How to Choose a Microphone

There are so many microphones, which one is best suited for my Masjid’s Imam. The answer is, we do not know, neither can anybody claim to know one. As we said before if someone claims to know one, run from him.

At MSS we have owned, used and evaluated almost every well known microphone (with some very expensive vintage exceptions) on the market and have come to a short list based on few factors. Every time we try to make a short list of microphones, it keeps getting longer. We have owned/used a Neumann M149 to a Shure SM58 and almost everything in between that is available in the US market. 

  1. Sound – We prefer flat response. Anything that colors too much is out of our list. We also like the microphones that are warm sounding (sorry cannot explain what warm sound is). It also has to be extremely clear sounding mic. Any microphone that sounds muffled or muddy is also out. Three things to look for in general are fidelity, clarity / intelligibility and loudness.
  2. Dynamic Microphones (Hypercardioid / supercardioid) – We mostly prefer them as they are easier to work with and have less feedback issues because of tight pickup pattern. There are some exceptions like lavalier and headset microphones which happen to be condensers that we use often.
  3. Have to be very resistant to feedback and have electronics that have feedback rejection properties built into them.
  4. Presence of On / Off switch and the switch design. Believe us, you need this switch.
  5. Price
  6. Durability and availability. 

    Any microphone or speaker you buy will perfectly suit your needs, until you use them long enough to learn that they do not.

Microphone Make / Model Sound Feedback resistance   Durability On / Off Switch   Price Remarks
AKG D5S Very clear and warm   Excellent  Very durable   Present   $129 On / Off switch design is great. Does not break when mic is rotated in its clip.
Audix OM3S Very clear   Excellent  Very durable   Present   $149 On / Off switch is easier to use but have seen them break when it rubs against the clip
Sennheiser E935 Very clear and warm   Excellent  Very durable   No Switch    $169 You can use external on/off switch.
Shure SM57 Very clear   Excellent  Very durable   No Switch    $99 Need high gain on mixer, pops very easily. Need external on/off switch. Very flat response. 
Shure Beta 58A Very clear   Excellent  Very durable   No Switch   $159 Need external on/off switch. Very resistant to popping.
Shure Beta 57A Very clear   Excellent  Very durable   No Switch    $159 Need external on/off switch. Very resistant to popping.

Microphone Accessories ...

            External On / Off switch built into the cable

            External On / Off switch adapter

            Switchcraft T Series Cable Mount

            Neutrik NC3FXS XLR Female with On-Off Switch

            Hosa Power Switch, XLR3F to XLR3M

Other microphones that you can also use but we do not recommend them ...

            Audio Technica AE6100

            Audio Technica AT808G / U855QL

            Blue Microphones enCore 200

            Bogen GDU150

            Electro Voice N/D767a

            Electro Voice US690

            Heil PR20 / PR35

            Sennheiser e835 / e845S

            Shure Beta 57A

            Shure SM58S