A computer or laptop microphone is often a necessity nowadays where voice over IP calls and video conferencing are the latest craze in online communication. Having a good microphone will help transmit your voice clearly across the digital avenue. Most laptops nowadays have built in microphones and speakers for ease and convenience. However, if you want an extra kick in your sound quality, getting an external microphone is highly recommended.
There are a lot of factors that can affect your decision in choosing the type of laptop microphone. First consideration is the intended use of the microphone. Different options are available depending on what you need to be optimized. Headset-style microphones are ideal if you make many voice-over-IP calls and video conferences so there will be less background noise. You can also use it to record your voice or video recordings which you can upload on the internet. Other types such as handheld and stationary laptop microphones are fit for recording multiple people in a single room or a music playback from your computer or laptop.
Another factor to consider when buying a computer microphone is the type of output jack it has to connect to your laptop. Most laptops have 1/8 mini-jack labelled “Line in” or “Mic” or has a picture of a microphone. This can be anywhere on the front, side or back panel of the laptop. This mini-jack is the port used to connect external laptop microphones. Make sure that you check first if you have this port in your laptop before you buy the microphone. Additionally, choose the model that will best fit your laptop’s model without being obtrusive or the microphone is too far back to capture your voice or any sound for recording and transmission.
Types of computer/laptop microphone
Computer microphones are just like the microphones except that they are intended for use in laptops. These can either be built into the laptop itself or can be connected as an additional external device via a dedicated 1/18-inch mini-jack.
Built-in laptop microphones sometimes have a limited scope so you have to speak near the laptop to be heard. Also, they can capture the tapping of your keyboard when you are typing, which can be irritating to the other person on the line. If you often use your laptop to make voice calls or do video conferencing, it is best to use an external microphone to complete the job for you.
External microphones come in different sizes and models which can help improve the sound quality of your calls and recordings. Some types such as the headset microphones offer noise cancellers functionality so the background noise is decreased to a bare minimum or none at all. Some headset-style laptop microphones are connected via Bluetooth so no wires can impede your movement, especially if you want to grab a snack or two while talking on the phone. If you want to record music with single or multiple instruments, you can get a stationary laptop microphone to best capture the sound.
Other technical aspects include the frequency response of the microphone and how it picks up the sound. Frequency responses refer to the pitch range that the microphone can receive which is determined by the Hertz rating. The higher the Hertz rating, the more uniform the playback will sound and the higher the range of high and low tones it can capture while recording.
Additionally, a uni-directional laptop microphone is able to pick up the sound in a specific direction. An omni-directional microphone can capture sound in numerous directions. Make sure you check first the specifications of your microphone so you know how to optimize it for better sound quality.
How to Take Care of Your Laptop Microphone
Once you have invested money into a device, it is always best to ensure proper care and maintenance so you can use it for a long time. Laptop microphones may not be expensive at first but the cost will accumulate if you keep on purchasing them to replace defective old ones. Your microphone attracts moisture over time which can be a breeding place for bacteria and can accumulate dirt and airborne particles that can clog the device. Here are some tips on how to take proper care and maintain your microphones.
If you are using external headset-style laptop microphones, make sure you place them properly on a stand or in a box. If you have cordless headsets, avoid placing them in places where you may accidentally spill your drink over it. Clean the muffs in your headset as often as you can; use a dry piece of cloth or cotton.
Most laptop microphones come with detachable screens over it. You can remove the screen from the microphone and wash it in warm water with detergent. Make sure it will be hand washed, as it can be too small for the washing machine and you may lose it in the process.
If your laptop microphone’s screen can’t be removed, you can still clean it with extra caution. Try using a dry brush with soft bristles to remove any particles that may have stuck on the screen. After that, you can moisten the soft brush and hold the microphone upside down to clean the screen again. Make sure you don’t get the microphone too soaked as it can damage the equipment. Once you’re done, you can leave the microphone in an upside down position until it is dry.
Avoid spraying aerosol or alcohol on your laptop microphone screen to clean it as it may go inside the microphone itself and damage the device.