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Old 01-17-2021, 01:41 AM
rabbuhl rabbuhl is offline
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Default Headset with good microphone and 3.5 mm jack for Zoom singing lessons

I currently have an inexpensive Logitech Stereo Headset H111 which I bought back in 2015. I use it with Teams for work, Skype for my guitar lesson, and it works great. For my singing lesson the microphone is not so great. I am looking to upgrade to something with a better microphone. Below is a list of some options. Any advice?

- Audio Technica ATH-G1 $169.00
- Logitech G432 59 EUR
- Razer Kraken X 59 EUR
- Sennheiser GSP 300 $74
- Behringer HLC 660M 29 EUR
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Old 01-17-2021, 11:24 AM
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Honestly, I don't have any experience with these things, but I do know that if you want the person on the other end to get a more true capture of your voice, you probably want to avoid anything with a noise-cancelling microphone.

My impression from looking at these things is that most are designed for broadcasting or gaming, maybe video conferencing, with cardioid or hyper-cardioid patterns, while the headset *mics* that are designed for on-stage vocal performance seem to be omnidirectional and many are stunningly expensive!

Have you considered getting something like a USB desk microphone that had a headphone jack? (The Blue Yeti and RODE NT-USB are a couple my son is looking at.) You could then have a decent condenser mic with a cardioid pattern that is not right in front of your lips, and plug in a decent set of headphones or earbuds for monitoring. My $.02, anyway.
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Old 01-17-2021, 12:50 PM
rabbuhl rabbuhl is offline
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I think what I need to do:
- Get a better webcam like the Logitech C920
- Get a better headset from Sennheiser or Logitech
- If the headset microphone is not better get a Blue Yeti Nano or Audio Technica 2020+ USB
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Old 01-17-2021, 07:36 PM
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A blue usb mic and headphones would be a great set up. I know many folks use the headset mics, but how can you “work the mic” when its always a fixed location and distance from your mourh?

Just curious, if you can say...who is your zoom coach, and how are remote lessons?
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbuhl View Post
I think what I need to do:
- Get a better webcam like the Logitech C920
- Get a better headset from Sennheiser or Logitech
- If the headset microphone is not better get a Blue Yeti Nano or Audio Technica 2020+ USB
Hi rabbuhl

For Zoom meetings where I'm using my laptop, I've been using a $15 Pyle headset with ⅛" jack into a $13 TechRise 3 way adapter (to convert the mic to USB) and wearing a bluetooth earbud (one of my AirPod Pro). If buying again I'd get the double over the ear version of the Pyle mic - $20 (allows one to adjust the extension of the mic). I was actually surprised at the quality of these inexpensive mics! Another company (Polsen) has similar mics for similar prices. They certainly rival any of the $60-100 headset mics. When I say HEADSET I mean only a mic, with NO earphone. They often go out-of-stock on Amazon, and B&H often carries them.

I belong to a large Zoom group (several hundred people) and most people who order these cheap mics say they order 2 in case one goes bad, and so far 3 or 4 people reported such a failure over the past year.


Pyle Dual Ear version - CliCk

To convert the mic to USB, I use this…(saves me having to carry my MOTU-M2 Interface)
Tech Rise 3-way usb interface - CliCk

These go straight into the laptop. I use an ⅛"-⅛" extension cable so I have some distance from the laptop. The reason I use a bluetooth earbud is to cut down on cables dangling round my head.

If I want better audio output from my end, then I run my MOTU-M2 interface with either my RODE NT-2, or AudioTechnica AT-2021. I still use my AirPods Pro for ear monitor (only one). This type setup would probably be preferable if you are doing lessons. Your hands could be free, and you can adjust your posture properly.

The Logitech C920 camera is still better than adequate, and a preferred camera for upping the quality over built in computer/laptop cameras.

I carry one as my travel cam with my laptop, and it works great on Zoom, Skype, etc. They are hard to get hold of these days (eBay has them), and what used to cost $60 is now $100. All these services are limiting resolution now days anyway.

Hope you find the rig of your dreams for lessons and beyond!




