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Contents


Introduction

A microphone ('mic' for short, pronounced "mike") is a device for converting audible sound into a signal. To accomplish this task with the optimum efficiency and quality of result requires a type of mic that is appropriate to the particular situation, so there are many different types of mics − some designed for very specific applications and others that are more general purpose.


"When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven't." − Thomas Edison.


Types of Microphone

Mics can be categorised in several different ways. The most important of these categories are described below.

Dynamic or Condenser

All types of microphone incorporate some form of diaphragm − this is a small thin surface which vibrates in sympathy with the sound pressure waves reaching the microphone. However, dynamic and condenser mics vary in how these vibrations are used to produce an electrical signal.

  • In a dynamic mic, sound is converted to an electrical signal by the vibrations of the diaphragm causing the vibration of a coil in a magnetic field − effectively an electrical generator on a very small scale. (This is the exact opposite of the operation of a speaker driver.) As this produces sufficient signal level for direct connection to a PA system, no amplification of the signal is required within the mic. Dynamic mics are most useful for close-proximity applications (i.e. 0 to 15 cm) such as lead vocals, guitar amplifiers, etc. The sensitivity of low impedance dynamic mics is typically in the region of 1 to 3 mV/Pa. (Impedance is explained later on this page.)
  • In a condenser mic (also called a capacitor mic), sound is converted to an electrical signal by the vibrations of the diaphragm causing changes in the capacitance of a charged capacitor. This is achieved by the diaphragm itself being one of the plates of the capacitor. As this produces a very small signal level, some initial amplification of the signal is required within the mic itself. This internal amplifier may be powered either by an internal battery or by power supplied from the mixer (usually at 48 volts d.c.). The latter arrangement is called phantom powering and is only possible when using a balanced connection between the mic and the PA system. (For mic connection types see Low-impedance or High-impedance.) Unfortunately the amplifier inevitably introduces some noise into the mic signal − see the Microphone Noise Levels section below. Condenser mics are most useful for larger distances between the sound source and the mic (i.e. 15 cm upwards), such are encountered with lecterns and with overhead miking of drum kits, choirs, theatre stages etc. They can be more prone than dynamic mics to making a "popping" sound when used close-up with a "breathy" sound source such as a voice or a wind instrument, though this problem can be reduced with a windshield. They are generally more fragile than dynamic mics, so are rarely employed for rough stage use or in very high SPL applications. They are however capable of a higher quality sound than dynamic mics, and the best versions are therefore extensively used in studio recording work. The sensitivity of low impedance condenser mics is typically in the region of 3 to 20 mV/Pa.

Omni-directional or Uni-directional

  • Omni-directional mics pick up sound with equal sensitivity from all directions. This is not normally useful for PA work, because in PA work each mic is targetted at a single sound source (so that the amplification given to that sound can be controlled separately from others, and so that pick-up of unwanted sounds can be minimised). Their application is generally limited to recording work (particularly of ambient sounds) and to sound-level measurement.
  • Uni-directional mics pick up sound with greater sensitivity from the front than from other directions. There are several variations on this theme. Each of the following types is illustrated with a polar response diagram, in which increased sensitivity in a particular direction is indicated by the line on the diagram being closer to the outer circle. Imagine the microphone diaphragm being located at the centre of the circle, with the most sensitive end (or side) of the microphone facing towards the top of the circle. So, the upper-most point of the line on each diagram indicates the sensitivity at the front of the microphone, or at '0 degrees' − i.e. the on-axis response, and the lower-most point indicates the sensitivity at the back, or at '180 degrees'. (The diagrams below are simplified to illustrate typical mid-frequency responses; in practice the polar responses vary with frequency, so check the manufacturer's specifications.)
    • Sub-cardioid mics have a very gradually reducing sensitivity from the front to the back, maintaining some sensitivity at the back.
    • Cardioid mics have a gradually reducing sensitivity from the front to the back, with very little sensitivity at the back.
    • Super-cardioid mics reduce their sensitivity from the front to the sides at a faster rate than cardioid types, reaching a minimum sensitivity at an angle of around 120-140°, measured from the front. The sensitivity then increases again towards the back, but the sensitivity at the back is still very much less than at the front.
    • Hyper-cardioid mics provide even less sensitivity at the sides than do super-cardioid types, at the expense of a little more sensitivity at the back. Therefore, a monitor speaker should never be placed directly behind this type of mic. Their minimum sensitivity is at an angle of around 100-120°, measured from the front.
    • 'Rifle' or 'shotgun' mics are the most directional type, so-called because of their long rifle-like barrels. They are generally used only for long-distance miking (more than 2 metres from the source), e.g. for theatrical work, and should be located such that the back of the mic is not exposed to unwanted sounds.
  • Bi-directional types
    Although not featured in the title of this sub-section (as they are rarely used in live PA work), bi-directional mics get a mention here for completeness. They pick up sound with equal sensitivity from two opposite directions, shown in the diagram as the front and back; in practice however, as these are usually side-addressed types, the sensitive directions are most commonly on two of its sides.

Low-impedance or High-impedance

  • Low-impedance mics have an impedance of from around 50 to 600 ohms and may only be connected to low-impedance mic inputs. They come in two varieties, each of which should only be connected to the corresponding variety of low-impedance mic input:
    • Unbalanced, where one of the two signal-carrying conductors of the interconnection between the mic and the system is also the signal earth conductor of the interconnection, usually provided by the screen of the cable(s). With this arrangement, the cables are prone to pick-up of interference from stray magnetic fields, earth loops and radio signals, and so these types of mic are suitable only for use with moderate lengths of cable (up to around 10 metres). They are relatively uncommon.
    • Balanced, where the two signal-carrying conductors of the interconnection are separate conductors from the signal earth (cable screen) of the interconnection. This arrangement is highly immune to pick-up of interference, and so may be used with very long lengths of cable (up to 200 metres), provided it is of good quality. Also, balanced connections allow the use of phantom powering. Nearly all professional and semi-professional mics are of this type. See the diagram for connection arrangements.
  • High-impedance mics have an impedance very much greater than 600 ohms − usually in the range of 5,000 to 15,000 ohms (5 kilohms to 15 kilohms). They may only be connected to high-impedance mic inputs. Such inputs are rare in PA systems, as they may only be used with short cables (less than 5 metres) if the signal is not to suffer from a reduction in high audio frequencies (treble), resulting in a loss of clarity.

To enable a high-impedance mic to be connected to a low-impedance input, or vice versa, a microphone matching transformer can be used. To minimise loss of signal quality, it is important to use a good quality transformer and to locate it so as to minimise the length of the high impedance cable run. To avoid pick-up of hum by the transformer, do not locate it close to mains-powered equipment.

Boundary or Conventional

  • A boundary mic is a special type which when placed on a surface utilises the sound energy collected at that surface to provide a greater sensitivity (and therefore, potentially, a better signal-to-noise ratio). Many such mics are generally equally sensitive to sounds in all directions above the surface (a so-called 'half-omni' response pattern) and most are condenser types. Typically used for speech, where a convenient surface such as a desk or lectern is available, though some types have a 'built-in' plate to act as the surface. Also known as a 'pressure-zone microphone' (PZM), which is a trademarked name.
  • By "conventional" here, we just mean "not a boundary mic".

Wired or Radio

  • Wired mics connect to the PA system by means of a cable. The cable usually attaches to the mic by means of a 3-pole XLR connector.
  • Radio (or 'wireless') mics contain a battery-powered radio transmitter. The radio signal from this transmitter is picked up by a receiver which is connected to the PA system. The mic and the receiver are purchased as a pair and are referred to as a "radio mic system".

    Most radio mic systems use a frequency-modulated (FM) radio signal at VHF or UHF frequencies, or in the 2.4 GHz frequency band. (Strictly, each system does not operate at a single frequency, but rather uses a narrow range of frequencies called a 'channel'. The frequency that is quoted is the carrier frequency, the frequency at the centre of the channel.) The frequencies used are either "licensed" or "de-regulated". Use of a licensed frequency requires payment of an annual license fee. Use of the de-regulated frequencies is free, but as their use is uncontrolled by licensing it is more likely that interference will be experienced from other users. Warning: Some UHF systems will allow you set the operating frequency to a value outside the legal ranges, but this is clearly very inadvisable and may incur severe penalties. All systems, regardless of whether licensed or de-regulated frequencies are used, must comply with the appropriate standards. In particular, these standards put limits on the maximum power output of the transmitters and on the maximum levels of spurious frequencies that may be radiated.

