The 5 Best Pulpit Mics for Church

Editor’s Choice

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

Best Overall

  • Interchangeable cartridges provide a suitable polar pattern for every function
  • Balanced, transformerless output to lessen background noise
  • Shock mounts isolate the microphone from surface vibrations

Budget-Friendly

  • Rigid center and flex at both ends
  • Uniform frequency response on or off-axis
  • Incredible gain before feedback

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best pulpit mic is, then I’d recommend Shure MX410/C Microflex Mini 10″ Gooseneck Mic Cardioid as the best one.

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 podium 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 or a podium microphone. 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

Podium microphones permit 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 a podium microphone is getting phased out. Yet, there are excellent advantages to using a podium mic. Below are some benefits of using a pulpit microphone:

  • Lectern mics give the church service a more scholarly feel.
  • Lectern mics are cost-effective because you do not need a dedicated microphone for every speaker in the service.
  • Gooseneck pulpit mics are adjustable to suit the height of the speaker for excellent sound output.

Different Types of Microphones for the Pulpit

Here are the different types of lectern or 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 mics that can stand wear and tear. They only need a little maintenance to sustain their quality performance.

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

Dynamic mics 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 mics are also expensive and delicate. When handling this kind of microphone, 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 it comes from a single source. They can also cut down on background noises. So, if you want to put focus on the sound system 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 excellent sound effects and musical recordings. Unfortunately, they do not sound good in 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.

Instead of running cables to the sound system, you can transmit the signal wirelessly. This makes it extremely convenient if you are starting fresh with your system reducing the cost of installing all the cables.

What are the Factors in Choosing the Best 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 from a single direction and block out surrounding noise. 

Frequency Roll-Off (Gain before Feedback)

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

There are two kinds of frequency roll-off microphones and these are flat frequency response and shaped frequency response. The former 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. Search for a lectern mic that is flexible and sturdy enough to hold the position throughout the sermon.

Size

The size of the microphone is another factor to consider. In choosing podium mics, you will need to balance 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 search for the microphone with the best value for your money.

One of the least expensive among the podium mics is the Audio Technica U859QL. Using the most advanced materials, Audio Technica has created a line of high-quality microphones. It has better low-end sound with bass and good crisp voice quality.

How to Set up a Podium Microphone

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 stand well enough. A good 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 in 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 the 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. Choose 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 on the market.

Shure MX410/C Microflex Mini 10″ Gooseneck Mic Cardioid

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

The Shure MX410/C is a super-cardioid 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 super-cardioid mic into an omnidirectional mic in a snap. This makes the MX400 line versatile as it can function well in different situations.

Pros:

  • Interchangeable cartridges provide a suitable polar pattern for every function
  • Balanced, transformerless output to lessen background noise
  • Shock mounts isolate 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:

Shure MX418/C Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Best Pulpit Mics

Another popular choice of pulpit microphones is the Shure MX418/C Cardioid Condenser Microphone. It has the same features as the Shure MX412D/S but a longer gooseneck. The MX418 features an 18′ gooseneck cardioid microphone. 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.

The podium mic of the Shure MX418/C comes with a snap-fit foam windscreen for outdoor use. They are very directional and yield more gain before feedback. The device is completed by a replaceable capsule with cardioid orientation.

Pros:

  • Interchangeable cartridges
  • Balanced and transformerless output signal
  • Shock mounts to isolate vibrations
  • Locking flange mount
  • It comes with a snap-fit foam windscreen

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 podium mic. One attractive feature of this podium microphone is its affordable price and its 18′ gooseneck lectern mic. Yet, these pulpit mics are still packed with a lot of features. This gooseneck microphone 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 voice sounds
  • Background noise suppression
  • CommShield Technology guards against unwanted RF interference

Cons:

  • This mic needs phantom power to operate

Earthworks FMR720 27″ Cardioid Dual Flex Podium Microphone

Earthworks’ patented technologies incorporated into the FMR720 27″ Cardioid Dual Flex Podium Microphone provide a high level of speech intelligibility and uniform off-axis response. This is to ensure the orator is heard clearly with no loss in sound quality when speaking at the front or at the sides of the microphone. This smooth off-axis response also provides more gain before feedback. 

With 145dB SPL max acoustic input, it is virtually impossible to overload the microphone. There is also high rejection of sounds from the rear of the microphone, with no handling noise in addition to incredible RFI rejection.

Designed specifically for use as a podium microphone, the FlexMic Series offers numerous versatile features and options that make these microphones ideal for public speaking venues including lecture halls, presentation spaces, churches, civic centers, theaters, and government facilities.

Pros:

  • Rigid center and flex at both ends
  • Uniform frequency response on or off-axis
  • Incredible gain before feedback
  • No handling noise
  • High rejection of sounds to the rear of the microphone

Cons:

  • This mic needs a specific pre-amp to operate

Audio-Technica Pro-49Q Podium Microphone

The PRO 49Q quick-mount double-gooseneck cardioid condenser microphone is designed to plug into any standard XLRF-type surface or the cable connector. With a flat, smooth frequency response and self-contained electronics, this mic features a quiet, fixed-placement, long-life gooseneck, and wide-range condenser element with a low-mass diaphragm for superior performance. It has a wide range of condenser elements with low-mass diaphragms for superior performance. 

Available in two lengths: 13.07″ (PRO 49Q); 16.46” (PRO 49QL).

Pros:

  • Self-contained electronics eliminate the need for external power modules
  • Flat, smooth frequency response
  • Quiet, fixed placement long-life gooseneck
  • Plugs into any standard XLRF type surface or the cable connector

Cons:

  • It requires phantom power to operate
  • The mic really picks up conducted sound through the base

Conclusion

In traditional church services, using an excellent working podium 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 MX410/C Microflex Mini 10″ Gooseneck Mic Cardioid. 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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Alex Shute
EDITOR
Alex Shute, MBA
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.


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