A microphone (term coined in the 18th century from the prefix micro, “small” and the ancient Greek ϕωνήi – phoné, “voice”) is a device used to transform sound waves into electrical energy and vice versa in sound recording and reproduction processes; it consists essentially of a diaphragm attracted by an electromagnet, which, when vibrating, modifies the current transmitted by the different pressures to a circuit. A microphone works as a transducer or electro-acoustic sensor and converts the sound (sound waves) into an electric signal to increase its intensity, transmit it and record it. Microphones have multiple applications in different fields such as telephony, science, health, sound transmission in concerts and public events, sound transmission in mass media such as audiovisual productions (cinema and television), radio, live and recorded professional audio production, sound engineering development, voice recognition and VoIP.
Today, most microphones use electromagnetic induction (dynamic microphones), capacitance switching (condenser microphones) or piezoelectricity (piezoelectric microphones) to produce an electrical signal from air pressure variations. Microphones usually require connection to a preamplifier before their signal can be recorded or processed and played back on speakers or any sound amplification device.
Over time, mankind understood the need to develop more efficient and far-reaching communication tools. Thus, the desire was born to increase the volume of words that sought to be transmitted. The oldest device to achieve this dates back to 600 B.C.; it was a mask with mouth openings that had a special acoustic design that increased the volume of the voice in amphitheatres. In 1665, the English physicist Robert Hooke was the first to experiment with an element like air by inventing the canned telephone that consisted of a wire attached to a cup at each end.
In 1827, Charles Wheatstone first used the word microphone to describe an acoustic device designed to amplify weak sounds. Between 1870 and 1880, the history of the microphone and audio recordings began. The first microphone was part of the phonograph, which at that time was the most common device for reproducing recorded sound, and was known as the first dynamic microphone.
The German inventor Johann Philipp Reis designed a rudimentary sound transmitter, which used a metal strip attached to a vibrating membrane and produced an intermittent current. In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone and for the first time included a functional microphone that used an electromagnet. This device was known as a ‘liquid transmitter’, with the diaphragm connected to a conductive rod in an acid solution. These systems, however, offered very low quality sound pickup, prompting the inventors to follow alternative design paths.
There are many microphone options on the market. That is why, in addition to being clear about the use you want to make of it, it is important that you know a set of determining factors for choosing a quality microphone. Below, we describe the characteristics you should pay attention to before making your purchase.
Microphone One of the essential characteristics of a microphone is the quality of the sound it picks up. This quality can be influenced by different factors such as device sensitivity, sound pressure level, dynamic range, and frequency response.
The sensitivity of the microphone, for example, is critical to the type of sound it picks up. Therefore, the more sensitive the device, the more sounds it can pick up from its surroundings. On the other hand, if the receiver is too sensitive, loud sounds can generate distortion in the diaphragm.
The sound pressure level, on the other hand, indicates the maximum number of decibels (dB) that the microphone can pick up before it begins to generate sound disturbance. It is a characteristic that is the opposite of sensitivity and which you should also pay attention to depending on how you want to use your microphone.
One characteristic that relates maximum pressure levels to receptivity for low frequency sounds is dynamic range. It can also refer to the device’s frequency response, which determines the ranges between high and low frequencies perceived by the device.
Generally, sound frequency is reflected in units of hertz (Hz) and a microphone for recording a vocalist or a karaoke microphone has an acceptable frequency response range of 80 Hz to 15000 Hz. It is important to note that the quality of sound depends not only on the microphone, but also on the devices or speakers used to reproduce the acoustic signals picked up by the microphone.
As for the options, it is worth noting the different ways in which a microphone can pick up sounds according to its polar patterns.
In essence, the polar pattern defines the directions in which the microphone receives acoustic signals or vibrations. Generally, we find five types of polar patterns in a microphone for which they pick up or dismiss sounds that collide with the diaphragm. These are omnidirectional, directional, cardioid, supercardioid, or hypercardioid microphones.
Omnidirectional microphones can pick up sound signals from all angles and directions, making them ideal for recording sounds from a whole physical environment.
Two-way microphones, also called figure-8 microphones, are used to pick up sounds from the front or rear, ignoring those coming from the sides or vice versa.
This configuration can work for a studio microphone where you want to record two instruments at once. Other options are cardioid microphones, which are so called because they receive the signal at angles that form a heart. They pick up signals from the front and to some extent from the side and discard those from the back. Supercardioids further reduce the reception angle of the microphone than cardioids, rejecting sounds from the sides.
Hypercardioid microphones, on the other hand, focus more on sounds from the front at a specific angle where they are aimed. This ensures a better balance between the incident sound and the surrounding sound.
