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How to Find the Right USB Microphone
If you’re a podcaster, a musician looking to share homemade productions online, or a YouTube vlogger—or you just want to do much better recording than your laptop’s built-in microphone will allow—a USB microphone is the easiest way to improve your audio recordings. You don’t need any extra equipment or even software: Plug a USB microphone directly into the USB port on your computer, and most often it will appear as an additional input you can choose in either your system settings, recording software, or conference call interface. USB mics are much easier than traditional mics that need extra equipment to connect to your computer.
Depending on your goals, a USB microphone alone might not make you sound as perfect as you’d like to. Experts would advise that the room environment has a big impact on sound quality; even the highest-quality mic will capture less than perfect audio if the room isn’t set up ideally for acoustics (how sound is absorbed, blocked, or reverberated in a space). So before you upgrade your mic, be sure to limit background noise (no fans or air conditioning on, for example) and anything that will reflect sound like hard bare walls and floors. If that’s not possible, you can purchase a shield to place around your mic to focus the audio input.