I have a gaming headset (Razer Kraken) that has the following microphone specs:

Class: Electret Condenser Microphone (ECM)
Frequency response: 100 Hz - 10 kHz
Signal-to-noise ratio: 60 dB
Sensitivity: -45 +/- 3 dB

I've purchased a few "nicer" handheld/studio (not sure what the form factor is called) microphones (Sennheiser e835, SHURE SM58, etc.) and noticed that they don't make my voice sound as good as the headset's microphone–to my ears, anyway. The "nicer" mics make my voice sound too nasally while the cheaper boom mic (which is actually a premium mic in the gaming headset space) just works with my vocal tone. Therefore, can I locate a handheld/desktop/studio microphone that most closely resembles this boom mic's output based purely on its technical specs (like the ones above)? Or is this just a matter of trial and error because mics have their own "personalities" regardless of specs?

2 Answers 2


I can't believe a cheapo headset mic can sound "better" in any way, shape or form than an industry standard SM58. You very probably, if your interpretation is accurate, have it connected badly.

You can tell some things from a spec-sheet, but not everything. The spec on that kraken tells me… it's poor. It's optimised for low spec usage, voice on games, VOIP etc, not for real audio use. It's also optimised to plug straight into a computer. The SM58 isn't.

I would test your signal path for the two competing mics. The headset will work just fine on your computer's headset socket - that's what it's designed for; high impedance.
Good mics won't work on a headset socket. They need a pro-level audio input; low impedance.
You will very probably need a dedicated USB mic pre-amplifier designed for professional mics, not 'headsets' or laptop condensers.
Link to one of the big EU box-shifters with dozens to choose from. Entry level for this is under $£€ 20, & even one of those is going to be better than just trying to plug it straight in your computer.

BTW, The best judge of your own voice, unless you are an experienced voiceover artist or singer, is not yourself.
It's someone else… anyone else.
Your own voice sounds different recorded & played back to you than it does in your own head. Other people always hear the 'outside' voice, you always hear the 'inside' voice, which is emphasised by your own bone structure in your head.


the mics like SM58 - aren't nice sounding mics - they are designed to be rugged and cut trough in a live sound environment. - if you want to stick to dynamic instead a condenser mic (probably a good idea at this early stage) then a mic like the Sennheiser MD421

  • Of course a 400 quid 421 is going to be better than the 58. Personally I record vocals on a U87, but that doesn't mean you can't get a decent recording out of a 58. I've used them on lead vox when I needed the off-axis rejection & in a situation where 'eating the mic' was the best way to get the recording. Results were perfectly acceptable with a little multi-band comp to hold it together. I think the OP's problem stems entirely from the impedance mis-match.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 31, 2020 at 9:54

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