Upgrading microphone / audio setup, advice needed, what to buy?

Hello there,

I currently have Sennheiser PC320 headset that needs replacing ,so I need to find new microphone solution.

I don’t want to buy new headset because I don’t like to use headphones all the time. Sometimes while playing or just chilling with my friends using Discord or Mumble I like have speakers open and have my headset hang on my neck and have mic positioned relatively close to my mouth. This works surprisingly well with my current headset, it’s just not really convenient or pleasant to have headset hanging from your neck so I would like to find some better solution for this.

I could use Mod-Mic with my Beyerdynamic DT990PRO headphones, but that still wouldn’t solve the issue that I don’t always like to use headphones while using VOIP.

Requirements / wishlist for new mic:

  • Won’t pick up audio feedback if I’m having my speakers on while gaming with others. I don’t really like to use push-to-talk, but can bite the bullet if I really have to. I much rather prefer to have voice activity detection enabled if possible.
  • Won’t pick up keyboard sounds, even if keyboard has clicky blue switches.
  • Mic boom mountable.
  • Works on Windows, Mac, Linux and even on FreeBSD, and without any extra drivers would be a big bonus.
  • Available in EU. I don’t feel like paying high import duties when ordering from US.

I’m no audio guy so I don’t know if I’m unreasonable with this wishlist.


Pretty open for suggestions. Looking to find the good price/quality ratio, but I don’t mind investing more money if it’s justified. Currently I use mic only while using Discord or Mumble, but I might try to record voice-overs of podcasts in the future, or try streaming.

Microphone can be something like Blue Yeti, Audio-techinca AT2020USB or Samson Meteor microphone, but I can also take something like Focusrite Scarlett + AT2020 on my desk if it brings some added value for me.

200-300€ is my max price range. It doesn’t have to be this expensive, but if there’s good reason to invest more I’m willing to do it.

Rest of current audio setup

Rest of my desk audio setup is Logitech Z333 speakers connected to some cheap chinese Ugreen brand usb audio dongle, and I would like to have upgrades to this setup too in the future. Maybe some better active speakers? So if this microphone upgrade can also help in upgrading the rest of my audio setup, like getting rid of that external usb dongle then hey that’s even better.

Integrated sound card on my motherboard produces really annoying background noise so that’s why I don’t use it anymore.

If I forgot something feel free to ask more questions.

Maybe it’s not the fact that you need to use headphones but just the wrong pair of headphones. DT990Pro can be fatiguing with it’s elevated highs. It’s also not the most comfy pair of cans.

If you ears can hear it, the mic in front of your mouth will hear it too. Only way to get around that is to put the sound on your ears and isolate it from everything else. … aka headphones.

Not gonna happen. Unless you find a way to put your head and your hands in separate rooms.

In general I really like the Rode Podcaster.

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I have an MXL 770 sitting in my drawer because I can’t be asked to set that up. The one test I did with it was “making a note here, huge success”. Not sure if it would work for your use case though.

Something like the typical stage mic would probably work better (they usually pick up less feedback).
AKG D-5 S for example could work for you.

Depending on your mainboard, you could just pipe audio directly into the mainboard (the blue jack is Line in). That would work arround the drivers at the mercy of your onboard solution.
Chain would look like Mic > Preamp > Line in

The Focusrite Scarlett Series works on Windows and Mac, probably works in Linux and an unknown for BSD.

As you mention you want to get rid of your chinese USB thing, an Audio Interface (DAC and ADC in one device) is probably the way to go.
Chain would look like:

Mic > Interface > USB
Headphone/Speakers < Interface < USB

I buy my stuff here:

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Can confirm Scarletts work on linux, at least my 2i2 first gen. Should work flawlessly anywhere with support for USB-Audio.

And Thomann is great!


If you level it in just right, you can potentially set the trigger in discord to not transmit just typing. When you speak, transmitting typing in the background is indeed inevitable.

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That never works well though. In the past (specifically in WoW) I’ve dealt with people doing that by just muting them. Otherwise you always have to listen to eating noises, sneezes, coughing, traffic or whatever noise is loud enough to trigger the mic… It’s painful for anyone that has to listen to that. Don’t do that.

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Hands free stenomask.

