Microphone Recommendations for Online Teaching

Evening all. I'm a secondary teacher and I'll be doing live lessons via Zoom and/or Google Hangouts next term. I'll also be recording explicit teaching examples while at a whiteboard, for example. I'm after some recommendations for a USB or 3.5mm dedicated microphone to use for this purpose. I'd prefer something that sits on a desk rather than a lapel mic. I think a wired lapel mic will be too restrictive, but I'm open to the idea of a lapel mic if it will still work suitably while sitting on a desk a couple of metres from where I'm talking. Budget is up to $100. It'll be used with a Windows laptop. I'd also like it to be portable as I'll be expected to work from school until there is a wider lockdown. If it works with mobile devices too, that's a bonus.

I like the form factor and design of the Samson Go Mic (https://www.jbhifi.com.au/products/samson-go-mic-usb-microph...) and am leaning that way at the moment. But it seems like quite old tech, eg mini USB. Other options are the Stadium Vegas (https://www.jbhifi.com.au/products/stadium-vegas-usb-microph...) but it seems quite dated too and not as portable as the Samson.

I assume something like this wouldn't work with a laptop? https://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/rode-videomicro

Any other suggestions?


Edit: I'd love to hear some opinions on the Stadium Vegas since it seems to be pretty good value at jb hifi at the moment.


  • +2 votes

    blue yeti

  • +1 vote

    Basically with microphones, you have three types:

    1) USB - usually pretty easy to use, can go up to mid-range mics these days because live-streaming is becoming popular
    2) 3.5mm jack - usually for video cameras, it'll work if you plug it into a computer mic-in, but it usually won't have the required mounting hardware
    3) XLR - usually the higher end and also the cheapest (if you know where to look), you'll need an audio interface though, so the upfront cost is a bit higher.

    I'd suggest just going with a USB mic, some good ones around your budget might be a Blue Snowball Ice, if you can afford a bit more, then a Blue Yeti or Audio-Technica AT2020 USB. I'd suggest getting one right now before stock dries up (like we saw with webcams).


    Is your state education department of no help with recommendations for equipment and software?


      I'm not employed by state education. Online teaching is new to my employer, so no, there's no one that would have experience to recommend something.

      If I was to contact state ed about this I have no idea where to start or who to talk to. So I'd be wasting my time.

      Software is no issue. I have many software options.


    Not fall under your budget and size but I have been using Rode NT-USB for years.
    The audio quality is fantastic with nice capture of low frequency or bass.

    I have been using NT-USB with Camtasia.


    There was a free microphone post last week maybe? What happened to it? Can’t seem to find it, and can’t remember anything about it besides it being free


      Yep. I missed it by about 10 minutes and it was well and truly ozbargained by then, sadly. A little frustrating since i bet the vast majority of those microphones will sit in peoples drawers and never get used. But that's how it is.

  • +1 vote

    If you are going to be a couple meters away, I think the normal desktop mic might not do the job well.

    For freedom of movement between your computer and whiteboard, a wireless system will be more suitable

    Option 1

    Wireless head worn singer type + optional lapel add on
    plus clip on transmitter
    plus receiver sitting on your desk next to your computer or mobile device/ipad

    Get JB Hifi to match Officewors $297


    Option 2

    For a couple of meters with freedom of movement, a conference mic can be a good option. They expensive to buy new but the used one will be dirt cheap. Try look used polycom or cisco.

    I am currently doing live teaching with Polycom Voxbox conference mic and is very clear within 2 meters, swapping between whiteboard and computer.

    Hope these give you a few more options to choose from.


      Thanks very much. That's good info. I ended up getting a desktop mic since one of the things I'll be doing a lot of is screen recorded digital tech lessons/tutorials. I've done a few with it already and it does a good job.

      But I'll have a look at the other options for whiteboard lessons.


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