Office A-V

With a small investment, you can dramatically improve the audio and video quality of your home office. This can help you in video conferences, online interviews, and even online courses you create. Here’s some of the gear I recommend including webcams and USB microphones:

Webcams

My experience is that the webcams on PC are terrible.  If you have a PC and want to have decent video, do yourself a favor and get the Logitech C920.  As for Mac users … they seem to have better cameras.  But I’d still recommend the C920 and C922.

Logitech C922x – This is the webcam to get. It has autofocus, a sharp Zeiss lens, H264 processing, and shoots great HD video. It even has a built-in mic which is decent for video conferences. But to get the best audio you’ll want to get a dedicated USB mic. You can access all of its features on a PC. If you’re on a Mac, then get Webcam Settings (it’s only ten bucks) to access all its features.

Web Audio

On the web, how you sound is even more important than your video.  I highly recommend the following mics.

Mpow 071 USB Headset – Besides its great audio quality, another reason I like this mic is because it does it all.  You can plug it into the 3.5mm headset jack on your laptop.  If your phone has a headset outlet, you can plug it into that.  And you can also use the included USB adapter.  

Blue Yeti USB Microphone –Good audio even more important that good video when doing web videos. And this is the USB microphone to get. Just plug it into a USB port, select it in whatever application you’re using, and you’re good to go. It sounds great, has a gain control, lets you choose from multiple audio patterns, and even has a mute button. It’s big, and it looks like R2D2. Highly recommended!

Samson GoMic –If you’re looking for a great USB mic that costs less than half as much as the Blue Yeti and can literally be slipped into a small pants pocket, then consider the Samson GoMic. It has an ingenious clip that enables you to attach it the side of your laptop or set it on your desktop. You can also attach it to a tripod. Another highly recommended mic. I use this one when I travel.

Audio Technica ATR2500 – It’s unbelievable how good this mic sounds.  It’s nearly as good as mics that cost 4x more.  Even better, it has both an USB and XLR output.  So you can actually use this mic with a professional digital recorder.  The only issue I’ve had with it is that – on some Windows computers – it doesn’t put out quite enough gain unless I crank everything up all the way.

Samson Q2U USB Microphone – Like the ATR2500, this mic has both USB and XLR outputs, giving it more versatility.  What I especially like about this over the ATR2500 though is how much “hotter” it is.  It doesn’t require me to raise up the volume input levels like I do with the ATR2500.  Overall, this is an unbelievable mic for the price.