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Buyer's Guide to Microphones

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Buyer's Guide to Microphones

by Answers 2000 Limited

Attaching a microphone to your computer can be both useful and lots of fun - and it could even save you money. With the right software, you could use your microphone for speech recognition (talk instead of type), video teleconferencing and Internet telephony (save on those long distance and international calls!).

You can also use your microphone to record sounds (and your voice) and play them back via your computer.
  • Microphones can be wireless, or hardwired directly into your PC. Wireless can, of course, be more convienent to use. Good quality wireless microphones produce perfectly acceptable results, but they can be more expensive than hardwired microphones.
  • Microphones usually connect into the microphone jack in your sound card. Thus, the quality of the recording will depend, to a very large degree, on the quality of your sound card. If you have an old sound card, it might time to think about upgrading to a new sound card.
  • Most audio software includes a calibration feature which allows you to adjust the recording levels depending on your microphone and the volume of sound. To ensure the best quality records possible, you should use this feature whenever you switch microphone, and even when you switch between different audio software packages (which may assume different level settings).
  • If you want best results, it is very important that you position the microphone correctly. Check the manual for instructions. If necessary, try experimenting with different microphone positions. Don't forget to recalibrate your audio software, if you do reposition the microphone.
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