    • For VHF systems in the UK there are:
      • 5 de-regulated frequencies,
      • 6 frequencies that are licenced for single-site use (in this case it is the site that is licensed, not the equipment) and
      • 15 frequencies that are licenced for any-site use.
      The frequencies are listed below.

      De-regulated
      (MPT 1345/1311
      equipment)
      173.8, 174.1, 174.5, 174.8 and 175.0 MHz
      Single-site licenced
      (MPT 1350
      equipment)
      176.4, 177.0, 192.3, 200.1, 207.7 and 208.1 MHz
      Any-site licenced
      (MPT 1350
      equipment)
      175.25, 175.525, 176.6, 191.9, 192.8, 193.0, 199.7, 200.3, 200.6, 208.3, 208.6, 209.0, 216.1, 216.6 and 216.8 MHz

    • Many UHF systems are tunable, i.e. can be adjusted to operate on one of several frequencies. UHF systems are generally better than VHF ones, as there is less radio-frequency interference around at UHF.

      Most UHF systems in the UK operate now within the frequency range known as 'channel 38' (licensed systems) or within the frequency range known as 'channel 70' (licence-free systems).

      • Channel 38 (606 to 614 MHz) is now allocated as an any-site ('shared use') regulated band for UHF PMSE radio systems in the UK, replacing the 14 specified licenced frequencies previously available within Channel 69 (854 to 862 MHz). This change, which completed at the end of 2012, is part of the move to clear the so-called '800 MHz band' (790 to 862 MHz) for other services. Channel 38 is generally able to accommodate at least 8 simultaneous system frequencies without mutual interference (depending on the equipment specifications).

      • The lower part of channel 70 is allocated as a de-regulated band that is wide enough to accommodate 8 or 9 UHF radio system channels. This band is sometimes referred to as '863 to 865' (its approximate frequency range), or as the ISM or ETS band. Its use for PMSE applications remains unaffected by the move to clear the so-called '800 MHz band' (790 to 862 MHz) for other services throughout much of Europe. Note that as the 863 to 865 MHz band is not reserved for professional entertainment purposes but is available for general use, interference from other types of equipment may sometimes be experienced. For example, these frequencies are used by some home entertainment equipment such as wireless headphones.

      • Single-site licences may be granted for PMSE use on frequencies within the ranges used for TV broadcasting, i.e. 470.0 to 550.0 MHz and 614.0 to 790.0 MHz (channels 21-30 and 39-60). This is possible because within the service area of each broadcast TV transmitter there are channels that have to remain unused for TV broadcasting, in order to avoid interference with TV transmissions in adjoining areas and for other technical reasons. Controlled use of radio systems on specific frequencies within some of these unused channels may be judged not to be detrimental to TV broadcasts, because of the (relatively) very low transmitted power level of radio systems and the narrow bandwidth they employ. In the UK, such PMSE use was until the end of 2012 mostly within channels 67 and 68 (838 to 854 MHz), but these frequencies (in fact the whole of the range 790 to 862 MHz) is no longer available for this purpose.

      The channel 38 and channel 70 frequencies are listed below.

      Licenced
      channel 38
      Any-site*
      606.5 to 613.5 MHz.
      *The part of this range that may be used depends on the specific location of use, and may also depend on whether the equipment is used indoors or outdoors. For details refer to the JFMG website (external link, opens in a new window).
      Allow at least 0.2 MHz between systems (but see the note below on simultaneously operated systems).
      De-regulated
      channel 70 (part of)
      (EN300 220
      equipment)
      863.1 to 864.9 MHz.
      Allow at least 0.2 MHz between systems (but see the note below on simultaneously operated systems).
      Frequencies commonly used are 863.1, 863.5, 863.7, 864.1, 864.3 and 864.9 MHz

    • Systems operating on the 2.4 GHz band are now popular where a large number of systems (e.g. more than 20) are to be used simultaneously. Furthermore, in some countries certain UHF frequencies are being withdrawn for radio microphone use and so this band may be the only practicable option. However, as it is a de-regulated band, care must be taken to select frequencies that are not subject to interference from other types of equipment operating on this band in the vicinity. Some systems utilise digitally-coded transmission, which can assist in the avoidance of interference from other equipment.

    Receivers are either 'single-channel' − better called 'non-diversity' − or are 'true diversity' types:

    • Single-channel means that the radio signal (usually picked up on a single aerial) is processed by a single set of receiving electronics. These types are prone to "drop-outs" − temporary interruptions of the audio signal caused by temporary reductions in the received radio signal strength (due to reflections of the signal and physical obstacles in its path). The receiver aerial is generally best set vertically. Some single-channel receivers are equipped with two aerials, even though they have only one set of receiving electronics − these may perform a little better than single-channel receivers with only one aerial, but fall far short of the performance obtained from true diversity receivers. (Take care to avoid confusion between this usage of the word 'channel', and the radio-frequency channels which the systems use.)
    • True diversity means that the radio signal is picked up on two aerials, each connected to a separate set of receiving electronics − the output of the receiver is provided from the set which is giving the best quality signal at any moment in time, or is a combination of the two. True diversity receivers are much less prone to drop-outs than single-channel types. The aerials are generally best set at between + and − 30 to 45 degrees from the vertical, i.e. spreading apart at between 60 and 90 degrees to each other.

    Some receivers provide an audio output intended for connection to a line input of the PA system, whilst others have outputs intended for connection to a mic input. Some types may provide both kinds of output, or a single output of adjustable level.

    When several radio mics need to be operated simultaneously, each system must be set to a different frequency. Furthermore, in order to avoid intermodulation interference between the systems, the frequencies selected must be chosen from a compatible set for the particular make and type of system being used. The maximum number of frequencies in a compatible set will depend upon the quality of the system. For example, in the case of Sennheiser's UHF systems:

    • The eW100 G1 and G2 systems allow a maximum of four simultaneous frequencies − a compatible set in the UK de-regulated band is 863.1, 863.5, 864.3 and 864.9 MHz.
    • The eW100 G3 system allows a maximum of six simultaneous frequencies − a compatible set in the UK de-regulated band is 863.1, 863.4, 863.75, 864.225, 864.550 and 864.975 MHz.
    • The eW300 range allows up to eight simultaneous frequencies and the eW500 range up to 20.
    • The only four frequencies available on the freePORT™ system (frequency range E) are 863.1, 863.7, 864.1 and 864.9 MHz; these can be used simultaneously.
    Preferably, consult the appropriate manufacturer's information for the recommended frequency combinations relevant to your specific system(s). It is very inadvisable to simultaneously operate systems from different manufacturers, or even different product ranges from the same manufacturer − except that there is unlikely to be any interference between good quality systems operating in entirely different bands − i.e. between VHF, UHF and 2.4 GHz systems. In the absence of manufacturer's information, for channel 38 equipment select from the following set of ten frequencies (taking into account the permitted range for the operating location and the type of use): 606.6, 607.5, 608.15, 609.15, 609.95, 610.55, 611.25, 612.3, 613.15 and 613.5 MHz.

Hand-held or Hands-free

  • Hand-held mics are generally about 6 to 7 inches (15 to 18 cm) long and 1.25 inches (3 cm) in diameter. They may be held in the hand or placed in a clip on a mic stand. Note that many radio mics have a slightly larger diameter than wired types, and therefore will not fit into 'standard' sized mic clips. Mic clips fix to the stand by means of a screw thread, of which there are three common types:
    • 5/8 inch 27 turns per inch (a large diameter fine thread) − sometimes referred to as an 'American thread'.
    • 1/2 inch (a medium diameter fine thread) − less commonly encountered.
    • 3/8 inch Whitworth (a small diameter coarse thread) − sometimes referred to as a 'Euro thread'.
    In case your mic clip doesn't fit your stand, thread adaptors are available.
  • Hands-free mics are generally much smaller and are either body-worn (e.g. clipped to a lapel or tie, or attached to a head-set) or are suspended by their cable (e.g. above a choir). For theatrical applications, they are often hidden in the hair (or wig). Body-worn mics are usually of the radio type, and are used in conjunction with a bodypack. A body-worn mic worn on the chest is also known as a lavalier mic. Many types can be purchased with either an omni-directional or uni-directional pick-up pattern. An omni-directional pattern can often be a good choice for chest or lapel-worn mics, provided that acoustic feedback is not likely to be a problem (e.g. for recording or broadcast applications, or where the mic is always placed high on the chest and the user has a strong voice). This is because these types are less susceptible to changes in pick-up level due to head movements, and are less likely to pick up unwanted sounds due to friction with clothing. However, in live PA situations where feedback may be a problem, or where pick-up of ambient sound needs to be minimised, the uni-directional types can be appropriate provided that they are worn at the correct angle and that head movements relative to the body are fairly small; these types typically have a cardioid pick-up pattern.

