If you want to sound good on Zoom calls, you'll want a dedicated microphone like the Creative Live! Mic M3. Of course, most earphones and headphones already come with microphones, but a dedicated one like the M3 will make you sound even better.
- Polar pattern: cardioid and omni-directional
- micro-USB port, DC 5V 200 mA
- Detachable magnetic pop filter
This, of course, comes with some caveats. The M3 is much bigger than your headphone microphone, and needs its own space and power. It's also much more sensitive, and will pick up even the hum of a nearby router, as I found out while testing. I had to use my hand to block the rear of the microphone to dampen the beeping noise it picked up. The mount uses a 1/4 UNC thread, but most microphone arm stands online use a 3/8 screw, so you'll need to get an adapter.
There are two modes, one that allows omni-directional use, suitable for group use, or ASMR. I tried this out and heard delicious crackling from when I bit on a cracker. The other is a front-focused mode that gives a richer sound. There's also a magnetic clip-on pop filter, but that only works for the front-focused setting. The front-focused setting should help in reducing environmental noise — it helped with wind noise from my fan. However, loud sounds, such as thunder in the background, will still be picked up.
Another thing to note is that you'll sound best if you're speaking about 6-inches from the mic. Too far, and you'll sound slightly distant. Too close, and you'll sound a bit more bassy, but that really helps add a bit more depth. The M3 comes with an adjustable base so you can use it on the table, but you can also mount it to a stand to put it nearer to your mouth. The Creative mic also has a 3.5mm port for live monitoring, so you can hear how you sound as you're speaking. A mute button located at the front makes it easy to quickly cut off your voice.
Retailing at S$89, the Creative Live! Mic M3 offers a dedicated way to make yourself heard. I don't live stream much, but recording voice-overs for videos I create are that much easier and clearer. Get it from Creative's online store.
Note: Review unit provided by Creative.
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