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  1. #1

    Desktop Microphones (Best under $100)

    I have been doing my own research but I was wondering if I could get any feedback from experienced computer users that specifically deal with microphones. The two microphones I was considering buying are both from the Blue Microphone group (Yeti / Snowball).

    Blue Snowball Ice
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/produ...item_id=046598

    Blue Microphone Yeti
    http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Microphon.../dp/B002VA464S

    This microphone is only going to be used for communication, i.e. video games, skype, etc. Nothing musical is to be done with this microphone, I just want a microphone that doesn't have omnidirectional, as they pick up everything. If there are any desktop microphones that you guys can suggest that aren't omnidirectional and considerably cheaper I would be more than glad to hear what you have to say.

    Thank you so much for reading.
    Last edited by noteworthynerd; 2012-12-17 at 09:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Those are the two best that I know of (the Snowball and the Yeti).

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by noteworthynerd View Post
    Those are the two best that I know of (the Snowball and the Yeti).
    Dang :\ I hoped that there were others :P

  4. #4
    Fluffy Kitten Marest's Avatar
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    I picked up the Zoom H1 a few weeks ago. I'm very found of it so far.

    Beware though, a higher quality microphone will pick up more sounds in more detail. Having a proper microphone stand is almost a must when landing at or above the $100 mark.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Elemair View Post
    Dang :\ I hoped that there were others :P
    I'm sure there are other options, but everyone I've ever heard talk about mics rave about those two, specifically YouTubers like TotalBiscuit, JesseCox, etc.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Marest View Post
    I picked up the Zoom H1 a few weeks ago. I'm very found of it so far.

    Beware though, a higher quality microphone will pick up more sounds in more detail. Having a proper microphone stand is almost a must when landing at or above the $100 mark.
    While I am only using this mic for talking through vent, etc, should it still require a boom-stand?
    The Blue Microphones also come with their own stands to sit on your desk, should an overhead stand (boom-stand) also be used?
    Last edited by Elemair; 2012-12-18 at 12:40 AM.

  7. #7
    Fluffy Kitten Marest's Avatar
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    If you will only use the microphone for VOIP I see no reason to spend $100. If anything, get a Zalman ZM-MIC1 first. It's only around $4 and arguably better suited for VOIP than any high-end product as it will pick up less background noise.

    I got my H1 in a bungy-stand which reduces vibrations from my desk, which can cost anything from $20 and upwards. To note, I also use my H1 for concert recordings. Compared to my ZM it's definitely better, but not significantly so to warrant the extra ~$70 for VOIP.

  8. #8
    Those Zoom things are really intended more for use as general sound/voice recorders. I believe they will pick up sound from everything.

    A lot of people use them to capture stereo audio streams along side their video cameras because those have built in mics that pick up noise from the camera.

  9. #9
    Fluffy Kitten Marest's Avatar
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    Any high-end microphone is really. If you want to record your voice for game commentary, podcasts or for any other purpose that requires high-end sound then by all means pick one up. But for VOIP there is little use. My H1 compared to my ZM-MIC1 at the same location picks up way more background noise, but it also delivers a higher quality voice recording.

    If you really and truly want the absolute best audio quality when it comes to voice recoding you need the following:
    - A high-end microphone that can record loss-less. My H1 is by all means a budget choice - a really good microphone can cost $400+.
    - A bungee mount that can effectively absorb vibrations.
    - A microphone stand that puts the microphone away from your keyboard, desk, chair (basically any object that you can touch).

    I'd also advise to add a pop-filter (not to mention a sound-dampened room; my H1 can pick up the construction workers two blocks away - sounds I can barely hear myself). After this, only one issue remains really; high end audio needs to be processed to really shine through. If you record for podcasts, this can be done easily afterwards. You can edit out noise, reduce jitter, recalibrate and so on. When it comes to VOIP, you cannot.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Marest View Post
    Any high-end microphone is really. If you want to record your voice for game commentary, podcasts or for any other purpose that requires high-end sound then by all means pick one up. But for VOIP there is little use. My H1 compared to my ZM-MIC1 at the same location picks up way more background noise, but it also delivers a higher quality voice recording.

    If you really and truly want the absolute best audio quality when it comes to voice recoding you need the following:
    - A high-end microphone that can record loss-less. My H1 is by all means a budget choice - a really good microphone can cost $400+.
    - A bungee mount that can effectively absorb vibrations.
    - A microphone stand that puts the microphone away from your keyboard, desk, chair (basically any object that you can touch).