Microphone Noise Levels

Sources of Noise

Unfortunately, the output of a microphone does not consist only of a signal corresponding to the sound waves that the mic picks up. The output also contains noise − unwanted signals originating from:

  • Thermal effects − the vibration of electrons within the resistive elements of the mic.
  • Pick-up of interference by the mic, especially hum due to stray magnetic fields from equipment and mains cables.
  • In a condenser mic, active components within the built-in pre-amplifier.
Thankfully, a very low noise output level is not usually requirement in live PA work − except for long-distance miking applications (as a large amount of gain must then be applied to the output signal). It is however often a requirement for recording and broadcast purposes, in order to cater for listening environments with a very low ambient noise level. Note that, to take advantage of a microphone's very low noise level, the pre-amplifier that is used with it must have a correspondingly low equivalent input noise (EIN) − more on this later.

In order that the noise levels produced by different microphones may be compared, their specifications usually include figures to indicate how much noise output can be expected. Noise measurement and specification is a fairly complex subject in its own right, so the information given here is simplified to meet our present needs.

The first of the above three sources is relatively insignificant (see the definition of thermal noise) and the second is very difficult to quantify in practice, as it depends on the type and proximity of other equipment. Therefore only the last source is usually considered, and so noise specifications are generally given only for condenser microphones.

Types of Noise Specification

The noise specification of microphones is generally given in one of two ways:

  • The equivalent noise level, or 'self noise'. This is the sound pressure level (SPL) that would have been needed to cause an output level equal to the amount of noise output actually produced, had the mic produced no noise at all. Put another way, it is the sound level that would appear to be present at the location of the mic if it were placed in a room that is actually totally silent, based on the output level of the mic. It is sometimes just referred to as the 'noise level' of the mic.
  • The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). This is the difference in level between the noise output of the mic and the wanted signal output which that mic would produce when exposed to some standard sound level − usually 1 Pa (94 dB) SPL.
Thankfully, it is very easy to convert between these two types of specification. The difference in level between the signal and the noise at the output of the mic will be the same as the difference in sound level between the wanted sound and the apparent noise at the input of the mic. Therefore if a mic is quoted as having an equivalent noise level of 15 dB SPL, the signal-to-noise ratio will be 94 − 15, or 79 dB. Similarly, if the signal-to-noise ratio is quoted as 77 dB, then the equivalent noise level is 94 − 77, i.e. 17 dB SPL.

The dynamic range of microphones is usually quoted as its maximum SPL minus its equivalent noise level.

The previous two paragraphs may be summarised as follows:

  • Equivalent noise level (dB SPL) = 94 − SNR
  • Equivalent noise level (dB SPL) = Max SPL − Dynamic range
To convert an equivalent noise level value in dB SPL into an electrical noise level in dBu (for comparison with the EIN of a pre-amplifier), given the sensitivity of the microphone in dBV/Pa, use this formula:

Noise level (dBu) =
   Equivalent noise level (dB SPL) + Sensitivity (dBV/Pa) − 91.8

(Note that this gives a noise level under the same conditions as the sensitivity figure, e.g. unloaded. Also the same weighting will apply as used for the equivalent noise level − see the next sub-section.)

For example, a microphone with an equivalent noise level of 17 dB SPL and an unloaded sensitivity of −44 dBV/Pa will have an unloaded noise level output of approximately −119 dBu.

Noise Weightings

However, there is another important point to consider. By refererence to the Decibels page, you will understand that sound levels are often measured with a 'weighting', to simulate the intensity of the sound as perceived by an average human ear, with its very frequency-dependent sensitivity. Likewise, the noise output of a microphone must be similarly weighted to give its perceived level. Unfortunately, there are two different weightings that are commonly used for the measurement of microphone noise levels, and they give quite different results:

  • The so-called 'A-weighting', which gives a reasonable correspondence to the human ear. This is defined by specification DIN/IEC 651.
  • The so-called 'CCIR weighting', which does not filter the noise so severely and so gives a higher value of noise level (and therefore a lower value of signal-to-noise ratio). This is defined by specification CCIR 468-3 (or DIN 45405).
The A-weighted figure is the one most often seen (not least because it makes the mic specs look better!). As an approximation, the difference between the two figures is about 11 dB. Therefore, an A-weighted noise level of 13 dB would be equivalent to a CCIR weighted noise level of about 24 dB, and an A-weighted signal-to-noise ratio of 67 dB would be equivalent to a CCIR weighted signal-to-noise ratio of around 56 dB. This matter of weighting does not affect the validity of the explanation and calculations given in the preceding sub-section (Types of Noise Specification), except that when using that formula to convert between equivalent noise level and signal-to-noise ratio you must remember that an A-weighted equivalent noise level becomes an A-weighted signal-to-noise ratio, etc. (Of course, if required you can then convert further using the 11 dB difference just explained.)


Use of Microphones

To get the best results, it is important to choose an appropriate type of mic for the job, and to use it correctly. For guidance on choosing a suitable microphone, see the Microphone Selector. The 'correct' use of microphones is a huge subject in itself, and engineers have their own differing opinions on which techniques give the 'best' results under various different circumstances. Performers (especially vocalists) may also have their own preferred microphone technique, sometimes without realising the effect that this has on the amplified (or recorded) sound (see Microphone Technique on the Getting Started − for Performers page and also the paragraphs below).

One thing that everyone agrees on, though, is that the distance between a microphone and the sound source that it is meant to pick-up is a hugely important factor. This is due to at least three major reasons:

1. Proximity Effect

Most PA mics are uni-directional types, and all uni-directional mics exhibit what is known as the "proximity effect". The result of this effect is that sounds which are made very close to the mic are picked up with a greater bass response than sounds which are made further away. This is most important for presenters and vocalists to understand, because the difference that a change in working distance makes to the sound of their voice can be quite dramatic. It is especially significant for deep-voiced vocalists (usually male), because a greater proportion of their voice is in the frequency range which is subject to the proximity effect. At a working distance of greater than about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm), the proximity effect can be ignored. As the distance decreases from this down to zero, the amount of bass emphasis increases.

2. Unwanted Pick-up of Ambience, Leakage and Feedback

Just like an ear, a microphone will pick up sounds that originate close to it more readily than sounds that originate further away (simply because of the dispersion of sound − see Inverse square law). Therefore, if a microphone is placed a large distance from the sound source that it is intended to pick up, its electrical output level (resulting from that source) is likely to be very low, and so a large amount of amplification (gain) will have to be applied to the electrical signal that it produces. This same amount of amplification will also be applied to sounds that it was not intended to pick up, such as unwanted room ambience, sounds from other instruments and/or vocals ('leakage'), and sound from the PA speakers (both front-of-house and monitors) which may result in an over-resonant amplified sound or in acoustic feedback.

This problem can be partially addressed by the use of a uni-directional microphone, placed and directed so that its direction of maximum pick-up is towards the wanted sound(s) and its direction(s) of minimum pick-up towards the most troublesome unwanted sounds (see the polar response patterns). Sometimes it can also be partially addressed by the use of equalisation on the picked-up signal, to provide some discrimination in favour of the frequency spectrum of the wanted sound and against that of the unwanted sound(s).

However, the most effective method of controlling the problem of unwanted sound pick-up is usually to place the microphone as close as reasonably possible to the wanted sound source and directed towards it − bearing in mind the proximity effect (see above) and the 'variable distance' factor (see below) − so reducing the amount of amplification that is necessary. Also, where practicable, unwanted sound sources should be kept as far as possible from that microphone and should not be directed towards it.

3. Level Changes With Variable Working Distance

When the distance between a microphone and the sound source that it is intended to pick up is variable, as in the case of most lead vocals microphones, there is another factor to take into account besides the changing proximity effect. This is that the effect on the microphone's ouput level of changing the working distance by a given amount (say, 2 cm) depends on what the distance was to start with. To explain this, we need to consider that the output level increases by 6 dB for every halving in working distance (the inverse square law).

For example, consider a stand microphone that is 4 cm from a vocalist's mouth. If he/she then moves 2 cm closer to the mic then the distance will have been halved so the output level will increase by 6 dB, which is very significant. (In addition, there will of course usually be a considerable change in the proximity effect.) Now compare this with a starting distance of 10 cm, and again reduce that distance by 2 cm. In this case, the working distance will only have been reduced by a factor of 0.8, resulting in a level increase of only about 2 dB from the microphone.

So, it can be seen that a microphone that is very close to a sound source is very sensitive to changes in working distance, while one further away is much less sensitive to such changes. This partly explains why compression is so often used on close-miked lead vocals.

