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Introduction to Headworn Microphones

In the world of public speaking, presentations and live performances, ensuring clear and consistent audio is paramount. From stage actors to keystone speakers, the use of a headset microphone allows for complete freedom of movement, more reliable sound quality, and a more discreet appearance. In this introductory guide, we will review everything from deciding if a head worn microphone is right for you, miking your talent, and even some basic troubleshooting.


Choosing the right microphone can be a bit overwhelming due to the near infinite number of models and available configurations. If you need something that is as pleasant for the engineer to mix as it is for the talent to use, then a headset or dual ear microphone, such as the THOR: AV Hammer SE, might be just what you are looking for. Head worn microphones are microphones that sit around one (an earset)  or both ears (a Headset) with a boom extending the capsule towards the mouth. This allows for consistent capture of the direct voice with little to no interference. When adjusted and used correctly, it should be comfortable to wear to the point your talent might even forget they are miked. Since head worn mics are small and the only visible portion out the boom and microphone capsule, there is also less of a distraction for the audience. Another bonus to this is that users have full use of their hands to gesture, use props or even interact with the crowd. These microphones are designed to capture sound directly from the source resulting in clear and consistent audio.  If these are priorities for your application, then a headset microphone might be what you are looking for.


The first step in taking advantage of these perks would be miking your talent. Ensure that each time you are miking another person that you are respectful of their personal space. When needed, ask permission before touching their face or clothes. If using either a single or dual ear microphone, place the hooks over the top of their ears. Adjust as needed, making sure that it is secure and comfortable. If applicable, adjust the headband as well to ensure it is fitted to the head. If you are the audio engineer, be listening critically to the voice of the performer during this process. These mental notes will help you give an accurate mix through the sound system. Luckily, the Hammer series has a natural sounding frequency response with a little bump in the top end for presence and clarity. This gives you a great starting point before reaching for any EQ.


Once the headband is secured, position the capsule about 1 – 2 inches away from the corner of their mouth. This will allow for a clean capture of the voice, reducing plosives, or any extra noise. Next, check the cable placement. Typically, the cable is hidden in the performer’s clothing to avoid it getting snagged, interfering with movement and ultimately keeping the cable out of sight. A collar clip is included to help keep this cable from moving too much. Lastly, perform a sound check and test the audio. Make adjustments as needed. Once you are happy and the talent is comfortable, you are good to go.


If you are getting drops in audio or it is cutting in and out, then check the cable connections on the microphone and microphone pack to ensure that everything is tight and connected correctly. Having extra replacement cables for your microphone is always recommended. If you are still experiencing issues, check for nearby sources of wireless interference and adjust frequencies or channels as needed. Finally, if the headset is causing discomfort or fatigue, consider adjusting the headband so there is less tension on the talent’s ears. In order to keep your headset microphone working for as long as possible, it is important to take good care of it. Regularly cleaning is not only important for hygiene but also helps the microphone last longer. See your user guide for instructions. Keeping it stored in a protective case or pouch will help prevent dust accumulation and accidental damage.

Using a headset microphone on talent offers a number of benefits including freedom of movement, reliable audio and a discreet appearance. By following these tips and tricks, you can ensure a seamless and successful experience when putting a headset microphone to work. Whether you’re a stage performer, public speaker or presenter, incorporating a headset microphone into your audio setup can help elevate your performance and captivate your audience with clear and professional sound.