What Microphone Types Are Available for Hybrid Classrooms?

When choosing a microphone for hybrid classrooms, teachers have to consider a variety of factors, such as cost, convenience, comfort, and most importantly, audio quality. To help you sift through the options, here are some details about the different types of microphones available for teachers in today’s blog from American Sound & Electronics.

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1. Wearable microphones

Wearable, hands-free presenter mics are ideal for live or pre-recorded lectures. They feature clip-on mics so instructors can have their hands free while teaching and also move around the classroom easily. 

Generally speaking, there are two types of wearable mics:

  • Battery-operated wearable mics. These types of microphones require teachers to carry a battery pack while they navigate around the classroom. They also have to recharge the batteries every so often. 
  • Cordless battery-free wearable mics. If instructors prefer a wire-free and battery-free option, many wearable mics can deliver on those promises. These types of wearable mics usually include a USB base station and charger that has a built-in receiver. They typically provide a range of 65 feet or more, ensuring clear communication as the instructor moves around the classroom.

2. Speakerphone microphones

Speakerphone mics are another great option for instructors who are teaching primarily online. A portable speakerphone is ideal for interactive hybrid classrooms and can help ensure a collaborative experience. Some speakerphones also utilize a special sound technology that eliminates background noise outside a specific range. This is a great solution to ensure that students can hear the instructor’s voice over any other distracting classroom sounds like papers rustling or side conversations.

3. Wireless portable microphones for students

Wireless portable microphones improve remote learning by encouraging student discussion and interaction in hybrid classrooms. Instead of struggling through the clunky logistics of muting and unmuting speakers via your video conferencing platform, classroom participants can pass around a wireless portable microphone to easily discuss topics and contribute to the conversation. Many of these portable microphones easily integrate with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other video teaching platforms for a smooth and superior hybrid teaching experience.

4. Plug-and-play microphones

There are many different brands and types of plug-and-play microphones available, but essentially, they just plug directly into your laptop via USB and instantly provide clear and accurate audio recordings (with no additional driver installation). Many of these microphones also come with an adjustable desktop stand so instructors can position the microphone as needed. Compatibility varies depending on the brand, but many plug-and-play mics are compatible with Mac OS, Windows, tablets, and other mobile devices, which make them very practical for travel and use in the classroom or at home.

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Need Equipment Installation for Hybrid Classrooms?

Contact American Sound & Electronics for help. We offer professional installation of audio equipment for hybrid classrooms to ensure that instructors and students have the best learning environment available during these challenging times. Call (859) 261-9024 today for more details.

Advice for Using Microphones for Hybrid Teaching as Part of Classroom Technology

There’s no doubt that teaching in hybrid classrooms is a challenge. Students and teachers must work together to overcome challenges like sound issues, confusion during discussions, and navigating technological difficulties with video, among many other things.

Although there’s no single solution for all of these challenges, having the right classroom technology can make a huge difference in the efficiency of hybrid teaching as well as the students’ success. If you’re searching for advice on using microphones for hybrid teaching, here are three helpful tips from our classroom technology experts to boost the efficacy of your microphones.

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1. Have remote participants mute their microphones.

Just like noises in the classroom can be distracting, sounds from remote locations can also be very disruptive. To minimize distractions and keep the in-person classroom and remote classroom as quiet as possible, make sure remote participants all have their mics muted. Of course, students should un-mute themselves if they have a comment or question, but otherwise, muting everyone (except the instructor) for most of the session works best. This will help prevent unnecessary interruptions and ensure that all students can easily hear and communicate.

2. Speak closely to the room microphone.

While still maintaining proper social distancing, it’s best to speak as close to the room mic as possible. This is especially true if you’re wearing a mask. Students may struggle to hear the instructor through a mask or if they speak quietly. Although a microphone’s sound is never perfect, speaking very slowly and clearly while standing a short distance from the mic will help to minimize any issues students have hearing the instructor.

3. Consider using an external microphone that can be passed around the room.

Back-and-forth discussion can be hindered by the logistics of muting and unmuting select speakers to ensure sound quality. However, if you have the funds available, you can always purchase an external microphone. These can connect with a webinar and may be passed around the classroom for easier hybrid classroom discussion.

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Need Help With Your Hybrid Classroom Technology?

At American Sound & Electronics, we can install a variety of classroom technologies such as sound systems to help you improve your current setup and maximize the efficacy of classroom microphones. Contact us today for more details about our classroom technology installation services.