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Last edited by ljguitar; 01-17-2021 at 10:31 PM. Reason: tweaked it a bit
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Old 01-18-2021, 09:56 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbuhl View Post
I currently have an inexpensive Logitech Stereo Headset H111 which I bought back in 2015. I use it with Teams for work, Skype for my guitar lesson, and it works great. For my singing lesson the microphone is not so great. I am looking to upgrade to something with a better microphone. Below is a list of some options. Any advice?

- Audio Technica ATH-G1 $169.00
- Logitech G432 59 EUR
- Razer Kraken X 59 EUR
- Sennheiser GSP 300 $74
- Behringer HLC 660M 29 EUR
I went through doing a bunch of research, Youtube and otherwise, to try and get the best headset mic I could, given a few qualifications. I have a few of the inexpensive headset vocal mics and they just sound BAD. Here's what I ended up with, and why.

Not necessarily in order of importance:

1. Cost
Ideally I wanted to keep the price under $100.

2. Good sound
A lot of inexpensive mics sound "inexpensive". I wanted a mic that sounded as close to a large diaphragm condenser fitted with a pop filter as possible, within my cost stipulation.

3. Comfort
I looked for user reviews of the comfort factor and if it could be used with over the ear headphones if I wanted better isolation.

4. Rejection of sound other than my actual voice
That was important, as I wanted to use the mic for multi-tracking without excessive bleed from my guitar

After all was taken into consideration I settled on a Shure SM35.

The SM35 is designed to use with a wireless transmitter, but it can also be used with the accessory adapter that allows its use with a standard XLR cable with also provides phantom power requirements from whatever it's plugged into. With the adapter it came in slightly over my $100 target price, but that was a small price to pay for the excellent sound quality. The adapter clips to your belt or belt loop, so you need to be aware of that.

https://www.amazon.com/Shure-SM35-XL.../dp/B00IVPG0SW

Shure makes a similar model that uses a dynamic mic element but it pales in comparison of sound.

Phantom power is required to use the SM35, but there are phantom power boxes that are available that can be used if your recording device doesn't supply it.

It's comfortable to wear and can be used with an over-the-ear headphone if necessary.
The isolation is excellent, with the mic picking up voice and rejecting anything it isn't directly pointing at. The mic is a cardiod, not an omni; that's why it rejects so well.

Here's a video I shot showing it in use:

https://youtu.be/oQcmyaOfM5c

Last edited by Rudy4; 01-18-2021 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
I went through doing a bunch of research, Youtube and otherwise, to try and get the best headset mic I could, given a few qualifications. I have a few of the inexpensive headset vocal mics and they just sound BAD.
The SM35 is designed to use with a wireless transmitter, but it can also be used with the accessory adapter that allows its use with a standard XLR cable with also provides phantom power requirements from whatever it's plugged into.

https://www.amazon.com/Shure-SM35-XL.../dp/B00IVPG0SW

https://youtu.be/oQcmyaOfM5c
Hi Rudy

Great video/audio example. Yields a good idea of how it sounds with singing.

Have you tried it through a PA system? (just curious)

I like the idea of a uni-directional capsule, and the ability to hard-wire the mic to a standard XLR output as well as wireless is good too.





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Last edited by ljguitar; 01-18-2021 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 01-18-2021, 03:10 PM
rabbuhl rabbuhl is offline
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Thanks everyone for the great suggestions!!

Rudy nice video.

I really needed a better webcam so a Logitech C920 is on the way.

I will use regular headphones to listen when I have vocals lessons .

A lot of USB microphones like the Blue Yeti Nano and Audio Technical AT2020+ come with a headphone plug. I can use the headphone plug to listen while using the microphone for input. I am trying to avoid XLR jacks and would like either USB or 3.5 mm as input to my PC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
A blue usb mic and headphones would be a great set up. I know many folks use the headset mics, but how can you “work the mic” when its always a fixed location and distance from your mourh?

