Explore some of the best microphones used for voice-overs in PowerPoint.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Applies to: All PowerPoint Versions
PowerPoint and a microphone -- what is it that holds these two together? More often than not, you use a microphone to record voice-overs for your slides. And this again is done in one of two ways:
The first process is the quickest and the second may take a longer time -- whichever process you use, a nice microphone can work wonders. And that brings us to the reason behind this article -- what exactly is a "nice" microphone? And, do other things such as background noise, your computer, your sound card, etc. matter? The answer to the latter question, of course is that these nuances do matter, especially the background noise and your computer. Sound cards may or may not matter since most new microphones have some sort of sound card functionality built within themselves! That's mainly true for the USB microphones that are so popular these days.
So we asked a few friends about what would be their favorite microphone for recording voice-overs within PowerPoint -- and let's hear straight from them:
This guy, the Samson CO1U USB Studio Condenser is always set up and ready to go beside my computers. Very serviceable mic and not terribly expensive. If I was doing anything higher I'd be running with my podcasting mics and running it through a mixer board before hitting the computer. Whatever mic you use, buy a sturdy, weighted stand and a shock-mount to isolate it from any table noise, and a pop-filter (screen between your mouth and the mic) to help eliminate unwanted sounds.
Microsoft PowerPoint MVP
Update from Ric: Since I got my Yeti set up with the boom arm the Samson CO1U USB Studio Condenser hasn't come out of storage in my closet.
Dr. Pooja Jaisingh
Sr. eLearning Evangelist, Adobe Systems
The Neumann U87 is usually over $3000 and would be a little overkill for basic multimedia. But if money were no object this is the mic everyone should have! They can be found used for around $2000. I’m really coming at this from an audiophile point of view. The other mics listed are very good as well. When capturing spoken word for podcasts and such, you can get away with much less quality and technology than required by the professional audio industry. There are many quality USB mics around now with a lot of bang for the buck.
Audiovisual, IT, Presentation Support
We use the Samson G Track with shock mount on a studio boom stand with pop filter and Bose echo cancelling headphones plugged into the G Track. Excellent quality (no mandatory need to post process to reduce noise floor or amplify), good price, reliable and very easy to use.
Marketing Director, Consultant & Founder of GMARK
For voice over narration projects I have had great success with the MXL USB condenser microphones. My travel tech kit has a 006 and a 990 in the studio.
Microsoft PowerPoint MVP
I’m not picky when it comes to lavaliere microphones and will wear whatever my AV god Todd Dunn tells me to. Same thing with handhelds. But when I’m giving a webinar, I head straight to my Plantronics SP500 headset, which has excellent audio quality, upstream and downstream, and is exceedingly comfortable to wear.
Host of the Presentation Summit
As far as microphones go, I always use USB style. I have a Jabra headset that I get very good results with especially with a dictation program and doing narrations for PowerPoint. I have used better-known brands of several different sorts but I like the results of this particular brand. Talking about PowerPoint narration, Steve* from PPTools has written an extremely good add-in that will allow you to link a set of sequentially numbered audio files into a PowerPoint presentation with the correct timings etc taken from the actual audio file.
Founding Pastor at Crosslife Churches
* Contact Steve at www.pptools.com if this is something you might need.
I've been enjoying the (my microphone is bigger than your microphone) Yeti.
Associate Professor, Loyola University, Maryland
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