Picking the Perfect Sound: Your Guide to Choosing the Ultimate Webinar Microphone or Headset
While setting up for a webinar, you’ll need to make sure you have the best possible equipment within your budget, so your webinar attendees can hear and see you throughout your presentation. This means you’ll need to invest in a high-definition webcam, as well as the best possible webinar microphone or headset.
But what makes a webinar microphone or headset “good quality?” What are the best webinar mic/headset options on the market today? Well, let’s find out!
Choosing Your Next Webinar Microphone/Headset
Most experts say your sound quality is the most important part of your webinar. In fact, many argue that your webinar’s sound quality is, oftentimes, more important than your video quality or what you decide to present on the screen. For that reason, it’s important to think about what type of microphone or headset you need to offer the best possible audio quality during your webinar.
When choosing a webinar microphone, consider where you plan to present or record the webinar so that you can select the best microphone for your environment and overall system setup. This means you may need to consider several of these technical aspects of microphones before selecting the best one for you:
Wired vs. Wireless Microphones
Many of us love using wireless bluetooth headphones when we work out at the gym or listen to Spotify at our desks. Like headphones themselves, wireless microphones offer users some flexibility in movement and don’t tie them to a single location based on the way the microphone is connected to the main device being used to share the audio. This is why people who provide in-person presentations or speaking events usually prefer wireless microphones when possible.
Unfortunately, wireless microphones can also experience losses in connectivity or other types of interference, especially when being used for something like a webinar. For this reason, many webinar-hosting veterans actually prefer wired microphones for their online events.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you whether to use a wired or wireless microphone, but you will want to carefully consider the pros and cons of each before you settle on the best webinar mic for your next event.
USB vs. XLR Microphones
If you decide to use a wired microphone, then you’re left with yet another decision: Which type of wired connection should you use? If you don’t know anything about audio equipment or webinar hosting, then you probably don’t even know that there are different types of microphones out there. Luckily, most microphones use one of two connection types: USB or XLR.
As you may guess from the name, USB microphones connect directly to your computer or recording device through a USB port. Since most people use a PC or Mac to present their webinars, USB microphones are quite common for webinar hosting. These microphones make it easy to set everything up through your computer, which means you won’t need dedicated audio equipment just to run the sound for your webinar. USB microphones, however, also don’t give you as many adjustment options for audio optimization, which may matter to some webinar hosts.
Inversely, XLR microphones are the industry standard for pro audio equipment. XLR microphones provide more options and sound control, plus they are used by everyone from professional musicians to podcasters, meaning there are some quality XLR microphones available for any type of webinar host. Unfortunately, most XLR microphones won’t directly connect to your computer—at least not without some additional equipment.
Dynamic vs. Condenser Microphones
Whether you choose a wireless, USB, or XLR microphone, you will need to consider whether you want a dynamic or condenser microphone. Each of these microphones collects sound in a different way, which means that you’ll want to pick the type that will work best based on your recording environment and what you want your webinar attendees to hear (or not hear).
Dynamic microphones are designed to cancel out background noise and ambient sound. They do this through using passive listening. These microphones are great for people who may be presenting in an environment where there may be background noise in any form, such as in a non-studio setting.
In contrast, condenser microphones pick up sounds with high-detail through active listening. This makes them great for recording high-quality audio in an environment like a recording studio. However, it makes them less than ideal for anyone working in a location where background noise is present or ambient sounds are an issue.
Headphones or Not?
Finally, before you set out to buy a new webinar mic or headset, you need to decide whether you want a complete headset or a stand-alone microphone. This may depend on the environment in which you’re presenting your webinar, and whether or not you’ll be recording the webinar or presenting live.
Also, the type of microphone or audio setup may make the decision for you. For example, if you want to use an XLR microphone, chances are you’ll have to go with a stand-alone mic. However, if you want to connect through USB, you can absolutely choose a webinar headset with a microphone built into it.
At the end of the day, this decision is mostly based on preference, but it’s still a factor to consider when shopping for a new webinar mic/headset.
The Best Microphones for Webinar Hosting
Once you decide what features make the most sense for you, it’s time to go shopping! While there are hundreds of options out there, here are some of the best webinar microphones and headsets available.
Best Budget Webinar Headset: Sennheiser PC 8 USB On-Ear Headset
If you’re looking for a high-quality webinar headset that comes at a reasonable price, look no further than the Sennheiser PC 8 USB On-Ear Headset. It’s comfortable, lightweight, and easy to connect to your computer through USB. While this doesn’t offer the bells and whistles that some other webinar microphones might, it makes up for it with its affordability and outstanding audio quality.
The Sennheiser PC 8 USB On-Ear Headset retails for under $50 and is available from Amazon or most other major retailers.
Best Budget Webinar Microphone: Blue Yeti X USB Microphone
If you’re looking for a reliable USB condenser microphone that will provide you with outstanding audio for your next webinar, check out the Blue Yeti X USB microphone. This webinar mic is easy to use, with a built-in knob that allows the user to easily adjust the gain, mute, and headset volume. It also includes a direct connection for a separate headset, meaning you can use any headphones with the Yeti X.
The Yeti X retails for $139 and is available on Amazon or from other major retailers.
Best Quality Webinar Headset: Audio-Technica BPHS2 Broadcast Stereo Headset with Dynamic Boom Mic
Since the Audio-Technica BPHS2 was designed for podcasters and other audio broadcasters, it’s also an outstanding option for professional webinar hosts. It’s designed to pick up a wide range of frequencies and provide high-quality audio, no matter what you’re saying.
The Audio-Technica BPHS2 starts out at $329 and is available from Amazon and most other major retailers.
Best Quality Webinar Microphone: Heil PR 40 Microphone
If you want the top-rated microphone by podcasters and other professionals, then you’ll want to consider buying the Heli PR 40. This dynamic XLR microphone offers a wide frequency range, shock protection, and other features that provide the best possible audio quality for webinars, podcasts, and YouTube videos.
The Heli PR 40 retails for $329 and is available on Amazon or from other major retailers.
Now that you have the best of the best webinar equipment, make sure you’re doing everything you can to promote it too!