How you sound in a zoom call is probably even more important than how you look. I’m sure by now most people have figured out how to master putting up a background, but figuring out how to sound professional requires some extra equipment.
The easiest way to sounding better without breaking the bank, is to take a page from the playbook from the gamers and pod-casters. What we look for in a quality microphone is how well the sound comes across to the people listening to us. Yes, that sounds obvious!
The Tonor TC-77 microphone that we picked as our favorite, has one of the most responsive acoustic pick-ups that we’ve found at this price point. The condenser mic has a “cardioid” shaped sound area – this means it responds most to the where the speaker is facing the microphone, and ignores the sounds coming from behind it. With this type of reception pattern, it’s basically focused on the speaker.
It’s USB 2.0 compatible, with a 5-foot cable which should be long enough to position the microphone wherever is most convenient on your desk or workspace.
One of the things we like best about this, is that it’s completely plug and play. So all you have to do, is just plug the cable into your computer and you are ready to go. Without the need for any software drivers, this microphone is compatible with Windows, Linux and MacOS Systems.
In addition to Zoom, you can also use this for any of the other popular conference call apps like Skype and GoToMeeting.
The microphone comes with a compact, foldable, tripod with non-slip rubber feet. An added bonus that we like, is the adjustable “pop filter” screen that you can put in front of the microphone. We found that this is critically useful for speech-to-text dictations. For example, this review was written verbally using Windows built-in speech to text App.
The sensitivity is very good at -38dB, and signal-to-noise ratio (S/R or SNR) is a respectable 56dB.
We also like that this is a “#1 Best Seller” product on Amazon, and gets many great reviews on other sites. For under $40, get the Tonor TC-777 Condenser Mic for an clear-sounding winner on your zoom calls!
A less expense alternative which has a 3.5mm audio jack instead of USB is the iUKUS Microphone. It you are using an iOS device that has an audio port, or you’ve used all the USB ports on your computer, this is a great option.
For around $15 to $20, you get the mic, stand and Y-cable audio adapter. The Y, or splitter, cable is so that you can still plug in your headsets to the audio port on your device (the mic goes into the red connector and your headphones into the black).
The mic cable is 6.5 feet, and the adapter is about 0.5 feet, so you can get up to about 7 feet which should be more than enough.
The sensitivity at -55dB is good, although not quite as good as the more expensive Tonor. But even with that in mind, we found that it’s still great audio for conference calls, pod-cast and for speech-to-text dictations. The SNR is also comparably lower at 36dB.
For more information on what the sensitivity numbers mean, check out this article on “Why Microphone Sensitivity Matters”.
If you want a quality microphone and a really great price, use our Amazon link to order the under $20 iUKUS Mic.