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How Do I Select a Microphone?

  1. How do I select a karaoke microphone?
    1. Identify the user's age and purpose.
    2. Identify the acoustic environment.
  2. Shall I choose a wireless or wired microphone?
  3. Why is a dynamic microphone best for karaoke?
  4. When is a condenser microphone appropriate for karaoke?
  5. What does a microphone converter do?

1. How do I select a karaoke microphone?

Keeping in mind the user and the acoustic environment, a microphone may be selected for its durability, convenience (wireless), or fidelity to the vocal sound. A second microphone is always well-used by karaoke singers.

A. Identify the user's age and purpose
  • Children and teens: Care in use of a microphone should be stressed. However, wear and tear should be anticipated when children and older youth carry a microphone from place to place. Look for durability and ease of use in a first microphone. The new Plug 'N' Sing DVD microphone is an affordable and durable first choice for families. Back to Top

  • Younger guitarists: Children may be inspired by the Plug 'N' Sing DVD microphone plus either a 30-inch or 32-inch electric guitar. Electric guitars tend to have narrow necks suitable for a small hand. These guitars are playable by children of the following ages/heights:

      Age - Height - Electric Guitar Size

    • 4-6 - 3'3"-3'9" - 1/4 size - 30-inch guitar
    • 5-8 - 3'10"-4'5" - 1/2 size - 32-inch guitar Back to Top

  • Serious singers: The quality of the microphone will determine how well the nuances of the voice are picked up. For the most capable microphones, check for an XLR connection, as opposed to a 1/4" connection. There are lots of choices between the most durable and the more expensive XLR vocal microphone. Back to Top

  • Instrumentalists: A high quality dynamic omni-directional cardiod (heart-shaped) microphone isolates an instrumental sound well, as well as accommodating vocals, for home use. Additional microphones will accommodate other musicians. For the recording studio environment, the more sensitive condenser microphone is preferred. Back to Top

B. Identify the acoustic environment.

  • Microphone connection: Most home equipment is equipped with a 1/4" RCA or TSR connection which is color coded, whereas professional musicians utilize an XLR connection (dime-size, commonly with 3 prongs). Adapters are available to connect XLR to RCA or USB devices, and vice versa. Back to Top

  • Sound equipment: Your TV will provide an adequate sound system for the DVD Plug 'N' Sing microphone. If you have a home theater or stereo system you will have more quality sound possibilities and may wish to look into a better microphone. Back to Top

  • Inside or out-of-doors: The DVD Plug 'N' Sing microphone is good for a small room. If you plan for a system with more power, you will want to consider a higher quality microphone. Back to Top

3. Shall I choose a wireless or wired microphone?

A wired microphone:

  • never runs out of batteries,
  • retains consistent sound quality under all conditions,
  • is easy to connect and use,
  • allows movement for the length of its cord(s).

A wireless microphone:

  • allows the singer to move freely,
  • is 100% portable,
  • provides 150-foot (or more) range if no barriers/walls impede sound,
  • may have uneven sound quality due to radio frequency compression,
  • may receive interference from radio transmissions,
  • can be more complex to set up than a wired microphone, and
  • needs batteries. Back to Top

4. Why is a dynamic microphone best for karaoke?

Dynamic microphones are considered to provide excellent sound quality and can handle high sound levels without concern for feedback from a speaker. They are simple, economical, and rugged, and relatively unaffected by extremes of temperature or humidity. For these reasons, dynamic microphones are the most widely used microphones generally as well as for karaoke. Back to Top

5. When is a condenser microphone appropriate for karaoke?

Condenser microphones are more complex and costly than dynamic microphones, and may be adversely affected by extremes of temperature and humidity. However, they are more sensitive to transient (quickly passing) sound, so are much used in professional studios for recording purposes. Back to Top

6. What does a microphone converter do?

A converter changes sound waves into data acceptable by a designated device. For example, it can change data from a microphone source to a USB or RCA connection, recording device, wireless transmitter, analog device, digital device, etc., and can facilitate features such as Automatic Voice Control (eliminating lead vocals) and special effects such as reverberation (echo). A wireless converter with two antennas is able to avoid a noise canceling effect that occurs with only a single antenna. Back to Top

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