Open source your liberty! Get the Incredibly Good (and affordable) Audio-Technica AT2005USB Cardioid Dynamic Mic.
It’s 55 bucks and sounds like a million bucks. It’s USB enabled, our co-hosts use this over Skype. The Audio-Technica AT2005USB mic (GET IT HERE). Also you’ll need a foam windscreen with the mic. (Get those HERE). That and a pair of headphones and you can start your own podcast, and sound better when being a guest or a caller on a radio show. (Free Talk Live takes Skype calls, so does the night time weeknight Freedom Feens.)
You’ll also want a mic stand. The included table tripod stand is OK in a pinch, but you want the mic off the table and closer to your mouth.
On the table the mic will pick up vibration and bumps, and having it about five inches from your mouth will give you much better sound. I recommend this mic stand for 15 dollars.
If you want to get fancy, this scissor mount mic stand is about 30 dollars.
If you must use the included tripod table stand, fold a T-shirt up underneath is to dampen vibrations from reaching the mic.
If you use the scissor mount mic stand:
That “boing!” sound from your spring-loaded mic stand bothering you? “Freedom Feens” co-host Michael W. Dean has a quick solution (see photo): “Wrap a scarf around the springs of a microphone scissor arm to prevent ‘boing!’ sounds from leaking into the mic when you move it. Plus it looks totally rock ‘n’ roll, kind of 70s freeform FM music radio. And visual cues can inspire shifts in talk style. An influence of 70s freeform FM music radio can be fun and useful in talk radio.”
Note on inexpensive mics: Don’t get the “Yeti” mic instead, it looks more “fancy” but doesn’t sound as good as the Audio-Technica AT2005USB. The Yeti also costs MORE, and is aimed more at people who go for looks more than good audio specs. I’ve owned a lot of cheap mics (and expensive mics), and the Audio-Technica AT2005USB is great. It’s also much smaller than the Yeti, so the AT2005USB is easier to travel with. The Yeti also picks up too much background noise.
–Michael W. Dean, Freedom Feen.