Microphones Buying Guide
It is really important that a person should choose the right Microphone to get the best results depending on the kind of use they are planning to get one for. While shopping for a new one, you will get to see various kinds of Microphones that are available in the market. Due to the variety that is available in the market, it can be really confusing as to which microphone a person can get that will be perfect for them. There are different kinds of features and specifications that come along with a microphone, when you sit down to compare notes, it can get pretty tricky. Apart from the price factor, there is very little scope of comparison.
Wireless Microphones buying guide
It goes without saying that when a person buys a microphone, they expect to get really good sound quality and reproduction; in the same front the basic features of the microphone will stay the same no matter which kind of model you choose. You even get various copies of the original one which adds on to the confusion. When buying a microphone, it is really important to first understand the different kinds that are there as well as understand how each microphone works and what is it best used for. In order to help clear the confusion, here are 3 main factors that you need to consider to ensure that you make an informed decision and get the right one that will suit the purpose.Before we go deep, we should see the scenarios in which we need to buy microphone:
The Specifications and understanding of microphones
The specifications of the microphone gives you the basic knowledge of how it can be used and also lets you know if the one that you are looking for will be perfect for you or. There are primary specifications that hold a lot of importance. These specifications includes
- The Polar Patterns
This is reference to the direction or sensitivity of the mic’s shape which can ignore or accept sounds which are incoming. There are 3 kinds of directional responses, the first being one which accepts the sound that comes from any direction, this is known as an omnidirectional microphone. In the case of the bi-directional microphone, the sound is picked only from the west and east direction while sounds from the south and north direction are ignored. The unidirectional microphone is one that takes the sound coming only from one direction and blocks the rest.
- Microphones that are Multi Pattern in nature
Just like the name suggests, the multi pattern microphones are mics that have capsules which are inter-changeable. This means that a person can change the settings pertaining to the polar pattern. These mics are versatile in nature and have various settings that can be customized to suit the purpose.
- The Response curves
This part of the specification lets you know the range that can be reproduced by the microphone. This also lets you know if the microphone can perform with other frequencies and is determined by the shape of the frequency responsiveness of the mic. When you have a look at a graph, this will show you the curve of how it takes off from a low note to a high and vice versa.
- The SPL Handling and Sensitivity capability
The sound pressure levels (SPL) is generally represented in decibels and helps to understand how sensitive the microphone is in catching even the lightest sound. It also lets you know how high the sound can go when using the microphone. This is essential especially when there are drums being used.
- Proximity Effect
This is very important though it is not mentioned as a specification, however you would find the mention of this characterises in many descriptions. This is a feature that helps to enhance the bass sounds. This is generally used by singers who use the mic while working or even by a sound engineer.
The different kinds of Mics and accessories that come along with micorphones
Now that you have a brief understanding on the specifications of a mic and its meaning, the next thing what you need to know is the different kinds of Microphones that are available in the market and how they can be used. They are divided into two main categories
- The Dynamic Microphone
These are mics that are generally used during different kinds of stage performances since they are rugged. They are also used in some studios during recordings. These mics do not require a power source. The diaphragm of these mics are generally connected with the inductive coil. This is also one of the main reasons why they are generally used in different kinds of live shows and other such occasions. They are affordable and are budget friendly while giving you a good sound output. You also get wireless mics under this category. Under the dynamic mic category, the different kinds of mics that can be found would include
- Ribbon Mics
- Percussion and Drum Mics
- Stringed, woodwind, Brass, Reed Mics
- Bullet Mics
- Wireless Mics
- The Condenser Microphone
These mics have a conductive diaphragm that is very thin and is located very close to the back plate which is a metal plate. These mics generally work on a power source like a battery or even be charged in the same way. There are different kinds of condenser mics and are also used mostly for recording purposes or in cases of a live show, it can be positioned in front of various instruments like the stringed instruments, pianos, cymbals etc. They are generally on the high price range however you do get some which are economically priced but they are mostly used for non-professional reasons. Even under this kind microphone you can get wireless mics that are available in the market. If you are considering the condenser mic, then you can choose from the following options that are available.
