I have been teaching yoga online for YEARS and one of the things that I ALWAYS tell yoga instructors who want to teach yoga on YouTube is that they need to invest in a good microphone.
Seriously, buying a quality mic for YouTube is one of the most important things you can do as an online yoga instructor. The sound quality of your videos is even more important than the camera quality since your students will be listening intently for cues.
And if they have to sift through a lot of background noise just to hear you, then they likely won’t stick around for the rest of the class.
Even if you’re not recording YouTube videos, leading live online yoga classes requires a good microphone with high sound quality as well.
And you get pretty high audio quality with a cheap microphone made by a brand you trust.
And for me, that’s Samson.
I’ve been using Samson mics since the beginning so I trust the quality of their mics, which means that you can too.
I asked them to write a thorough breakdown of all of their different types of microphones in all price ranges so that you can select your next mic for YouTube or live teaching with confidence.
NOTE: This article is NOT a paid sponsorship. I just really like their products.
Choosing the Right Microphone for your Remote Fitness Classes
Setting up your home studio might seem like a challenge. We typically spend too much time worrying about lighting and the camera, but forget how important the audio is to our production. There have been many studies that have shown that if a video’s sound is of medium to marginal quality, viewers will more than likely tune out, no matter how good the picture is.
So to help you navigate this sometimes difficult to understand topic, we’ve put together a list of microphones from Samson that can help ensure your audio is crystal clear whether you’re using your laptop, a smartphone or digital camera.
We know that now might not be the best time to invest in a lot of new gear, so we are including items that you can use for creating content now and as well as in the future when you are teaching in-person once again. The best part is that these products can be used for other digital content creation and communications.
Whether you are streaming live or recording YouTube videos, the Samson XPD2 Headset system is an extremely easy and affordable way to incorporate professional wireless audio into your production. The XPD2 system consists of a body pack transmitter with a low profile, lightweight headset microphone and a USB wireless stick receiver.
Simplicity is at the heart of the XPD2. If you are using Zoom or another web conferencing platform on your laptop, all you need to do is connect the RXD2 USB Receiver to your computer, power on the transmitter and select the system as your audio input device.
The XPD2 system can also work with smartphones and tablets, allowing you to instantly improve the sound of your live stream on Instagram or Facebook.
For Apple Products
To get the XPD2 system working with an iOS device, you will need to use the Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter. For iPads that have a USB-C port, you will need a USB-A to USB-C adapter. (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GGKYXVE/).
For Android Products
When social distancing is over and you get back to your regular in-person classes, the XPD2 can also be used with Samson Expedition Rechargeable Portable PA Systems, giving you a completely battery-powered sound system you can take anywhere.
Key Takeaway: This is a relatively cheap microphone that provides quality sound and reliable recording. It is compatible with most devices with a USB cable adapter.
Your smartphone is a powerful production tool. When paired with Instagram TV or Facebook Live. you have an incredible delivery and distribution platform.
The Samson Go Mic Mobile is the first professional wireless microphone system designed specifically for smartphones, allowing you to capture incredible audio to go along with your mobile video.
Go Mic Mobile connects directly to iOS and Android devices so can you start filming or streaming immediately. The Go Mic Mobile Receiver can pair with two transmitters, so you can have two people mic’d up simultaneously (given the proper social distance).
The USB output of the Go Mic Mobile Receiver can connect to your computer’s USB jack, and you can also use the Go Mic Mobile with any device that has a 1/8” audio input. So it can work with your digital camera’s microphone input.
Key Takeaway: This lavalier mic provides excellent audio quality and cuts out background noise for your videos made with smartphone devices. If you plan to use your smartphone for recording YouTube videos or leading online yoga classes (rather than purchasing an expensive vlogging camera), then this lavalier microphone is an excellent option.
If you aren’t ready to make the leap to wireless, the G-Track Pro is a USB microphone that can deliver high-quality audio to your stream. What makes this microphone different is that it has an additional audio input on the rear panel. This allows you to use the microphone to pick up your voice and connect an external source such as a music player to the input to stream music at the same time.
The G-Track Pro has all of the controls and settings on the front of the microphone, putting all adjustments right at your fingertips.
