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Knowing the best places to put your microphone for YouTube is critical to achieving clear and optimal sound quality for your stream. You may have the best mic for YouTube or own the latest professional streaming gear but they can all go to waste if you fail to practice the proper mic placement.
In this article, we’ll teach you all the best places to use your microphone for YouTube streaming so you can make the most out of your microphone and get the best audio quality possible!
When it comes to YouTube streaming and online content creation, there are generally three classes of microphones that most YouTubers use: microphones with boom arms, headset microphones, and free-standing microphones. Acknowledging that users may prefer one over the other, we have included the best placement tips for finding the “sweet spot” for all three.
Keep in mind that the “sweet spot” for any type of microphone will always be near the sound source and can most likely be found in a certain acoustic spot in the room depending on several factors.
Perhaps a majority of YouTubers prefer using a microphone boom arm due to its flexibility in terms of adjusting the position and placement. Thanks to the boom arm, a user can easily move the microphone in such a way that will not obstruct the view or camera framing while still having the ability to direct the mic to where the sound source is.
If you are using a microphone boom arm, then the best place to put this is either on the right or left side of your desk. Such placement will allow you to move the arm from left to right and top to bottom without obstructing the view or your face. You can also angle the mic to the direction where you want to pick up or block sound the most.
Placing the microphone boom arm at the side of your desk will also give you valuable space for other items such as a keyboard or mouse. It also keeps it away from possible sound nuances that may be produced from these items of yours. Moreover, this placement gives you enough space to move around and frees up your arms.
Plenty of YouTubers, especially gaming content creators, opt to use a headset microphone because of the mobility it gives. However, since the microphone is situated directly in front and close to a user’s mouth, the possibility of it picking up any plosives and wind noise is high. With that, it’s important to note the best placement for headset mics to avoid such issues.
When using a headset microphone, the best place to put it is at least an inch away from the user’s mouth while angled at the side or right beside the chin. Such placement helps the mic from being placed directly in front of the mouth to reduce any plosives and muffled sounds. It’s also highly recommended that you use a pop filter for better audio results.
Free-standing microphones are also great YouTube mics if you want to keep your setup minimal but effective.
Should you use a free-standing mic, then the general placement rule to follow is to put them on top of your stable desk and at a distance of 6-12 inches away from your mouth. Anything further than 12 inches, then your mic may start to pick up background noise. We also want to emphasize the importance of a desk’s stability as we wouldn’t want your mic to wobble and topple over in the middle of a stream or audio recording.
However, if you’re using a condenser or dynamic free-standing mic, then the distance needed from the sound source may vary due to their differing polar patterns. A condenser microphone will need to be placed at a reasonable distance of 15-20 cm or 6-8 inches away from the user’s mouth or sound source while a dynamic microphone should be at least 5-7 cm away.
It’s important to pay great attention to how you place your microphone, especially for YouTube streaming applications. Even the slightest adjustments can make a huge improvement to how your overall audio quality will sound and turn out.