Teaching online: microphone vs. headset

I’m wondering what people who teach online recommend for equipment. If you wanted to go beyond the microphone on your mac and had little money (less than $100) would you get a headset or a microphone?

There’s not much ambient noise in my home office… as long as Covid protocols allow my kids to be in school. But that could change.

Given that the standard minimum recommendation for a stand mic is the $130 Blue Yeti, you’re better off looking for a good headset mic with noise cancellation.

That recommendation is outdated.

Unfortunately the mic recommended by Jason Snell in his A podcast Studio For Under $100 and Dan Benjamin’s Podcast Method is out of stock, but both of those were under $100.

The mic that I use, the Samson C01U Pro USB Studio Condenser Microphone is $90.

This looks like a decent starter setup, and it’s in stock: USB Microphone with Studio Headphone Set 192kHz/24 bit MAONO AU-A04H Vocal Condenser Cardioid Podcast Mic.

Yes there are a number of competing desktop or boomed mics but for someone considering the possibly need of noise cancellation a headset offers the best feature set for the budget.

Doesn’t sound like the OP was all that concerned about noise cancelling.

Headsets can be beneficial but I couldn’t wear one all day.

He said he didn’t need it now but that might change - that tells me that having the option is a benefit worth having.

I use my AirPods for all my meetings - if you are teaching all day you will have to do the juggle dance of popping them one at a time into the case a couple of times.

Plantronics headsets are great for all day wear - that’s what they are designed for. If I didn’t have the AirPods I’d use my headset.

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Headset for sure. Main reason being that you by design get the microphone close to your mouth and ensures better pickup of your voice. Also, you won’t have issues with feedback from speakers. Just get a set you can be comfortable in for hours

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Try a gaming headset. I came at this problem from a slightly different angle and ended up with something that greatly exceeded my expectations. I was looking for something that would well for listening to music and watching movies as well as allow me to take calls with a good microphone.

I started checking out gaming headsets because the music/sound effects in games are pretty much the same as my use cases. They also have pretty good microphones. Also, since gamers often play for many hours at a time, most of them are comfortable.

I ended up with the Plantronic Rig 500 Pro. I got lucky that they were on sale so I picked them up for about $50. I think the normal price is about $90. This is an amazing headset. Excellent sound, noise-canceling boom-mic with a mute switch when you swivel it up. I literally wear these all day long and they are very comfortable, partly because they are so light.

I think this YouTube review is pretty fair. The reviewer apparently did not get the audio splitter in the box with his purchase, but mine came with a splitter to allow for plugging into a separate mic and headphone jacks.

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I am using a blue parrot headset. Its very comfortable to wear all day long. Most importantly it removes background noise amazingly well!
People can’t hear the loud portable AC in my office. Or the neighbor’s lawn mower when the windows are open.


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I wouldn’t need to wear the headset all day, just for teaching and recording lectures (about an hour at a time, 2-3 times per day).