Side by Side: Budget Mics for Remotes
Remotes are radio's original social networking tool. Because the station is out in the public, there are lots of unforeseen situations, so the equipment needs to be durable. But because it's used in the field, budget-minded options are key. The first item in the remote audio chain: the microphone.
Look at a typical radio remote and you'll see a few regular mic choices: The Shure SM58 and Electro-Voice 635. These two mics (a cardioid and an omnidirectional respectively) typify the two pickup patterns. The omni is good for less experienced mic users or in cases where more than one person may use the mic (such as an interview). But the cardioid pattern helps eliminate some background noise, which can help in noisy situations.
A variation on the 635 is the RE50, which is essentially a 635 with a shock-mount housing. The E-V versions are also available with neodymium magnets for higher output. The Shure Beta 58A is another popular choice.
While the legacy performers are an easy go-to choice, we looked to see what else is available for a list price of about $150 or less. We stuck with dynamic mics for our comparison.
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