The Simple Hack: Get a Free Mic! @ tk here on Thursday, September 20, 2007 5:52 PM
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Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Simple Hack: Get a Free Mic!

The background story

A friend of mine, who was living overseas, wanted to discuss something with me. Normal instant messaging just wasn't going to cut it. Neither of us could type above 100 words per minute. It was too slow and cumbersome.

Skype was our weapon of choice and after getting both of us setup, there was a minor hitch. He had his webcam and mic all ready and roaring to go but my mic was nowhere to be found. I was pretty sure I had a mic stashed somewhere, however rummaging through mountains of personal items for a simple Skype session didn't seem appealing at that time.

The simple hack

Having spent 5 minutes trying to remember where the mic went, I opted for an alternate and immediate solution. Looking around me, I spotted a pair of earphones. But that wouldn't work since earphones are meant to be used as listening devices. Or so you think.

After locating my microphone jack, I plugged in my earphones into the jack and was greeted with a loud burst of noise. Trying out my earphone mic for the first time, I asked if the sound was decent. "It's pretty good! A bit on the soft side though." was my friend's reply. When I explained what I was doing, he was amazed that such a hack actually existed for earphones.

The conclusion and afterthoughts

With a few tweaks on the volume input and mic boost, the earphone mic was working perfectly. No shouting was required although I did speak a bit louder than usual. It was also a bit of a hassle to hold up the earphone mic each time I wanted to speak.

The earphone mic worked well for me because I didn't expect my Skype session to last long. We managed to finish our discussion after about an hour of chatting. For marathon Skype sessions, proper mics are recommended.


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