SUPPORT >> TECH NOTES >> #105

LIBERMAN SOUND
www.libermansound.com
Portland, Oregon
971-533-7896

TS105 Microphones for News Reporting - Summary Chart

Mono Microphones
Brand Model Street Price * Pluses Minuses Pattern Type Output Link
Classic News Mics:                

Electro-Voice

635A $110 Afordable, extremely rugged, the standard news mic. Limited high frequency response, no internal shock mount, low output. Omni Dynamic -55dB www.electrovoice.com
Electro-Voice 635N/D $130 Slightly higher output than original. Same. Omni Dynamic -51dB www.electrovoice.com
Electro-Voice RE-50 $150 Extremely rugged, the standard shock-mounted news mic. Limited high frequency response, low output. Omni Dynamic -55dB www.electrovoice.com
Electro-Voice RE-50N/D $180 Slightly higher output than original. Same. Omni Dynamic -51dB www.electrovoice.com
Beyerdynamic M 58 $177 Shock mount, extended response. Low output. Omni Dynamic -58dBV www.beyerdynamic.com
Shure VP64 $78-90 Shock mount. Limited response. Omni Dnamic -51.5dBV www.shure.com
Shure SM63 $119-133 Hum-buck coil, shock mount, extended response.   Omni Dynamic -56.5dBV www.shure.com
AKG D 230 $119 Extended response, hum-buck coil.   Omni Dynamic -52dB www.akg.com
Sennheiser MD42 $240 Shock mount   Omni Dynamic -51dB www.sennheiser.com
Some of my recommendations:                
Audio-Technica AT813a $159 Extended response, battery operation, large metal windscreen.   Cardiod Condenser (battery or phantom). -44dB www.audiotechnica.com
Audio-Technica ATM33a $189 Extended response, battery operation. Very similar to AT813a, not clear why it costs more.   Cardiod Condenser (battery or phantom). -44dB www.audiotechnica.com
AKG C 535 EB $240 Extended response.   Cardiod Condenser (phantom) -43dB www.akg.com
Sennheiser ME64/K6 $350 Extended response, high quality, sytem accepts capsules with different patterns.   Cardiod (ME62 omni capsule also available) Condenser (battery or phantom - K6P phantom only also available but has shorter handle) -30dBV www.sennheiser.com

Classic news mics are dynamic omni-directional models. They are often recommended for reporters, although I don't feel they are the best choice. I recommend a cardiod condenser mic for higher output level to minimize mic preamp noise problems, brighter more intelligible sound, and superior rejection of extranious background noise.

Microphone Type Comparison for New Reporting:
Feature: Omni, Dynamic (most people recommend) Cardiod, Dynamic Omni, Condenser Cardiod Condenser (my strong recommendation)
Ruggedness Excellent Excellent Very good Very good (phantom only), Good (battery only or phantom/battery - due to battery compartment).
Handling noise Medium-low, lower with internal shockmount. Medium, lower with internal shockmount. Medium-low, lower with internal shockmount. Medium, lower with internal shockmount.
Wind noise Low (windscreen still sometimes needed) Moderate, low with adequate windscreen. Low (windscreen still sometimes needed) Moderate, low with adequate windscreen.
Audio noise High in combination with recorders with noisy mic preamps, otherwise low. Usually low Usually low, although some less expensive models are only adequate. High output level helps to minimize noise contributed by noisy preamps in the recorder.
Sound quality Some news mics have limited high frequency response. Adequate to very good. Usually high. Usually high. Vocal mics have upper midrange boost to improve clarity and pop/wind protection built-in, making them a good choice for reporting.
Rejection of background noise Poor. Very good. Poor. Very good.
What to look for: Newer version with high-ouput magnet. Built-in shockmount and hum-buck coil are an advantage. Don't use with recorders that have noisy mic preamps. Vocal model with substantial pop and blast filter and windscreen either built-in or included. Don't use with recorders that have noisy mic preamps. Not a common type, usually best suited for music recording. Vocal model with substantial pop and blast filter and windscreen either built-in or included. Phantom-only models are more rugged but you'll need a battery model if your recorder doesn't have phantom power.