The use of the microphone in our daily tasks has increased in recent years. This is due not only to the large number of online games, but also to activities such as content streaming through different specialized platforms and to all this we have to add group teleworking and being able to study remotely to interact. It is at this point where the sound quality of the microphone is important and a bad quality is noticed above a good one. Although the first question that comes to mind is: Is a USB microphone or a mini Jack worth more?
The fact that sound cards have almost disappeared from the map has meant that many computers lack sufficient sound quality, and not because they do not have a good enough processing capacity, but because in many configurations the parts that are the DAC, digital to analog converters, and the ADC, analog to digital converter are of poor quality. Many microphones are sold with noise cancellation, however, this noise is caused by poor sound capture. What makes many professional users end up using an external box when they have to record content with their microphone, regardless of the connection it has.
Why a USB microphone is not the best option
USB microphones are considered much better for novice users for a very simple reason, we tend to think that since said interface is faster and newer then it will be better. However, the problems appear as soon as we see a series of problems that become evident as soon as we raise our technical demands, among them the fact that the use of said port adds additional latency, which is not at all appropriate if you are streaming in real time. To make matters worse, many models have a pretty bad internal ADC and the sound quality is affected by it. Although with a good USB microphone you will be able to record with great quality, in the low-medium range it is better to avoid them.
On the other hand, the classic ones with a mini Jack do not have the latency problem of the USB port and are ideal for broadcasting live. Of course, the sound capture will depend on the ditto card you are using. Our recommendation? Unless you know your motherboard has a good DAC/ADC or the sound card you’re using, our recommendation is to get one, especially if you want to record with multiple people at the same time. On the other hand, don’t forget that static charge tends to build up over time, so from time to time unplug the microphone cable and rub the connection with a non-damp cloth to discharge.
Does this mean USB mics are worse? Well, no, since the highest quality ones have their integrated analog-to-digital converter. However, there are laptops and motherboards that have USB Audio support, which is conventional USB ports but with added hardware for capturing and streaming audio. If you have one of these ports on your PC don’t hesitate to use it.
In any case, if what you want is not to broadcast in real time and you are looking to podcast with several people, the fact of being able to use a USB hub with several ports at the same time will help you. What’s more, having the audio from different sources will help you in later editing to eliminate sound defects.