All this work-from-home puts more focus on sound quality of audio and video conferences. Some people are very hard to understand on a conference call. Speakerphone with echo, noisy background, windy area or they simply don’t have the microphone in the right place. In all cases having a discussion is hard when someone who has to say something is inaudible.
So good audio quality is important. And listening to YouTube, Twitch and Podcasts gives you an idea of what is good and what is bad.
So I wanted to get myself a decent microphone. Turns out that I’m not the only one who thought so: Amazon (.co.jp) is pretty much sold out on USB connected “good” microphones. Literally all the recommended brand name microphones were sold out. What’s left is either way too expensive (30000 Yen or more) or of very questionable quality with matching bad ratings.
Moving off the mainstream helps: Where Amazon is sold out, Sound House is not. While they sell mainly music things, they also sell USB connected microphones. And while most were sold out here too, not all were. One in particular was supposed to arrive on April 30th: the AKG Lyra. It’s USB-C connected, and seems to be generally good according to reviews. It was marked as “in stock” on 30th, so I ordered one. And it arrived today.
But it sounds really nice: very natural. Picks up sound from far away too. Not overly sensitive to plosives. Can do stereo. Has a headphone connector to listen to yourself and it acts as a sound output for your computer too.
I am mightily impressed with the whole design and functionality.
It works on Phones too!
But the best part, which was unconfirmed until I tested it: It works as a microphone and sound output using my Sony Xperia XZ2: plug it in via USB-C and programs like Audio Recorder use the Lyra as input (and output).
Will it work during a normal phone call? We’ll see.