best pulpit mic for church

The 5 Best Pulpit Mics for Church

Last Updated: July 26, 2021

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best pulpit mic is, then I’d recommend Shure MX412D/S Supercardioid Condenser Microphone as the best one.

5/5
  • More affordable compared to other microphones
  • It is already attached to a desktop base, eliminating the need for a mic stand
  • Crisp and clear sounds

5/5
  • Wide dynamic range and frequency response
  • Interchangeable cartridges provide a suitable polar pattern for every function
  • Balanced, transformerless output to lessen background noise

5/5
  • Flange-mount XLR connector included
  • Multistage windscreen
  • 9-52 Volt Phantom Power Operation

The microphone is one of the key communication tools of a speaker. In a traditional church service, a pulpit microphone can either engage or distract the clergy. By having clear and crisp audio, it is easier for a minister to captivate and preach the word of God.

The use of pulpit mics may seem “old school” to some. But some people still prefer their pastors standing behind the lectern preaching the Word of God. They like their pastors delivering the scriptures from their traditional pulpit. 

With that said, finding the best pulpit mic is something that is not written about very often. In this article, we will talk about several pulpit microphones that will best fit your church.

Here are the Best Pulpit Mics we will be reviewing:

What is a Pulpit Mic?

A pulpit mic is also sometimes called a lectern mic. It is a microphone attached to a podium to reinforce a minister or a lector’s voice. It is not the same as a lavalier mic that allows a speaker to move around the stage. 

A pulpit mic permits the speaker to stay stationary in one part of the stage. This is often used in traditional churches and church services.

Benefits of Using a Pulpit Microphone

Some would say that pulpit microphones are getting phased out. Yet, there are excellent advantages to using a lectern mic. Below are some benefits of using a pulpit microphone:

  • It gives the church service a more scholarly feel.
  • It is cost-effective because you do not need a dedicated mic for every speaker in the service.
  • Gooseneck pulpit mics are adjustable to suit the height of the speaker for the best sound output.

Different Types of Microphones for Pulpit

Here are the different types of pulpit microphones.

Dynamic Microphones

Dynamic microphones amplify sound picked up by the diaphragm by using wire coils. They are affordable because of their simple yet sturdy construction. These are tough microphones that can stand wear and tear. They only need a little maintenance to sustain their quality performance.

These microphones are easy to set up too since they do not require external power to operate.

Dynamic microphones have decreased sensitivity to high frequencies. They are best used for outdoor events and recording loud sounds. They can also handle elevated sound pressure levels. Because of this, they work well in amplifying live instruments such as drums. 

Condenser Microphones

Condenser microphones have more complex technology. They can pick up the quieter and wider frequency of sounds. They are more sensitive and accurate making them a good choice for vocal recordings.

Unfortunately, condenser microphones are also expensive and delicate. When handling a condenser mic, you need to be extra careful not to damage the diaphragm inside. They also need a power source, such as batteries and “phantom” power, to function.

Omnidirectional Microphones

Omnidirectional microphones can pick up sounds from a 360-degree angle. They put out a more unified sound without singling out a voice or instrument over the others. This makes them suitable for recording vocal groups, bands, or orchestras.

Unidirectional Microphones

Unidirectional microphones can capture sounds from a single direction. This means that they can provide a clearer sound output as long as the sound comes from a single source. They can also cut down on background noises. So, if you want to put focus on the sound source, a unidirectional microphone is the way to go.

Flat Frequency Response Microphones

Flat Frequency Response Microphones are sensitive to all frequency ranges. They reproduce sound with great accuracy. They can also produce exceptional output for sound effects and musical recordings. Unfortunately, they do not sound good on voices.

Shaped Frequency Response Microphones

Shaped Frequency Response Microphones are more sensitive to some frequencies than others. They tend to miss low frequencies, which minimizes the pick-up of handling noise.

Wireless System

Wireless System is quite popular with speakers who want to move around the stage. From its name, there are no wires to connect them with the rest of the sound system. It operates based on basic radio principles. Because of this, the wireless system is susceptible to interference and dropout.

What are the Factors in Choosing a Pulpit Mic?

Directional Polar Pattern

A polar pattern tells us the way a microphone picks up sound. A microphone can either be omnidirectional or unidirectional. An omnidirectional microphone can pick up sound equally from all directions while a unidirectional microphone can pick up sound from a single direction and block out surrounding noise. 

