Muffled/low recording for a NEWBIE

Thanks for your help on this forum.
I’m brand new to ANY recording system. I’m trying to record acapella music. I am using the following equipment:
Audacity 2.1.3 for Windows. Using Window 10 on my Dell Inspiron desktop. Just bought an Exelvan BM-800 microphone.

I feel like I’ve gone through the correct setup. Mike is plugged in to the correct plug. I have the mike volume all the way up.

When I record, the waveform on the display is VERY small, nothing like the tutorials at all. Play back is VERY muffled and quiet. Nothing like the tutorials.

I’ve gone through this forum about similar problems but haven’t found a solution. Please feel free to be as simple, basic and direct in your answers. I’m VERY new to this whole world.

Thank you again for your help


Looks like that needs something called “phantom power” : a separate 48 Volt power-supply unit …

It looks like you bought the wrong mic… :slight_smile:

Exelvan BM-800 microphone

I didn’t find the manufacturer’s specs (I wouldn’t expect much from a “cheap” mic.) But I found some pictures and this on Amazon:

1. 48V phantom power adapter is not included.
2. Not suit for mobile phone and tablet computer.

3.Please put the microphone away from the amplifier while recording to prevent noise recorded.
4. Connecting with desktop computer, it can be used separately; But if with laptop computer, > please connect to electrical outlet or use a 48V phantom power supply to make the sound much clearer and higher.

I don’t know what they mean by “connect to an electrical outlet”… PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT THAT!!!

And the mic input on a laptop is the same as the mic input on a computer with a soundcard, except some newer laptops/tablets have a different “combo” connector with mic & headphones combined, and that takes a different plug or an adapter cable.

The “pictures” show something that looks like a 3.5mm connector for a computer mic input. That kind-of implies it will work with a computer, but computer’s don’t supply 48V phantom power.

Stage/studio mics are low impedance balanced (3-wire) with an [u]XLR connector[/u].

Computer mics are unbalanced (2-wire) with a [u]3.5mm TRS connector[/u].

The two are NOT interchangeable! You might get some sound with a mismatched mic, but it’s not going to work properly.

Condenser mics require power. Dynamic mics (such as the famous Shure SM58 vocal-stage mic) do not require power.

Electret condenser computer mics get 5V from the soundcard. Virtually every “computer mic”, is this type of mic.

Studio condenser mics get 48V phantom power from the mixer, preamp, or interface. Some stage electret condensers have a built-in battery and some use phantom power.

There are very few high-quality computer mics, and the preamps built into regular consumer soundcards are often low quality and noisy.

If you want quality recording, you have a couple of options:

The simplest and easiest solution is a [u]“studio style” USB mic[/u]. A USB mic essentially has a “soundcard” built-in so your existing soundcard is not used. Some of these have a built-in headphone jack for direct-hardware monitoring so if you’re monitoring yourself with headphones while recording you don’t have to deal with latency (delay) through the computer. Another nice feature to look for is a volume/gain control.

The biggest downside to a USB mic is that you can only use one at a time. So no stereo or multitrack recording. And, you can’t use it with a mixer or PA system. And, some people complain of noise with “podcast” mics. Presumably this noise comes from the computer’s USB power, which is powering the preamp & ADC inside the mic.

The other alternative is a studio condenser mic and a [u]USB interface[/u] with the proper XLR microphone inputs. You can also get interfaces with zero-latency hardware-monitoring.

Well, thank you for the quick replies.
Many reviews I found ( it was on the internet so it MUST be true). Said it was a high quality, low cost mike.

Guess I’ll get the Phantom boost and hopefully I’ll be on my way.

Thanks again


I agree, but one reviewer managed to put it through test with just 5 volts.

This microphone states that it requires 48v of phantom power, however, I have completed multiple tests using a USB audio adapter (which provides a maximum of 5v to the microphone) and it seems to work perfectly fine. It DOES require some amount of power to function, and plugging it directly into your computers microphone port will not work (at least that’s what I’m told from many viewers).

Apparently, the instructions are a little fuzzy on how to do this.

It’s fuzzy on other points as well.

Excelvan BM-800 Condenser Microphone Sound Recording Dynamic + Mic Shock Mount
Neodymiun magnet for high signal-to-noise ratio.

Condenser microphones don’t have Neodymiun magnets. I think this may be a Dynamic (moving coil) microphone masquerading as a condenser (moving plate) microphone.