- Condenser Mics with large diaphragms
- Side Address Mics
- Condenser Mics with dual diaphragms
- Tube Mics
- Condenser mics with small diaphragms
- Wireless or USB Mics
- Shotgun Mics
- Boundary Mics
- Bass Attenuation and Roll off mics
- The different accessories that can be attached
Accessories play a very important role and are used to help enhance the experience of using the mic. These accessories are designed to give the user a variety of benefits and are also made based in the kind of mic you choose. There are also certain accessories which can be used for both the types of microphones that are available. Accessories help to make the usage of the mic a lot easy, be it the stand, the filters or even the screens that are available, each of them have a specific use and importance.
While you are selecting a microphone, you also need to consider the kind of accessories that can be used along with your mic. These accessories are designed to enhance the performance of the mic as well as they enhance the music output. It is essential to keep this in mind as this holds a lot of importance. These accessories include mounts and cables, mic stands, shock mounts, pop filters, screens that can be used for isolation and cancellation purposes or even various kinds of instruments that can be attached to your mic while you are using it.
These accessories are generally sold separately, when you are buying the accessories, you need to make sure that they should be compatible with the kind of mic that you have. Even in the accessories, there are separate one’s that are available for professional use and separate one’s that are available for regular or normal use. You also have some places that give you a combo offer which includes certain basic yet important accessories along with the mic.
How to decide on the right microphons for you
Choosing the right mic can be subjective depending on the way it is going to be used. Everything boils down to the person’s budget as well as the reason why you are buying it. Even in a tight budget, if you really spend some time you can get really good microphones that will give you a very good sound output.
- Comparing details
One of the best ways you can get to know what is good for you is by comparing the information that is present. When you compare the information, you get a clear understanding of the specs as well as understand where the mic can be sued. At the end of the day, choosing a mic has to be one decision that has to be taken very carefully. While comparing, you also need to consider the different kinds of mics that are available.
- Understanding the models
In order to choose the right one, you need to ensure that you understand the different models that are there in the market. There is a lot of information that is available which can help you to understand how each model works. You will also get to know their uses and benefits. Before you buy a mic, you need to make sure that you run through this information as this will also help you to decide on the kind of mic that will be suitable for you.
- Your budget and getting one that fits it properly
Keeping a budget will also help you decide on what kind of mic you should look at. This will also help you to understand the kind of mic that you will get within a speculated range and will help you to make a decision accordingly. If you are planning to get some additional accessories, then you should keep in mind the overall budget. If you are buying microphone online, you will get to see a price variation on the same mic from one website to another, this is also one of the main reasons why it is essential that you compare the prices so that you can save up where ever you can and get the best deal for your mic. Deals, offers, combos and other such money saving methods can help you land up with a really good mic at a very nominal rate. They are also perfect for people who are planning to start their professional career and are looking for options that are pocket friendly in the best ways possible.
Another way to get a mic that fit your budget is by looking online for either 2nd hand one’s or for various kinds of combo deals that are available. These deals not only help you to save money, however it also gives you the benefit of getting not just a mic but something else like different kinds of accessories or other such things that will be really helpful and beneficial for you. There are even specially designed websites that sell only microphones and the various accessories that are available in the market today. These websites have a wide range of mics that are available and some of them even have an online assistance that can help you make the right kind of choice. The professional help that is given is very useful and will be based on what you requirement is.
While there are various things to keep in mind while selecting a microphone of your choice it is really essential, that you have to keep in mind the basic factors that holds importance, as well as helps you to make the right decision. Considering the amount of varieties there are in the market, it is really important when you are selecting the one that would work for you, you have to make sure that every small detail and information that is given is really important and can help you make the right choice. At the end of the day, it is really important to zero down to the perfect one that is worth your investment in every way possible. The selection process of a mic is easy when you have knowledge on the technical aspects of these gadgets, however for a new person or one that lacks the knowledge, it is essential that you should do all the necessary research before you consider.