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Choosing the right Microphone for Webinars

The thing about webinars produced from your desk is that they seem to invite you to use poor quality gear. Here’s a guide on choosing a great microphone for Webinars.

By: Jan Ozer

microphone for webinar

Whenever you consider what audio gear to buy or use, keep the above image in mind. Specifically, your goal should be to maximize the signal and minimize the noise. When you use low-quality gear, you often have trouble producing sufficient volume, which usually means that you have to boost the gain on your computer.

This amplifies the entire signal, including the noise, which makes the audio less clear and harder to understand. In addition, when you use low-quality gear, voice quality is noticeably degraded compared to a higher-quality recording setup.

To demonstrate this, I tested the internal microphone of my HP Elitebook 8760w notebook, two external Electret microphones, the microphone from a Logitech headset and my preferred setup, a Shure headset mic powered by a PreSonus AudioBox 44VSL. The AudioBox is a pre-amp, which both powers the Shure condenser microphone and boosts the signal before sending it to the computer. It’s AC powered, so it has more than sufficient power to create a strong signal with minimal noise.

In terms of workflow, as you’ll hear in the audio, I recorded directly in Adobe Audition on the HP notebook so I could monitor levels, using Windows controls to boost gain when necessary to achieve my targets. Then I output the files as 128 kbps MP3 files for your listening pleasure. You’ll get the most out of these comparisons using headphones. Note that it might take a few seconds for all the audio files to load.

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