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  • Microphone Recommendation

    I'm in the market for a new microphone and I was wondering what people might recommend for an excellent quality mic that will make me sound loud and clear. I've found that my previous mic doesn't fare well in games that don't have any form of built in microphone boost. After checking all the volumes in both my Creative volume settings and Vista, I can't seem to raise it any higher unless I've missed something. Having to yell into the mic just to communicate something basic to a squadmate is growing old fast with this one :)

    Also, I don't bother with the headphones as I wear it around my neck with the mic near my mouth, so a great sounding set of those isn't necessary. I was looking over some of the Gamecom sets by Plantronics and Logitech's Extreme Gamer headsets as I used to have one of those several years ago and it seemed to work rather nicely. Are any of those brands what I'm looking for or should I be searching elsewhere?

  • #2
    Re: Microphone Recommendation

    Most mics work well for a long time. The only real difference between mics, as far as I can tell, is the sound quality.. which would really only make a difference when producing videos.

    If you have Vista, try:
    Control Panel -> Classic View -> Sounds -> Recording

    Make sure the correct device is enabled. There might be a few devices to choose from - simply do a tap test to see which one you should choose. Some laptops come with a microphone built in - this is the one I suspect you're using.

    After you've enabled it, right click the device -> Properties -> Levels. Put it all the way up, boost to 0 (I don't like boost, personally).

    If that doesn't work, try searching for a volume slider on your microphone - my mic has one along the cable.



    If you are still intent on buying a new microphone, go one step above the worst. The worst ones may just stop working, ones taht are better offer better quality.
    Go for a USB microphone.
    Without teamwork, you'll never survive.
    Without betrayal you'll never win.

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    • #3
      Re: Microphone Recommendation

      For recording (I do Librivox) USB is almost necessary. In games... not so much. I've got a USB and an audio jack headset both by Logitech. When I use the audio jack no one comments that I'm sounding worse than usual or low or anything. You can find that one elsewhere for less than $20.

      sigpic
      "The true genius shudders at incompleteness - and usually prefers silence to saying
      something which is not everything it should be." Edgar Allan Poe

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      • #4
        Re: Microphone Recommendation

        Zalman High-End Microphone

        Probably the best mic I've had. Picks up sound very well, people could hear me "faintly," when I dropped it behind my desk, under a bunch of cables. Very long cord too.

        Only negative is that it is meant to hook onto thicker cables, so if you are using regular headphones, you have to wrap it around itself a few times to get it to stay.

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        • #5
          Re: Microphone Recommendation

          Originally posted by Anospa View Post
          Zalman High-End Microphone

          Probably the best mic I've had. Picks up sound very well, people could hear me "faintly," when I dropped it behind my desk, under a bunch of cables. Very long cord too.

          Only negative is that it is meant to hook onto thicker cables, so if you are using regular headphones, you have to wrap it around itself a few times to get it to stay.
          ooh that looks pretty cool!

          I'd suggest my Turtle Beach HPA2s but the headphones are pretty big and not easy to wear around the neck. Perhaps this wondefully clear and magnificently large Blue Snowball!


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          • #6
            Re: Microphone Recommendation

            I've been reliant on my analog Logitech microphone for many years now. Unfortunately, they phased it out and replaced it with a USB version a few years back.

            If you have trouble with players not hearing you as well, I'd go for a headest (headphones + mic on a boom) so that the microphone receiver is close to your mouth and your voice won't have to travel far to be picked up. Plus you won't have to shout like I do sometimes.
            |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
            TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
            Former 9th & 13th

            Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
            Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





            SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

            TG Primer and Rules

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            • #7
              Re: Microphone Recommendation

              "Get to da choppa"



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              • #8
                Re: Microphone Recommendation

                Consider a Bluetooth headset. I'm using a Kensington USB Bluetooth radio (I had to buy a new one as the cat stole my old one, new version cost me $20 at Best Buy. I just found the old one a couple days ago when I relocated my desk to another room. And now my BF2 disks have gone missing.)

                For the headset, I'm using an original Jawbone, known for good microphone voice quality in noisy environments, but there are probably a lot of good quality noise-canceling headsets out there now. Note that the Jawbone's value is for the person at the other end. Its speakers are kinda tinny and lack base, but you can be using a leaf blower and speaking normally and the person at the other end won't hear the noise source.
                Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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                • #9
                  Re: Microphone Recommendation

                  If you're getting a BT headset and need a radio transmitter, I bought one from DealExtreme for really cheap (~$3). I think they've gotten cheaper since I bought mine. It works great and is really tiny. Shipping is free but it takes a couple of weeks because they're overseas.

                  - It's who you game with.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Microphone Recommendation

                    AVOID USB WHERE POSSIBLE and look for a uni-directional microphone with a large snr (signal-to-noise ratio)

                    Former E1st Heavyweight


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                    • #11
                      Re: Microphone Recommendation

                      Originally posted by 1er View Post
                      AVOID USB WHERE POSSIBLE
                      Why? Is PCI somehow better? USB has more than enough bandwidth to handle voice band audio. And it's a whole lot more compact.
                      Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                      snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                      Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Microphone Recommendation

                        Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                        Why? Is PCI somehow better? USB has more than enough bandwidth to handle voice band audio. And it's a whole lot more compact.
                        Maybe because it'll play havoc with your sound settings in some games or apps?

                        There's a PCI microphone out there? :icon_eek:
                        |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                        TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                        Former 9th & 13th

                        Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                        Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                        SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                        TG Primer and Rules

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Microphone Recommendation

                          The CPU doesn't connect directly to I/O devices like the microphone. The motherboard chipset translates the CPU's "local bus" to various other kinds of I/O buses that then connect to the hardware.

                          If your microphone is connected to a sound card (or an "on-board" sound card), then that card is a PCI interface. So your mic is effectively a "PCI mic".

                          A number of buses (AGP, PCI, PCIe) connect to the CPU via the north and south bridge chips. Other buses (USB, Firewire) then hang off these buses. You can even have more PCI buses downstream of PCI and USB, in an ever-expanding star. And they can even meet another PC's bus and network that way. More than one CPU can be on a PCI bus, and this also works with Firewire.

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northbr...28computing%29

                          If the drivers are properly written, an application has no way to know if a device is connected via PCI, PCIe, USB, Firewire, or some other bus. Those buses should be transparent, and the driver should be talking directly to the registers of the actual device.

                          BTW, if you use Remote Desktop, you move the audio hardware to a completely different PC, connected via Ethernet. (And if the remote PC is on another continent, you'll be dealing with hardware on the other end of even more exotic transports.)
                          Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                          snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                          Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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                          • #14
                            Re: Microphone Recommendation

                            Ah, that's what you mean. I was figuring there was a great new microphone that jacked directly into the PCI slot with it's own dedicated components and whatnot.

                            I'm guessing my mic could be a "PCI mic" even though I use the integrated sound chipset rather than a separate sound card?
                            |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                            TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                            Former 9th & 13th

                            Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                            Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                            SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                            TG Primer and Rules

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Microphone Recommendation

                              I believe that's the way motherboards wire up their onboard audeo, downstream of the PCI bus. But it might be on a special interface on the south bridge, connecting it to the CPU bus.

                              Here's how to tell: Open Device Manager and change the View to Devices by Connection. Hit numpad * to open the whole tree up. Find your audio interface there, and see how it's connected back to the CPU.
                              Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                              snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                              Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                              Comment

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