Mounting headset microphones on bearded speakers and actors can get a bit hairy. If your subject usually uses a headset and decides to sport a beard, you’ll likely grow concerned about scratchy sounds from the mic boom. Here are a few solutions to get you through no-shave November and beyond.
Bend the Mic Boom Away from the Beard
I know, it seems obvious—position the boom away from the beard. If your mic has a soft bendable boom like the CO-8WD, the options are practically unlimited. The flexible boom will hold its position throughout any performance and because of its soft sheath actually produces less “scratchy” noise even if rubbed up against the facial hair. If you have a more rigid boom microphone, adjust the headset to make sure it’s secure and use clear medical tape to prevent the mic from migrating back toward that beard. Keep in mind that positioning a rigid boom too far away from the mouth will sacrifice sound quality. With really bushy beards, this might not be a viable solution.
Switch to a Handheld or Lavalier
If you can’t position the headset boom to prevent scratchy sounds, switch to a handheld or lav mic. Most who prefer a headset will turn their noses up at the handheld, or it just might not be practical. A lavalier might be a good compromise, particularly for speaking applications. Keep in mind that lavs don’t allow for quite as much speaker head movement and may generate noise from rubbing against clothing and costumes.
Try an Earmount Microphone with Wild Beards
A great solution without the sacrifices is to use a lav mic on an over-ear mount. This keeps the mic on top of the ear and out of the wilds of the beard and still offers all the freedom of a headset. If you don’t want to or have time to make an ear rig with sharp tools and Hellerman sleeves, try the EMBRACE earmount. This unique (I’m not just saying that, it’s patented) earmount mic is easy to bend and trim to fit any performer in minutes.
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