Why I Use a Wired Microphone for Teaching Yoga Online
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Wireless microphones seem perfect for yoga. They are lightweight. They keep the microphone close to your mouth while you are moving around. They free you from cables.
But I don’t use one. (I use a Blue Yeti microphone that I picked up pre-owned on eBay).
In my course on Getting Started Teaching Yoga Using Zoom, I talk about a fundamental principle of setting up an audio/visual system is to Keep It Simple Superstar (KISS), because the more complicated you make a system, the more likely something is to go wrong, and the more likely you will need to tend to it.
The most important part of a video is you, and if you are messing around with equipment, that doesn’t make for a very exciting video for the student you are teaching.
There’s 3 reasons I choose not to use a wireless microphone: Power, Transmission, and Versatility
A microphone has to have power. A wireless microphone is powered by a battery. A wired microphone is powered through either a USB cable or a power cable.
You have to charge a battery and batteries can lose their capacity to hold a charge.
A wired microphone will have power as long as it is physically connected to the power source.
Everyone knows how radio stations work. A radio station has a transmitter that sends signals through the air to your radio receiver. Similarly, a wireless microphone has a transmitter that sends signals through the air to a receiver that you connect to your computer or phone.
If you’ve ever had a signal cut out on you on a radio, you know that inherently, radio waves are not as stable of a way to transmit a signal as a cable. By comparison, if you have cable TV, which is connected through wires, it probably works most of the time without other signals interfering in any way.
Some wireless microphones work with Bluetooth, so they work with the Bluetooth receiver in your computer and are easy to set up. Other kinds of wireless microphones have their own separate transmitter and receiver that send and receive signals to your computer. These microphones are adding extra parts into your system, and each part can fail.
A wired microphone sends a signal through the wire directly to your computer. That’s why I choose a wired microphone. It keeps it simple.
I teach asana sometimes, but it’s not the main use of my microphone. I like creating a lot of different kinds of videos, and having a wired microphone gives me a lot of options. I can use it to record when I am sitting at the computer, which is most of my recording, and get a clear, consistent sound.
SHOULD YOU GET A WIRED MIC, TOO?
A wireless microphone is still a good tool for a lot of yoga teachers because of the obvious reason: freedom of movement. It’s a good choice for a teacher who is mainly teaching yoga postures and moves around a lot. It’s also a good choice for teachers who are teaching outside and in situations where they can’t control the sound environment, because they can put the microphone right up near their mouth. Teachers who do a lot of public speaking might find it useful for recording and amplifying while they are talking.
If you are like me and have a controlled environment where you teach, a wired microphone might be a better choice for you, personally.
I generally like the Rode and Blue brands of microphones for consumer microphones. Plantronics also has some nice Bluetooth headsets with good noise cancellation, which is useful when it’s noisy around you.
Airpods and similar headphone/microphones are a good versatile purchase because you can use them for listening to music and talking on the phone as well as for recording.