Well, you have probably seen this microphone hundreds of times during various public speeches of artists, media persons, presidents and so on. Maybe, you even used ti yourself once. The subject is the podium microphone – a compact gear that is placed on a certain stand so the overall speech looks more official.
They might be not the most demanded items on the market, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t important. In fact, the quality of the sound of a microphone like this can even determine the results of the presidential race – imagine if a candidate gives a speech using a low-quality microphone – all the words will lose their initial effect.
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By the way, there was a rumor then one of such mics used by Hilary Clinton was set up in order to make her look worse in the eyes of the audience. The microphone was widely used at the beginning of the 20th century but fell out of use in the 1960s when ribbon mics replaced it. However, some manufacturers are still producing them today.
Of course, since it is rather a rare microphone you may face a bunch of challenges connecting it to the rest of the gear. For example, it is a frequent case when a podium microphone is not compatible with speakers. Another point when choosing a podium mic is that it also should be durable.
So if by any chance you need a microphone like this, you will find out from the article below, which items are worth your attention and will not set you up during an important speech.
Audio Technica U859QL
1. Shure CVG18-B/C
Shure is a famous company producing audio equipment and it turns out it produces the podium microphones as well. This model is actually one of the best among those that you can find on the market today. It is a classic podium microphone.
First of all, an important aspect of a podium microphone is that it must be stable and well-built. If you’re looking for a well-made podium mic that doesn’t sacrifice sound quality, Shure CVG18-B/C is the choice for you. Considering the sound characteristics, there is a cardioid polar pattern (as it should be in podium microphones) with the tailored response for speech.
This model has a CommShield Technology that guards against unwanted RF interference from portable wireless devices. For the best quality of speech possible, Shure CVG18-B/C offers high resistance to intense nearby radio signals and what is more, it has a frequency response ideal for capturing fast transients in a wide variety of locations, including podiums and desktops.
The CVG18-B/C is a tough and rugged gooseneck microphone. You can always adjust it in the way you need and it will stay in the shape you want. The frequency response range of 70Hz-16,000Hz allows the mic to pick up the entire range of human voice.
The only drawback of this microphone is that it has no onboard controls so in case if you suddenly want to mute it or regulate the volume – you won’t be able to do so.
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2. Samson CM20P
Another great item which one, in addition, costs relatively low comparing it to its competitors. It is a condenser microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern. There is a 20 inches gooseneck with flexible top and bottom, and also an internal selectable hi-pass filter.
In the set coming together with a microphone, there is an XLR connector and a flange-mount. The construction of a microphone includes a multistage windscreen. For operating, Samson CM20P requires 9-52 Volt Phantom Power. Both the top and the bottom of a mic are flexible.
The multistage windscreen allows you to select between several levels of noise protection. An interesting feature of this model is that it even has a built-in hi-pass filter which many other more expensive models don’t. For the price that it has, that’s a really cool bonus.
The only possible disadvantage, once again, probably because of the low price, is that the construction of this mic is not sturdy enough. Moreover, the materials that Samson CM20P is made of are not the highest quality. So there may be some issues regarding the durability of this mic.
3. Peavey PM 18S
This microphone will be more suitable for beginners if there are even any beginners in the usage of podium microphones. Anyway, the Peavey PM 18S is extremely easy in control and even the person that has never dealt with microphones before will understand quickly how to use it.
This is a standard 18-inched gooseneck model with a back electret condenser under the foam windscreen. The dual flex tubing gives you great freedom when positioning the mic. The quality sound level is basically the same as in the previous cases if you set up everything right.
But just pay attention to the settings because there are no onboard controls, thus, everything should be prepared the speech actually starts. An additional feature of this model is that it has an LED power indicator. It also features a locking system to prevent unauthorized people from removing the microphone from its position.
So it is fair to say that Peavey PM 18S grants you extra security in this case and will be suitable for those who want to keep the mic away from the usage of unwanted 3rd persons. The PM18S can work with Phantom Power units of 9 to 52 Volts and has a specifically tailored frequency response to suit the human vocal range.
But once again, this microphone will be beneficial for those who are just starting their journey with podium mics. For advanced users, this model will probably be too easy and not powerful enough.
4. Shure MX418/C
Another cool item by Shure which will be suitable for professionals and for the significant public speeches. If you decide to buy this microphone, you will get an attached XLR Preamp, Shock and Flange Mount, Snap-Fit Foam Windscreen together in the set.
Unlike the previous one, here you can be sure that you are going to get a really high-quality sound. Of course, it is all justified by the relatively high price. In this microphone, you will find a wide dynamic range and an extended frequency response for accurate sound reproduction across the audio spectrum.
What is more, Shure MX418/C has the interchangeable cartridges. They are required to provide the right polar pattern for every application. The output is balanced and transformerless which gives the increased immunity to electromagnetic hum and RF interference over long cable runs.
The shock mount of the microphone provides over 20 dB isolation from surface vibration noise. There is also a locking flange mount for permanently securing microphone to lecterns, pulpits, or conference tables.
Together in the set, you can also acquire a windscreen which is recommended to reduce the plausive sounds and the noises which can be captured while you are giving the public speech in the open air. The windscreen is a foam one.
The Shure MX418/C is a gooseneck podium microphone replete with useful features that will make sure you get the best possible sound in a given room. It is really capable of reducing surface vibration, which is another point to use this model for open-air speeches.