Frequency Roll Off

Frequency roll-off describes the sensitivity of the microphone to sound frequencies. Meaning, it describes how effectively a microphone can replicate the sound within a range of sound frequency. 

There are two kinds of frequency roll-off microphones and these are flat frequency response and shaped frequency response. Flat frequency microphones can reproduce sounds with great accuracy on the other hand a shaped frequency response microphone is less sensitive to low frequencies. This minimizes the handling and stage noise when it is mounted on a mic stand.

Noise Handling

Noise is created by the air surrounding the microphone. Dynamic microphones usually have lower sensitivity to noise compared to condenser microphones. In addition, the quality of the preamp can also affect the level of noise in a microphone output.

Flexibility

Microphones are often used by multiple speakers with varying heights. A pulpit microphone with a flexible gooseneck will come useful so the microphone can be properly pointed towards the speaker. 

Size

The size of the microphone is another factor to consider. In choosing a microphone, you will need to balance the functionality and aesthetics. After all, you don’t want the speaker and the audience to get distracted by the microphone. 

Price

Setting a budget for your microphone is another good practice to do when buying a microphone. Be sure that the budget you set is aligned with your ministry’s short-term and long-term goals. You must think of your microphone as an investment and it should be your goal to purchase the microphone with the best value for your money.

How to Set-up a Pulpit Mic

In our age of digital technology, some of us are not familiar with how to set up a microphone in the pulpit. Here are some of the processes. 

How to Choose a Pulpit Mic Stand

A sturdy stand is another investment that you should consider. After all, you do not want your mic to fall because you did not choose the mic stand well enough. A good mic stand would be sturdy, with a wide height range, and easily adjustable.

How to Mount Gooseneck XLR Mic to Pulpit

The traditional way of mounting a gooseneck XLR mic to a pulpit is by using a microphone shock mount. To attach the mic, you will need to drill a two-inch hole on the mounting surface. This will allow the microphone and cables to pass through the surface. In some instances drilling on the mounting surface is not an option. You may then use a desk stand with an attached quick-mount microphone. 

How to Get Rid of Echo Pulpit Mic

Echoes can be distracting and can ruin the solemnity of the church service. Below are some ways to cut the presence of echo:

  • Choosing a condenser mic with low self-noise
  • Using a shock mount
  • Speaking closer to the microphone

How to Point a Pulpit Mic

For the greatest sound quality, mount the microphone at one corner of the pulpit. By doing this, you will end the popping sounds when speakers enunciate the sounds of p and t.

How to Connect your Pulpit Mic to Streamlabs OBS and Recordings

The recent pandemic also opened a way for church services to go online. The restriction for mass gatherings paved a way for the clergy to do sabbath worship even at home. One way to do this is through Streamlabs OBS. Streamlabs is an application that allows streaming across different platforms. To connect your microphone to the application, all you need to do is to follow the steps below.

  1. Open Streamlabs OBS
  2. Click on the ADD (+) button under the Source tab
  3. Click Audio Input Capture
  4. Click Add New Source
  5. Choose a mic from the dropdown menu
  6. Click Done

The endless choices of microphones can be overwhelming. But we are here to help you find the perfect pulpit mic for your needs. Here are some of the best pulpit microphones in the market.

Shure MX412D/S Supercardioid Condenser Microphone

Shure started producing microphones in the 1930s. Since then, they have become one of the leading companies in the audio industry.

The Shure MX412D/S is a supercardioid condenser microphone from the MX400 line. It works best for vocal applications because it gives out accurate sound reproduction. It is also effective in isolating room noise and rejecting side feedback. To get the optimal output sound, the speaker will need to stay in front of the mic at all times.

This model also features an adjustable 12-inch gooseneck. This is an advantage when you have several speakers with varying heights. By moving the neck, you can change the direction to where the microphone is pointing.

The MX400 line also presents extra flexibility because of the interchangeable condenser cartridge. By switching the cartridge, you can change your supercardioid mic into an omnidirectional mic in a snap. This makes the MX400 line versatile as it can function well in different situations.

