How to choose a microphone for your computer

When choosing a microphone for your computer, it’s important to determine the purpose of its use. So, the studio ones, designed for sound recording, are not very suitable if you just want to communicate in voice chats. Conversely, low-level microphones provide too poor audio quality to use them for anything other than conversations.

Synopsis by honeybunny

  1. Types of microphones for the computer
  2. Type of connection
  3. Specifications
  4. Sound Transmission Mechanism

How to choose a microphone for your computer: what to look for

How to choose a microphone for your computer


We recommend reading the rating of the best microphones for your computer according to experts.

When choosing a microphone, you should pay attention to the following parameters:

  1. Design;
  2. Type of connection;
  3. Technical characteristics (sound pressure, directivity, sensitivity level, working frequency range);
  4. Sound transmission mechanism.

And of course, the scope is important. If you plan to use a microphone only to communicate in voice conferences and chats, it will be enough to pay attention only to the type of connection and design. The other parameters are important when it comes to devices designed for sound recording.

Types of microphones for the computer


The design of the microphone largely determines its usability. These devices are available in the following configurations:

  1. Hinges;
  2. Tabletop;
  3. Headsets (headphones with a microphone).

Cockpit microphone is compact. It is placed directly on the clothing and allows you to record sounds while actively moving or even being outdoors. However, because of their small size, they do not provide much sound quality – “clear”, “deep” audio can only be achieved in very expensive models.

Tabletop microphones can offer very good sound quality, especially the top-of-the-line models. The design of such devices includes a special stand, thanks to which they can be placed on the surface. However, they have the disadvantage of having to keep your head still when recording sound, since changing the distance between your mouth and the microphone causes audio volume jumps.

Headsets don’t have this defect, but, like pliers, they don’t provide much sound quality because of their compact size. Nevertheless, some microphones of this type are equipped with hardware amplifiers and DAC, thanks to which the volume, clarity and audio density are increased.

Headsets combine a microphone and headset in one device, making them perfect for phone calls, voice conferences, and chats.

Connection type

jack or usb cables

The microphone can connect to the computer in one of two ways:

  1. Via a 3.5-millimeter audio jack;
  2. Via USB.

The vast majority of microphones involve a jack connection. This provides a number of advantages, including versatility and the ability to chain additional devices, such as a preamp. Nevertheless, the computer sound card is responsible for converting the analog signal from the microphone to digital audio and, therefore, the quality of the finished recording can be poor, even if the device itself is among the “top” ones.

Microphones that connect to the computer via USB already include a DAC and other devices. Therefore they can provide high-quality sound even on computers that have a “weak” audio converter. But remember, cheap USB-microphones can have nothing but a sensor and a simple DAC.

Again, if you need a microphone only for communication, you can ignore the computer’s sound card, preamplifier, built-in DAC and other parameters.



The following parameters affect the quality of the sound taken from the microphone:

  1. Sound pressure;
  2. Targeting;
  3. Sensitivity;
  4. Operating frequency range.

Sound pressure refers to the maximum volume (in dB) that a microphone can record without causing distortion. The optimal value for this parameter is between 70-75 dB. If you plan to record loud sounds, the sound pressure should be higher.

Directionality is a characteristic that shows the direction of the sound diaphragm. Microphones can be non-directional and directional. The first pick up sounds from all sides of itself, the second – only coming from a certain point. It is clear that if you want to record speech, it is better to use directional microphones. They are however much more expensive than non-directional ones. And the result of the recording may end up sounding unpleasant to listen to, which is due to a person’s auditory habits.

Sensitivity level indicates the minimum volume of sound that the microphone can “pick up”. It is very important to choose wisely this parameter. So, a microphone that has a sensitivity level of 10-15 dB, easily pick up and record a whispering person. However, it is just as good at capturing ambient noise. So you should not buy microphones with too high a sensitivity.

The working frequency range indicates how much of the sound frequency spectrum the microphone is able to pick up. The wider the parameter, the better. However, it is worth remembering that the audible sound is in the range of 10-15000 Hz, and human speech – in the range of 100-10000 Hz.

The mechanism of sound transmission

In terms of sound transmission mechanism, microphones come in condenser and dynamic. The first ones have the best recording quality and are used in studios, but they are also very expensive. Therefore it is advisable to buy a condenser microphone only if the audio received on it will be later published.

For communication, however, a cheap dynamic microphone will do. The more so, modern models provide very acceptable sound quality.


In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose the right computer desk, the secrets of choosing a motherboard and a complete guide to choosing speakers for your computer.

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