Stand-alone microphone recommendations?
Jul 11, 2011 at 2:48 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 29

DougofTheAbaci

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There are a couple people on these forums who are gamers so I figure at least one of them has come up against my problem: I love my headphones for gaming but the build-in microphone on my computer sucks. It picks up echo like there's no tomorrow.
 
So what I'd like is few recommendations as to what would be a good microphone. I'd prefer a clip-on/lapel-style microphone as that would be simpler, I feel.
 
I tried a Zaleman mic but it seems to be DOA and the advice their tech support gave after three days of waiting was, "Have you tried plugging it into a headphone port? They are usually pink." This being after I informed them I had Macs (before you ask, I tried it while dual-booted in to Windows, on OS X and on my Mac laptop running OS X). So I'm not going Zaleman. Though, I doubt I'll bother returning it as the return shipping is almost as much as I paid for the entire thing.
 
So does anyone have a recommendation? I'd like to stay under $50 as a maximum but less is better.
 
Jul 12, 2011 at 5:16 AM Post #2 of 29

129207

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One excellent option is the Audio Technica ATR-3350. I use this one for video interviews in combination with a Zoom H1 field recorder but it works wonders for gaming too. You can watch a lot of reviews of this mic on Youtube. It's really popular in the video DSLR scene right now for it's amazing bang for your buck. 
 
Check it out! 
 

 
Jul 12, 2011 at 1:56 PM Post #3 of 29

DougofTheAbaci

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That could definitely work but my concern is now whether or not it would work with a Mac's line-in port. I did a bit of further research since posting this topic and it seems that Macs only have a line-in and not a mic port seeing as there's a built-in one.
 
So now I'm extra paranoid, haha!
 
Jul 12, 2011 at 4:07 PM Post #5 of 29

DougofTheAbaci

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Hmm. I'm still unsure... The more I think about it, the more I think I'm just going to wait until I can afford a proper gaming headset. It'll cost more but at least then it's one self-contained unit and I can think about getting surround-sound as well.
 
Thanks for your advice, if I change my mind (again) this mic is currently at the top of the list.
 
Jul 12, 2011 at 6:50 PM Post #6 of 29

Roller

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Quote:
Hmm. I'm still unsure... The more I think about it, the more I think I'm just going to wait until I can afford a proper gaming headset. It'll cost more but at least then it's one self-contained unit and I can think about getting surround-sound as well.
 
Thanks for your advice, if I change my mind (again) this mic is currently at the top of the list.



Have you considered the Sennheiser PC360 headset? It seems to be held in high regard for its gaming prowess.
 
Jul 12, 2011 at 6:56 PM Post #7 of 29

DougofTheAbaci

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I have, actually. It's one of two I'm currently considering. I have to consider Mac compatibility as well as PC (because otherwise it's useless to me when I'm not gaming) and Sennheiser has a good track record. The other is the Astro A30 or A40 (haven't decided one way or the other yet).
 
Jul 12, 2011 at 7:00 PM Post #8 of 29

Roller

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Well, that's one thing that audio gear has going for it, audio jacks, none of that USB nonsense
wink.gif
And from what I've understood, you have Astro headsets akin to Skullcandy, and PC360 akin to... well, Sennheiser and quality proven brands
biggrin.gif

 
Jul 12, 2011 at 8:11 PM Post #9 of 29

DougofTheAbaci

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That's a reason why I'm leaning towards Sennheiser. It's Sennheiser. If there's one company that could make a stellar gaming headset it would be them. The only part I'm unsure of is if they provide a Mac driver. If they do they're the top of my list simply because everything else from them that I've owned has met or exceeded my expectations in both sound and build quality.
 
Jul 12, 2011 at 8:14 PM Post #10 of 29

Roller

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Quote:
That's a reason why I'm leaning towards Sennheiser. It's Sennheiser. If there's one company that could make a stellar gaming headset it would be them. The only part I'm unsure of is if they provide a Mac driver. If they do they're the top of my list simply because everything else from them that I've owned has met or exceeded my expectations in both sound and build quality.



What driver?? That's another reason, besides being a real headset/headphones, is that they use 3.5mm jacks, not USB, so there is no software to be considered. You have 2 3.5mm jacks, one for the headphones and another for the mic, and you're all set :wink:
 
Jul 12, 2011 at 8:18 PM Post #11 of 29

DougofTheAbaci

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Which Macs don't. Macs have a line-in port which is designed for a powered source, like an AMP for an instrument. It's not meant for microphones. That's why I need to go USB as I've been unable to find any mic that's confirmed to work with the line-in port for a Mac that's not a full recording mic.
 
Jul 12, 2011 at 8:26 PM Post #12 of 29

Roller

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Don't you use an audio interface with both outputs and inputs? That way you can bypass the awful USB headset market.
 
Jul 12, 2011 at 8:30 PM Post #13 of 29

DougofTheAbaci

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Right now, no. That's actually one thing I've been considering, how to have my headphones, speakers and this microphone I now find myself with but can't use, all going through one system. I wasn't sure if it was something I could do with a good DAC or if I needed something else entirely.
 
Jul 12, 2011 at 9:09 PM Post #14 of 29

Roller

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Don't settle for inferior headphones just because of hardware limitations of your Mac. And no, I'm just saying that you will have an overall superior experience with an interface over onboard, be it this or that machine. What you're looking for roams the pro audio market, not the audiophile market, IMO.
The reason why I think you should run from "gaming" headsets like the devil from the cross is because their build quality and quality control is very low, not to mention the sound itself that's far underperforming.
 
Perhaps E-MU 0204 or 0404 could be worth your consideration. Both have OS X drivers (10.5 minimum).
 
Jul 13, 2011 at 3:11 AM Post #15 of 29

DougofTheAbaci

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I'm rather hesitant to go with anything by Creative. I'm hearing more and more often that they often claim Mac support with little being there and that they aren't as active in that support as they are for Windows. It's one of the reasons I avoid Logitech. I don't want to buy a product from a company where I have to worry about a new version of the OS completely killing compatibility on my 3-month-old product.
 
I'm not worried about the non-stellar audio quality of a gaming headset. I have my Denons for that. One of the reasons I was originally thinking a microphone was the best solution was because my Denons, aside from only being stereo, are fantastic for gaming, just as they are brilliant for music.
 
To be honest, I'd be very surprised if anything Sennheiser puts out has low build quality. Even their cheap headphones are pretty well made for how much they cost. Again, just need to find out about what their record is for Mac support.
 

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