Then, further down the product description:

48V phantom power adapter is not included.

I can’t get anybody to admit the instruction manual exists, so all we have is the Amazon product description which is a bit scrambled.

I’ve had reasonably good luck with the Behringer UM2 USB preamplifier with 48 volts phantom power. I expect this microphone to work with that USB adapter. Other, more expensive units are available. Many people seem to like this one.

I would not just buy a 48v adapter and depend on the soundcard for the voice boosting. Soundcards are usually too noisy and low volume for that.


One more thing…

Muffled/low recording…

It’s a directional mic. And, most studio condensers are “side address” directional mics. That means you talk/sing into the front-side, NOT into the end like a typical hand-held stage mic. If you speak/sing into the end or into the back, the sound will be attenuated and muffled.

And if you’re on a laptop, it’s also possible you’re really recording on the laptop built-in microphone by accident. You can try the scratch test.

As a fuzzy rule, you speak into the side with the logo or lights.
Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 3.57.23 AM.png

Once again, thank you for your inputs (even though you made fun of my mike choice :wink: )

I’ll provide an update after I get the boost system.

  1. From what I’ve read lately, while some say you don’t need the boost for a table top, this USUALLY is NOT the case.
  2. The Amazon information on this mike is sketchy at best and the “info pack” on delivery is next to worthless.


Ok…got the 48V Phantom boost and…NO CHANGE.

The paper work on the NEEWER NW-100 says the boost does NOT increase mike volume.

Any other suggestions ya’ll??



Two different things.

Condenser microphones have electronics inside and some method has to be provided to run them. I have field microphones that take batteries. Studio microphones generally require Phantom Power, so called because power goes up to the microphone and sound comes back down on the same wires without interfering with each other.

I have a headset microphone that can use either one.

That has nothing to do with sound volume. If you apply 48 volt phantom power, it turns your dead device into a microphone. Now, regular microphone rules apply. Electronics are needed to boost the sound loud enough to be useful.

So you can plug it into the Mic-In of a sound mixer and boost it that way.

Or the Mic-In of a USB adapter like my UM2. That’s it on the left.
And etc. Of course, we’re still not entirely sure what you have there since the instructions are so scrambled.


Excelvan BM-800 Condenser” does need some voltage to work, not all computers will supply it …
Apparently, in some cases, phantom-power can help the BM-800 …

In Windows recording devices, the microphone properties may include “Microphone Boost” which increases volume, see …

even though you made fun of my mike choice

Actually, we haven’t done that yet. We’re just reading the info. If it seems like farce/fiction, it’s only because… it is.

Although the “Excelvan BM-800 Condenser” is often advertised as a “studio condenser microphone”, it isn’t. Even at wholesale prices from China, the cost of just the diaphragm of a real studio condenser microphone has a starting price that is double the price of this microphone. That does not mean that the microphone will be terrible, there are quite a few budget microphones available at very low prices that are remarkably good for the price. On the other hand, it will be nowhere near the quality of a mic costing $100+, either is sound quality, build quality or reliability.

When I first started recording I was using very cheap and basic kit, because that was all that I had access to. Over the years as my experience has increased, so has the quality (and cost) of my kit. With practice and attention to detail it is possible to make pretty reasonable recordings with basic kit, even if it’s not possible to make really professional recordings. On the other hand I’ve heard plenty of terrible recordings made with very expensive kit. Two clichés that come to mind: (1) You get what you pay for. (2) It’s not just what you’ve got, but what you do with it.

Ok…got the 48V Phantom boost and…NO CHANGE.

You got a what? Model number?.. Link?

…A regular phantom power supply doesn’t convert a studio mic into a computer mic. (A USB mixer or USB audio interface with XLR mic inputs and phantom power does make a studio condenser compatible with a computer.)

A phantom power supply would normally be used with a mixer or PA system that does not have phantom power. Dynamic mics (like the famous Shure SM58) don’t need phantom power so your typical PA system only needs phantom power if you want to use a studio condenser mic. There are also electret condenser stage mics that use a battery so they can be used with a PA system without phantom power. But again, stage mics are not compatible with a soundcard/laptop.

(even though you made fun of my mike choice > :wink: > )

We are struggling with the incomplete/conflicting specs/instructions. And, you’re struggling to make it work.