The microphone also features selectable polar patterns. Putting the microphone into the OMNI setting adjusts the G-Track Pro to pick up sounds all around the microphone. Using this setting will allow you to move freely around the yoga mat without a change in audio quality.
If you’re thinking about adding other kinds of content to your repertoire, G-Track Pro is also a great microphone for vlogging and podcasting.
Key Takeaway: This is a relatively cheap microphone for YouTube that provides reliable sound quality even when not attached to your lapel. It is especially perfect for those who plan to do voice overs on their YouTube videos.
Continuing with USB microphone solutions, the Samson Go Mic is an ultra-portable microphone that can clip right to your laptop display or be placed anywhere around your workspace. The Go Mic also has two polar patterns, and setting it to the omnidirectional pattern will allow it to pick up your voice from anywhere around the microphone.
The microphone folds up and is extremely easy to transport and store and is a great microphone for podcasting or even communicating with loved ones while we are all separated during this crisis.
Key Takeaway: This compact USB microphone is a great option for those who are looking for a cheap microphone to start with but don’t want to sacrifice quality.
Traditional Fitness Wireless Microphones
Let’s take a look at how a traditional wireless system can work for streaming. These may be systems you already own, or a product you can invest in that will continue to work for you long after the stay-at-home orders are lifted. If you own a wireless system, it might be as easy as getting the right cable to work with your setup.
Samson AirLine Series
Samson AirLine is a full line of wireless systems designed for fitness and active performers, with options from $249.99 to $399.99. All of the Samson AirLine systems have been designed with micro-transmitters built into the headset microphone, which eliminate the need for a bodypack or awkward mic cables.
Samson AirLine Micro is a single earset microphone system with a micro receiver. Both the transmitter and receiver have rechargeable batteries, making this system extremely portable and able to work with a battery-powered speaker or in spaces that do not have AC outlets available.
Samson AirLine 77 is a headset wireless microphone and comes with a standard 1/2 rack receiver that offers XLR and 1/4” outputs. The system is set to a single channel and is extremely easy to use; plug in, turn on and start teaching.
Samson AirLine 88x offers a unique design with the headset microphone and transmitter integrated together into a single unit. The water-resistant headset includes a marine-grade stainless steel gooseneck with micro-miniature microphone capsule as well as a rechargeable battery that provides up to 8 hours of use on a single charge. The multi-channel system features a 1/2-rack receiver that includes XLR and 1/4” outputs and features one-touch scanning so that you can quickly find the clearest operating channel in your area.
Samson AirLine 99m is a multi-channel headset wireless system that includes a tabletop receiver that’s small enough to throw in your travel bag. It also includes one-touch scanning to find the optimal channel in your area.
Streaming with Samson AirLine
Let’s take a deeper look at the Samson AirLine 99m Fitness Wireless System. The AirLine 99m system includes the AR99M tabletop receiver, which has three different types of output connections – XLR, 1/4” and 1/8”. If you are using a digital camera or camcorder, they typically have an 1/8” input that can override the internal microphone. All you need to do is take the 1/8” output from the receiver and connect it to the camera input.
Depending on which model of camera you have, you may need to make some setting changes in the menus. Whatever settings you choose, you want to make sure that the audio meters stay below the maximum (0dBFS) setting, usually indicated as red bars or the word CLIP.
If you have a laptop with an audio input jack, connect the AR99M 1/8” output to the input jack.
If you have a laptop that only has a single 1/8” audio jack, chances are it is a headset port and will need a headset adapter cable. Or you can use a simple USB audio adapter. Simply connect the audio output of the AR99M receiver to the microphone input jack on the adapter.
Adding backing tracks
A mixer is a device that allows you to combine audio signals together. The Samson MXP124FX is a 12-channel mixer with USB connectivity, which means you can connect multiple audio sources, adjust their levels independently and send them via USB to your computer. Using a mixer like the MXP124FX is the easiest way to add high-quality background music and “mix” it with the audio from your wireless systems for your streaming video. The discrete level controls allow you to set the right balance between the microphone and background music.
No matter what your home setup is or if you are live streaming or filming for later distribution, Samson has a solution to improve the audio for your streaming fitness channel. If you have any questions about how to get your Samson microphone working, please contact us at [email protected]