The possible disadvantage on this microphone is that its base is not stable enough and you will probably need some additional fixation to secure it in place. Moreover, the model will not fir the beginners since it is quite complicated in setting and usage. And another considerable aspect that the mic is outstanding with its sensitivity which means you risk to pick up even the tiniest sounds with it.
5. SKP PRO AUDIO PRO-7K
Another podium microphone which is more affordable than any mic on this list. It shows one more time that now podium microphones get cheaper and accessible to the wide public. It is hard to say whether it is good or not, but there is one thing for sure – each customer can buy an item like this for themselves.
By the way, you can use this mic for various purposes. It has a simple secure base that allows to easily replace microphone from spot to spot. This mic will rather fit the atmosphere of some local conferences or investors’ annual meetings in a company, where some number of people have to gather in a big room so in order not to exhaust their voice they better have a mic in front.
And this price of this one exactly allows acquiring several items. SKP PRO AUDIO PRO-7K has a cardioid polar pattern like all the mic presented above, and a frequency response of 60Hz-18000Hz with the sensitivity of-46dB±2DB. Such sounds characteristics are pretty decent for a model like this.
It’s a condenser mic. So if you’re on the lookout for a microphone with a great price to performance ratio, the SKP Pro Audio Pro-6K might interest you. It is a standard gooseneck microphone that is easy to manipulate. The microphone operates on 3V batteries and rocks the standard XLR output. The on/off button and the indicator are located on the base.
The only dubious aspect, of course, is the time of service of this item. It is good to have like one item that you can always replace. But if you need reliable gear that you could rely on even during crucial debates and public speeches you better go for something more serious. This is more of a mic for the beginners.
6. Audio Technica U859QL
The problem while choosing a podium microphone can be that they all look and sounds quite similar. At least, from the first sight. That’s why a person who sees a mic like this for the first time in their life can easily make a wrong choice.
The main factor, actually, to choose a podium mic that would fit you well is paying attention to its power supply, materials, and overall construction. Of course, you cannot expect that the budget mic will bring superior quality to you.
But here we have a very decent model by Audio Technica. This mic is designed to be plugged directly into a panel or desk-mounted XLRF-type connector. Audio Technica U859QL features an ultra-flexible small-diameter gooseneck.
Moreover, it has some interchangeable elements which can be easily replaced by changing the overall characteristics of a mic or prolonging its useful life. It is available in cardioid, hyper-cardioid, omnidirectional and UniLine line cardioid polar patterns.
Besides, it is equipped with self-contained electronics. This model is a phantom-powered offering an 80 Hz low-cut UniSteep filter that reduces pickup of low-frequency ambient noise. The microphone is 18.9 inches long. It is perfect for high-quality sound reinforcement, professional recording, and broadcasting.
Audio Technica U859QL includes a superior off-axis rejection for maximum gain before feedback. The design of the mic is rugged, and its small-diameter, alternating gooseneck with virtually no “memory” permits quick positioning into the desired shape.
Moreover, the microphone includes the feature which has already been mentioned before and which is called UniSteep – a filter that provides a steep low-frequency attenuation to improve sound pickup without affecting voice quality.
The frequency response of a mic is 100-16,000 Hz, sensitivity is -43 dB (7.0 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa, and impedance is 250 ohms. The model has excellent reviews from the customers so you can be sure that it will serve you a long life. Moreover, the price is not that high so it is an investment that pays off pretty soon.
7. Astatic 827A-17
This is a manufacturer that you have probably never heard of before, but it actually makes really good podium microphones. And, since the brand is not so well-known it provides a higher quality for a lower price. So for those who like to save money even buying the qualitative items this mic will probably be a good option.
It is a rounded gooseneck podium microphone. Because of its unusual shape, it will fit not all possible events so stay aware if this mic will fit the overall theme of a place where you are going to use it. The mic is 22 inches in length and it has a cardioid polar pattern.
By the way, almost all the podium microphones are supposed to have cardioid polar patterns in order to make the sound of a speaker clearer and more defined. Sometimes you can see some dubious suggestions on the market with omnidirectional polar patterns but it is quite unlogical – if you’re going to be only one speaking, why would you need to catch the sound from all the sides?
Astatic 827A-17 comes together in a set with a 3-Pin XLR quick mount. Its frequency response is optimized for capturing the voice. The mic comes together in a set with a windscreen which also isolates the sound of your speech from any distorting sounds, especially during the open-air performances.
The only disadvantage of this item is that it is compatible not with all the speakers and devices, so sometimes when you plug it in the noise may occur. In this case, you better try to return it to the seller. And the mic is also not suitable for preachers.
FAQ for podium microphones buyers
1. I need a podium microphone for my speech at school. Should I get a podium microphone or use a regular dynamic one?
Up to you, but in most cases a podium microphone is going to be more comfortable and cheaper. Moreover, if you are a lecturer it is definitely better to get a podium mic. There are some affordable models that deliver great quality (at least for school).
2. What should I do if I lost a windscreen for my microphone?
First of all, a mic can work without a windscreen. But you can always check the options on Amazon – actually, there are a lot of authorized sellers who specialize only on windscreens.
3. Can 2 people speak at one microphone at the same time?
In most cases, yes. Especially, if you have a good microphone it should be able to capture all the sounds that are coming from the source in front of it.
4. What happens if I break the gooseneck?
If you also damage the wires, the microphone will be broken for good. But if they’re not, you can try to fix it with glue, even though it will look not really aesthetic.
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