Application

When considering how best to apply this information, it is important to take into account the microphone technique of the vocalist (see Microphone Technique on the Getting Started − for Performers page). Unless there is close supervision, or a physical barrier such as a separately-mounted pop screen (both of which are only likely to apply in a studio setting), the vocalist may at any time choose to vary the working distance between several 10's of cm and zero, as well as varying the loudness of their voice. These variations may be made deliberately, or to some extent unintentionally; in any case the result will be changes in the picked-up vocal level.

Provided that, in the overall sound mix, the combined effect of such changes (taking into account any compression applied) is what the vocalist intended, and provided that the mic pre-amplifier gain is set so as to avoid distortion at the maximum output level that will be obtained from the mic as the changes occur, then all is well.

But otherwise, substantial changes in working distance can be problematic for the sound engineer and so should be avoided. Compression only goes part-way towards addressing this, as it does not compensate for the resulting changes in proximity effect, nor for the increased pick-up of unwanted sounds that occurs when decreased mic output level causes an increase in the gain applied by the compressor (or indeed manually by the sound engineer).


Care of Microphones

Mics contain delicate precision-engineered components, and if you want your mics to continue to perform as well as when they were new, you must look after them very carefully. Even ruggedised stage mics will benefit from careful treatment. Following these simple do's and don'ts will help considerably:

  • DO keep them in padded protective boxes or pouches − preferably individually − when not in use (especially during transport).
  • DO clean the integral windshield from time to time, when this is accessible. Follow the maker's instructions (especially for expensive mics!), but in the absence of any instructions the wire-meshed end of most types can be unscrewed and then gently washed in warm soapy water − allow to dry thoroughly before re-attaching to the main part of the mic.
  • DON'T check them by tapping them or by blowing into them − speak (or sing) into them instead, and educate users to do the same.
  • DON'T drop them or allow them to be subjected to other sudden shocks.
  • DON'T store them in damp conditions or expose them to extremes of temperature.
  • DON'T expose a microphone to sound levels exceeding its specified maximum SPL − at the very least this will give a distorted pick-up of sound and may even damage the microphone.

Microphone Selector

The purpose of this information is to give you a general guide as to the most popular mics for a given application. As there are hundreds of mics available, from many different manufacturers, it would not be practical to try and list them all. Therefore, only the most popular manufacturers are listed.

If purchasing a UHF radio (wireless) microphone system that you wish to use in a regulated (licensed) frequency band in the UK, then be sure to take account of the fact that the previous licensed band (channel 69 and other individually allocated frequencies in the range 790 to 862 MHz) became unavailable at the end of 2012. Most current systems are unable to operate in both the old and new bands. For further details see Wired or Radio.

Note that some mics are designed for a very specific use, whilst others are of more general application. It doesn't follow that just because a mic is very expensive that it must be either very specific in application, or that it must be very general purpose! Neither does it follow that just because a mic is very specific in application, or very general purpose, that it must provide very high performance. As circumstances vary from use to use, before buying a particular mic it is usually advisable to check with the supplier that it is a good choice for your particular situation.

The listed microphones are arranged in 'price bands' according to the table below. These bands are intended to give an approximate guide as to what you might actually pay on-line (not the manufacturer's R.R.P., which is generally considerably higher); the figures include UK VAT at 20%. (In the Microphone Details table that follows the selector table, where a pair of bands are quoted this indicates that the mic is priced close to the boundary between those bands.) Actual prices may vary significantly from supplier to supplier and can change from week to week − it definitely pays to shop around. Some of the listed mics are no longer being manufactured, but may be available to purchase second-hand.

Remember though, when buying to a tight budget, that you get what you pay for and, in general, the price band shown for each mic can be taken as a rough guide to the quality to be expected − when comparing like with like. However, note that some users may prefer the sound (or other characteristics) of particular mics, as compared to more expensive models. Note also that mics that are listed for the same application may not be directly comparable − e.g. some may be large stand-mounted types while others may be miniature clip-on types, and such factors can also influence the price. Sorry, these mics are not on sale from PAforMusic.

The currency conversions used in the table below are only an approximate guide, as conversion rates are constantly changing.

   Price band   
(pb)
£ (GBP)      Euros      $ (USD)
A< 50< 75< 100
B55 − 7082 − 105110 − 145
C75 − 90112 − 135150 − 185
D95 − 115142 − 172195 − 235
E120 − 150180 − 225245 − 305
F160 − 200240 − 300330 − 410
G210 − 280315 − 420430 − 572
H300 − 500450 − 750615 − 1020
J550 − 1000      825 − 1500      1125 − 2045
K> 1200> 1800> 2455

For more detailed information about the listed mics, click on the mic's model number to jump to the relevant entry in the Microphone Details table, which follows the selection table (currently only operative for wired mics). To return to the price-band table, click on 'pb' in the table headers.

'+' on the end of a model number stands in place of suffix letter(s) or number(s) identifying 'sub-types', and indicates that more than one of such sub-types may be suitable for the application concerned.

More mics are added to this selector from time to time.

To see the full width of the tables, you may need to increase the width of your browser window or select a smaller text size (in Explorer, View→Text Size).

Dynamic mics are listed in black, condenser mics in red. Omni, super-cardioid, hyper-cardioid, rifle and switchable pattern types are listed in italics (most other types are cardioid). Types with multiple elements of mixed design or pattern are listed in magenta.

Mics are listed for the following applications:

Lead vocals (wired)
Lead vocals (radio)
Backing vocals (wired)
Backline (not bass)
Bass backline
Snare & Toms
Kick drum
Hi-hats & Cymbals
Drum overheads
Piano
Brass & Woodwind
Acoustic Strings
Rifle
Floor
Lectern
Choir
Lavalier (wired)
Lavalier (radio)
Headset (wired)
Headset (radio)
Studio

Application pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Lead vocals
(wired)
A       C03 e835 PG58 Audix:
OM-2 pbC
OM-3 pbD
OM-5 pbF
OM-6 pbF
OM-7 pbF

Rode:
S1 pbE

sE:
H-1 pbF

Neumann:
KMS 104 pbH
KMS 104 plus pbH
KMS 105 pbH
B D880 ATM41a Opus 59 S12 e840
e845
SM58-LC
C D3700 ATM510
ATM610
  C05    
D C900
D7
ATM41HE
ATM710
AE4100
Opus 69   e855
e935
Beta 58A
SM86
E D3800 AE6100     e865
e945
ME65
BG5.1
F C5900
C535EB
ATM89R TG-X60
M88TG
    BG2.0
BG3.0
SM87A
Beta 87A
Beta 87C
G   AE3300
AE5400
TG-X80   MD425 SM87
H   AE4054     MD431MkII BG5.0
J            
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Lead vocals
(radio)
A              
B            
C            
D            
E         MKE-2 (mic only)  
F            
G WMS40          
H WMS61 (+mic)
WMS300
  Opus 100 Mk II
Opus 200
  eW135
eW145
eW165
 
J WMS800   Opus 300
Opus 900
     
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Backing vocals
(wired)
A D65S
D3300
D660
    R11
R21
e825S
e835
BG1.1  
B D770
D880
ATM410 Opus 39
Opus 59
S11
S12
  SM48
588SDX
C   MB3000L       BG3.1
D         e935 SM86
BG1.0
E            
F C535EB          
G            
H            
J            
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Backline
(not bass)
A D65S
P4
        PG57  
B D440   Opus 39   e606  
C   ATM650        
D         e906 SM57-LC
E D190       e609 Beta 57A
F   ATM250DE        
G C3000       MD421MkII  
H            
J            
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Bass
Backline
A              
B P2          
C D550       e602  
D         e902 PG52
E D112   Opus 65      
F   ATM250DE       Beta 52
Beta 52A
G            
H            
J            
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Snare &
Toms
A              
B D440 Snare/Tom
Kick/Tom
Opus 62 QSnare
QTom
e604 PG56
C D409 ATM650 Opus 67   e608  
D   PRO25 Opus 53
Opus 66
  e904 (toms)
e905 (snare)
e906
BG6.1
SM57-LC
E C418PP PRO35x Opus 88
M201
  e609
e908D
Beta 56
F           Beta 98 D/S
G         MD421MkII  
H            
J            
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Kick drum A              
B   Kick/Tom        
C D550       e602  
D   PRO25   QKick e902 PG52
E D112 PRO35x
ATM250
Opus 65
Opus 99
  e901  
F   ATM250DE       Beta 52A
G C547BL         Beta 91
H            
J            
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Hi-hats &
Cymbals
A       C01      
B            
C C430          
D C1000S   Opus 53
Opus 83
  e614  
E   ATM450        
F         e664  
G         e914  
H C483B         SM81-LC
J            
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Drum
overheads
A       C01      
B            
C C430 PRO37   C02   PG81
D     Opus 53
Opus 83
  e614  
E   ATM450       BG4.1
F         e664  
G         e914  
H C483B         BG4.0
SM81-LC
J            
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Piano A             C-ducer:
B2000/2x8" pbB
B            
C            
D         e614  
E C416PP   Opus 51      
F            
G C547BL       e914 Beta 91
H           SM81-LC
J         MD441U  
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Brass & Woodwind A              
B   PRO25ax     e604  
C D409       e608  
D C419PP
C1000S
  Opus 53
Opus 83
  e904
e906 (brass)
SM57-LC
E C418PP
D190
PRO35x
PRO35ax
ATM250
M69TG   e908B (brass) Beta 57A
Beta 56
F   ATM350 M88TG     Beta 98 H/C
BG3.0
G C3000       e914
MD421MkII
 