I told you that you probably bought the “wrong mic”. And, it is a “cheap mic” and it’s not a name-brand. Maybe it’s defective??? It seems to be a “phantom-powered studio mic”, and you don’t have the equipment for a studio mic… You don’t have XLR inputs and you don’t (didn’t) have phantom power… Maybe you can make it work with the right “adapters”… I don’t know… I feel like you’re digging yourself into a hole…

If you have a limited budget, a regular analog or USB computer is probably a better choice. You can get a computer mic from a computer store, an office supply store, or any place that sells computer accessories.

If you can spend more, a USB “podcast mic” (starting at about $100) is a better choice.* Or, a studio condenser (from a “known” manufacturer, starting at about $100) along with a proper USB interface (starting at about $100). You can get this better equipment from places that sell musical instruments, PA systems, and equipment for audio recording.


  • Podcast mics have their limitations too… They are not perfect for every situation, and sometimes the audio quality is not as good as a separate mic and interface. But in general, a $100+ podcast mic is way-better than a computer mic, or the mic built-into a laptop.


Although the “Excelvan BM-800 Condenser” is often advertised as a “studio condenser microphone”, it isn’t.

True!!! But, it’s supposed to hook-up to a balanced XLR connection like a studio condenser and it’s supposed to operate from 48V phantom power like a studio condenser.

It’s unclear if it works, or if it only works poorly, with a soundcard/laptop connection. So far, it seems to work poorly with a computer and we don’t know how well it would work with a proper interface or mixer.

And, it’s pretty obvious that there’s more money in the cosmetics & accessories than in the internal functional components. :wink:

“We had to postpone the a cappella rehearsal. The drummer didn’t show up.”

Which cellphone do you have?

Jeff Turner recently published a song he shot on his iPhone (not that song). He did it with Voice Memo. I recommend Music Memo (free download) as it doesn’t have voice processing and other environment filters.



Really appreciate your quick response. This is the phantom power unit recommended on the Amazon site to match my mike.

Cheap mike or not, I’ve seen numerous positive reviews on the mike, with demonstrations. I’m sure there are better, but audacity seems to work with no problems with MUCH lower quality mikes…

Is the something to double check on my setup??

I’ve read “low/muffled” comments elsewhere on this forum but cannot find them now.

Still looking for help. I’m off for the weekend but can try any recommendations Sunday evening.

Thanks again


See if you have “Microphone Boost” in microphone properties …

Mine says up to “40dB” of boost is available, which is a huge amount of gain.

We are struggling with the incomplete/conflicting specs/instructions.

And so are the reviewers.

WARNING: I no longer recommend using a USB soundcard to connect a microphone to your computer.

I think what’s flummoxing us is the product suite that’s designed to work from any soundcard and microphone connection anywhere, ever. That’s really rough to do and still make everything sound good. If something doesn’t work right, you never know what failed because so many tricks have been played.

Further, product names are slippery at this level. I don’t think the reviewer is condemning all USB soundcards. This one, for example, would probably work just fine.
Screen Shot 2017-07-14 at 17.11.33.png
I think what he was having trouble with is the ones the size of a throat lozenge.
Screen Shot 2017-07-14 at 17.13.23.png
Please note the microphone connection to these two products is completely different.

The Scarlett connects the microphone with an XLR cable.

and the Sabrent connects with a Tip, Ring, Sleeve cable.

In fact, that would normally call for two entirely different microphones, yet your one microphone claims to work with both. I don’t know how they did that.

One quick note. Always look for down reviews and pay attention when they all complain about the same thing. It’s a danger sign when all the reviews are positive and they all claim the product is a gift from the angels.



Thank you so much for the quick responses.

The phantom boost is what amazon recommended for the mike. It also said it was not really needed for a desktop, but other reviews said it was. I know I got a “cheap” mike, but it did have excellent reviews and I’m FAR from a professional. It is frustrating that many audacity tutorials use much cheaper and basic mikes with no problems

I remember " low/muffled recordings " threads on this forum but cannot find them now. Does ANYONE have some suggestions on the Audacity side of this equation of what I could be doing wrong. ASSUMING my hardware is all plugged in right, anything else on the setup that I may be missing???

I can’t reattempt until tomorrow but would greatly appreciate any new inputs.

Thank you


I remember the messages. That’s very common when somebody slips a cog and starts recording their laptop microphone instead of their high quality one by accident.

That’s not what’s happening to you. You have a unique microphone system which nobody here can diagnose. That in addition to doing it across multiple time zones.