What is a handheld microphone?

HowToAV speak to Tom Colman engineer at Shure UK. He takes a look at handheld microphones, what applications they should be used in, how best to use them and some helpful tips on microphone technique.

What is a handheld microphone?

Handheld microphones are designed to be held in the hand, but they can also be clipped onto a microphone stand whilst someone sings, gives a speech, plays guitar etc. Handheld microphones pick up sound directly from the mouth this picks up less background noise however, it does require a good amount of microphone technique.

The importance of microphone technique:

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One thing that often occurs when someone uses a handheld microphone for the first time, is once they start to hear themselves through the local loudspeakers as the loudspeakers amplify their own voice, they find it a bit unsettling and then start to pull the microphone away from themselves. At this point the sound engineer will raise the level of audio so the other person can hear themselves again which once again results in pulling the microphone away. If this cycle repeats over and over, you can end up getting a feedback loop – that sharp piercing sound you get within an audio system. Also if you move the microphone left and right in front of your face, then the sound won’t be picked up properly by the microphone. So it does require a great degree of microphone technique.

Wired VS Wireless Handheld Microphones:

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Hand held microphones are available both wireless and wired. A wired microphone means you get hassle-free setup, but you are restricted by the length of the cable on which the microphone is connected to. A wireless microphone gives you more flexability, but will typically cost more. As well as requiring a little more set up.

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