Understand the Quality of the Microphone from Sensitivity and Frequency Response

- Sep 04, 2018-

We can judge whether a microphone is suitable for the occasion we want by the structure of the microphone (moving coil or condenser) and the pointing characteristics (cardioid, omnidirectional shape, etc.). However, we conclude that the quality and performance of a microphone will not be as simple as that.

The quality of the recording is ultimately determined by the worst quality component in the device, ie the recording quality is no better than the corresponding quality of this worst component. If you don't have a high-quality microphone with accurate sound, you can't record high-quality vocal or instrumental performances. High quality microphones can help you get the best results from live shows.

Sensitivity and frequency response characteristics are two very important aspects when evaluating the performance of a microphone. Sensitivity depends on the size of the signal produced by the microphone pair-fixed sound pressure signal. In general, the bigger the signal is, the better. The larger the signal, the higher the signal level produced and the higher the signal-to-noise ratio of the microphone. In any energy conversion, some ineffective energy is converted into noise. For the same sound signal, the higher the effective signal level of the microphone output, the smaller the relative noise.

Regarding the sensitivity of the microphone, we often encounter some confusing indicators. If you want to consider only one of them, you can start with the sound pressure level (SPL). The output signal level of a low-impedance microphone is generally lower than the input sound level, and SPL tells you how low it is. The SPL is represented by a negative decibel number, such as -50 dB (-50 dB greater than -60 dB in this indicator).

Note: Not every SPL given by the manufacturer is relative to the same input signal. When comparing microphones produced by different manufacturers, you must ensure that they all use the same reference signal; otherwise you must obtain the comparison results under the same conditions through cumbersome mathematical calculations. The reference signal is usually listed after the SPL, such as -74dB (0dB = 1V/mb, 1kHz).



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