibrations of sound waves in the main body, which acts as a plate. This produces changes in the variation in the distance between the body and the plate of the microphone.
You can find condenser microphones in studios as they do a great job of reproducing voices and instruments. These microphones have more of a studio feel delivering clear and crisp vocals.
A dynamic microphone, also known as magneto-dynamic microphones, works through electromagnetic induction. These microphones are more rugged, moisture resistant, and considerably cheaper. The quality of the sound is not as high as a condenser mic, but if you are going to be outdoors it is the right microphone.
The polar pattern or directionality lets you know how well a microphone can pick up and differentiate sound from different directions around its central axis. The types of directionalities include omnidirectional, bidirectional, and unidirectional.
Omnidirectional mics capture sound from 360-degree or all around, bidirectional receives sound from the front and back, and unidirectional captures sound coming from one direction.
The Right Microphone
The world of microphones can get extremely complicated really fast. If you are a small business looking to just have good quality sound, the computer microphones on this list are more than adequate and they will work with your computer or tablet.
Don’t think you have to pay a lot of money to achieve quality sound, especially if you are just having conversations.
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This article, "The Best Computer Microphone for Small Business Use" was first published on Small Business Trends