An indispensable feature you should know before buying a microphone is its connectivity. On the market you can find wireless microphones that are basically microphones with Bluetooth. You can also find microphones with USB connectivity, which are ideal for those who need a PC microphone.
The most common connectors on a professional microphone are the plug or jack type TS for mono or TRS for stereo and the XLR or Canon connectors, which are safer and more robust.
In any case, you should know that there are all kinds of adapters that allow you to couple the different types of connections to other devices. These are very useful in case the microphone connection is not compatible with the device you want to connect it to.
person with a microphone An external microphone, i.e. one that is not built into photo or video cameras, is the ideal tool to capture sounds professionally and reproduce them in optimum quality.
You can use a microphone to record songs in a studio, perform karaoke, speak clearly at a conference, video call or event, record your podcast or simply record the sounds of nature for your videos or other projects.
person singing with a microphone There are many types of microphones and they are very useful as they have several multi-purpose functions. Thanks to their ability to perceive sounds at different frequencies, they guarantee entertainment.
In addition, some of them are perfect for using on your computer to get the most out of all your sound or video addition applications. These devices are also very important for the world of podcasting, as a podcast with quality audio gains much more than one with low quality where things are not well understood.
These on-demand programs, which can be made from home, require the use of a quality microphone that allows for clear and distortion-free sound reproduction. Therefore, there are many models focused on the world of streaming.
Comparison of the 10 best-selling recording microphones Recording microphones, the more quality they have the more isolated you will hear what you record. In this type of product, cheap is expensive. So it’s worth investing to avoid annoying noise and your voice.
Depending on what you want, you can find a condenser microphone made of different materials. We recommend from our page a very good material for the function that we have explained before, as it is the metallic copper.
Below we have a compilation of the 10 best microphones for recording. They are the best, because they have the most competitive and updated prices in the Internet. We also offer you a history of the product and the option to create an alert for when there is a discount.
✔【Función of Reverberación】：AGPTEK pc microphone has a reverberation function, which can make your voice more natural and stereo. With 2 rotary buttons on the microphone you can adjust the echo effect and volume according to your needs.
✔【Grabación Impeccable Profesionales】：El cardioid directional condenser microphone can capture clear and dynamic sound, isolate noise, very suitable for live video recording, recording and other needs.
✔【Enchufar Usar】：El usb microphone with sound card included, connect directly to the USB port of your computer or laptop for recording (The usb cable is 2.5M. Cannot be used on mobile phones)
✔【Trípode Estable】: The package is equipped with a stable and sturdy tripod, which can provide excellent range of motion and make your recording more convenient.
✔【Aplicación Amplia】：Se can be applied to live broadcast, Youtube podcasts, music recording, video recording, Tik Tok, etc.
✔【Grabaciones Impeccable Profesionales】: The lavalier microphone has a wide frequency response and high sensitivity, and can effectively reduce noise for professional results. You can easily record audio and video files perfectly on your smartphone and tablet.
✔【Con 3 * Adapter, Better Compatibilidad】: Comes with 3 adapter includes C-type cable. Suitable for recording voice or video by various Android Smartphone, iPhone (For iPhone 7+, lightning adapter is needed), Computers, Tablet, Line Recorder, etc. No additional plugs or batteries are required. Plug and Play.
✔【Mejor Record on Air Libre】: Comes with a windshield, designed for use in high wind or outdoor environments. It effectively cuts out distracting outside noise while remaining acoustically transparent.
✔【Fácil and Llevar】: The microphone has a 2M long cable, so recording is not limited by distance. It comes with a metal lapel clip so you can attach the microphone to your shirt, tie or pocket for hands-free use. A PU bag is included to better protect your microphone.
✔【Usos Amplios】: Suitable for classroom teaching, interview recording, program recording, lecture speeches, video speeches, event organization, K-songs, etc.
Product compatibility should be known prior to purchasing the microphone. Although they are all made with a USB cable which makes them easier to use. We quote some brand names of this type of microphones: Woxter, Tonor, Auna, Hizek, HURRISE and UGREEN.
Finally, if the use is more professional, we can enter to value the design. Nowadays, they are widely used in the Youtube area. As the content creator is growing in the platform he is improving his microphone and thus his sound quality is increasing.
This is a study capacitor model. It has a suspended and adjustable body, with a scissor arm. It minimizes background noise and has a rugged design.
This is a computer microphone with a USB connection. It produces clear, powerful, high-quality sound for use on streaming platforms. It allows you to record all kinds of sounds thanks to its cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional and stereo pick-up patterns.
It’s a dynamic microphone with a 5-meter cable. It is compatible with different devices such as DVD, TV, audio system or other equipment. It offers a high quality sound and also has a robust design that makes it very resistant.
We hope we helped you in your choice. With them you will be able to record songs, videos, among others.