USB and XLR microphones are similar, but a USB microphone has a preamplifier and audio interface built in, so you can plug it right into a computer. This makes USB mics more convenient, but if you’re looking for more flexibility or a wider choice of microphones, opt for XLR.
A good microphone is essential when recording audio. As you shop for your microphone, you’ve probably seen USB mics and XLR mics. So what’s the difference between them, and which is best for your recording needs?
Traditional microphones consist of a capsule, which actually captures sound, and a circuit to connect the capsule to the output. Most microphones connect via XLR cables, but you’ll find some microphones that use a 1/4-inch TS connector.
Any microphone requires a preamp, as the output of microphones is typically very quiet. The preamplifier raises the volume of the microphone’s signal to a high enough level that other audio equipment can work with it. These days, in most cases, the next step involves getting your audio into…
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