I've done a lot of call center work in the past. Recently I've been offered a position working from home. I would like to accept it, but I live near a large intermodal and my house is about 200 feet from 4 sets of freight train tracks. We get about 100 trains a day so muting the sound is not an option. I've looked into sound proofing options, but my house is about 100 years old and the cost to put that much mass into a home office is unrealistically expensive.

The two options I am considering right now are a mid-range desk microphone or a tactical throat microphone. These options leave me with a few questions.

If I use a throat mic does it still need active noise cancellation? Is it possible to configure a studio mic in such a way that it will not pick-up a room filled with train sounds? Is it possible to actively cancel the train noises using a second microphone mounted near my window or on the outside of my house?

I know that this is questions and answers only, so I'm not asking for a "best of" list, but if you can recommend specific equipment that will accomplish this task I would appreciate it. I'd like to spend as little as possible, and anything over $500 is out of reach for the moment.

1 Answer 1


Since budget is an issue, let's think outside the box. Have you considered soundproofing your workspace? Not the whole room, but imagine a personal sound booth...it can be as simple as a few sheets of eggcrate hanging from the ceiling to an elaborate soundproof room, depending how handy you are. I've done something similar for recording voiceover in a noisy manufacturing shop client site; I used some secondhand cubicle walls I acquired with a foamcore & eggcrate panel on the top. Good luck!

  • An interesting thought. I'll keep that one in mind if I can't find a whole room solution.
    – Steve the Maker
    May 14, 2012 at 3:04

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