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How To Choose A Microphone

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If you want to buy a microphone for PC, it varies from cheap to expensive. You may be wondering if a headset is good for live games and live streaming.

If you purchase without knowledge of the microphone, you may be in trouble because the performance is too good and you pick up too much life sound.

Therefore, this time, I will explain the basic knowledge that you should know before purchasing a microphone.

First of all, let’s know how to connect a microphone for PC. If you don’t know this point, you may end up in a situation where you can’t connect to the microphone even though you bought it.

There are two main ways to connect a PC microphone

3.5mm stereo mini plug connection

The 3.5mm stereo mini plug is a plug with the metal part at the tip separated, and is used by inserting it into the jack (plug) on ​​the PC side in the same way as a general music player.

There is a distinction between 3 poles and 4 poles for stereo mini plugs. (Differences in 4-pole standards are omitted)

If you want to connect with a stereo mini, check in advance what the terminals of the PC you want to connect are. The microphone terminals on the PC side can be mainly classified into the following two types.

  • Microphone terminal + headphone terminal (all 3 poles)
  • Combined microphone / headphone jack (4 poles)

USB connection

If the microphone can be connected via USB, you can basically connect it as it is if the PC has a USB port. Type-A and Type-C are the mainstream for USB, but most USB microphones are Type-A standards.

Headset or a Stand Microphone

There are two main types of microphone shapes used by game commentators and streamers: headsets and desktop stand microphones. I roughly summarized each feature.

Headset

  • Headphones and microphone are integrated
  • You can keep the distance and angle between the microphone and your mouth constant.
  • Microphone quality and sound quality are inferior to microphones and headphones in the same price range
  • The fit depends on the product

Stand microphone

  • Microphone quality is higher than headset in the same price range
  • You can use your favorite headphones and earphones
  • Tends to pick up life sounds
  • Need space to put the microphone

Since the headset is a set of “headphones + microphone”, you can talk with the microphone while listening to the game chat sound. (However, the quality is reasonable) and if you are using a stand microphone, it only has a microphone function, so you will need separate earphones and headphones to hear the sound near your ears.

If you want high quality for both game sound and microphone, “headphones + stand microphone” is recommended, but it costs a lot to prepare two.

Therefore, it is recommended that you purchase a headset first , and if you are not satisfied, purchase an additional microphone.

Dynamic Microphone And Condenser Microphone

There are two types of microphones: dynamic microphones and condenser microphones.

Recently, the number of cases where professional microphones used for recording, etc. are used for live games and distribution is increasing. These microphones often cannot be connected directly to a PC, so basically you need to have an audio interface.

From here, I will briefly explain the difference between dynamic microphones and condenser microphones.

Dynamic microphone – To put it simply, a dynamic microphone is a microphone found in karaoke and has the characteristic that it is difficult to pick up the surrounding sounds. Recommended when you want to include only your own voice. Since it picks up a narrow range of sounds, it is ideal when you do not want to include daily life sounds.

Condenser microphone – Condenser microphones are easier to record clearer sounds than dynamic microphones, but they also tend to pick up noise from air conditioners. It is not suitable for beginners because it is more vulnerable to shock and humidity than a dynamic microphone and difficult to handle.

When choosing a PC microphone, first check how it connects to your PC before deciding whether to use a headset or a stand microphone.

I personally recommend buying a headset first and then trying an expensive mic if you’re not happy with the mic quality.

Some headsets have a removable microphone, so if you don’t use the microphone in the worst case, you can use it as headphones.

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