I'm occasionally a guest on WTOP-FM in Washington, D.C., and it's been trying to convince guests to upgrade to USB Skype microphones instead of using lower-quality telephones for future interviews.
To help us pick the right ones, the good folks at WTOP, an all-news station that also broadcasts in Maryland and Virginia, have spent a month testing the best microphones to use with Skype in different price ranges.
Here's what their engineers found, according to Ari Ashe, an evening producer and reporter for WTOP Radio. They rated the audio quality on a scale of 1, a cell phone, to 10, a high-quality ISDN link often used to transmit audio from one radio station to the other, which CNET uses as well.
Between $10 and $40, WTOP looked at the Griffin iMic+ and the Logitech USB H530, and concluded:
We highly recommend the Logitech USB H530 at this price point. It's a no-brainer. Logitech delivers a great pack for the punch at about $35. We believe if you're going to already spend $25, spend $35, because the the difference is that noticeable. The only shortcoming is that it is a consumer headset. A great one, but the broadcast gear is even better. On a scale from 1-10: Cell phone (1), Hard line phone (2), Logitech (6), ISDN (10).
In the $50 to $80 range, they evaluated the Beyerdynamic MMX2, Blue Microphones' Snowball, and the Samson C01U USB microphone. They concluded: … Read more