Written by Gabe Anderson — Posted in E-Learning Industry

plantronics_shad.jpg To create the most compelling, engaging content with Articulate Presenter, you will likely want to record narration. The only requisites for doing so, of course, are that your PC have a sound card (only if you use an analog mic; USB mics do not require a sound card) and that you have a microphone.

But what kind of microphone?

Although any type of microphone will work for recording audio — an analog mic with standard 1/8″ input or a digital USB mic — Articulate recommends a USB mic for optimized recording quality.

We do not officially endorse or sell any microphones, but the one we do recommend for Windows XP or older (and with which we’ve had the best results) is the Plantronics DSP-400.

Windows Vista users: The Plantronics DSP is not compatible with your operating system, but don’t worry — Microsoft maintains a Vista hardware compatibility list. We’ve also had good success with and recommend the Samson C01U USB mic and the Samson Go Mic which is portable and sounds great. Here’s a screencast that lets you hear what it sounds like.

13 responses to “Microphone”


In the past, I used Captivate to make some CBTs. Prior to producing them, I did audio tests with different quality levels and microphone types. I found that the best sound was with a Shure analog hand held microphone, as it had a better base response (sounded richer). So I am going through that same test exercise again, this time authoring with Articulate Presenter. You said on the microphone blog page that you recommend the Plantronics DSP-400 and that you “have had the best results” with it. Can you elaborate on that a bit? (I also went to the Plantronics link you provided and noted that it comes with some Audio Control Center software that allows you to set levels for bass, treble, etc., but unfortunately, the Company I am working for will not allow us to install ANY software on our PCs that they have not run through months of testing first.) My bottom line is that I want my narrators to sound as natural as possible and not “tinny.” And on a similar line, what go you think is the minimal acceptable bit rate gor decent quality – 32?

Jack // Posted at 4:27 pm on March 27th, 2007

Hey Jack, you might want to ask that in the community forum. There has been some discussion on that before. I recall someone even built a little desktop sound booth.

We’re running into more audio recording requests and are in the process of “playing around” and testing things. We’re thinking about just getting a digital recorder and good mic. Record the narration, dump it into Articulate slides, and sync the animation. You really don’t need the slide show for the narrator to do the presentation.

doofdaddy // Posted at 2:44 pm on March 28th, 2007

I’ve had good luck with my Samson USB mike. It was about $100, and I think it sounds great. You don’t need any kind of mixer or special cables. Plug it in and start talking.

Tim Kraft // Posted at 9:44 am on August 2nd, 2007

you can get Plantronics to work with VISTA. It is probably worth the hassle (I downloaded every possible VISTA patch i could get hold of, and… suddenly the mic worked). Plantronics delivers really good sound, often better than study in my experince.

Niklas Lohmann // Posted at 8:41 am on February 19th, 2008

I just received a Plantronics .Audio DSP 400 that I purchased thru Amazon. This is not the same unit as the previous Plantronics DSP 400 (that has been discontinued) and the new headset is not compatible with the PerSono equalizer software that previously was available from Plantronics and mentioned above (that software also has been discontinued but is still available thru Plantronics customer service for older headsets). I haven’t used the headphones yet so can’t comment on the sounds quality when used with Articulate but wanted to let folks know that there has been a change in the model and specifications.

Wes Sly // Posted at 1:43 pm on May 13th, 2008

What microphone have you found compatible with Windows 2007?

enterprising1 // Posted at 6:43 pm on July 28th, 2008

Snowball by BLUE Microphone Corp.
USB About $100 U.S. Very good sound quality.

Jerry Meyer // Posted at 4:49 pm on November 13th, 2008

How does one adjust the quality of the audio in Engage? I am not happy with the sound and have a great microphone…

Tom Moore // Posted at 1:33 pm on June 25th, 2009

Which is better – the Blue Snowball or one of the SHURE mics?

Lisa // Posted at 1:29 pm on November 4th, 2009

I used to use a Rode mic at Vodafone quality not great. Now working at Cochlear can anyone advise on quality of the recommended SHURE mics?


Jacqui // Posted at 6:05 pm on November 8th, 2009

[…] […]


[…] […]


[…] […]

Audio Recording Setup — Travis's Thoughts // Posted at 12:39 pm on November 7th, 2011

Comments are closed on this post. Need more help? Post your question in the E-Learning Heroes Discussions.

Recent Comments