Working from home, be Shure to use a MV5C microphone
Shure is known for its professional in-earphones, headphones, microphones and wireless systems and have WFH, Shurebeen around for a long time (since 1925). The in-earphones can produce very high quality audio as they isolate the sound form the outside world and musicians have custom earpieces made so they fit completely into and on to the ear canal (this also allows the audio to play much more quietly which is better for the ear drums and reduces damage).
More recently conferencing systems have also become part of the portfolio very much aimed at businesses.
Now with everyone working from home, Shure has moved into the home office space and produced a microphone to suit video and voice calls, the MV5C microphone.
There is some assembly required (screw the large sphere ended screw through the base into the microphone ball).
The microphone connects to the computer via micro-USB (why not USB-C in this day and age?). There’s also a headphone socket at the back for connecting wired (jack) earphones or headphones so it’s possible to monitor the raw input.
The completed unit looks quite professional, though the ball of the microphone is made of plastic.
The microphone should be placed as close to face of the user as possible (in front of the keyboard, the base can slide under some keyboards and still allow the keyboard to be used effectively). The voice quality is very good.
The main problem is it’s very easy to pickup background noise, especially hum from hard disks (i.e. older computers with hard disks inside or backup external disks) and fans. Newer solid state disk (SSD) based systems will sound much better. It would also be possible to mount the microphone on some sound abosrbant material as the hum comes mainly via the base.
The following are 3 recordings made using the MV5C and Audacity (44KHz sampling with 32bit floats) and and images grabbed of the capture — the base line waveform amplitude shows the hum/background noise.
The background hum can be heard, but still great quality.
Off desktop was recorded using some sound absorbing material. The hum is slightly lower.
The final version was recording while holding the microphone so isolated from the desktop (which the computer and backup disk is on) and a screen behind the microphone between it and the computer.
With each capture the background noise is reduced and placing the microphone where it won’t pickup extraneous noise will make a huge difference to the audio quality — though if offline editing, then noise removal would help.
As a desktop microphone and set-up correctly (and near to the person using it), it is a very good quality mic and can make a big difference compared to poor quality mics in headphones or other devices when using video conferencing or telephony applications.
The MV5C also works with the ShurePlus MOTIV mobile recording software (free download for iOS or Android) though it will require the correct cable (i..e device to micro-USB). The software gives tools to chop audio into clips, fade in and out and save in various formats.
It retails for £115 direct from Shure though it can be found online considerably cheaper.
Originally published at http://eurotechnews.blogspot.com.