Sports commentator microphones

I see sports commentators using mics like this. No plosives. Minimal ambient (crowd) sound creeps in.

Apart from the desire to keep both hands free, why aren’t more podcasters using mics like this? What am I missing please? thanks

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A quick search didn’t yield the exact model of that microphone. But it seems that the BBC pioneered that design, perhaps in the 60s(?).

The basic idea is that it’s a highly discriminating mic. Unless you put your mouth RIGHT up to it… and thus the “roof” part that they get in the habit of literally placing against their upper lip… unless you get REALLY close, it doesn’t pick up. It’s intended to work (we can hear the announcer) in even a deafeningly loud environment.

@steveh @Jey …anyone know exactly what that mic is?

updated to add: I found some more info…


Yeah @BrianCumming @craig , it’s likely to be

Originally the problem that this kind of mic solves is that it isolates the broadcaster’s voice in places where soundproof sound booths are not available like a stand on a horse racing track or the tier of a soccer stadium. But now that commentators usually have sound-proofish booths they usually prefer to use headsets than the Coles mic.

Note though that broadcast headsets are usually XLR and the cable is usually proprietary and might not automatically come with the mic. This also means that broadcast headsets require an audio interface for your computer.

Here’s an example I’ve seen used by broadcasters in the UK:

Using a Coles sounds good in theory for podcasting. But they are expensive, require an audio interface and you destroy rapport with guests by having to smash the mic in front of your face to talk. Plus it might be hard to handhold a mic for long periods of time. So it’s not a tool for a newbie.

And to be honest I don’t think most folks have thought of this kind of mic as an option.

But there’s absolutely nothing preventing you from using it for podcasting - if you do go for one then let us know your thoughts about it :pray:.


It is also probably best for screaming goal into but not sounding ‘normal’

Were you thinking of using it while skydiving?


Good point. And of course, the other drawback is that these are handheld mics which makes it hard for podcasters to work the tech on their desk.


(£) 600 reasons not to.

Not today. x

Thanks to everyone for their replies. Much appreciated.