There are a number of factors that should be taken into account when choosing the best microphone for speech. For instance, where will the recording take place? In a studio you have more control over the recording environment and its affect on sound. On location its another matter - you may be recording somewhere where you have little influence over ambient noise, weather or even the willingness of the interviewee to be recorded! But meanwhile in the conference room, you may need to record more than once voice with only one microphone, or a presenter who wants to move around while talking.
Theres no such thing as the perfect microphone different situations demand different characteristics, and there are a number of different microphone designs, each suited to different types of recordings. A mics design can for instance determine its frequency response, but a flatter response is not always a better one. Sometimes a cheap and relatively crude mic can produce more useful results than a sophisticated and expensive model.
Over the next few pages we will look at the various microphone designs that are most popular for recording speech, but first, to try to help you understand why certain mics are seen as more suitable for one application than another, well cover some microphone basics.