H            
J            
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Acoustic
Strings
A       C01     C-ducer:
B1000/3" prA
B            
C C411PP PRO95
PRO37
ATM33a
      PG81
D C1000S       e906
e614
 
E   ATM450       BG4.1
F   ATM350     e664  
G C3000       e914
MD421MkII
SM94-LC
H           SM81-LC
J C414B-
XLS
  MC740
MC834
  MD441U  
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Rifle A              
B            
C            
D            
E            
F         ME66 +
module
 
G            
H C568EB
C489B
         
J         MKH416+
MKH816+
SM89
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Floor A C400BL            
B            
C            
D           Easyflex EZB/O
E           Easyflex EZB/C
F            
G C547BL          
H            
J            
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Lectern A              
B            
C   ATM33a     ME34
ME35
 
D
C580E
C647E
         
E C680BL       ME36 Easyflex EZG
F C621E         Shu_MX412SE
Shu_MX418SE
G C747          
H            
J            
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Choir A             Behringer:
C-2 pbA
B-5 pbB
B            
C            
D C1000S          
E           Easyflex EZO
F C947CM         MX202
G         e914  
H C921CM         BG5.0
J            
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Lavalier
(wired)
A         ME2 +pk
ME4 +pk
   
B            
C C417+          
D           WL93 +pk
WL183 +pk
E           WL185 +pk
WL184 +pk
F           SM93
G           WL50 +pk
H           WL51 +pk
J            
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Lavalier
(radio)
A              
B            
C            
D            
E            
F            
G           UT
H         eW112
eW122
SLX
J           ULX
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Headset
(wired)
A              
B            
C           SM10A-
CN
D   ATM75        
E            
F            
G C477WR LP          
H         HS2
HSP2
HSP4
 
J            
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Headset
(radio)
A              
B C410B          
C C444       ME3 +pk  
D C420          
E            
F            
G C477WR LP          
H         eW152  
J            
K            
  pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser    Shure    Other
Studio A       C01
C03
    Behringer:
C-1 pbA
B-2 PRO pbD

sE:
SE2200A pbE
TITAN pbH
B            
C            
D            
E            
F C2000B
P420
         
G C3000
C4000
        KSM27
H C4500B-
BC
AT4050       SM81-LC
KSM32
J C414B-
XLS

C414B-
XLII
  MC740
MC834
  MD441U
MKH40
 
K         MKH80  
Application pb AKG Audio-
Technica
Beyer-
Dynamic
Samson Sennheiser Shure Other

Back to:

Lead vocals (wired)
Lead vocals (radio)
Backing vocals (wired)
Backline (not bass)
Bass backline
Snare & Toms
Kick drum
Hi-hats & Cymbals
Drum overheads
Piano
Brass & Woodwind
Acoustic Strings
Rifle
Floor
Lectern
Choir
Lavalier (wired)
Lavalier (radio)
Headset (wired)
Headset (radio)
Studio

Microphone Details

The table below provides more detailed information on the wired mics listed above, listed alphanumerically under each manufacturer. 294 microphones are listed. This table allows you to readily compare the specifications of many different models. Unfortunately not all the details can currently be given for all the mics, but will this will be rectified when possible. Remember that specifications usually give nominal, not limiting, values, therefore the figures for any particular specimen may be higher or lower than the figures given. Limiting values are indicated with < or > symbols.

You are reminded that no responsibility is accepted for any errors in this information − please confirm suitability before making your purchase. If you require further information, click on the link to the appropriate manufacturer's website.

The same notes on prices apply as were given at the start of this section, except that where two price bands are given (e.g. 'DE') the mic is priced close to the boundary between those bands. To return to the price-band table, click on 'Price band' in the table headers. Some of the listed mics are no longer being manufactured, but may be available to purchase second-hand.

To see the full width of the table, you may need to increase the width of your browser window or select a smaller text size (in Explorer, View→Text Size).

Key to physical design ('Phy' column):

Tap:Classic full-size design, generally having a basket of larger diameter than the mic body. Most, but not all, have a tapered body. Suitable for hand-held use (if appropriate) or on a stand.
Cyl:Cylindrical design (generally slim), of similar diameter along its whole length. Usually for stand use.
Ins:Equipped with an integral means (usually a clip, a clamp or an adhesive surface) for direct attachment to an instrument.
Min:Miniature (e.g. short-bodied) design for compact access to instruments (esp. drums) when used with a stand. Some types screw directly onto the stand.
Bnd:Boundary type intended to be placed on or fixed to a surface (or with a plate incorporated).
Lav:Lavalier.
Hst:Headset.
Gnk:Gooseneck.
SA:Side-addressed types, e.g. classic large-diameter studio-style designs (typically used with a suspension mount) and 'rectangular' (flat-sided) designs.
Oth:None of the above (includes capsules and most kick drum mics).

Key to element types ('Elem' column):

Dyn:Dynamic (coil)
Rib:Dynamic (ribbon)
Con:Condenser
Mul:Incorporates multiple element types

Key to polar patterns ('PP' column):

Om:Omnidirectional
Cd:Cardioid
Sc:Super-cardioid
Hc:Hyper-cardioid
Sh:Shotgun (= rifle = lobar)
F8:Figure-of-8 (= bi-directional)
Sw:Switchable (or all available patterns are listed)
N/A:Not applicable (e.g. for contact pick-ups)

As with all the values listed, the frequency response figures given are those quoted by the manufacturer. For most types of microphone, these figures must be treated with extreme caution because:

  • There are inconsistencies in the way they are arrived at − particularly as regards the amount of loss in response that is obtained at the quoted figures (compare cut-off frequency), and as regards the distance from the microphone at which the response is measured (see proximity effect).
  • The response of many types of microphones is not flat between the two quoted frequencies
  • , but exhibits very significant peaks and/or troughs − often introduced intentionally. (This is in contrast to the situation with speakers, which are generally designed with the aim of a flat response across their intended frequency range.) Such intentional variations are a major factor in the suitability (or otherwise) of particular mics for particular applications, for example a "presence peak" is commonly designed into the response of vocal mics.
Therefore, the quoted frequency response figures should in the first instance be taken only as a rough guide. For clarification of the response provided by a particular model of microphone, it is best to consult the manufacturer's frequency response graph for the model concerned.

Sensitivities are generally quoted under open-circuit (no load) conditions. Max SPL figures are generally quoted at 1% THD (blue figures at 0.5% or less), and impedance figures at 1 kHz.

Outputs are balanced unless indicated otherwise.

For ease of comparison, all noise levels are given as A-weighted equivalent noise levels (sometimes referred to as 'self noise'). Where the manufacturer's specification indicated the noise in a different form (e.g.CCIR weighted or as a signal-to-noise ratio), their figure has been converted to an A-weighted equivalent noise level and is marked here with an asterisk. Note that noise levels are not usually specified for dynamic mics.

A selection of mics are listed for the following manufacturers; the links take you to the relevant section of the list.

AKG
AMG (C-ducer)
Audio-Technica
Audix
Behringer
Beyer-Dynamic
Neumann
Rode
Samson
sE Electronics
Sennheiser
Shure

Please let me know if there are other specific mics that you feel would be usefully added to this list.

