Looking for a suitable microphone for e-learning, or to record an online course? There are many options for such microphone, with a large variation in price range. If you are new to e-learning, my suggestion is not to spend too much, nor to get the cheapest microphone.

In this video, you can see me testing a Zoom H1 audio recorder, using the built in microphones, and also a test with a lapel, or lavalier microphone.

There is also two sections where you can hear the original audio (with audio compressing), and the section where, the audio is processed to remove noise so you can hear the difference.

It has 2 built in condenser microphone which are quite sensitive. So it may not be the best microphone to use if your environment is too noisy. However, you can run though your audio with noise removal and I think it is pretty good.

The video below is recorded in a quieter room, and you can compare the sound with the ATR 2100 USB microphone from Audio Technica. The audio is not processed in any manner.

Many people found the ATR 2100 comparable to costlier microphones.

Whatever microphone you decide to get, remember that the acoustics in the room makes a big difference. If you have a room with lot of echo for example, a room with hard floors without much furniture, a better microphone may do a better job of capturing unwanted noise!

Some tips with microphones

  1. Get the mic as close to your mouth as possible, and find the ideal distance. You can get too close.
  2. Position the mic correctly to point to your mouth, and offset it a bit to avoid plosives, or breathing noises.
  3. Record in a room with furniture, carpets, book shelves etc to absorb unwanted noise, and reduce echo.
  4. Be careful about condenser microphones. They are more sensitive, and sometimes too sensitive. Most condenser microphones are terms studio mics for a reason. You need to use them in a sound treated room i.e. a studio.

Let me know what you think. I’ll also do another test in a quieter room where I usually do my recordings for you to listen to the audio.

Do over

I redid the test to compare this two microphone side by side in non ideal conditions, home recording and with rain outside. Hear the original tracks, compared to tracks that have gone through noise reduction, and normalize.

ATR 2100 Original Unedited Track

E-Learning Mic ATR 2100 Original Waveform

ATR 2100 Track with Noise Reduction

ATR 2100 Track with Noise Reduction and Normalize

E-Learning Mic ATR 2100 Noise Reducetion Normalize Waveform

Zoom H1 Original Unedited Track

Zoom H1 Original Waveform E-Learning Mic Zoom H1 Original Waveform

Zoom H1 Track with Noise Reduction

Zoom H1 Track with Noise Reduction and Normalize

Zoom H1 Waveform - Noise reduction and normalize E-Learning Mic Zoom H1 Waveform Noise Reduction Normalize

Get the Zoom H1 or the ATR 2100 USB on Amazon.

Update - 2019 Sept. This original article and the videos were made over 2 years ago. The processed audio have some artifacts from too much noise reduction because it was raining when I made the recordings.

Since then I’ve gained a lot more experience using both microphones and also audio editing in various situations.

Both microphones can sound equally good if you know what you are doing.

You need to know how to set them up properly and to process the audio according to suit your voice, and surroundings.

The ATR is more forgiving that it captures less background noise, while the Zoom H1 is a more sensitive and requires more care when recording. I use both of them.

See and listen to my videos on YouTube. It will you a good idea of the quality of the sound.

You may also want to consider another budget mic to pair with the Zoom H1.

If you want to learn how to get good quality sound, consider this course.