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I bought this microphone. It has a 6.3mm-to-3.5mm adapter, so I can plug it into my Windows XP computer's headphone jack.

However, the volume is too low. So, I'd like to try plugging it into a USB port via an adapter, like this one. I'd like to try this because I have another USB headset that has great volume on the computer, and one of the reviews for the microphone I bought also recommended getting a USB adapter because the volume is otherwise too low without one.

So, my question is, would sending the audio from the 6.3mm microphone to the 3.5mm adapter and then to the USB adapter decrease the sound quality significantly, while also increasing the volume? Is there a 6.3mm-to-USB adapter that exists and that I should buy instead?

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You don't happen to have your microphone plugged into the line-in jack, do you? A "mic" input has a preamp so a mic going into a line-in jack will record too quietly. –  Warrior Bob Mar 20 '13 at 14:22
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2 Answers 2

If you intend to use the mic with your PC only (and given that you don't have a fancy audio interface with preamps), the better choice would be to use a cheap condenser mic, just like those intended for skype and those which are supplied as a part of a headset, example. The reasoning behind this is that usually the dynamic mics have a lower sensitivity and really open up only when fed to a preamp, while the condenser mics sensitivity is much higher. Adapters will not help you to resolve this problem and you have only 2 options:

  1. Buy a condenser mic instead
  2. Buy an audio interface with a preamp (or just a preamp).

Since the second option is much more expensive it depends on your need in audio quality.

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As far as 1/8 inch inputs go. There is no particular reason a cheap USB interface should be any different from the one built in to your system. In many cases, the built in one may even be better. There may be a boost option available in your recording device settings that will let you amplify the sound further. I unfortunately do not have an XP machine hanging around anymore to give more detailed instructions however.

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Okay thanks. I just noticed that the adapter is also mono, which is problematic. –  Gary Mar 20 '13 at 4:02
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You microphone is also mono, so that isn't really a big deal. –  ObscureRobot Mar 20 '13 at 5:59
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