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Well, serious case of “it works on my machine” then.
Because for me, I got about -10dB between regular typing (Kailh Speed Silvers) to the trigger point, talking sends me to +5dB on the trigger.
I got a key combo to mute myself set up though (and got instant monitoring set up).

Sorry, I thought you were talking about the “no feedback from speakers”. That was what I commented about with

Your Kailh Speed Silvers might work, cherry blues or other clicky switches … I don’t think it’s possible, at least not very well. It’s also dependent on the volume of your voice, how loud you talk. Because in the end it’s a ratio game.

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I was able to achieve this with my current mic, though I currently use keyboard with Brown switches. And I often have music playing in the background from speakers and my friends have never called me out on it. That’s why I was wondering if I can do it with external microphone too.

But like I said this is not complete deal breaker for me, I can start using push-to-talk again if I have to. I just don’t want to :smile:

Afaik usb audio is platform independent standard and FreeBSD should support it.

Haven’t tested if it’s problem with audio jacks or if the integrated sound card on my mobo is partially busted, but my friends said my mic had some background buzz when I had it connected to motherboards Mic jack (went away with external sound card dongle thingy). Dunno if the problem persist in all audio jacks.

And for the record motherboard is bought in 2011 :smile:

googles what this is

Like I said, it’s a ratio game. Signal to noise. The further the mic is from the source (your mouth) the weaker the signal. Or the other way around, the stronger the noise (keyboard clickidy clack)


Your best best for picking up the minimal amount of noise is probably a lavaliere. Though, I don’t know of many dynamic lavs anymore. I use a condenser lav myself. Many lavs are designed to isolate talent from the environment, being used in broadcast settings or such. These are called proximity lavs, at least by AT.

Desk condensers are sensitive, they are designed to be sensitive. You have small diaphragm capsule condensers like most cheap USB condenser mics. Upside to these is they can include multiple capsules and have multiple pick-up patterns, like a cardioid and omni settings. Capsule based can also can do stereo for cheaper than the next big option which is: a true large diaphragm condenser, like the venerable AT2020 or AT2035.

But anyway, all of these desk condensers are really intended to be used in a sound proofed environment.

Also avoid the Samson Meteorite. The Samson GoMic has FAR superior sound at the same price (at lest in the US). I know you mentioned the Meteor which is not the Meteorite but just thought I’d mention it.

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That is what I like about the Rode Podcaster, it’s a dynamic mic. Like it’s bigger brother, the procaster. These will pickup a little bit less environment noise.

I’ve read bad stuff about meteorite, and without DIYing it’s not boom arm mountable so yea, not on my short list. :slight_smile:

Agree with @Pawmaniac about a lav mic being best to reduce noise.

I used to have an AT2020USB, and it picks up everything. Hard to get a balance between not picking up background noise and still picking up quieter speak with a condenser mic. Only way around it is using push to talk most of the time. Good option though, 10/10 - would recommend, as it just works.

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Thanks for the input, I have to do bit more research on this. I kinda like the idea of having separate interface like Scarlett instead of just using USB microphone, that way I can just upgrade the microphone to better one if I feel like it. Tough AT2020USB is really good option and popular microphone in general.

Word of warning, with the knowledge that I don’t have a wonderful setup for this.

I have my mic on a boom arm that is clamped to the desk my keyboard and mouse are on. I can set the triggers to to pretty much not hear the keyboard, (MX clears) but it is the pass through from the desk that will 100% always trigger the mic. Just because the keyboard is on the desk the tippity tap goes though the keyboard into the the desk into the boom arm and mic.

Same with lifting the mouse and putting it back down during large movements. Or basically anything that I put on my desk.

This can of course be mitigated by mounting the mic on a different surface that is not my desk and putting a mat that absorbs shock from things being put down helps a lot, like a desk mat.

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That can be worked arround, just need a shock mount.


This is the reason why I want to have boom arm. It should mitigate the thumping noise that would otherwise be transferred to microphone if one is using the desk stand the microphone comes with. I don’t hit the keys that hard so thumping noise should not be a problem with boom arm.

This is what I would try first to avoid the problem.


I did everything on the ultra cheap, so that in mind the shock mount did nothing at all to help it. Not I just have the regular hard mount for a mic as it is much more space friendly and the same for me.