My Home Office Setup
Here’s a list of everything I use at my home office setup.
I put it together because people usually comment about it or ask me what mic or camera I use (I suppose it looks or sounds nice on Zoom).
You’ll notice that some (if not most) of the items are pretty expensive. I tried building the setup with cheap alternatives but nothing worked this well and I wasted a ton of money along the way.
If you work from home, your video and sound are all people see so I feel that it’s a worthwhile investment. But, of course this is your call! :-)
Mic: Shure MV7 ($250 on sale)
It’s the little brother of the legendary Shure SM7B which most podcasters and radio stations use. But this one is much cheaper and is USB so it does not require several extra hundreds of dollars for a preamp and audio interface. Just plug it in and you are good to go.
Mic Boom Arm: Rhode PSA1 ($100)
The mic by itself is no good if it’s too far away from your mouth and if you just put it on your desk it will be in the way. This boom arm is perfect to move it close during meetings and out of the way when you work.
(Optional) Mic Windscreen ($15)
I replaced the original windscreen that came with the MV7 because I noticed it wasn’t doing a great job at blocking the pops.
Headphones: Bose QC 45 ($280)
I prefer these over the Bose 700. For some reason they are way more comfortable on my ears and don’t make them overheat.
I have them plugged on my mic and usually hang them on the boom when I don’t use them.
Alternative Headphones: MME audio M6 PRO ($50)
If you like in-ear earbuds, these are the go-to cheap ones for professional touring musicians. They aren’t as distracting as giant headphones and they provide great noice isolation. But I’m generally not the biggest fan of in-ear headphones (not as comfortable for me) so I don’t use them as much.
Light: Elgato Key Light ($200)
I experimented with lots of different lighting setups but one of these, bouncing off of a wall (in my case a slanted attic celing) was by far the best. Even with a window behind my back this created a soft and pleasant light, strong enough to make my video look good.
I intentionally put the light before the camera because a good light with a bad camera still looks pretty good. A good camera with bad light will look far worse. Plus, a good light is probably cheaper than a good camera.
Camera: Sony ZV-1 ($750)
Do you really need this? Maybe not. You could probably slap a virtual background and call it a day. But IMHO having an external camera elevates the setup.
You don’t have to buy this specific camera – any DSLR-style camera works. But I think that all webcams (even the $150 Logitech Brio) are garbage. You’ll need a ton of light to make them look half decent, at night you will look like a zombie, and if your setup forces you to have a window behind your desk then all people see is your black silhouette.
Camera Capture Card: Elgato Cam Link 4K ($100)
If you use a DLSR style camera, you’ll need an interface to connect it to your laptop. This one seems to work just fine.
Mini HDMI -> HDMI ($10) https://amzn.to/476dGQI
HDMI -> USB-C ($15) https://amzn.to/3QsZGuL
Make sure to get good quality cables because they’ll need to carry 4K signal at low latency. These two worked well for me after trying a few different ones. Some others made my laptop try harder or introduced latency to my video feed.
I clamped this arm on the keylight arm, behind my monitor, and set my camera on it. If you have a different arrangement for your camera then you don’t need this.
Monitor: LG UltraFine 32’’ UHD 4K IPS ($500)
You probably already have a monitor but if you are in the market for one, I bought this one in 2020 and I still really like it. The LG Ergo Stand that comes with it is also really nice and convenient.
Programmable Macro Keys: Stream Deck ($150)
This is a nice little gadget to add some extra macros. I use it to turn on/off the Zoom video and audio, launch apps, display timezones, record Looms, show custom VS Code macros, etc.
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