Hardware choices to improve the quality of my voice recordings

I need to record some ‘screen flow’ type videos giving instructions on how to use a new app.

I’ve made some test videos and the quality of my voice recording is average to say the least, it is quiet and sounds like I am in a big empty room, which I am!

I’m recording my voice using my Jabra Evolve2 40 headphones/mic which I use for video calls.

I can’t do anything about my location, its my living room so I can’t start plastering acoustic materials to the walls etc.

What I would like to know, is if I invest in a separate (quality) Mic, will this have a marked improvement over the headset I am using in terms of audio quality.

If so, do I need to go down the XLR route, or will a USB one do? What is the best kind of Mic for recording my speaking voice whilst sat at a desk? What ‘extras’ do I need?

I literally know nothing about audio equipment, and any recommendations would be appreciated?

Oh, and I should have said, I need the hardware to be plug and play, i.e. no drivers or software to install as I will need to use on my work Windows PC and on my own MacBook.

As a first (free!) step try recording audio using your current equipment under a duvet! It’s what a lot of professional broadcasters were doing when working from home during the covid lockdowns

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There is tons of advice in blogs and Youtube on choosing and using an external mic to improve voice quality.

Yes, recording under a blanket is an oft-quoted DIY hack, but I don’t know anyone that seriously could do that for more than a few minutes one time and stand it.

As someone that finally exited analysis/paralysis and has been recording some stuff lately:

The biggest thing is a purpose-built mic instead of a telephone headset or built-in default hardware. XLR or USB is less important. One of the oft-recommended great mics for under $100 has both connections.

IMHO, the second most important is a solution that is easy to set up or leave set up, so the friction of recording is kept to a minimum.

If you want to take it further, post-processing voice with either one-click or manual configuration audio plug-ins with a good audio editor software (aka “digital audio workstation” or DAW) can make a big difference.

There are free or inexpensive DAW software you can start with. Even advanced systems are adding more one-click “fix my voice” settings that improve the results without becoming an audio engineer.

For me, I chose to use a lavalier microphone with a wireless interface (Rode Lavalier Go with Rode Wireless GO II). I wanted to walk around in front of my desk while recording and not worry about distance from mic and tangled wires.

Also, a lav mic is unidirectional but doesn’t pick up a lot of room noise because it is close to your body. I hide mine under your shirt using tips from several working audio engineers I found online.

+1 on a good quality external mic. I bought an Elgato Wave:3 for when I guested on Focused. It produces a noticeable improvement over the mic in my AirPods Max even over Zoom calls.

Good quality microphone and also Krisp (https://krisp.ai/)

+1 for a decent microphone, which can be had for a reasonable cost. (And should last you for many, many years.)

But instead of literally sitting under a blanket/duvet, you can put soft stuff in the room to help knock back those echoes. If you think of the blanket tent as 100% coverage, then you can achieve some portion of that simply by sticking a clothes horse behind the microphone and drape a blanket over it, or even a thick towel. Note I am not a sound engineer. There may be better materials and better locations, but basically you can block some of the echoes… just try some things and see what sounds best.