The days of a firm handshake and good eye contact being the first thing a client notices about you may not be extinct, but at the very least it's endangered.
These days first contact is very often entirely digital, be it Skype, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, or even Discord. This is the modern day first impression. Your voice is that confident handshake. You need to be heard clearly, with no background distractions.
All mics are not created equal!
Microphones pick up vibrations and transmit them to your computer, where they are transferred from an analog signal to a digital one. This signal has a couple key properties:
Frequency Response Range Rating
Human hearing ranges from about 20hz to 20,000hz (20khz) and the human voice goes from about 80hz to 14khz. The closer you get to picking up the full range of voice and human hearing the better your mic quality tends to be. It isn't the only factor, but its a big one.
A plain old telephone uses the range of about 300hz to 3.4khz. This is called Narrow Band Audio and is still widely used by headset manufacturers.
Others tout that they have Wideband Audio or HD Voice. While the technical range for this is a little wider, most manufacturers hit anywhere from 100hz to 300hz on the low end to 5khz to 7khz on the high end.
The ModMic Difference
ModMic Business has a frequency response range of 100hz to 10khz. That's upwards of 42% better high frequency response than even the best so called HD Voice, not including the plethora of devices that skip the 100hz to 200hz range. Oh, and good luck finding the response ranges on most of these headsets, they try to bury the actual numbers as best they can. Go ahead, try to find this data, I'll wait for you to get back.
But don't take my word for it, listen below to the differences!
Remember when I said a microphone picks up vibrations. This is why a laptop microphone or even your webcam mic is typically the worst choice. Because sound (vibrations) travel best through solid objects, they'll clearly pick up every key you press, every time you bump your desk, and pretty much everything else. Meanwhile because they're often far away, they need to boost their gain higher, introducing extra electrical noise in the line, which then is either left in as static or removed, taking part of the quality of your voice with it.
The ModMic Difference
The ModMic is traditionally mounted on your headphones, giving you a mic that is both close to your mouth for clarity and completely isolated from your keyboard, mouse, pets, or co-workers (which may in fact be your pets).
As you can imagine the physical design of a microphone impacts how it sounds. The way it receives the audio data impacts its ability to cancel noise. Most headsets use a cardoid pickup pattern, also known as a uni-directional polar pattern. It looks like this:
You can think of it like this. The "open" area at the top is receiving sound, facing your mouth, while the bottom area, away from your mouth is acting like a physical barrier to sound. This means the direction you're talking into is getting the signal while most of the stuff coming from the opposite side of the mic is getting blocked. Still, there are some headsets that use an omni-directional pickup, which may enhance quality but at the cost of the microphone picking up everything you can hear.
Some hardware providers offer Active Noise Cancelling. This miracle of technology creates the opposite wave form of background noise, removing it entirely. This is fantastic in areas that have constant ongoing sound, such as someone left the vacuum cleaner on right next to you. However, it does this at an extreme cost of voice quality and for wireless devices, battery life. Better than not being heard at all, but most office situations either have unexpected loud noises (a dog barking) which ANC is unable to cancel or are just not noisy enough to make it worthwhile.
The ModMic Difference
All ModMic products have a cardoid (uni-directional) pickup pattern specifically tailored to meet or exceed competing products. We strongly recommend this as the ideal compromise between quality and noise reduction. There's a reason it is the industry standard!
For these reasons you'll find that the ModMic consistently outperforms traditional VoIP headsets. You'll be heard clearly with minimal background noise and no audio hiccups from your external speakers. So until we have a virtual hand-shake machine in every office, your voice will remain as the first thing a prospective partner notices.