Should Logitech's Karaoke Revolution Mic Be Your First Podcasting Mic?

by Chris Adamson

I sought a better portable podcasting setup, since my home equipment doesn't travel well. I didn't think I'd find the solution in the PlayStation 2 aisle.


16 Comments

rufferto
2006-09-25 11:04:54
Awesome sound for a $20 microphone. For sound quality I'd rate them in the following order.



  1. Shure 8900, Eurorack mixer, and Griffin iMic

  2. Logitech USB microphone for PS2

  3. Logitech USB headset - close third

  4. PowerBook G4 internal mic

  5. External iSight


Both the Logitech mics sounded good. But I think the headset somehow sounded like a headset. It seemed a bit more distorted. Neither the iSight nor the Powerbook mic seem suitable for anything except maybe iChat and Skype. The iSight definitely gives the impression of sitting across from a tiny microphone.

Chris Adamson
2006-09-25 11:08:16
The headset might have been too close to my lips - I think my lower lip actually brushed against the windscreen once. I used to think that the iSight was at an unfair disadvantage from being under a hutch on my desk (increasing the echo effect), but when I've taken it portable, it still sounds as echo-y.
Andy Peters
2006-09-25 12:47:04
You'll get markedly better results using a quality microphone. the Shure 8900 is a toy, and sounds like it. Spend a hundred bucks on an SM58. It's a dynamic mic (phantom and battery power not needed) that's pretty much the standard handheld vocal mic. Of course, since it's a pro mic, it's got a standard XLR connector and mic-level output, so you'll need spend some money on a proper mic preamp. For convenience, go with something that has a USB connection to your Mac, like an M-Audio Mobile Pre. It'll run you $150.


Yeah, it's more money than a $20 karaoke mic, but your results will be much higher quality. You mention amateurism. Using a karaoke mic is amateur.

Small Paul
2006-09-25 14:34:29
@Andy Peters: I kinda prefer the sound of the kareoke mic to the Shure. Not everyone's an audiophile.
Stefan_K
2006-09-25 23:31:58
After all, audiophilism (or how do you call it?) and podcasting don't mix very well anyway. ;-)


Of the five samples presented here, I like the Logitech/PS2 mic best. I found the iSight produces much better results if it's mounted differently (e.g. standing vertical, lens looking upwards, cable away from me, on a soft surface) and equipped with a wind shield or soft cloth.


My worst problem is the fan sound my PowerBook G4 17" produces during recording sessions.

Stefan
2006-09-26 02:20:49
Does nobody else have problems understanding what he actually _says_? To me, the text was clear on all samples except for the cheapo Karaoke mic, where I had a hard time to keep listening (even the builtin G4 mic sounded much crisper). It sounds nice if you don't listen to the words, though ...
daddydoodaa
2006-09-26 06:14:08
Thanks for the great tip!


rock on!
daddydoodaa

daniel
2006-09-26 07:15:01
I think Chris makes a great point that for $20 you can get started in podcasting pretty easily. There was recently a field mic shootout on transom.org for higher priced microphones: http://transom.org/tools/recording_interviewing/200608_handheld_mic_shootout/
Mopcodes
2006-09-26 15:20:02
I bought this after reading about it else where. Was definitely worth the $20.00!!!!
David Battino
2006-09-27 19:01:18
Another cheap audio upgrade would be a pop filter — either the pantyhose-over-coat-hanger variety or simply a pencil held vertically between your mouth and the mic. Either would reduce the explosive P's and T's in the recordings. Zoom and BLUE make slightly higher quality USB mics as well.
Chris P.
2006-12-09 13:28:06
After reading this I went shopping for the Logitech USB mikes.


Found them for around $7.00 (!!) at Amazon:


Ordered 2, they sound great.

Lynn
2006-12-18 07:04:14
I have a PS2 mic but its asking for a driver..where can i find a driver for it?
Graham
2007-02-18 11:49:17
One other option: get the logitech PS2 mic, and the SM-58 (beta even better) a male XLR connector... and a soldering iron. This might sound scary, but you can get pretty close to the best of both worlds my cutting the Logitech cord up above the USB converter box and wiring the XLR end onto it. Then, you can just connect your high quality for-real-not-a-50-cent-piece-of-crap mic onto the pretty good converter and you're into the USB like nothing doing. Works great, cheap, totally geeky work around.
Cuba
2007-03-29 20:45:36
Does anyone if its possible to set this mic up for karaoke on a PC? I bought it, and it works when you use the windows mic-record program, but it doesnt give me a constant echo through the speakers. Is there a way to make it stay on with no recording?
CJD
2007-04-19 15:31:30
Got the Logitech for PS, and it sure doesn't sound like the sample file above.


Chris, tell us a little about how you used the mic. Were you in any kind of soundproofed room? How far away did you hold the mic? Are we hearing the audio without cleanup in your editing software? What other tips do you have for using that mic, or mics in general?

Chris Adamson
2007-04-20 11:16:15

Chris, tell us a little about how you used the mic. Were you in any kind of soundproofed room? How far away did you hold the mic? Are we hearing the audio without cleanup in your editing software?

This was a while ago, but if I recall correctly, I was in my home office (no special soundproofing), and held the mic about 1-2 inches away from my mouth. I recorded straight into Sound Studio with default settings (16-bit stereo, I think), saved uncompressed AIFFs, and then compressed to MP3 with iTunes.