I CARRY TWO MICS (at left) in my Bihn bag because I like to have gear that works with both my laptop and my digital audio recorders. I like mics that can be used in the field with dedicated recorders as well as being useful when lined in via my laptop's mic port. A few years ago, the USB mics I used generated hiss or hum that I could not reduce by a software gate so I started using the mic ports instead. I prefer the Rode or Beyerdynamic shotgun mics (both costing more than EUR 200) because they capture a wider range of the human voice. The Audio Technica lapel mic is convenient but as its recording level shows on the Audioboo clip, it's not as good as the Rode mic. It cost me EUR 120. Both of my mics are powered by a single AA battery and they have proven to be very resistant to damage in the field. In fact, the weak link is the XLR-to-3.5 cable. As I'll explain in a workshop at the ICT in Education Conference, it's easy to pull and disconnect internal leads on that cable. To hear the audio comparison of my two mics, click the link attached to my blog post.
On Audioboo: "Two Mics to Test IE9 Line-in".