A lot goes in to running a successful webinar. However, above all else, you need a good web microphone. Below, we’ve listed 11 of your best options. After going through them all, you should be ready to make a selection.
Understanding Your Two Main Web Microphone Options
Before we get into your best web microphone options, let’s take a moment to talk about the two main types you have to choose from.
The first kind is a “dynamic microphone”. If you’re looking for a web microphone and aren’t too sure how serious you are about hosting webinars, this is probably the model you’ll end up with. That’s because it’s the cheapest.
That doesn’t mean it’s bad. A dynamic web microphone works by using a magnetic field to sense where the audio signal is coming from and receive it. On a mechanical level, a very lightweight and usually thin diaphragm moves when it responds to sound pressure.
As a result, a dynamic web microphone will be less sensitive to sound pressure levels. The same goes for high frequencies. While they won’t record as much surrounding noise, this type of web microphone also won’t produce as rich a sound.
Is that such a bad thing?
You’ll have to decide. Again, these are less expensive and don’t need a power supply. Although, in this day and age, that last feature probably shouldn’t be a huge deal if you’re looking for a web microphone. Just plug one in.
The other web microphone option is known as a “condenser”. These respond far better to the “speed” of sound waves. They also pick up on more nuances. Condenser microphones are (by far) the choice of people who need mics to record music.
Inside of the condenser web microphone is a conductive diaphragm that is spread thin and placed closed to the backplate, which is a metal disc.
Of course, condenser mics will require a power supply, but we’ve already talked about that.
While they will cost more money than dynamic mics, the other drawback is that you will only want to use them if you have a secure area that won’t involve background noise. If you’re planning to use this web microphone in your home, you can’t have other things going on in the surrounding area or your listeners will hear it.
11 of the Best Web Microphones for Webinar Hosting
Our first pick, the Heil PR-40, may be the king of dynamic web microphones. It’s made with a copper-wound dynamic combined with a neodymium magnet structure. These are both high-quality pieces of material, which means you get to put out a better sound.
While this dynamic condenser web microphone is an excellent choice, it does come with a higher price tag. If you’re new to webinar hosting, the Heil PR-40 may not be your first choice. In contrast, if you’re looking to invest in high quality webinar audio technology, then add this to your short list.
While the Heil PR-40 may be more popular, another great dynamic web microphone that is gaining a lot of fans is the Audio-Technica ATR2100.
As a handheld mic, much of its popularity is based on preference. If you like handheld mics for your webinars, the others may not be a good fit. The Audio-Technica ATR2100 is handheld but also produces an amazing result.
It’s also both an XLR and USB, which makes it unique to the list and gives it another huge advantage. Furthermore, you can actually use both at the same time. The XLR would work best for live webinars or webcasts and, obviously, the USB would make the most sense for digital recordings.
Other reasons to love the Audio-Technica ATR2100 include the fact that it uses a Cardioid polar pattern, has an extended frequency, and works with built-in headphones. At the end of the day, if you are using multiple webinar approaches — or you’re not sure which version works best, yet — this mic is easy to recommend.
The most expensive dynamic web microphone on our list is the Rode Podcaster. Even though it’s easy to recommend a condenser mic over this type of model, don’t sell this one short. It might be one of the best options on our entire list (which explains its price).
Internal shock mounting will help when you record, especially if you’re in a room that might let in outside noise. It also makes it very easy to isolate your voice, which is one more reason it’s a good, versatile option for those who are worried about recording a bit too much audio.
A 3.5mm stereo headphone output is also very attractive in its own right, but the jack gives you built-in volume controls, too.
Let’s now shift our focus to condenser microphones. The first on our list? The Samson Meteor. It’s actually very affordable despite being a condenser mic, so even if you’re new to hosting webinars, don’t write it off right away. For the price, this is probably the best deal on the list.
It’s very durable, too, so if you think you’ll be holding webinars from numerous locations, it is going to be a great choice. You can fold the legs up and it will still work very well as a handheld option, but those legs also go right back down, which will make it easy to talk into from the seated position.
Although you still have to make considerations for its condenser features, if you’re going to hold webinars and are short on space (e.g. an apartment, hotel room, small office, etc.), this web microphone won’t get in the way.
Lastly, another reason we love this web microphone for people on limited budgets is because it can connect right into your iPad and other tablets, so you can then use Garageband to edit the final version of your presentation before releasing it.
In terms of price, the Audio-Technica AT2020 is a considerable step up. Yet, you’re still not spending a ton of money to get a very easy-to-use microphone that would be great for you entry-level types.
