Roughly two years ago, the terms “work from home” (WFH) and “hybrid workplace” were not part of most workers’ everyday lexicon.
Having gone through the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 — and now the latest wave of COVID-19 fueled by the potent delta variant and the omicron variant (rapidly spreading at the time of this writing) — most employed Americans are now permanently on either WFH or hybrid schedules.
As the public grows more comfortable with WFH — and likely more frustrated by many of its limitations — people are now facing the realization that they must improve their WFH setups through investments in new, home-office-friendly technologies.
The most obvious place to start home upgrades is with the network. Regardless of whether you’re an integrator in the residential market or an integrator in the commercial market, you’re probably now servicing clients who do business in home environments. A good-quality conferencing experience begins and ends with the ability of the network to support increases in activities.
Once the network is addressed, integrators can look at affordable devices like web cameras and microphones. When someone is looking to improve the WFH conferencing experience and must prioritize their investments, the next logical step is to get a quality microphone. After all, today’s generation of computers integrate web cameras that are good enough to be used until other aspects of conferencing have been addressed.
Diving into the burgeoning USB microphone category, these products are readily available and designed as turnkey solutions to utilize as upgrades for WFH conferencing systems, as well as for music recording and podcasting from home.
USB microphones are available at a range of price points; they run from approximately $50 to a few hundred dollars. They provide features that include headphone inputs (to monitor audio) and audio volume controls. They also offer selectable polar patterns (the way the microphone picks up audio) and gain (the ability to increase the level of the audio signal).
In addition to all these features, the category is now offering a growing selection of microphone types. These include tabletop models, lavaliers and microphones that are stand mountable.
Let’s look at some of the most popular USB microphones currently available. What follows are 13 USB microphones that are well suited to WFH applications.