Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Low Cost Lapel Microphone for Webinars

Lapel Microphone with Earphone Jack
The sound with a headset and boom microphone is excellent, but I was getting tired of wearing these after 18 months of heavy Zooming. So I now have a lapel microphone. This differs from the ones normally used for audio recording, as it has a microphone/earphone plug compatible with smartphones and modern laptops. It also has a pop filter and comes with a socket for plugging in an optional earphone. It was on special for less than $AU12 in a local electronic shop.

The sound from a microphone near the presenter's mouth is better from that on a desktop computer. The lapel microphone can be secured to clothing, so it doesn't flap around, like those on earbud cables, being a distraction and making rustling sounds. Some prefer a wireless microphone, but that requires batteries which may fail. Also the cable stops you from wandering out of shot. ;-)

Lavalier Microphone

Headset Splitter Adapter
If you do want to be wireless, you can plug the microphone into your mobile phone and use that for the audio, while the desktop computer is used for video. There are also adapters which allow separate microphones and earphones to be plugged, and earphones with a clip on the inline microphone. Zoom and most other video-conference applications have an option for audio to come from a phone and combine this with video from a computer. It has the advantage that if the computer link is lost, you can keep talking using the phone. 

Most convenient I have found is to put the microphone and earphone cables down the inside front of my jacket, to the phone in a pocket. This way, if I need to I can get up and walk around. This is much as a lecture theater wireless lapel microphone is used, but the range is longer: anywhere the mobile network is available. 

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