    I'd also advise to add a pop-filter (not to mention a sound-dampened room; my H1 can pick up the construction workers two blocks away - sounds I can barely hear myself). After this, only one issue remains really; high end audio needs to be processed to really shine through. If you record for podcasts, this can be done easily afterwards. You can edit out noise, reduce jitter, recalibrate and so on. When it comes to VOIP, you cannot.
    Has anyone tried to use the Blue Microphones in VOIP situations? Since the microphone can be calibrated to cardioid or bidirectional, i.e. sounds only from the front or from front and back (which I'm sure you know) it should give better results than an omnidirectional mic. I really just wanted a good mic that is cardioid since every desktop mic is omnidirectional and can pick up sounds from upstairs in my house, it has been a real problem so far. In the end I would like to start doing my own live streaming, possibly youtube videos. This isn't anything that is going to happen recently though as my budget for computer upgrades is very low atm (Mic, is a present from relatives). Thank you Marest for your knowledgeable input on this situation though, you've given me second thoughts on getting this mic :P

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Cows For Life View Post
    Those Zoom things are really intended more for use as general sound/voice recorders. I believe they will pick up sound from everything.

    A lot of people use them to capture stereo audio streams along side their video cameras because those have built in mics that pick up noise from the camera.
    Have you had any experience with Zoom compared to the Blue Microphones? I'm just wondering how different they are, and if one is meant for different purposes, etc.

  12. #12
    I am Murloc! Bananarepublic's Avatar
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    http://www.logitech.com/en-au/webcam...ns/microphones

    This thing, 35 euro's when I got it, it's a nice device. Especially for your needs.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by coolkingler1 View Post
    http://www.logitech.com/en-au/webcam...ns/microphones

    This thing, 35 euro's when I got it, it's a nice device. Especially for your needs.
    This is probably what I'll be getting in the end, sadly a lot of reviews have said it has a flimsy design, broken out of the box, in packaging, after 10 months, etc. The Yeti will probably never break, it's a 179.99 Mic at 87.99 on Amazon. I just wanted to get something of real quality. But as Marest previous stated, the higher the cost of the mic, the more sounds it will pick up in higher detail. With that in consideration, I think this is the one I will be getting, thank you Coolkingler , my search may finally be over.

  14. #14
    I am Murloc! Bananarepublic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elemair View Post
    This is probably what I'll be getting in the end, sadly a lot of reviews have said it has a flimsy design, broken out of the box, in packaging, after 10 months, etc. The Yeti will probably never break, it's a 179.99 Mic at 87.99 on Amazon. I just wanted to get something of real quality. But as Marest previous stated, the higher the cost of the mic, the more sounds it will pick up in higher detail. With that in consideration, I think this is the one I will be getting, thank you Coolkingler , my search may finally be over.
    Flimsy?....how?..
    Gave mine to my father and it's still standing perfectly. :P Have it for 2 years now almost.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by coolkingler1 View Post
    Flimsy?....how?..
    Gave mine to my father and it's still standing perfectly. :P Have it for 2 years now almost.
    I guess the neck is easily broken with misuse and considerable up and down wear from repositioning the mic in the base after prolonged time. I'm sure with proper care and treatment though, it could last a pretty long time.

  16. #16
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    Antlion Mod Mic

    Use it with your favorite quality headphones.

    CPU: Intel i5-3570k (4.5GHz) MB: ASUS Z77 Sabertooth (uefi 2003)
    GPU: Asus 280X TOP (1130MHz/1750MHz) RAM: Corsair LP/LV white 8GB 1600MHz
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Notarget View Post
    Antlion Mod Mic

    Use it with your favorite quality headphones.
    Not my favourite type of thing, I would rather not ruin a perfectly good looking pair of headphones with a permanent metal bump. Thanks for the suggestion though.

  18. #18
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elemair View Post
    Not my favourite type of thing, I would rather not ruin a perfectly good looking pair of headphones with a permanent metal bump. Thanks for the suggestion though.
    I understand, I guess it was more of a general suggestion/idea not specific to you I use the Zalman clip-on mic myself but I'm really not that impressed with it but then again it's $4 so what can you expect.
    CPU: Intel i5-3570k (4.5GHz) MB: ASUS Z77 Sabertooth (uefi 2003)
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    SSD: Samsung 840Pro 256GB + Crucial m4 128GB (040H) PSU: Seasonic 620M CASE: Corsair 500R (White/Black) Monitor: 1440p BenQ GW2765HT 1080p LG 237L-BN IPS
    Current build! ||Old Build || Bitdefender Total Security 2015 || AV-TEST 2014

  19. #19
    The Zalman Zm-Mic1 High Sensitivity Headphone Microphone? A lot of people have said good things about this mic, so it's a toss up between this and the logitech desk mic, if anyone has any experience with the two I would love to hear anything you have to say.

  20. #20
    I use a Zalman Zm-Mic1 High Sensitivity Headphone Microphone

    For what I use it for, skype, vent, mumble, TS, it suits me just fine. Just don't try recording an instrument through it, made my piano sound like utter crap, but for talking it's a good quality mic for a low cost.

    The only thing about the mic I don't like, is that my typing can be heard clearly through it, but that's true for most mics yeah?

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