This is a trick I learned from NPR’s Tony Kahn.

Microphones scare people and are hard to use properly. Anyone who has ever tried to get someone to talk into one knows this first hand.

The “Hat Mic” is a novel solution to both of these problems. To construct one, take a small, high quality microphone (anything from a Giant Squid Audio Lab Podcasting Omni Stereo Microphone to a Neumann miniature microphone) and clip it to the brim of a baseball cap. Small binder clips work well with my Giant Squids.

That’s it.

Why would you want to clip a microphone to a hat? For a number of reasons:

  1. While almost nobody knows how to use a microphone, everyone know how to wear a hat.
  2. The microphone will stay in position as the person moves their head. This is both easier and more natural, meaning that you’ll get a more consistent, genuine-sounding recording.
  3. The microphone will be out of the way of most unwanted sounds (“popping P” and “hissing S”). You may have a bit of a problem with F sounds if you don’t get the placement quite right.
  4. The brim of the hat forms a bit of a mini sound booth, blocking some outside sounds and enhancing the voice a bit.

All of this, wrapped up in one funny hat!
Hat Mics

Listen here for how it sounds:

icon for podpress  Hat Mic Sample [0:24m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download