Pros:

  • Wide dynamic range and frequency response
  • Interchangeable cartridges provide a suitable polar pattern for every function
  • Balanced, transformerless output to lessen background noise
  • Shockmount that isolates the microphone from surface vibrations
  • Locking flange mount to secure the microphone to the pulpit
  • Option of using a remote control or automatic microphone mixers

Cons:

  • The gooseneck has a rigid center that affects the flexibility of the microphone
  • This model needs a stand to work
  • The speaker needs to always stay in front of the mic for stable sound pick-up

Shure MX418/C Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Another popular choice of pulpit microphones is the Shure MX418/C Cardioid Microphone. It has the same features as the Shure MX412D/S but a longer gooseneck. The MX418 features an 18-inch gooseneck. This brings the total length of the microphone to 23 inches. Having said this, it is wise to consider the size of your pulpit when purchasing this mic.

Pros:

  • Neat unobtrusive look
  • Interchangeable cartridges
  • Balanced and transformerless output
  • Shock mount to isolate vibrations
  • Locking flange mount
  • Easy set-up
  • More affordable than other MX400 models

Cons:

  • This model needs a stand to work
  • The total length of the mic sums up to 23-inches, which might be too long for some pulpits

Shure CVG18D-B/C 18″ Gooseneck Condenser Microphone

The Shure CVG18D-B/C is another contender for the best pulpit mic. One attractive feature of this microphone is its affordable price. Yet, this microphone is still packed with a lot of features. It has a cardioid polar pattern and a frequency response tailored for speech.

It also has Commshield Technology which helps guard against RF interference. Shure developed the Commshield Technology to cut disturbances brought about by radio signals. 

Let me give you a better idea of what this does. Think about the buzzing sound you get when a mobile phone comes near the sound system. It is sometimes annoying and distracting. The Commshield Technology prevents the buzzing sound from happening.

Pros:

  • More affordable compared to other microphones
  • It is already attached to a desktop base, eliminating the need for a mic stand
  • Crisp and clear sounds
  • Background noise suppression

Cons:

  • This mic needs phantom power to operate
  • This mic needs a specific pre-amp to operate

Monoprice Commercial 60W Powered Gooseneck Microphone

The Monoprice Commercial Audio Podium is a 47-inch lectern. It can serve as a stand-alone audio system for presentations and church services. This can save you time from shopping for different accessories. 

The lectern already includes a gooseneck microphone and an LED lamp that attaches on top. It also has a built-in 60-watt amplifier and speakers.

To add to that, it has connectors that allow you to put extra microphones and recording devices.

Pros:

  • It has a built-in gooseneck dynamic microphone and gooseneck LED lamp
  • Built-in 60-watt amplifier and speakers
  • Line-level RCA input to connect external devices
  • Balanced 1/4-inch dynamic microphone input for external microphones
  • Line-level RCA outputs for recording presentations
  • The podium system is easy to set up

Cons:

  • The built-in mic and LED lamp can easily break
  • The whole lectern is heavy and needs to be carried from both sides
  • It uses a dynamic microphone which might not remove the background noise

Samson CM20P Gooseneck Podium Microphone

The Samson CM20 is a professional gooseneck microphone. It has a high-quality condenser element feature. The CM20 has a cardioid pick-up pattern that focuses on the speaker in front of the mic. This also eliminates feedback when used with a PA system. 

The microphone has a standard 3-pin XLR base and uses 9 to 52V phantom power. The CM20 has an internal selectable high-pass filter. This removes low-end rumbles and mechanical noise that results in better sound output. The package also includes mounting hardware and a windscreen.

Pros:

  • Flange-mount XLR connector included
  • Multistage windscreen
  • 9-52 Volt Phantom Power Operation
  • 20″ gooseneck with flexible top and bottom
  • Internal Selectable Hi-pass filter
  • Multistage windscreen reduces vocal pops and plosives

Cons:

  • Condenser mic element requires phantom power to operate
  • The CM20 has a 20-inch gooseneck that features a rigid middle section. This can make the positioning of the mic difficult.

Conclusion

In traditional church services, using an excellent working pulpit microphone is important. Good audio can enhance the quality of the church service. It will also allow the minister to effectively engage the clergy.

The best pulpit microphone that I will recommend is the Shure MX412D/S Supercardioid Condenser Microphone. The price of this mic is on the higher side, but the cost outweighs the gains in this instance. Shure has had a reputation for producing quality audio equipment since the 1930s. They sure did a great job with the “MX412D/S”. 

The dynamic range and frequency response result in accurate sound reproduction. The interchangeable cartridges make this microphone versatile. By changing the cartridge, the microphone becomes suitable for use in different applications. The shock mount included in the package also helps to cut the vibrations and feedback sounds. Best of all, this is a sturdy microphone. It should last your church years and years of lectures, speeches, and church services.

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