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What to look at when selecting a computer microphone 

Microphone vs headphone-mic combo 

If you spend the better part of your day in front of your computer, sooner or later you’ll start thinking about buying a mic. It can help you to create and work more freely – for instance, talk to clients or participate in department meetings – or just stay in touch with your friends. 

The biggest advantage of a standalone mic is definitely the sound quality. It’s higher compared to headphones with a mic, so you can use it for things like recording a podcast. Not only does a standalone computer microphone have better specs, but it can also come with extra accessories. For example, a pop filter that muffles plosives, i.e. consonants with a “popping” sound like p or b; such a filter is available, among others, with our Solum Streaming and Solum Streaming Onyx White models. Another accessory is a shock mount, which comes with microphones such as Axis Streaming or Axis Streaming Onyx White. 

On the other hand, if you prioritize comfort, buying headphones with a microphone is worth considering (for example Viro Plus USB or Viro Plus USB Onyx White). Not only are they lighter and take up less space on your desktop, but they do not require you to buy any additional gear; everything you need comes with the equipment itself. Just keep in mind that the sound quality will be lower than that of a standalone microphone, so it will be suitable mainly for conversations and video games. 

Which computer microphone to pick 

When selecting a mic for your computer, there are a few major considerations, namely: 

  • Sound quality – it depends chiefly on the membrane, which collects the pure sound of the recording and ensures that each word you speak is clear. 
  • Directionality – the mic’s sensitivity to sounds coming from various directions. Types of microphones include cardioid (sensitive to sound coming from the front), omnidirectional (which collect sound from all sides) and figure-8/bidirectional (which record sounds on either side of the mic). 
  • Additional functions and accessories – such as a pop filter that blocks plosives or a shock mount. 

It’s also important that the model you pick is compatible with the software and equipment you intend to pair with it. ENDORFY microphones (such as Solum Broadcast and Solum Studio) have their own software, so connecting them is as simple as plugging in a USB cable. It’s a very handy solution, especially compared to a time-consuming installation. 

Most interesting microphone accessories 

Buying a mic is usually just the first step on the path to perfect quality – especially if you work creatively and you care about clear and detail-rich recordings. This is why you might want to take an interest in buying accessories that will enhance the material you produce and make your audience feel like they’re in the room together with you. The most popular additional gear includes: 

  • Mic stand – as far as we’re concerned, this is a must for every microphone owner. It frees your hands and allows you to comfortably angle your gear the way you like it. 
  • Shock mount – usually attached to the stand. Its job is to dampen any movement transferred from the desktop on which the mic is placed. 
  • Windscreen – reduces crackling and external noises picked up by the microphone. 
  • Pop filter – muffles the so-called plosives (for example “p” and “b”) when recording speech. 

See all products in the MICROPHONES category 


How do I connect the mic to the computer?

If you’re using a wired microphone, connecting it to the computer will take you literally a few seconds (we timed it!). Just plug the cable (most microphones available for sale use a 3.5 mm jack or USB) and your computer should automatically recognize a new device and let you use it. 

The situation changes slightly when you’re working with a mic using the Bluetooth technology – in this case, you need to start by putting it in pairing mode. Usually, you can do it by holding the power button when the mic is off (you can confirm this with the instruction manual). The next step is to enable the same option for your computer – for most models, you can do that by choosing “Bluetooth” in the settings. Now all that’s left to do is to choose the mic from the list of available devices.  

How do I test my mic?

Sometimes a mic refuses to cooperate when connected to a computer. Sometimes the system fails to detect it, and other times your voice records at a low volume or nothing can be heard at all. In such situations it’s a good idea to test the mic and make sure it’s properly connected to the computer. Below we explain how to do that, step by step. 

  • Windows 10/11 – choose the “Settings > System > Sound” path. In the “Input” tab, you can find all available microphone settings and the “Test your microphone” section that you can use to manage sound settings. 
  • Mac OS – open the “system preferences” app, then choose the “Sound preferences > Sound > Input” path. It will give you access to Microphone settings. 

What is a cardioid microphone?

Cardioid microphones pick up sounds from sources that are placed directly in front of the mic. They are otherwise known as unidirectional microphones. 

Cardioid microphones work well in recording studios, including vlog and podcast recording. They are not recommended for interviews or conversations with multiple guests, since they are incapable of recording sounds around the membrane (to this end, a better choice is definitely an omnidirectional microphone). 

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