How-To presentation microphones 1: Handheld and Gooseneck Microphones

Presented by: Sennheiser

#Sennheiser know-how

How-To presentation microphones 1: Handheld and Gooseneck Microphones

Is it also hard for you to speak publicly in front of an audience? We all know the situation shortly before an important lecture: the heartbeat accelerates, the throat becomes dry and the hands moist. Looking at the microphone, the nervousness often further increases: How do I hold the hand microphone in order to be optimally intelligible? Do I have to adjust the microphone on the lectern to my body height? You are usually confronted with these and similar questions ad hoc. However, you can create security for yourself already in the run-up to a lecture by learning a little about audio technology. This will not entirely eliminate your stage fright as this a completely natural and unavoidable reaction of our body to unknown situations. But knowing how to use the microphone correctly makes you calmer and more confident. We have compiled for you the most important dos and don'ts for the use of microphones in the corporate and educational sector. Part 1 of our series is dedicated to handhelds and gooseneck microphones.

In lecture situations, the correct use of the hand microphone is crucial for good sound.

Handheld microphone: How to handle it correctly

Are you about to give a presentation or a lecture to a large audience? Have you already asked yourself which microphone you will get for it and how to handle it best? Hand microphones are the most common microphones used for presentations and lectures. There are both wired and wireless versions such as the SL Handheld DW. A wireless microphone is the best choice for presentations and talks because it gives you a large range of motion on the podium or stage. For optimum sound, hold the microphone in the middle of the handle. If you grab it too high, you may accidentally cover the microphone capsule. This will change the directional pattern of the microphone and the sound will suffer. If you hold the microphone too low and touch the antenna of the handheld transmitter during transmission, the range of the microphone will decrease significantly. The SL Handheld DW incorporates the MME 865 microphone capsule with a super cardioid polar pattern. Speak vertically from above into the speaker basket at a distance of 5 to 10 cm from your mouth. When handling microphones, be aware that jewelry, especially rings, can cause noise if they clatter against the handle. Are you unsure what to do with the microphone during a longer break? Wireless handheld microphones usually have a mute switch on the handle that you can use to deactivate the microphone when listening to another speech or questions from the audience in a panel discussion.

Gooseneck microphones with table stand enable flexible meeting setups.

Gooseneck Microphone: These are some tips to keep in mind

You probably know gooseneck microphones mainly from lecterns and tables in meeting rooms. The elongated microphone holder owes its name to its flexibility: like a real gooseneck, the microphone stand can be turned in all directions in its flexible parts. Gooseneck microphones are often permanently installed in lecterns and tabletops. However, there are also gooseneck microphones that are anchored in a wireless table stand. You can position these flexibly on the conference table. Modern wireless table stands can easily be charged with a wireless power transmitter. Have you ever wondered if you need to adjust a gooseneck microphone at the lectern to fit your body height? Especially with live recordings of speeches and lectures, this is usually not a good idea, as it leads to noise on the recording. Whether you should adjust the movable gooseneck depends on the directional characteristic of the microphone head (see info box). A rule of thumb for best speech intelligibility is a distance of about two hand widths between your mouth and the microphone head of a gooseneck microphone. In case of doubt, it is best to ask the sound engineer on site. For voice recordings, the ME 36 microphone capsule has established itself in combination with gooseneck mounts. Due to its shape, the small shotgun microphone is nicknamed “Möhrchen” which means baby carrot. You may have seen on television how the German Chancellor uses the ME 36 for her speeches and press conferences.


Knowledge is power – if you get to grips with the audio technology on site before a speech or presentation, you will master your performance confidently and the audience will listen to your presentation undisturbed. The use of hand microphones and gooseneck microphones in the corporate and educational sector is not difficult at all, if you follow our tips on the reception angle and optimum distance between the microphone head and your mouth. Would you like to further deepen your knowledge of speaker microphones? Discover our portfolio of audio solutions for presentations!

Blowing into the microphone is not a function test! Dos and Don'ts in handling microphones

We all know it: the supposedly obligatory blowing into the microphone capsule to test whether a microphone really works. Blowing into the microphone capsule not only hurts the listener's ears, but also damages the delicate technology inside the microphone because moisture can get into the microphone head and damage the diaphragm. The on-site sound engineer makes sure that your microphone works. There are a few principles that every speaker should follow when using microphones.

Directional characteristic

A microphone capsule with a cardioid polar pattern (ME 34) records in a relatively wide spectrum. It is possible to move further away from the microphone as it takes up a lot of the space sound. A microphone capsule with the directional characteristic super cardioid (ME 35) is slightly more directed towards the sound source and absorbs less space sound. However, this restricts freedom of movement towards the sides. A hyper cardioid microphone (ME 36) is very strongly directional, i.e. it has a narrow recording angle towards the speaker's mouth. Its advantage lies in the strong suppression of room components. This also results in better gain-before-feedback. With the ME 36, a more direct audio signal can be obtained with the same gooseneck length as with the ME 34 and ME 35 microphone heads.

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