AKG click for website       Skip to next manufacturer
Model Phy Elem PP Freq
resp.
(Hz)
Sensit.
@ 1 Pa
or 94 dB
SPL
(mV/dBV)
Max
SPL
(dB)
Imped.
(ohms)
ML means
min. load
Noise
(dB
(A)
SPL)
Price
band
Suggested
application
& notes
C391B Cyl Con Cd 20-20k 10 / -40 132 200 17* G = SE300B + CK91.
C392B Cyl Con Om 20-20k 10 / -40 132 200 17* G = SE300B + CK92.
C393B Cyl Con Hc 20-20k 10 / -40 132 200 17* G = SE300B + CK93.
C394B Cyl Con F8 20-20k 10 / -40 132 200 17* H = SE300B + CK94.
C397-OB Cyl Con Om 20-20k 10 / -40 132 200 17* G = SE300B + CK97-O.
C397-CB Cyl Con Cd 20-20k 10 / -40 132 200 17* G = SE300B + CK97-C.
C397-CVRB Cyl Con Cd 20-20k 10 / -40 132 200 17* G = SE300B + CK97-CVR.
C398B Cyl Con Sh 20-20k 10 / -40 132 200 17* G = SE300B + CK98.
C400BL Bnd Con Hc 40-14k 13.5 / -37 95 200 21* A Speech.
Mini PZM.
C407 Lav Con Om 20-20k 10 / -40 118 400,
2k ML
26* C Lavalier.
Standard XLR plug, phantom powered.
C407/B 3.5k,
10k ML
34* Lavalier.
Unbalanced Hi-Z.
3.5mm mono jack plug, for use with battery pack, phantom power adaptor, etc.
C407WL 2.1k,
10k ML
26* Lavalier.
Unbalanced Hi-Z.
Wire-ended, for direct connection to transmitter etc.
C410B Hst Con Hc 20-20k 5 / -46 131 200   B Headset.
C411PP Ins Con F8 10-18k See
Notes
100 200,
1k ML
  C Acoustic strings.
Adhesive mini pick-up.
Sensit 1 mV/ms-2.
C414B-XLII SA Con Sw 20-20k 23 / -33 140 200,
2.2k ML
6 HJ Solo vocals,
solo insts,
brass.
Om, wide-Cd, Cd, Hc, F8.
Response lift at ~5 kHz upwards.
5 dB droop at 20 kHz.
6, 12 or 18 dB pad.
Max SPL 146 @ 6 dB pad,
150 @ 12 dB pad,
158 @ 18 dB pad.
40 Hz (12 dB/oct) or
80 Hz (12 dB/oct) or
160 Hz (6 dB/oct) low cut.
Large diaphragm.
Transformerless.
C414B-XLS SA Con Sw 20-20k 23 / -33 140 200,
2.2k ML
6 HJ Strings, brass.
Om, wide-Cd, Cd, Hc, F8.
Response lift at 12 kHz (not Hc/F8).
6, 12 or 18 dB pad.
Max SPL 146 @ 6 dB pad,
150 @ 12 dB pad,
158 @ 18 dB pad.
40 Hz (12 dB/oct) or
80 Hz (12 dB/oct) or
160 Hz (6 dB/oct) low cut.
Large diaphragm.
Transformerless.
C416PP Ins Con Hc 20-20k 5 / -46 126 200,
1k ML
31 E Accordion, guitar cab, piano.
Mini gooseneck with mounting bracket.
C417PP Lav Con Om 20-20k 10 / -40 118 200,
2k ML
34 C Lavalier.
Standard XLR plug, phantom powered.
C417L Lavalier.
Mini-XLR plug, powered from B29L battery pack, MPAL (MPA III L) phantom power adaptor, or a WMS-series wireless bodypack.
C417LP Lavalier.
A flesh-coloured version of C417L.
C418PP Ins Con Hc 50-20k 4 / -48 131 200,
1k ML
38 E Drums, percussion, trumpet.
Clip-on.
C419PP Ins Con Hc 20-20k 7 / -43 126 200,
1k ML
30 D All wind instruments, percussion.
Mini clip-on gooseneck.
C420 Hst Con Hc 20-20k 7 / -43 126 200 33 D Headset vocals.
C430 Cyl Con Cd 20-20k 7 / -43 126 200,
2k ML
33 C Cymbals & drum OH.
C444 Hst Con Cd 20-20k 40 / -28 126 200,
2k ML
22 C Headset.
C451B Cyl Con N/A 20-20k 9.5 / -40 N/A   18 G Equivalent to
C451EB + CK1 capsule.
10 or 20 dB pad.
75 or 150 Hz low cut.
C451E Cyl Con N/A 20-20k 9.5 / -40 N/A   18 G Modular series pre-amp -
use CK1 capsule.
10 & 20 dB pads extra.
No low cut.
C451EB Cyl Con N/A 20-20k 9.5 / -40 N/A   18 H Modular series pre-amp -
use CK1 capsule.
10 or 20 dB pad.
75 or 150 Hz low cut.
C477WR LP Hst Con Om 20-20k 8 / -42 133 3500,
10k ML
26 G+ 3-pin mini-XLR.
Use with transmitter pack or MPA III powering unit (neither included).
Dual diaphragm (noise-canceling).
Beige.
Headset version of CK77.
C481B Cyl Con Cd 20-20k 40 / -28 134 <150,
2k ML
13 H = C480B + CK61.
Figs depend on
pad setting.
20 / -34 140 11
6.3 / -44 144 17
C482B Cyl Con Om 20-20k 40 / -28 134 <150,
2k ML
13 H = C480B + CK62.
Figs depend on
pad setting.
20 / -34 140 11
6.3 / -44 144 17
C483B Cyl Con Hc 20-20k 40 / -28 134 <150,
2k ML
13 H = C480B + CK63.
Figs depend on
pad setting.
20 / -34 140 11
6.3 / -44 144 17
C489B Cyl Con Sh 20-18k 54 / -25 134 <150,
2k ML
11* H = C480B + CK69.
Figs depend on
pad setting.
27 / -31 140 9*
8.5 / -41 142 15*
C520 Hst Con Cd           C Vocals headset.
C535EB Tap Con Cd 20-20k 7 / -43 137 200,
600 ML
21* EF Vocals or insts.
10 dB pad.
100 Hz low cut (12 dB/oct) or 200 Hz low cut (6 dB/oct).
2 dB rise 7-12 kHz.
Pad & low cut selected by a single 4-position switch.
C542BL Bnd Con ½Om 20-20k 20 / -34 130 600,
2k ML
16 F Fixable PZM.
150 Hz low cut (12 dB/oct).
C547BL Bnd Con Hc 30-18k 8.5 / -41 133 400,
1k ML
22 G Floor PZM.
Low cut sw.
C555L Hst Con Cd 80-20k 35 / -29   200,
2k ML
22 B Speech headset.
C562BL Bnd Con ½Om 20-20k 20 / -34 130 600,
2k ML
16 H PZM with plate.
Low cut sw.
C562CM Bnd Con ½Om 20-20k 20 / -34 130 600,
2k ML
16 H PZM without plate.
Low cut sw.
C568EB Cyl Con Hc 20-20k 11 / -39 128 600 18 H Short shotgun.
C580E Gnk Con Hc 60-15k 15 / -36 125 600   D Gooseneck. Lectern.
C621E Gnk Con Cd 70-20k 15 / -36 125 600   F 18" gooseneck.
C647E Gnk Con Hc 30-18k 8.5 / -41 133 400 21 D Gooseneck. Lectern.
C680BL Bnd Con Cd 60-20k 30 / -30 115 200 27* E PZM for table or lectern.
C747 Gnk Con Hc 30-18k 8.5 / -41 133 400,
2k ML
21 G Speech.
Mini pen-type shotgun.
Lectern-mounting.
Includes mini suspension mount and short gooseneck.
C900 Tap Con Cd 20-20k 6 / -44 139 200,
2k ML
17.5 D Vocals.
Includes presence boost adaptor.
C921CM Oth Con Cd 60-20k 30 / -30 115 <400 27* H Choir, theatre.
Overhead suspension.
C947CM Oth Con Hc 20-18k 8.5 / -41 122 <400 24* F Choir, theatre.
Overhead suspension.
C1000S Cyl Con Cd 50-20k 6 / -44 137 200,
2k ML
21 D Vocals, choir, acoustic instruments.
Can be adapted to hyper-cardioid.
Large diameter cylindrical.
C2000B SA Con Cd 30-20k 20 / -34 140 200 20 F Budget studio.
C3000 SA Con Sw 20-20k 25 / -32 140 200,
1k ML
14 G Studio vocals & inst.
Large Hc +
small Om capsule.
Use both for Cd.
500 Hz low cut.
10 dB pad.
C4000 SA Con Cd/
Hc/
Om
20-20k 25 / -32 145 200,
1k ML
8 G Studio vocals & inst.
Low cut switch.
Pad switch.
C4500B-BC SA Con Cd 30-20k 20 / -34 145 <200,
1k ML
8 H Studio.
Large diaphragm.
20 dB pad.
120 Hz low cut.
Transformerless.
C5600 SA Con Cd 20-20k 6 / -44 140 200     Instruments,
esp guit amps, wind & kick.
Stage version of C414.
6dB/oct bass cut,
12dB/oct 150 Hz low cut.
C5900 Tap Con Hc 20-22k 6 / -44 139 200,
2k ML
17.5 F Vocals.
100/150 Hz low cut.
D7 Tap Dyn Sc 70-20k 2.6 / -52 147 600 18 DE Vocals.
80 Hz fixed HPF.
Humbucking coil.
Rec load 2k.
S suffix = with switch.
D65S Tap Dyn Hc 80-20k 2.0 / -54 141 500   A Budget vocals and instruments.
On/off switch.
3% THD @ 150dB SPL
D112 Oth Dyn Cd 20-17k 1.8 / -55 168 210,
600 ML
21 E Kick drum, bass cab &
bass wind instruments.
D190 Tap Dyn Cd 30-15k 1.6 / -56 128 280,
2k5 ML
20 E Vocals, instruments,
esp. guitar cab & trumpet.
Bronze basket, cyl. body.
D224 Cyl Dyn Cd 20-20k 1.3 / -58 128 250,
500 ML
    Acoustic guitar,
hi-hats.
Dual capsule, dual port.
No proximity effect.
Suffix C: DIN connector; E: XLR.
Low cut -7 dB or -12 dB @ 50 Hz.
D409 Ins Dyn Hc 60-17k 1 / -60 124 600,
2k ML
  C Wind instruments, drums, percussion.
Mini clip-on gooseneck.
D440 Min Dyn Cd 60-20k 2.5 / -52 147 600,
2k ML
18 B Percussion, guitar cab,
wind instruments.
Mini.
D510 Gnk Dyn Om 140-
15k
1.1 / -59   230   D Speech.
12" dynamic omni gooseneck.
Attached cable.
Obsolete.
D541 Gnk Dyn Cd 140-
17k
2.3 / -53   700   D Speech.
14" dynamic gooseneck.
Attached cable.
Obsolete.
D550 Oth Dyn Cd 20-20k 2.5 / -52 147 600,
2k ML
18 C Bass instruments,
trombone.
D660 Tap Dyn Hc 80-20k 2 / -54 140 500,
2k ML
20 A Budget vocals and
instruments.
D770 Tap Dyn Cd 60-20k 1.8 / -55 147 600,
2k ML
22 B Budget vocals and instruments.
D880 Tap Dyn Sc 60-20k 2.5 / -52 147 600,
2k ML
22 B Vocals.
D3300 Tap Dyn Hc 70-20k 2.0 / -54 141 500,
1.2k ML
20 A Budget vocals.