You don’t need a ton of technical skill to use this condenser web microphone. You can literally just take it out of the box, plug it in, and start using it. While you should do just as much research finding good webinar software for your presentations, this mic works with just about all of them, whether you prefer a Mac or PC.
Another thing we love about it is its low-mass diaphragm, which was custom made to work well with extended frequencies and gives a high-level transient response. Basically, this means that if you use this mic, it will isolate your sounds. Therefore, once again, if you don’t have a perfectly quit environment, the Audio-Technica AT2020 will work around it.
Blue Microphones Yeti
This web microphone is a top seller on Amazon for a number of reasons. The Blue Microphones Yeti is relatively affordable, it works well, and it has a stylish, retro design, which makes it ideal for webinar hosts who plan to be on camera.
Aesthetics aside, its bidirectional design makes it phenomenal for interviews. If you plan on talking to people on a podcast, this is the one to go with. At the same time, it was also crafted for omni-directional use, which means it is phenomenal for webinars where you might do a conference call.
If you’re worried about the work involved to execute these types of webinars, don’t be. The Blue Microphones Yeti can be taken out of the box, plugged in, and used right away without any technical skill. With an audio output right at its side, you can also plug your headphones in.
Blue Microphones Snowball
If you know anything about webinars, this one shouldn’t surprise you. Blue makes our list again with this extremely popular web microphone. It earns its name because of its simple apparatus that’s capped off with a spherical mic.
Despite the legendary manufacturer behind it, the Blue Microphones Snowball is another extremely affordable condenser mic. It also looks fantastic on camera, especially because you have eight different colors to choose from.
On a technical side, it has a dual capsule design, so you can do interviews and conference calls with equal sound quality. The -10dB Pad: A -10dB pad switch will eliminate sound either way, so you’ll have a bit more freedom to choose the location for your webinar.
Both Macs and PCs will accommodate this high-performing mic equally.
Once again, we have another web microphone that mimics the mics of yesteryear. It doesn’t get much more classic than the MXL990.
Don’t let the look fool you, though. It comes outfitted with a FET preamp, which helps create a better balance output. Add to that its nice large diaphragm and you get a professional result that offers superior sound quality, even by condenser web microphone standards.
The only real drawback with this web microphone is that it will only work with an XLR cable. You’ll need a USB mixer or XLR-to-USB converter to get it to work with your computer, but that’s to be expected with this kind of professional equipment.
This is one of the largest condenser microphones on the list. While that adds to its looks, the fact is that the CAD U37 will also give you a nice rich sound on your webinar. Just remember that the trade-off is that you have to be careful about where you record.
That’s not all it has to offer, though. You’ll benefit from a -10dB overload-protection switch. This will make up for its ability to pick up noises from far away — at least, a little bit. That feature reduces distortion. There’s also a switch for reducing bass, which will eliminate a lot of the low-frequency white noise you may not hear until the webinar has been recorded.
All of these professional features don’t elevate the price tag much, though, which makes this condenser web microphone a solid choice for rookies.
The Shure SM58 is a workhorse of a web microphone. It’s another one on the list that is very mobile, so you have some options for how you want to format your webinar. It’s also extremely durable — maybe the toughest mic on the list. While that probably shouldn’t influence you too much, if you plan on traveling with a mic a lot, look no further than this condenser microphone.
Given its price tag, you can also afford audio software or a mixer to travel with you and, therefore, leave your laptop or tablet behind.
Samson Go Mic
Another very affordable option is the Samson Go Mic. If the CAD U37 was one of the largest on our lists, then this is definitely the smallest. As its name suggests, it’s very portable. This also makes it great for impromptu interviews when you may need to hand the mic back and forth. The Samson Go Mic can even be clipped to a desk, so though it may look like you’d have to hold it, that’s not the case.
Like other, more expensive web microphone options on our list, this one has an omni-directional pickup and switchable cardiod. Translation: its sound quality is great. It also works with Macs and PCs.
One feature that makes this web microphone especially unique is that it’s the only one that comes with recording software. Cakewalk Music Creator is fairly user-friendly and will give you everything you need to begin producing webinars right away.
Don’t take your web microphone needs for granted before hosting your webinars. The last thing you want is to spend good money on one only to get bad results. No matter what your budget or needs are, there’s a mic from the list above that will fit.
Still, if you want help making your decision, contact us. We’d be more than happy to guide your decision.
Also, check out BigMarker today to start hosting amazing webinars.
Read the full article on the BigMarker blog: http://blog.bigmarker.com/11-best-web-microphones/