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Microphone Buyer's Guide

Choosing the Right Microphone

You know you need a microphone—that’s why you’re here. And more than likely, you already have some idea of where, how, and why you want to use your new microphone. That’s a great start.

American Musical Supply carries microphones of every type—and in an incredible assortment of shapes and sizes. We know that finding the perfect microphone can often seem impossible. That’s why we’ve put together this interactive microphone selection guide. With just a few clicks, we can bring you to the right microphones to perfectly meet your needs.

Before you continue, feel free to review our MICROPHONE BASICS. This simple primer may help you to better understand the operation, use, and extensive variety of microphones available at American Musical Supply.

Question One: Where?
Where will you be using your new microphone?
On the gig:
Concerts, clubs, rehearsals, etc.
In the studio:
Recording, project, and personal studios
Theatre Productions:
Actors and ensembles
House of Worship:
Worship leaders, musicians, choirs, etc.
Corporate Media:
Video, web conferences, podcasting, news rooms, etc.
Question Two: How?
How will this microphone be used?

The handheld vocal microphone is the most common type of application. Some microphones will offer built-in EQ settings or switchable pickup pattern for extra versatility. Others may focus on reduced handling noise and a cleaner signal.

You will also need to choose the type of microphone you want. Dynamic microphones are the most universal, and can be used almost anywhere. The active electronics in a condenser mic offer improved response, quieter operation, and often times a better sound. Condenser mics require an external power source—either phantom power provided by the mixer/sound system, or a dedicated power supply.

Question Four: Dynamic or Condenser?