The Cheapest Way to Ship Microphones & Audio Equipment

Learn which service is the most affordable way to send a microphone, how to package them properly, and how shipping software will save you the most money on postage costs
the cheapest way to ship microphones and audio equipment
Written on:

Microphones and smaller audio equipment such as preamplifiers and other “outboard gear” are hiding in plain sight in some common places. Just think about convention centers, auditoriums, and hotel ballrooms; each of these locations requires microphones and audio equipment to host events. Since microphones can be found everywhere, they’re one of the most popular pieces of audio equipment to ship! However, microphones are delicate items….and some are quite expensive, which makes shipping them properly all the more important. This guide is all about choosing the most affordable carrier for shipping microphones, how to package them to prevent damage, and how to save the most money on your labels. Let’s rock!

Table of Contents

USPS vs UPS: Which Carrier is More Affordable for Shipping a Microphone?

When choosing between USPS and UPS for sending a microphone, USPS will offer slightly better rates through USPS Ground Advantage. USPS Ground Advantage is the Postal Service’s most affordable shipping option, and all shipments travel via ground transportation only. Estimated delivery timeframes are advertised between 2-5 business days, and each label comes with $100 of built-in USPS insurance. Since microphones often don’t require time-sensitive delivery like perishables, it makes sense to opt for a slower service if it will save you the most money.

Pro Tip: While USPS Ground Advantage wins out when comparing retail rates offered at the Post Office and the UPS Store, UPS Ground may be the most affordable choice when using shipping software to buy postage online. We’ll get to that in the last section of this article!

Why Not FedEx?

The third of the major carriers in the U.S., FedEx offers great shipping options for small businesses and individuals alike. However, their rates for sending a smaller package are the most expensive out of all three carriers. Generally speaking, FedEx specializes in transporting sensitive documents, business deliveries, emergency overnight deliveries, and niche shipments like packages of frozen food.

How to Properly Pack Microphones & Other Audio Equipment for Shipment

Now, let’s talk about the packaging. The first and main rule of packing microphones is to use the original manufacturer’s packaging, if possible. Each microphone comes with a hardshell case, and most times, that case is fitted with custom foam cutouts which are built to keep that exact microphone secure and protected.

If you don’t have the original hardshell case, you can wrap the microphone in several layers of cloth or foam sheets. Once you’ve wrapped it all up, tape it together so that the microphone is completely covered and unable to be touched. A good test to see whether you’ve used enough packaging is to toss the wrapped microphone a few inches into the air and catch it. If you feel the microphone at all inside the foam/cloth wrapping when you catch it, you need to pad it with more layers.

Once your microphone is secure in its hardshell case (or you’ve wrapped it with enough cloth or foam sheets), place the entire thing inside a brand-new, corrugated cardboard box. The key is to use a box that’s big enough to fit your microphone case comfortably, but small enough that it doesn’t move around much when you shake it. If there’s space left over inside of the cardboard box, consider filling it in with additional packing materials like air pillows or packing peanuts.

Pro Tip: You can purchase cardboard boxes of all sizes on the ULINE website.

Consider Adding Shipping Insurance to Protect Expensive Audio Gear

While USPS offers some level of protection, many microphones are worth more than the $100 of built-in insurance you get with a Ground Advantage label. Since microphones are both delicate and expensive, protecting your package with shipping insurance is a must.

When you purchase extra shipping insurance, you can file a claim for your microphone’s total value if your package goes missing during transit or if it arrives damaged. Most shipping insurance companies only charge a little more than $1 for every $100 of declared value, and in our experience, paying a few extra bucks is well worth it for the peace of mind you get knowing that you can file a claim for an expensive item in case something goes wrong.

For Ultra-Expensive Microphones, UPS Offers Carrier Liability for Up to $50,000

Most shipping insurance companies allow you to declare up to $5,000 per package, which is a high enough threshold to cover the majority of microphones. However, some microphones can be worth thousands of dollars and may exceed the $5,000 threshold that most shipping insurance companies allow! Neumann and Telefunken condenser microphones are examples of some of these high-end pieces.

If this is the case for the microphone you’re sending, you may be glad to know that UPS provides carrier liability of up to $50,000 per package.

How Can I Access This Level of UPS Carrier Liability?

If your microphone is worth more than $5,000 but less than $50,000, you’ll need to create a UPS account to access this level of liability protection. Once you have a UPS account, you’ll need to buy your label with UPS directly online, or go to your local UPS Store and provide your UPS account number when purchasing your service.

Learn more about using UPS to send high-value items.

Save Money on Microphone & Audio Equipment Packages with Shipping Software

When you’re set to send your microphone, don’t go to your local Post Office to buy USPS Ground Advantage postage! If you do, you’ll pay much more to ship your box than you need to. Instead, purchase specially discounted USPS labels through online shipping software.

By using online shipping software, you gain access to USPS services like Ground Advantage at deeply discounted rates that the Postal Service and other carriers typically only give to shippers who send more than 50,000 packages a year. These shipping software companies offer customers these discounts thanks to their economies-of-scale agreements with shipping carriers. In some cases, shipping with these discounts can save you up to 89% off what you’d pay to send the same box with Ground Advantage at the Post Office!

Some UPS Services Get Even More Affordable With Shipping Software

On top of the huge discounts you get with shipping software, some companies even offer special UPS discounts that make UPS the more affordable option for sending a microphone! UPS offers a specially discounted subset of UPS Ground called “UPS Ground Saver” which is more affordable than USPS Ground Advantage! You’ll never see this service available at the UPS Store or on the UPS website, though. The only way you can access it is through shipping software…and even then, only a few shipping software solutions offer it in the first place.

When choosing the right shipping software, make sure to view their rate tables and see if they offer UPS Ground Saver as an option!

Looking for the right shipping software for you?

To get the deepest discounts on USPS & UPS labels, check out our guide:

Choose the Best Shipping Software

Last Updated:
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share via Email

No Comments

Be the first to comment!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Shipping Guides