By Duke Taber
In our age of digital technology, not everyone can appreciate things that are “old school.” One of those things is preaching from behind the pulpit, yet many people love that their pastor still stands behind the lectern to deliver God’s word to them.
With that in mind, finding the best pulpit mic is something that is not talked about or written about very often. Pulpit mics, often called podium mics or lectern mics, have their features and benefits.
Benefits of Using a Pulpit Microphone
Many people forget that there are some real benefits to using a podium microphone. Even though it is the oldest type of microphone that has been used in the church, there are some real-world advantages to having one.
For instance, by using a pulpit mic, you do not need to have everyone wired up with a headset or lavalier mic. Moreover, you don’t have to drag a vocal mic over to the lectern to give the announcements, pray over the offering, or any other speaking role that other people in your church may have. Everyone can use the same microphone.
It can also be used in funerals and weddings where multiple people may participate in speaking. So, there are some real advantages to having a microphone for the pulpit or podium.
If you want a more scholarly or traditional feel to your church services, then the lectern microphone is the way to go.
Things to Consider When Buying a Microphone for Your Church Podium
With multiple people using the microphone, you will want a gooseneck microphone. That way, the man who is very tall and the lady who is very short can both use the same mic.
You will want to mount the podium mic off center from the speaker, either at one corner of the pulpit or at least not directly in front of the speaker. The reason you want to do this is to have the mic offset from the direction the speaker is speaking. You will eliminate the popping sound you get when people pronounce the letters p and t.
You will also want to decide whether or not you want to go wired or wireless. If you go wired, then you will need to take into consideration how to run the microphone cable through the pulpit and eventually to the sound system and mixing board.
You will also want to use a foam windscreen to help with this problem as well, and for that person who feels the need to jam the mic right in front of their mouth.
My Recommendations for Church Lectern Microphones
You might have noticed that I have used the terms pulpit, lectern, and podium interchangeably. I have done this on purpose because although most of us might use the term pulpit, people who are not steeped in church culture, use the other terms as well and I want to make sure they know that we are talking about the same thing. All of my microphone recommendations will work with any podium, lectern, or pulpit.
- The Countryman Cardioid Podium Microphone provides a good gain signal before causing feedback in the sound system. Its vibration isolation system detects and subtracts table thumps, handling noise, and other vibration from the signal, providing full, clean sound without the need for large shock mounts. It has an 18″ gooseneck.
- The Shure MX418D/S Condenser Microphone For Podiums produces a very natural sound. It has a slightly high-end signal with more treble than bass, but overall it produces an excellent sound especially for preachers. It has an 18″ gooseneck comparable to the 18″ size of the Countryman.
- The Earthworks FlexMic FM500 Cardioid Lectern Microphone is one of the more expensive pulpit mics on the market. It does have a little longer gooseneck at 19″ so if that is something you need then this might be the mic for you. However, it is a little muddy and prone to more feedback than others.
- The Audio-Technica U857QU Condenser Gooseneck Microphone has a good crisp voice quality. It has better low-end sound with bass and mid-range coming out good. However, it does not do quite as good for higher end sounds. So, it works great for men’s voices but not quite as good for women’s voices. However, The Audio Technica is one of the least expensive of the pro-sound pulpit mics.
- The Shure MX415/C Wireless Gooseneck Microphone Bundle comes with a Shure pulpit microphone with a 15″ gooseneck. Instead of running cables to the sound system, you can transmit the signal wirelessly. This makes it extremely convenient if you are starting fresh with your sound system reducing the cost of installing all the cables. Wireless mics are becoming the industry standard.
While it is not the latest fad, preaching from the pulpit is a long-standing tradition. So, be a blessing to that pastor and celebrate the way he chooses to present God’s word. Give him the best pulpit mic you can afford to help him accomplish his calling from God.
Duke Taber is a bi-vocational pastor at The Vineyard Church in California and is also the owner of three successful websites, including Easy Church Tech. He is now taking his skill as a writer and using it to help non-profit organizations and leaders around the world, www.easychurchtech.com.