Contrary to the popular misconception, microphones aren’t a one-type-fit for all occasions.
When you are actually planning to purchase one and when you visit the market you will understand the diversity of shapes, sizes and types of microphones that are available.
Basically deciding which type of microphone to buy always depends on what you need it for, as this decides what features are required. Hence, the deciding factor when purchasing a microphone is always its intended use.
There are a plethora of different mics available these days. Prices vary depending on the characteristics, the features available and obviously the quality. Deciding whether you need a high end version or a low end version depends completely on how you are going to use it.
Obviously, a microphone required for your personal use or hobby such as the Blue Yeti microphone needn’t be as expensive as the one used for a live show, right?
In basic terms a microphone’s job is simply is to amplify sounds. A simple basic mic will do this. Then there are those high end devices that have unlimited features which can be used for live shows, TV and radio shows, by journalists, etc. All the latter ones are expensive and are specific to the function they perform.
When deciding which type of microphone to buy it can be advantageous if you know what the various types of microphones are where they are generally available (Amazon is usually a good bet) and which model is suitable for your needs. Here are a few common microphone models and the various situations in which they work best:
The hand-held microphones are the most conventional models and can be useful for all-purpose use. These can be used by amateurs and professionals alike. These are generally used for live or stage performances, by singers or orators. A common model is the Shure SM58. These are the hardiest type and can resist abuse to a better extent than most other models. These microphones come both in the wired as well as the wireless format the latter or which are more commonly used.
Next common types are the headsets which come inbuilt with ear phones. These are generally used by people who frequently use the internet for communication (voice, video chats and calls).
The next common variety generally used in public places like airports, malls, hotels, etc are the mounted microphones. This model is also popular with computer users and podcasters. The main feature of this microphone is that it is generally fixed to a location generally a work desk. Often a USB microphone (mics that plug simply into your computer) is designed for desktop use only.
Next there are the hanging microphones that are most common in television sets and radio stations. These have the ability to catch even the slightest sound and hence should be used in a closed environment.
Finally, the most convenient microphones are the clip-on mics that are frequently used by news reporters.
So, one factor that is crucial for deciding which type of microphone to buy is its requirement. The second factor is the quality. Opting for a good quality device can obviously make the choice easier for you in the category of microphones you require. But it has to be understood that quality determines the price of the equipment and when the quality of the device increases the price automatically goes up.
Thus along with the price you should also consider your pocket when deciding which type of microphone to buy. Obviously how much you are ready to invest depends on why you need to purchase the microphone. The best advice in terms of quality and price is to select a microphone that is good quality-wise and is also affordable!