Microphone Recommendation – October 2020

I guess this might make the process look complicated but its mostly common sense and investing some time in your tools.

Personally I view good audio/video as the modern equivalent of a quality suit/tie/leather shoes for attending important meetings (but it costs less than that).

I currently use and moderately recommend the RØDE Microphones NT-USB model – http://rode.com/microphones/nt-usb

Rode nt usb micrphone 2

I chose this microphone because its low cost (about USD$150) and USB connected. This makes it easy to use and integrates with apps better. For example, Zoom shows a USB microphone by its name (using audio interfaces is more confusing). 

Also I’ve been happily using Rode microphones for ten years plus our audio professionals highly recommend them.

However, the microphone itself isn’t the success factor. It took me a number of years to use a microphone correctly so I’ll offer some brief tips:

  • You must have your mouth close to the microphone when speaking. By close mean within 6 inches or less. This requires self training for most people.
  • You need a boom mount to do that – Link: RØDE Microphones – PSA1 – http://rode.com/accessories/psa1 is a good choice but a cheap knockoff from eBay or Amazon will work ok for normal use.
  • Know what the microphone orientation is – they are directional. The Rode NT-USB has a definite front/back thing going on.
  • My office has treatment with damping materials which reduces reflected sound. You can’t see them in the camera shot. Most places could use at least some damping (but sometimes you don’t).
  • Take some time to understand levels on a microphone and what is the right setting for your voice.