A cable microphone is the most basic type of microphone. In fact, it’s not even really called a “cable microphone”. That’s just our name for it to differentiate it from our wireless microphones.
Check out our complete guide to using the best microphone technique
The good, and the bad and ugly
As with anything, you can buy ultra high quality microphones and horribly cheap and nasty ones. We use the Behringer XM1800S. These microphones have been around for many years and are used by professionals for both speech and singing.
If you pick up a microphone and think to yourself “Wow, that’s lightweight” then it’s almost certainly going to sound bad. Whilst a heavy microphone isn’t necessarily a good one, the very lightweight plastic (and usually brightly coloured) microphones are generally terrible.
Bad microphones have a very poor reproduction of speech and suffer terribly from feedback (microphone squealing). Their plastic construction also means that you very clearly hear the user’s hand fidgeting around, where a good quality metal microphone (like the XM1800S that we use) can eliminate nearly all handling sounds.
Cable vs. wireless
If you’re not sure whether you should hire a wireless microphone, or whether a cable one is better for you then you should consider how you’ll be using it.
If you’re going to be moving around a lot then a wireless microphone will certainly solve the problem of having a cable getting in the way. On the other hand if you’re only planning to use it whilst stood or sat in one place then that shouldn’t matter.
Cable microphones have no batteries to deal with so if you plan to use the microphone for a long time, such as for a quiz night, or on a judging panel, then the cable one might work better for you. Cable microphones are also easier to set up. They just have one cable to connect to the rest of the sound system and you’re done.
If you need any help choosing microphones or any other sound and lighting equipment then don’t hesitate to contact us for advice.