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Why are most recommended microphones either XLR or USB? Not 3.5mm?

post #1 of 5
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So this has been bugging me for quite some time. Wouldn't a 3.5mm mic with a good sound work better than a USB? Kinda like with headphones, better to get a 3.5mm set rather than one with a USB soundcard... Are 3.5mm mics just not that good? Or audio input is better for USB, over the 3.5mm?
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post #2 of 5
Because there is less chance of having line noise. My friend uses a 3.5mm and when talking on Skype his microphone always picks up noise. I use an XLR microphone and not one time has he ever complained about my microphone having weird noise. His 3.5mm however picks up all kind of noise. I have both XLR and USB condenser and can say they are far superior than 3.5mm.
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post #3 of 5
XLR and USB mics are usually condenser mics that need pre-amplification, it's as simple as that (and USB mics have build-in amplifier).
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post #4 of 5
Condenser mikes have circuitry in the microphone body that require power to convert the capacitance output from the microphone element into a voltage to send down the cable. Condenser is another word for Capacitor.

USB and XLR provide power- 3.5mm doesn't really. Also, USB is obviously digital to the computer and thus immune to noise after the ADC, and XLR is balanced, which is nearly immune to noise. Its VERY easy to pick up all kinds of noise with 3.5mm mike inputs.

3.5mm is really terrible for production/professional stuff- its easily broken, quick to wear out, and unbalanced. Its unheard of on anything but the cheapest/most consumer of things..
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post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevmatic View Post

Condenser mikes have circuitry in the microphone body that require power to convert the capacitance output from the microphone element into a voltage to send down the cable. Condenser is another word for Capacitor.

USB and XLR provide power- 3.5mm doesn't really. Also, USB is obviously digital to the computer and thus immune to noise after the ADC, and XLR is balanced, which is nearly immune to noise. Its VERY easy to pick up all kinds of noise with 3.5mm mike inputs.

3.5mm is really terrible for production/professional stuff- its easily broken, quick to wear out, and unbalanced. Its unheard of on anything but the cheapest/most consumer of things..

Yup. 3.5 is actually called mini TRS in the live sound and recording world. XLR is a balanced line and FAR more resistant to electronic noise.

USB is digital and essentially immune to noise. It doesn't pick up static, because the signal either gets there or it doesn't.
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