D3700 Tap Dyn Hc 40-18k 2.5 / -52 147 600,
2k ML
19 C Stage vocals.
D3800 Tap Dyn Hc 40-21k 2.8 / -51 147 600,
2k ML
18 E Stage vocals.
P2 Oth Dyn Cd 20-16k 2.5 / -52 152     B Stage bass insts:
kick, bass cab, trombone.
Rec load 2k.
Humbucking coil.
Integral stand adapter.
P4 Oth Dyn Cd 20-16k 2.5 / -52 157     A Budget stage insts:
wind, perc, guitar cab.
Rec load 2k.
Humbucking coil.
Integral stand adapter.
P420 SA Con Sw 20-20k 28 / -31 135 <200 16 F Budget studio.
Cd, Om or F8.
20 dB pad.
Low cut switch.
Max SPL 155 @ pad.
Includes spider mount.
AMG (C-ducer) click for website       Back to start of Microphone Details       Skip to next manufacturer
Model Phy Elem PP Freq
resp.
(Hz)
Sensit.
@ 1 Pa
or 94 dB
SPL
(mV/dBV)
Max
SPL
(dB)
Imped.
(ohms)
ML means
min. load
Noise
(dB
(A)
SPL)
Price
band
Suggested
application
& notes
B1000/3" Ins Con N/A 35-35k     10k unbal.   A Violin, folk harp, banjo, piano.
Adhesive tape pick-up.
Max output 300 mV.
SNR 79 dBA.
6.35mm jack socket on pre-amp.
3V battery.
See also CP2/3.
B1000/8" Ins Con N/A 35-35k     10k unbal.   A Double bass, cello,
acoustic guitar, concert harp.
Adhesive tape pick-up.
Max output 300 mV.
SNR 79 dBA.
6.35mm jack socket on pre-amp.
3V battery.
See also CP2/8.
B2000/2x8" Ins Con N/A 35-25k     10k unbal.   B Piano.
Max output 300 mV.
SNR 79 dBA.
6.35mm jack socket on pre-amp.
Adhesive tape pick-up.
9V battery.
CPM/3 (3") Ins Con N/A 25-50k     600   D Violin, folk harp, banjo, piano.
Max output 1.5V.
SNR 83 dBA.
Adhesive tape pick-up.
Pre-amp in XLR plug.
See also B1000/3.
CPM/8 (8") Ins Con N/A 25-50k     600   D Double bass, cello,
acoustic guitar, concert harp.
Max output 1.5V.
SNR 83 dBA.
Adhesive tape pick-up.
Pre-amp in XLR plug.
See also B1000/8.
CPM2/3
(2x3")
Ins Con N/A 25-50k     600   D Violin, folk harp, banjo, piano.
Max output 1.5V.
SNR 83 dBA.
Adhesive tape pick-up.
Pre-amp in XLR plug.
See also B1000/3.
CPM2/8
(2x8")
Ins Con N/A 25-50k     600   D Double bass, cello,
acoustic guitar, concert harp.
Max output 1.5V.
SNR 83 dBA.
Adhesive tape pick-up.
Pre-amp in XLR plug.
See also B1000/8.
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Model Phy Elem PP Freq
resp.
(Hz)
Sensit.
@ 1 Pa
or 94 dB
SPL
(mV/dBV)
Max
SPL
(dB)
Imped.
(ohms)
ML means
min. load
Noise
(dB
(A)
SPL)
Price
band
Suggested
application
& notes
AE3300 Tap Con Cd 30-18k 7.9 / -42 147 150 19 G Vocals & speech.
10 dB pad.
80 Hz low cut.
AE4054 Tap Con Cd 60-20k 5 / -46 147 200 18 H Vocals, general stage use.
Large diaphragm.
True condenser.
AE4100 Tap Dyn Cd 90-18k 1.7 / -55   250   D Vocals.
AE5100 Cyl Con Cd 20-20k 15.8 / -36 148 150 11 F Instruments.
AE5400 Tap Con Cd 20-20k 10 / -40 147 150 14 G Vocals & speech.
Large diaphragm.
True condenser.
10 dB pad
80 Hz low cut
AE6100 Tap Dyn Hc 60-15k 1.7 / -55   250   E Vocals & speech.
AT835b Cyl Con Sh 40-20k 12.5 / -38 130 500 24 G Film & TV production.
180 Hz low cut (18 dB/oct).
AT2010 Tap Con Cd 40-20k 3.9 / -48 136 100 23* D Vocals.
AT2020 SA Con Cd 20-20k 14.1 / -37 144 100 20 B Budget studio.
Vocals, acoustic guitar.
Side-addressed.
Available separately or packacked with AT2021 as 'AT2041SP', price band E.
AT2021 Cyl Con Cd 30-20k 11.2 / -39 145 250 19   Overheads, hi-hats, acoustic guitar, piano.
Packacked with AT2020 as 'AT2041SP', price band E.
AT3035 SA Con Cd 20-20k 25.1 / -32 148 250 12 E Studio.
10 dB pad.
80 Hz low cut (12 dB/oct).
AT4040 SA Con Cd 20-20k 25.1 / -32 145 100 12 E Studio. Vocals.
Transformerless.
10 dB pad.
80 Hz low cut (12 dB/oct).
AT4050 SA Con Sw 20-18k 15.8 / -36 149 100 17 H Studio.
Om / Cd / F8
Large diaphragm.
Transformerless.
Max SPL 159 with pad.
10 dB pad.
80 Hz low cut (12 dB/oct).
ATM10a Cyl Con Om 20-18k 6.3 / -44 137 200 24 E Group vocals,
strings, ac. guit,
ambient pick-up.
Upper fig = phantom,
lower fig = 1.5 V battery.
5.6 / -45 123 270
ATM25 Min Dyn Hc 30-15k 1.9 / -54   600   F Kick drum.
Short cyl.
ATM29HE Tap Dyn Hc 70-16k 1.5 / -56   200   C Instruments, vocals.
Hi-mid peak (max at 6k).
ATM31a Tap Con Cd 30-20k 6.3 / -44 137 200 24 D Upper fig = phantom,
lower fig = 1.5 V battery.
5.6 / -45 123 270
ATM33a Cyl Con Cd 30-20k 6.3 / -44 137 200 24 C Distant vocals/speech,
lectern,
acoustic strings.
Upper fig = phantom,
lower fig = 1.5 V battery.
5.6 / -45 123 270
ATM41a Tap Dyn Cd 50-16k 1.5 / -56   250   B Close vocals.
ATM41HE Tap Dyn Hc 50-17k 2.8 / -51   600   D Close vocals.
ATM61HE Tap Dyn Hc 50-18k 2.8 / -51   600   D Close vocals.
ATM63HE Tap Dyn Hc 50-18k 2.5 / -52   600   E Vocals, drums,
guit cab, piano.
Un-peaked response.
ATM75 Hst Con Cd           CD Bodypack operates on battery or phantom power.
ATM89R Tap Con Hc + 70-20k 7.9 / -42 138 100 27 F Vocals.
Alternate elements for Cd, sub-Cd & Om.
ATM250 Oth Dyn Hc 40-15k 1.9 / -54   600   E Instruments.
ATM250DE Oth Dyn Hc 40-15k 2.2 / -53   600   F Kick drum,
guit cab.
Con: 10 dB pad.
Con: 80 Hz low cut
(12 dB/oct).
Elements have separate outputs via splitter cable.
Con Cd 40-20k 3.5 / -49 148 50 26*
ATM350 Ins Con Cd 40-20k 3.5 / -49 149 50 27* F Brass,
woodwind,
violin.
Separate power module.
Miniature UniMount clip-on.
ATM410 Tap Dyn Cd 90-16k 1.7 / -55   300   B Vocals.
ATM450 Cyl Con Cd 40-20k 8.9 / -41 152 200 25* E Overheads,
percussion
acoustic strings.
10 dB pad.
80 Hz low cut
(18 dB/oct).
Side-addressed.
ATM510 Tap Dyn Cd 90-16k 1.7 / -55   300   C Vocals.
ATM610 Tap Dyn Hc 40-16k 1.7 / -55   300   C Vocals.
ATM650 Tap Dyn Hc 80-17k 1.5 / -56   300   C Instruments.
ATM710 Tap Con Cd 40-20k 10 / -40 148 200 21* D Vocals.
10 dB pad.
80 Hz low cut
(12 dB/oct).
MB3000L Tap Dyn Cd 50-16k 2.5 / -52   250   C Close vocals.
MB4K Tap Con Cd 80-20k 5 / -46 137 200 24 D General purpose.
Kick/Tom Min Dyn Cd 60-12k 1.1 / -59   500   B Kick, toms.
PRO25 Min Dyn Hc 30-12k 1.9 / -54   600   D Kick, toms.
PRO25ax Min Dyn Hc 30-12k 1.9 / -54   600   B Percussion, brass.
PRO35x Ins Con Cd 50-17k 1.9 / -54 149 200 34 E Woodwind, brass,
kick, toms.
Mini UniMount clip-on.
150 Hz low cut.
Pro35xcW is for UniPak wireless system.
PRO35ax Ins Con Cd 50-15k 5.6 / -45 145 250 30 E Sax, brass, perc.
Mini UniMount clip-on.
80 Hz low cut.
PRO37 Cyl Con Cd 30-15k 7.9 / -42 141 200 29 C Overheads,
acoustic strings,
piano.
PRO37R Cyl Con Cd 30-15k 7.9 / -42 141 200 29 C Overheads,
acoustic strings,
piano.
Superceded by PRO37.
PRO44 Bnd Con Cd 70-16k 56.2 / -25 114 100 28 D Floor, lectern.
PRO45 Oth Con Cd 70-16k 14.1 / -37 134 100 28 A Overhead suspension.
25 ft. fixed cable with XLRM plug.
Choirs,
orchestras.
PRO95 Ins Con Cd 10-13k 10 / -40 105 2000 unbal. 27 C Acoustic strings.
Mini clip-on gooseneck (for internal use).
Battery powered.
Snare/Tom Min Dyn Cd 100-
12k
1.2 / -58   500   B Snare, toms.
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Model Phy Elem PP Freq
resp.
(Hz)
Sensit.
@ 1 Pa
or 94 dB
SPL
(mV/dBV)
Max
SPL
(dB)
Imped.
(ohms)
ML means
min. load
Noise
(dB
(A)
SPL)
Price
band
Suggested
application
& notes
OM-2 Tap Dyn Hc 50-16k 2.3 / -53 140     C  
OM-3 Tap Dyn Hc 50-18k 2.0 / -54 144     D  
OM-5 Tap Dyn Hc 50-19k 2.4 / -52 144     F  
OM-6 Tap Dyn Hc 50-19k 2.3 / -53 144     F  
OM-7 Tap Dyn Hc 50-19k 0.9 / -61 144     F  
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Model Phy Elem PP Freq
resp.
(Hz)
Sensit.
@ 1 Pa
or 94 dB
SPL
(mV/dBV)
Max
SPL
(dB)
Imped.
(ohms)
ML means
min. load
Noise
(dB
(A)
SPL)
Price
band
Suggested
application
& notes
B-2 PRO SA Con Sw 20-20k   135 <200,
1k ML
18 D Budget studio.
Om / Cd / F8.
150 Hz low cut (6 dB/oct).
10 dB pad.
Max SPL 145 with pad.
Transformerless.
B-5 Cyl Con Cd /
Om
20-20k Cd:
12.6 / -38

