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PowerPoint Microphones: The Favorites

Explore some of the best microphones used for voice-overs in PowerPoint.

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 is usually done in one of two ways:

  1. Recording voice-overs in PowerPoint using the Record Narration feature, or using similar features provided through add-ins such as Adobe Presenter or Articulate Presenter.
  2. Recording voice-overs in another program outside PowerPoint and then, importing them into PowerPoint.

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. 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.

Ric Bretschneider
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.

The Yeti microphone is my favourite for desktop recording. And when I’m travelling, I use Blue Snowflake. It’s light, portable, and gives excellent audio quality.

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.

Todd Dunn
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.

Jamie Garroch
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.

Troy Chollar
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.

Rick Altman
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 Rindsberg 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.

Daniel Wooldridge
Founding Pastor at Crosslife Churches

I've been enjoying the (my microphone is bigger than your microphone) Yeti.

David Marcovitz
Associate Professor, Loyola University, Maryland

Geetesh Bajaj (Glossary Page)