Suddenly working from home? Here's how to make sure your message still gets across

There’s an age-old tale in the Australian Outback: you might be able to pick-up two-and-a-half TV channels – and even then, only sometimes – but so long as you can clearly hear what’s happening, you can put up with a surprisingly bad picture. That’s a lesson that’s rapidly being learned again, now that so many of us are working from home and communicating with multiple colleagues – often on computing equipment which was chosen for reasons that had little to do with video conferencing.

It’s something that many professional YouTubers and Twitch streamers also know all too well, which is why you see them talking into mics that look like they were forged by a blacksmith and used by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Vera Lynn and Percy Grainger 80 years ago. Microphone technology might have advanced and miniaturised a great deal since then – as so many mobile phones and hands-free kits can attest to – but the laws of physics dictate that a larger, more-solid microphone will capture better audio with less distortion and fewer vibrations.

Indeed, there are few things more annoying than poor audio when it comes to concise communication. Those little holes at the top of a laptop screen can’t compete with a dedicated external mic, even if they’re in a special ‘multiple, digital array’ formation. And if you’re at home on a desktop PC, you might not even have basic communication equipment: you might have a gaming headset, but that’s hardly a professional look when talking to clients.

Shure's MV5 condenser microphone provides clean, broadcast-quality voice capture, making it perfect for video conferencing, podcasting, live streaming and much more.

Shure's MV5 condenser microphone provides clean, broadcast-quality voice capture, making it perfect for video conferencing, podcasting, live streaming and much more. (Image credit: Shure)

A brief scan of the market’s dedicated, high-quality, audio equipment can quickly cause confusion, with overly expensive devices mingling with countless, consumer-grade equivalents which often over-promise and under-deliver. So where can you turn? Fortunately, the audio experts at Shure have an A-grade solution for every scenario.

Whether you’re a professional in a home office, a budding streamer or wanting to make your own podcasts, Shure’s MV5 condenser microphone should be your first port of call. At just AU$189, this USB microphone plugs straight into a USB or Lightning port and offers professional-grade audio on a sturdy, yet portable microphone that looks great.

The SRH240A headphones deliver professional-level audio with deep bass, clear mids and highs, and a comfortable fit that you can wear all day long.

The SRH240A headphones deliver professional-level audio with deep bass, clear mids and highs, and a comfortable fit that you can wear all day long. (Image credit: Shure)

The MV5 is also available as part of Shure’s Mobile Recording Kit (MV5A-240 BNDL), which pairs together the mic with a set of SRH240A professional headphones for just AU$80 more. These headphones plug directly into the microphone for real-time monitoring and use 40 mm neodymium dynamic drivers (optimized for general listening and monitoring) to reproduce deep bass with clear mids and highs. The impedance, power handling and sensitivity are all calibrated for connection to most consumer and professional audio devices, so you can easily use the SRH240As as your everyday pair of headphones too.

To further sweeten the deal, Shure provides its own ShurePlus MOTIV Mobile Recording app for free (to everyone)! This software provides simple-to-use, studio-like tools including recording, monitoring, metering, equalization, audio compression, wind noise reduction in addition to editing.

More ways to level up your comms & content creation

If your AV requirements are more nuanced, Shure has a broad range of devices to cover your needs. Here are five more products groups and kits that can transform anyone into a professional broadcaster, whether you’re at home, in the office, or out in the field.

1. Shure MV51 USB Microphone

<a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank">1. Shure MV51 USB Microphone

If music is more your thing and you want to broadcast to the world or partake in something like the popular duet culture on Twitch, then the $329 MV51 microphone is worth considering. It too is a solid, professional-grade device, but offers musical enhancements including a switch to optimise for speech, singing, acoustic and electric instruments. The design also allows for mounting on a desk or floor stand. <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank">More info.

2. Shure MV88+ Video Kit

<a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank">2. Shure MV88+ Video Kit

Shure’s MV88+ Video Kit transforms your iPhone or Android handset into portable recording studio. It includes a PIXI tripod from specialists, Manfrotto, phone clamp and mount, plus iOS and USB-C cables for cutting-edge connectivity. It comes in a portable, neoprene sleeve, is available with an optional, fluffy windjammer (for outside broadcasts) and costs just AU$388. You can also use the ShurePlus MOTIV video-editing app for free. <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank">More info.

3. Shure Sound Isolating Earphones

<a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank">3. Shure Sound Isolating Earphones

Shure offers a wide-range of top-quality earbuds, with both Bluetooth and wired connectivity, for all budgets. Identifiable by the ‘SE’ prefix, they range from the AU$169 music-friendly SE215 earbuds to the audiophile grade SE846 earphones at AU$1,699. <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank">More info.

4. Shure Portable Videography Kit

<a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank">4. Shure Portable Videography Kit

This fantastic value AU$549 bundle will give you even greater flexibility when it comes to recording pro videos on mobile. It includes everything in the above MV88+ Video Kit, plus a pair of discrete SE215 earphones to take care of your monitoring needs, and an AMV88-Fur Windjammer mic attachment to help reduce unwanted wind noise when recording outdoors. <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank">More info.

5. Biamp Devio Conferencing Hub

<a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank">5. Biamp Devio Conferencing Hub

The Biamp Devio is what you need when multiple audio and video feeds need to be managed. It’s a plug-and-play device that enables you to run meetings from home through a single USB connection to your computer. It provides instant access to all your room's screens, speakers, microphones and webcams and comes in a kit with a DTM-1 multi-directional, tabletop microphone for AU$3,295. <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank">More info.

Stay productive & connected at home

Successful remote working requires top-notch technology that empowers people to collaborate, communicate and share with ease. With so many products on the market, finding the right gear can be difficult, but Shure is one of the most trusted names in the industry – one that’s synonymous with both broadcast and live-performance audio, and has been developing professional equipment for almost 100 years. So whether you’re hosting meetings, creating podcasts, streaming, vlogging or simply need to conference with clients and colleagues, Shure has a product that will enable you to do so to the best of your ability – easily, anywhere and at any time.