University of Minnesota Office of Classroom Management
Office of Undergraduate Education
http://classroom.umn.edu

Microphones

(For printable instructions, click here.)

Voice amplification equipment/microphones are available in select classrooms. To locate a classroom with a microphone installed, view this chart of room features. For video instructions on using classroom microphones, see the microphone video tutorial.

The equipment is located at or near the instructor station, sometimes inside a drawer.  There are three types of microphones installed in classrooms: lectern/table, wired, and wireless. In addition, wireless microphones may be battery-operated, handheld, or rechargeable.

For most types of microphones, the volume is optimized for the classroom and is not user adjustable. The projection system “Audio Mute” and volume controls do not affect most microphones, but there may be a volume control on some wired microphones that are tethered to a PA speaker or microphone jack at the instructor station.

Lectern/table microphones:

  • Use the button near the base of the microphone to unmute or turn on the microphone. Some table microphones remain unmuted only as long as the button is pressed.
A lectern microphone

Wired microphones:

  • Make sure the microphone is plugged into the microphone jack or portable PA system/speaker.
  • If available, make sure the switch on the corded microphone is switched to “on” and adjust the volume using the controls on the cord.
  • IMPORTANT: return the microphone/system to the instructor station area after use.

 

A wired microphone

Wireless microphones (handheld):

  • Turn on the microphone using the on/off switch. The switch may be on the side or bottom of the microphone. (For some models, you need to press and hold the power button for a few seconds.)
  • If the microphone does not work, try changing the batteries.
  • IMPORTANT: turn off the microphone when finished and return it to the instructor’s station.

 

A wireless microphone

Wireless microphones (battery-operated, lapel-style):

  • Clip the microphone about three inches below your chin.  Since volume is not adjustable, move the microphone to achieve increased or decreased volume levels.
  • Turn on the microphone. (For some models, you need to press and hold the power button for a few seconds.)
  • If the microphone does not work, first try changing the batteries.
  • IMPORTANT: turn off the microphone when finished and return it to the instructor’s station.

 

A wireless microphone designed to be worn

Rechargeable wireless microphones

  • Locate the microphone in the charging base at the instructor station. The charging base may be in a drawer.
  • Remove the microphone from the charging base and clip it to your shirt, about 3 inches below your chin.
  • Use the button on the microphone to unmute or mute the microphone.
  • Please note: The LED indicator light on the top of the microphone will indicate its status:
    • If it is blinking red, press the side button to unmute it.
    • If it is green, the microphone is charged and on.
    • If it is blinking yellow/green, the battery is low.
    • If it is solid red, the microphone is useable but not fully charged.
    • If it is blinking with any other combination of colors, there is a problem with the microphone.

    IMPORTANT: when finished using the microphone, return it to the charging base to ensure that it remains charged for the next instructor.

    Note: if you travel more than 65 feet from the charging base, the unit will turn off and emit an alarm beep to alert you to return the microphone to its charging base.

 

A wireless rechargeable microphone

 

 

Rechargeable microphone with headset attachment

If the microphone is broken or missing, call the Classroom Support Hotline (612-625-1086) to dispatch and install a new microphone. There will be a delay while the technician installs the new microphone. 

If a microphone needs to be charged, place it back in the charger for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. If both microphones are depleted, place them back in the charger and swap them out as the new charge is depleted. If the room has a lectern microphone, use it until the wireless microphones are charged. There is no rapid deployment of charged microphones available.

 

Tips

  • Since volume is not user adjustable, reposition the microphone using the clip on your clothing to increase or decrease volume.
  • If a battery-operated microphone is not working properly, first change the batteries. Spare batteries should be in or near the instructor station.
  • If a rechargeable microphone is not working properly, first try using the second microphone.
  • If you encounter problems while using a classroom microphone, or to report a room without batteries, call the Classroom Support Hotline at 612-625-1086. For fastest service, use the phone in the room, if available.
  • IMPORTANT: turn off all battery-operated microphones, or return rechargeable microphones to their charging base, at the end of use.

If you have questions about using microphones in general purpose classrooms, please contact the Classroom Support Hotline at 612-625-1086 or classrm@umn.edu.