Just curious, if you can say...who is your zoom coach, and how are remote lessons?
Jeannie is a vocal professor at Berklee and has written several Berklee Press books. I've been studying with her for a while. I really needed a lot of help and she really knows her stuff. She also recently started a subscription service.

https://berkleepress.com/berklee-authors/jeannie-gagne/

https://www.jeanniegagne.com/about-the-series

Remote lessons are great. I have really made some good progress with her. I take lessons every two weeks for an hour.
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Old 01-18-2021, 08:34 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi Rudy

Great video/audio example. Yields a good idea of how it sounds with singing.

Have you tried it through a PA system? (just curious)

I like the idea of a uni-directional capsule, and the ability to hard-wire the mic to a standard XLR output as well as wireless is good too.

Haven't tried it through PA, but there are a bunch of videos on Youtube where drummers use them for vocal mics in live band situations.

Mics such as the Countryman are more often seen as pro-grade performance mics, but they sell for several times the price of the SM35.

I'm happy with the results achieved with the SM35 considering the price. In the video I played the first guitar and bass part back from a looper and recorded the second guitar and vocal to two channels of my field recorder. When I played back the soloed vocal mic I was surprised by the tiny amount of bleed that was recorded from the backing tracks or guitar via the SM35.
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Old 01-19-2021, 02:08 PM
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I was just looking over the USB microphone options in the past couple of days for our son in NYC, and I was surprised how many of them are still only 16-bit capable. Blue Yetis (though not the Pro), RODE NT-USB, and AT2020USB+, to name a few popular models. For streaming/conferencing this is probably not an issue as dynamic range is the first or second thing sacrificed there, but for recording, it could be a limitation, especially for some kinds of vocal or instrumental performances.

We settled on the AKG Lyra. He's going to be doing the testing, but I should have an update in a couple weeks.
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Old 01-19-2021, 03:21 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post
I was just looking over the USB microphone options in the past couple of days for our son in NYC, and I was surprised how many of them are still only 16-bit capable. Blue Yetis (though not the Pro), RODE NT-USB, and AT2020USB+, to name a few popular models. For streaming/conferencing this is probably not an issue as dynamic range is the first or second thing sacrificed there, but for recording, it could be a limitation, especially for some kinds of vocal or instrumental performances.

We settled on the AKG Lyra. He's going to be doing the testing, but I should have an update in a couple weeks.
An excellent point about the USB microphones!

A standard phantom powered condenser will be capable of using any future A/D converter technology, where a standard "USB" mic may only be good for propping up a wiggly table leg.

Think of how many old Neumanns are still as viable today as they were when they first came out. We won't be saying that about all the mics that have built-in converters in the future.
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Old 01-20-2021, 12:00 PM
rabbuhl rabbuhl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post
I was just looking over the USB microphone options in the past couple of days for our son in NYC, and I was surprised how many of them are still only 16-bit capable. Blue Yetis (though not the Pro), RODE NT-USB, and AT2020USB+, to name a few popular models. For streaming/conferencing this is probably not an issue as dynamic range is the first or second thing sacrificed there, but for recording, it could be a limitation, especially for some kinds of vocal or instrumental performances.

We settled on the AKG Lyra. He's going to be doing the testing, but I should have an update in a couple weeks.
The best of these seems to be the AT2020USB+. I see the AKG Lyra is USB C. Looks like a nice microphone.
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Old 01-20-2021, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by rabbuhl View Post
The best of these seems to be the AT2020USB+. I see the AKG Lyra is USB C. Looks like a nice microphone.
"Best" depends on your needs. And, it's [only] USB-C at the microphone end, at least that's what it says here.

I'll find out when our son gets his. We felt the 24-bit capability was better for one of his use cases. (I guess we'll find out when he starts to use it whether it's the right choice!)
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Old 01-21-2021, 01:21 PM
rabbuhl rabbuhl is offline
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Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post
"Best" depends on your needs. And, it's [only] USB-C at the microphone end, at least that's what it says here.

I'll find out when our son gets his. We felt the 24-bit capability was better for one of his use cases. (I guess we'll find out when he starts to use it whether it's the right choice!)
Looks like a good microphone. Keep us posted.
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Last edited by rabbuhl; 01-22-2021 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:18 AM
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This is a good comparison video. They give remarks on the AKG Lyra.

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