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[Solved] Best computer microphone under $40

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Looking for a decent dedicated microphone for my computer

-$40 USD or less

-Headphone or USB type plug

-Desktop, Lavalier, or handheld cardioid (although I would also need to get a really cheap desk stand)

-No static (my current cheap desktop mic is unusable, so much static)

-Using it for Skype, Teamspeak, gaming, telephone calls, and online meetings

-Does not require any audio boards, sound cards, etc. to be loud enough for others to hear me
Edited by xlastshotx - 8/3/14 at 7:39pm
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post #2 of 6
I'm pretty sure any $40 USB mic will fetch you the upgrade you're looking for, but before you run out and get the first one you see, there's other things to consider.

It's all about set up, m8. All microphones will pick up keyboards and sound horrible if you don't have a good set up, which includes a treated room and, more importantly, good mic placement.

Most of the cheapy mics are desktop mics like the Blue Snowball, but those are bad bad bad because they don't really lend themselves to good placement. It's hard to keep them close to your mouth at all times (where all mics should be), for activities like commentary and chatting, without: craning your neck, occupying your hands, or obstructing your field of view and workspace.

For those activities, a mic that follows you around and doesn't get in the way is better. These are boom mics, lapel mics, or headset mics. Boom mics require an operator, someone to move it around, and a lot of cumbersome mounting gear, so a lapel mics and headset mics are what I recommend.

Just be aware that for most, if not all, decent lapel/headset mics, you'll have to spend money on an audio interface to use them with computers.
Edited by cuad - 8/6/14 at 1:55pm
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuad View Post

.. (Click to show)
I'm pretty sure any $40 USB mic will fetch you the upgrade you're looking for, but before you run out and get the first one you see, there's other things to consider.

It's all about set up, m8. All microphones will pick up keyboards and sound horrible if you don't have a good set up, which includes a treated room and, more importantly, the right type of microphone.

Most of the cheapy mics are desktop mics like the Blue Snowball, but those are bad bad bad because in order to get the most out of them, you have to keep your head perfectly still just inches away from it, and that's not good for commentary or voice chatting.

For those activities, a mic that follows you around and doesn't get in the way is better. These are boom mics and lapel mics. Boom mics require an operator, someone to move it around, and a lot of cumbersome mounting gear, so a lapel mic is best and what I recommend.

Just be aware that for most, if not all, decent lapel mics, you'll have to spend money on an audio interface to use them with computers.


Thanks for your write up, as you had recommended before I really like the Audio-Technica ATR-3350 the only issue with that mic is that it uses a small battery which I would have to constantly replace.

I am still looking around for other ones that might work without the need of audio boards/cards to boost or convert the signal (unless I could get a mic and a board for under 40, which seems unlikely).

I used to have a Blue Yeti which sounded great, I really liked it until it broke due to a defect and Blue wouldn't replace it.. so now I stay away from Blue. I am a big fan of Audio-Technica, currently have ATH-M50 headphones and have had about 6 other headphones from them, all really good stuff.


*Edited OP for simplicity
Edited by xlastshotx - 8/3/14 at 6:32pm
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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
After searching around for a few hours and no suggestions it seems that most mics under $40 are not very good. I am going to wait a couple weeks and get the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB
Edited by xlastshotx - 8/3/14 at 8:28pm
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post #5 of 6
I'm not sure how much having online meetings is going to contribute to the amount of use to the mic, but from what I've read spending more than $40 on a mic for gaming is quite the contrary.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1344842/audio-technica-at2020-usb-good-for-gaming

The Samson Go Mic is a pretty decent little mic that I've used and is around that price range, although it needs a little fiddling to position is properly and not pickup noise from say a keyboard.
It's also USB.

The antlion mod mic (I haven't used it personally) gets great reviews and there's a possibility of a drop occurring on massdrop. I would definitely take a look at that one if you want to turn some headphones into a headset. If worried about background noise, for the price range I would probably try out the mod mic.

If you are planning on saving a bit more, then I would possibly look around for a used AT2020, which would benefit more for meetings and calls.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your suggestions smile.gif, I picked up a mic today




Found it for $90 new in store so I decided to pick up the last one they had. Been using it for most of the day and I really like it, super clear and loud. More than $40, but for $90 dollars I could pass it up as it is the mic I have been really wanting
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