As the implementation of the Flexible Learning Approach has been mandated in all academic institutions since the start of the pandemic, many teachers have to prepare themselves for the start of the school year.
Classes will be conducted through the use of technology, meaning all interactions between teachers and students will be via the internet.
And thankfully we have the means of technology to stay connected and still have a way to communicate which is very helpful through these trying times.
There are many things needed to make online classes run smoothly and clearly for both teachers and students.
First of all, a webcam for teachers will enable them to properly face the students during lectures and it will help students be more focused on the discussion especially when they see their teacher during class lectures.
Another gadget that will be useful for online teaching is good, quality headphones to help teachers hear students clearly without any background noises.
However, having all of those gadgets mentioned will be for naught if there isn’t a good microphone to help deliver the lecture to the students.
We all know that teaching will not be as effective compared to as it was back then when we still have face-to-face interactions with the students in the classroom, that is why investing in a high-quality microphone will make it easier for students to be engrossed in the lesson.
But what specs should I look for when buying a microphone for online teaching? Please keep on reading to find out.
Looking for the perfect microphone? We reviewed 23 microphones that can get your voice nice and clear to your online students.
4 Important Specs To Look For In A Microphone For Online Teaching
1.) Frequency Response
This is an important part of microphone specifications that teachers need to look out for when picking up a microphone, you need to know how well a microphone can pick up audio frequencies.
The frequency of noise that is being picked up by the microphone doesn’t always stay consistent, there are times that the frequency will be in a high pitch or low pitch and that will be the indicator of how the microphone picks up noises in different pitches.
This is a factor that will affect delivering lectures to students because if you don’t carefully look at the frequency response of a microphone, then most probably it will deliver a disrupted output of noise to the students.
An example of this scenario would be producing a high pitch noise to the students while conducting online classes.
Although you can easily resolve this problem by lowering your voice input to the microphone, the problem is the microphone might not pick up your voice.
That is why the frequency response should be tested when buying a microphone. Pick a microphone that suits the frequency of your input voice.
2.) Self Noise
Not all of the recorded audio through the microphone are sounds that you have input, but it is also the self-noise of the microphone when it is active.
The Self-Noise is the sounds of the circuitry that is active inside the microphone, and most microphones have self-noises that is why picking out a microphone with minimal self-noise needs to be considered.
Although there are microphones with no self-noise, such as dynamic ones, it is more expensive than budget microphones and it is commonly used in the film industry.
You can try out microphones by recording and playing the audio back to identify how much self-noise the gadget has. The microphone is good to use if you don’t find yourself cringing at the sounds produced.
This spec is a good way to establish clarity in delivering lectures to students, and also not distract the concentration of the students by adding unnecessary noises.
3.) Sound Output
There are many microphones available in the market that are priced lower than the average price of a microphone. There are also microphones that are priced higher than most but don’t be fooled by the price tags.
For me, the sound output of the microphone is very important to look at because this is where we will know how the microphone captures and produces the voice.
Many cheap microphones have a rusty sound output, kind of like you are talking inside a tin can or an isolated bathroom. In other words, it is not a good sound to hear and it is not clear to whoever will be listening to that output.
The expensive microphones, on the other hand, have a louder self-noise which makes the sound output become uncomfortable to hear.
Finding a microphone with a good and clear sound output will assure teachers that delivering the lecture to students will be clear enough for them to understand. There should be no background noises that will potentially distract students from understanding the lesson.
4.) Polar Response
Lastly, identifying the microphone’s polar response will make a huge difference in using it during online teaching.
Polar Response is basically a microphone’s directional sensitivity—how it picks up sounds in different directions. There are 3 common types of Polar Patterns that most microphones have: Omnidirectional, Bidirectional, and Unidirectional.
An Omnidirectional Pattern is a microphone that is sensitive to sounds in all directions, meaning it will pick up sounds in any direction in the same caliber.
A Bidirectional Pattern is a microphone that is sensitive to sounds in the front and back of the microphone, meaning the loudest noises that it will pick up will be coming from the front and back direction of the microphone.
A Unidirectional Pattern is a microphone that is sensitive to sounds in one direction only, so if you are talking using the microphone make sure to use the side where it is sensitive to make out the most of it. This is a great polar pattern if you want to reduce background noises.
Pick out the best polar patterns that will suit your environment, not all of the background noises are the same as others that is why carefully choose what will best suit your home conditions.
These are some of the important factors that teachers need to take note of when buying a microphone for online teaching. All of us must put an effort into making online classes work, and it should start by having clear communications between teachers and students so that effective teaching can be applied.
You don’t need to necessarily buy the most expensive microphone out there, but you should pick out a good one so that students will be able to clearly understand the lesson being given.