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Zalman Zm-Mic1 High Sensitivity Headphone Microphone
|Price:||$19.99 & FREE Shipping|
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|Color||Connector: 3.5 mm||Silver||YYPJ-01||Black|
Compact headphone microphone of excellent sound quality, ease of use, and sensitivity. Clip the microphone onto the headphone cable as close to the mouth as possible. Use the mini clips on the microphone cable to latch the microphone cable onto the headphone cable. Insert the microphone jack into the Mic Input of the soundcard/audio input device. Adjust the Mic Input Level in the soundcard’s software/audio input device.
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This microphone will NOT clip onto your clothes, like a lavalier. Rather, the clip is something that you simply slide onto another wire. There's also three mini-clips meant for helping it attach to a length of wire and not get tangled, but the mini-clips come off on their own very easily. However, the main clip would never come off unless you deliberately pulled on it.
This mic a very light piece of plastic-- too light to break or crack should you drop it on the floor. The only way to damage this would probably be accidentally stepping on it. I've had this mic for over a year (since 10/2012), and there hasn't been any issues yet.
This may be a pro or con-- the cord is very long, perhaps 10 feet. It could easily get tangled, and the wire itself is fairly thin. The width is analogous to Apple earbuds (standard issue with iPods). They obviously wouldn't rip with regular wear-and-tear, as long as you show them some semblance of care.
Would I recommend it? Yes, I would. I use this mic for gaming (on Skype with friends and in-game VOIP), and it serves its purpose very well. Obviously, there are better mics out there, but for around ten dollars, this is a pretty good deal.
NOTE: All the outside audio came from my computer's speakers. The audio bitrate of the demo was 192kbps. The mic itself was set to 100 loudness and +20 dB boost (from the "Sound" section in the Control Panel).
-cord is also pretty long! Should suit most anyone's needs.
-for earbuds and other small corded headphones, there are little clips along the cord of the mic to hook onto the headphone cord! Cool feature to keep the mic cord from flopping about!
I already had a very nice set of Sony MDRV6 Studio headphones I used for music or even plugged directly into my controller for games where I wouldn't be using voice chat.
After doing a little research I decided to give this mic a try as it had good reviews and was incredibly cheap. I combined this mic and my headset using a Sennheiser PCV 05 audio adapter that I plug directly into the ps4 controller. I ran the mic plug through the headset coil and used velcro ties to tie the cables together.
In party chat, everything came through loud and clear. My only complaint is that the cord is way too long, but I suppose some people who run it directly to their desktop and happy with that.
Like many people, I wanted a mic to go with my high quality headphones. My PC headset with built in mic had speakers that were pretty shoddy, so this seemed like a no brainer. Use my high quality music headphones with this mic instead of spending $100 or so on a gaming headset? Yeah!
And it works in that regard to some degree. The mic clips to your headphone cable, so it's mostly out of the way, and not immediately in front of your mouth. This is nice, but also works against the mic. To compensate for this, the mic is omni-directional, so it picks up sound in all directions and is highly sensitive. So most importantly, your voice does come through fairly clear. But it also picks up anything else in the room. Fans, keyboard noises, mouse noises, dogs shuffling by, and whatever else you can think of. Without noise canceling, it's a live line.
Now for things like Skype and Google chats, I wouldn't imagine this to be a problem. If you need a mic for that purpose, look no further. The quality is good for the price, the sound comes through mostly clear, and you'll be understood by your friends. A sound purchase.
For gamers, this means this mic is almost required to be a solely push-to-talk mic. That's not necessarily a bad thing in a larger group, but with just a handful of friends and I, we like to use the voice activated transmitting in Mumble and Vent so we're not forced to press the key constantly. For this purpose, the mic worked... so so. With no mute switch, I had to software mute the program if somebody came into the room to talk to me. Luckily you can bind these keys with the software, but just something to keep in mind. Also, since the mic was picking up so much background chatter, I had a much harder time setting it to recognize when I was talking versus typing, putting my drink down on the desk, moving the mouse, etc. Once again, these are only issues if you use voice activated transmission.
But even with push-to-talk enabled, the sound quality is distant. Comparing it to other mics I have, it sounds like you are speaking away from the mic. My friends said I always sound like I'm away from the computer a little bit. Kind of tin can sounding. Clear enough? Sure. Just not all that loud and audible. Not as good as my relatively cheap Xbox/PC headset mic (Xbox 360 Sharkoon X-Tatic SX Stereo Gaming Headset) which rests closer to the mouth. For this reason, I preferred using the headset and sacrificing my listening quality so my friends could hear me loud and clear. I've also done recording comparisons, and when it is placed in the "clip" position on the headset wire, it is by far the quietest mic I have and picks up a lot of white noise. However, sound quality DOES improved quite a bit as you move it closer to your mouth. This kind of makes you want to lean down a little while talking and that's not a terribly convenient feature.
I gave this item 4 stars because it does exactly what it advertises. It works. And for the price, it works fine. But those expecting an extremely clear and functional mic should temper their expectations. Sound tests of the mic can be found on Youtube, and you'll hear some of the "tinny" and "distant" sound with lots of background "noise" that I referenced in this review. I don't regret buying it, since it's served me well for 6 months now without much fuss, but it also lead me to buy a nicer gaming headset and research higher quality PC microphones such as the Snowball and Blue Yeti. If you want quality sound, and have the cash (~$60-$100), look into those two brands and you'll find exactly what you need. For everybody else, this is a cheap alternative, but I did not find it as good as mics that rest near the mouth and that offer some form of noise canceling to reduce background noise clutter.