When conducting virtual meeting on Zoom Meeting and/or Google Meet, your device must give you poor audio quality. Fortunately, there are some devices that can be utilized to enhance the audio quality for Zoom Meeting, Cisco Webex, and Google Meet.
During the break due to Covid-19 pandemic, face to face meeting is not allowed in some countries. It makes educational practitioners move their class to virtual class. To get decent or even great audio quality, you can apply USB microphone and here are my pick up.
#1 AKG Lyra
AKG Lyra can be redeemed for usd 150 at the time this content is written. Its build quality, which is mainly made from plastic, becomes the main complaint for this unit - as complained by many reviewers. The dial is pretty annoying wobble but in terms of quality, it souns crystal-clear. It has 4 types of pick-up patterns - front only, front and back, and two types of stereo which makes it also great for handling interview section.
#2 Audio Technica AT2020USB+
Audio Technica AT2020USB+ can be redeemed for usd 149 at the time of this content is written. Audio Technica has achieved great name since long long time ago for micrphones the company releases. The AT2020USB+ is the successor of the original AT2020 which is claimed as professional microphone by many reviewers. For me, the AT2020USB+ is a bit punchy on low frequency. However, it also gives crisp sound on the mid and high frequency.
#3 Audio Technica atr-2100x
This one is dynamic microphone which offers XLR connection as well as USB connection. The fact that XLR analog connection exists on this USB microphone makes it superior than its competitors. My only one complaint against this microphone is the absence of gain input dial which is crucial in my opinion. Besides, no mute button attached to this microphone. Meaning that when you are not talking for a quite long time, you need to turn off the mic to avoid unwanted noise. However, when you turn on this mic, it means you also turn of the monitoring function. One more subjective complain on this mic, it is a bit noisy. However, it is still great for telework like in Zoom Meeting or Google Meet. Audio Technica atr-2100x can be redeemed for usd 130 at the time of this content is written.
#4 Rode Videomic NTG
This one is multipurpose shotgun condenser microphone. It works as both USB mic as well as analog microphone. The videomic NTG can be used as USB microphone via USB C to USB A cable. It can also be connected through analog connection through 3.5mm jack on your laptop/smartphone. Thing that makes the videomic NTG great is that it has built-in battery which can last for 30 hours (as advertised by Rode Microphones).
When it is used as USB microphone, you can simply plug the USB C to the videomic NTG and the USB A to your laptop or smartphone (with OTG adapter for Android-based phone or Apple Camera Connection Kit 3 for iOS-based devide). Your laptop or smartphone will automatically detect it as external microphone. Yes, it is plug-and-play microphone. If the USB connection is preferred, then the 3.5mm jack can be used to monitor your voice and to listen to your audience while the dial on the back of the videomic NTG functions as your mic input gain dial.
If the USB connection fails, then simply use the analog connection by plugging the one end of your 3.5mm male cable into the 3.5mm female on the videomic NTG and the another end of the 3.5mm cable should be connected to your device. When analog connection is applied, the dial on the back of the videomic NTG functions as gain for your volume.
Rode Videomic NTG is sold for usd 250 at the time of this content is written.
#5 Rode NT-USB Mini
This devide has been mentioned in some previous post. It has been stated there that Rode NT-USB Mini wins the competition among other USB microphones for its versatility, portability, and its quality. All know that Rode has been around audio devices for years. As labelled by many reviewers, Rode NT-USB Mini gets above average in terms of quality.
Rode NT-USB mini is sold for USD 99 at the time this content is written.