By admin

    Before this blog post, I knew nothing about microphones other than how they work.  As I research for this post, I will be writing it, so I don’t know what the end result will be.  I didn’t know anything about microphone technology or the different types of microphones out there.  I just knew I needed a good one for recording my training videos, so, I researched microphones, and this blog post is the result of that research.


    My first stop was the microphone wiki-pedia page.  There are three main types of microphone, and those are:

    • Dynamic microphones use the kinetic energy of sound to move a coil in an electric field to change the inductance inside the microphone.

    • Condenser microphones use the kinetic energy of sound to change the capacitance inside the microphone.  A long time ago, capacitors were called condensers.

    • Piezoelectric microphones use the kinetic energy of sound to create a small current inside the microphone.

    In all cases, the kinetic energy of sound is used to change the electrical properties of the microphone.  These changes can be manipulated in the circuit as a change in resistance, current, or voltage.


    Polar patterns describe what directions the microphone picks up sound from.  The main three are omni-directional, cardioid, and bi-directional.











    Sensitivity is a measure of how much sound force is required in order to be captured by the microphone. Impedance is important when matching the microphone to the amplifier.  Frequency response indicates what frequencies the microphone can capture and how well it captures those frequencies.


    Now the questions left to answer are:

    1. Which type is the best?
    2. How much do you need to spend to get the performance level you need?


    Life is always about give an take and microphones are no exception.  My research indicates that “the best” is a relative term. Best for what? Are you capturing live, voice, radio, studio, podcasting, movies, music, nature, action, etc.?  Your application determines your choice. This link does a good job of comparing many different microphones: https://www.aeseaes.com/audio-production/microphone-comparison-i/  To be honest, my ears can’t tell the difference between any of the microphones, but I’m an ex wrestler and my ears don’t let much sound in.


    I then ran a couple youtube frequency sweep test videos.  One for low frequencies from 1Hz to 100Hz. And the second from 100Hz to 20,000Hz.  What I found was my speakers only produced discernible sound between 55Hz and 10,000Hz.  


    To answer the 2 questions, first, the best one for me is anything that performs like the Shure SM58 and can connect straight to my computer will probably work well.  The answer to the second question, I would need to spend at least $129 to buy a Shure SM58 from Amazon, but, all Shure microphones come with a 3 pin professional connection.  I might be able to find a microphone that uses discarded SM58 cartridge, but I don’t know how to determine that. The next option is to find a microphone with the same performance specifications as the Shure SM58, which are:

        Type ==> Dynamic

    Frequency Response ==> 50 to 15,000

        Polar Pattern ==> Cardioid

        Sensitivity ==> -54.5dBV/Pa

        Impedance ==> 150 Ohm


    Searching on Amazon, for “professional dynamic microphone” will provide microphones that match the Shure SM58 specs that start at about $50, and have good reviews.


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