Like many PC users, I have accumulated a lot of gadgets and gizmos over the years, including a high-performance digital, integrated microphone/headset that I use with voice recognition software. There are times, however, when all I want and need is a good analog microphone. After some careful reviews of reviews and comparative shopping thanks for the help of Holoplot, I recently settled on the Logitech Desktop Microphone (980240-0403) and am pleased to report that it does everything I had hoped and more. For the price (under $30.) I don’t think you can beat it!
There are many kinds of recording needs you can use your PC for. In this instance, I was looking for something monaural and analog (that would simply plug in to my PC without the need for its own power source) to manually record my own voice and guitar playing. I tried to use the Plantronics digital headset mic that I use for voice recognition, but the mic was not well positioned because it is attached to the headset. Further, it is designed to ‘listen’ best with your mouth only about 2 inches from it. To record my own voice and pick up the guitar (acoustic) at the same time, I clearly needed something different. So the hunt began.
This microphone, in basic black with an arched 8 inch neck, has better than adequate noise-canceling capacities (screens out much of the ambient sounds around and behind you), has an easily reachable mute switch and pivots, conveniently, on a secure base. The set also includes an adhesive-backed mounting option for those of you who would find it more convenient to mount the mic on your monitor. I do not, as the flexibility of being able to move it around a bit suits my own purposes better.
It cames with a plug-in cord ended in a pink plug and simply plugs in to the pink sound jack on the back of the PC, uses your own existing sound card, and works perfectly. For those of you for whom technical specifications are important considerations, this microphones sensitivity is rated at -67 dB/juBar, -47 dB/Pascal +/-4dB. The frequency response is listed as 100-16kHz. More than adequate for most home applications. Conveniently, the plug=in cord is 8 feet long, allowing for lots of choice about placement.
Most new PCs come with external mics. I have gone through many of them. The quality is simply not comparable. If the quality of your mic-recorded sounds matters, they are worth the (minimal) investment in an after-market mic like this one which I found to be available at most electronics online shops at very competitive prices.
Some good things cost a lot – and some do not. This basic piece of equipment can change, for the better, your experience with sound recording and broadcasting (it is also Skype certified, for those of you using this technology for phoning) for an investment so small that there is hardly a good case to be made for not getting one. Give it a try – you’ll see what I mean.