Video: The University of Electro-Communications; The University of Michigan When they used a 60 milliwatt laser to "speak" commands to 16 different smart speakers, smartphones, and other voice activated devices, they found that almost all of the smart speakers registered the commands from 164 feet away, the maximum distance they tested.
Pick a Good Microphone
Microphones are such a huge field, explaining them all could be its own guide. But if you’re reading this one, then you probably only want a few basic recommendations anyway. In general, any microphone you get will use an XLR connector. Don’t worry, audio hardware hasn’t changed much in decades, so you won’t have to buy new cables and gear every few years.For podcasting or streaming, Audio-Technica’s AT-2020 is an excellent starter option. This microphone uses a cardioid recording pattern, which provides plenty of flexibility if you move your head a bit while recording. You talk into the side of this microphone, not the top as it might seem, so you can position it underneath or beside your head while you stream using a simple microphone arm.
If you’re recording from farther away, you might want a shotgun mic like the Audio-Technica AT875R. These microphones have very narrow recording patterns, so they pick up things directly in front of them much better than things behind or to the side of them. Some interviewers use these as handheld mics on convention floors where it’s very noisy. By pointing one directly at the interview subject, it can focus on just their voice while still picking up some ambient crowd noise.
For interviews, you might also see the Shure SM58, a classic handheld microphone. This mic is often seen in live performances or interviews, and at $100 it is extremely affordable. It also comes in a considerably more expensive wireless version, but if you’d rather not carry around thick cables during your interviews, this might be the way to go.
Get a Preamp ... Eventually