selective focus photography of gray stainless steel condenser microphone

Working from home can be an adjustment, and I’ve been working from home for the last 4 years as a consultant. In the beginning it was really exciting, but I realized quickly there were a few things I needed to do to not drive myself insane when working from home. Some of its mental, some of its office essentials. Here’s the #1 item that has made the biggest difference for me as a consultant working from home. A standalone condenser microphone.

For my first few years of working from home I went through 4-5 headsets. I have never found one built to last and they always had this tinny sound to them from the customer’s perspective. Have you ever been on one of those ZOOM meetings and there’s always the one guy that sounds horrible and distorted? It could be their internet, but most likely it’s their microphone.

There is a website out there called Twitch that streamers use to stream video games to a wide audience. Nearly 90+% of those streamers use separate headphones and a dedicated microphone. Why? Audio quality. You cannot beat a standalone condenser microphone for sound quality. There is nothing worse than listening to someone drone on about a dull subject while it sounds like they’re standing in a well. With a standalone microphone, you boom over everyone else on the call, not just volume wise, but with clarity. It is unreal how noticeable it is for the people on the other side of the call. I’ve gotten so many compliments from clients since I made the switch about how much easier and clear I was to them. Personally, my mic is attached to a boom arm that I just move in front of my face when I want to speak. I can even move it down a bit and boost the gain to keep it out of the camera if I’m on a meeting that requires a webcam. Now, they can get pretty expensive. but you don’t have to go all out to start with. For less than $400 can get you a USB condenser microphone with a boom arm. Literally all you have to do is plug it into your computer and, viola, you now sound like a professional on your next meeting. People really undervalue audio quality, and in this day and age where for at least the foreseeable future, 60% of us are going to be working from home – I’d say it is a safe and wise investment.

This is just one of the pieces of advice I can give to all the people out there that find themselves working from home now. There are a lot of other items and subjects I may write about in the future. For now, getting the condenser microphone was an absolute game changer for me, and can be for you as well.

Chris Revelia, ITSM Consultant –