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What is a normal level of background hiss for med-quality USB mic?

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I'm running a little talk show and I got a Plantronics 460 USB headset/mic which gets great reviews for recording quality. I run my show from my laptop and have done some 70 or so episodes. I believe recording volume is decent. I'd like to list the things I've already tried and see if there is something missing off of my checklist that jumps out at you.


Already tried:

Using USB powered hub

Unplugging all other USB devices

Recording in four different rooms in my house while running off of the laptop battery (having unplugged power supply, of course)

Use different recording apps (I broadcast live so I can't post-process unless I want to download each episode, lose my viewer stats by editing/re-uploading/deleting old).

Adjusting microphone positions/directions.

Updating all drivers to latest; I run Win 7 Pro Home on Dell Inspriron 1545 w. 2.1GHz dual core and 4GB ram.


The sound is just like a strong river running near me or a waterfall behind me, and you can hear if if you turn the volume up past roughly 50% in most apps. I'd love to get rid of it since although it's not an "issue" if you listen to it where my voice is barely audible, you might have to crank it a bit in noisier environments, and then the waterfall sound would come through.

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I guarentee it either


A) Has drivers

B) made sure your screwed out the box.



The problem with most USB mixers (why I removed my streaming video about it) is that if the digital processing doesnt happen internally, your screwed out the box. Most mixer developers dont design them with the process of streaming in mind, and really drop the ball on the USB gain. Even then, some (I currently have, and am disappointed with, the PROFX8) USB gain mixers sound 8 bit when you crank them up. add a chip to interact with AISO recording. Alexas actually makes pretty good 24 bit 96khz (true) mixers. Otherwise you need a streamer that supports AISO drivers. Otherwise, your screwed. It is what it is.



EDIT: OOPS USB DEVICE? yeah, probably driver issue.

KNSJ.org / 89.1 FM San Diego
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Same rules apply.


If you google search it, theirs a lot of details for mics, but bottom line:


No built in sound processing, your screwed. I do like The USB adaptors from radio shack. But theirs no "perfect quiet" in them.


USB adaptors? Are you talking about some type of USB filter that they sell at Radio Shack? I used to work there; don't remember them for some reason (then again, I remember very little from 10 years ago)

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INMO any kind of headset mic USB or otherwise is not really designed for perfect broadcast sound. All USB devices (almost all) have some kind of noise but I would advise a condenser mic (even USB). An entry level one will set you nack around $50 ish but way outperform what you are using!
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