Om:
10 / -40
140 70,
1k ML
Cd:
16

Om:
18
B Strings, overheads.
150 Hz low cut (6 dB/oct).
10 dB pad.
Max SPL 150 with pad.
Transformerless.
True condenser.
Cd and Om capsules supplied.
C-1 SA Con Cd 40-20k 22 / -33 136 100,
1k ML
  A Budget studio.
Transformerless.
C-2 Cyl Con Cd 20-20k 8.9 / -41 140 75,
1k ML
19 A Strings, overheads, piano.
120 Hz low cut (6 dB/oct).
10 dB pad.
Max SPL 150 with pad.
Transformerless.
Supplied as matched pair.
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Model Phy Elem PP Freq
resp.
(Hz)
Sensit.
@ 1 Pa
or 94 dB
SPL
(mV/dBV)
Max
SPL
(dB)
Imped.
(ohms)
ML means
min. load
Noise
(dB
(A)
SPL)
Price
band
Suggested
application
& notes
M69TG Tap Dyn Hc 50-16k 2.3 / -53   200,
1k ML
  E Speech, vocals,
brass esp. trombone.
Cyl. body.
M88TG Tap Dyn Hc 30-20k 2.9 / -51   200,
1k ML
  F Vocals, speech, instruments.
Cyl. body.
M201 Cyl Dyn Hc 40-18k 1.2 / -58   200   E Snare, toms, hi-hats, rack toms, percussion, banjo, acoustic guitar.
40-18k is distant response.
Humbucking coil.
MC740 Tap Con Sw 20-20k 10 / -40 134 150 17 J Piano, vocals, strings, brass, percussion, woodwinds.
Studio.
Max SPL 144dB with pad.
Large diaphragm.
10 dB pad.
MC834 SA Con Cd 20-20k 10 / -40 130 180,
1k ML
18 J Vocals, guitar, Piano, percussion, strings.
Studio.
Max SPL 140 dB @ 10 dB pad, 150 dB @ 20 dB pad.
Large diaphragm.
10 dB or 20 dB pad.
80 Hz or 160 Hz low cut.
Opus 39 Tap Dyn Sc 50-16k 2.4 / -52   600,
1k ML
  B Vocals.
Distant freq. resp. 100-14k
Opus 51 Oth Con ½ Om 30-20k 7 / -43 131 250,
1k ML
26 E Piano (internal use).
Integrated into metal plate.
4-pin LEMO connector, adapted to XLR via CV1 power unit (included).
Back electret.
Opus 53 Cyl Con Cd 30-20k 5 / -46 136 200,
1k ML
22 D Snare, hi-hat, brass, woodwind.
Opus 59 Tap Dyn Sc 45-16k 2.6 / -52   600,
1k ML
  B Vocals.
Distant freq. resp. 100-14k
Opus 62 Ins Dyn Hc 40-12k 1.5 / -56   200   B Snare, toms, etc.
Mini clip-on gooseneck.
Opus 65 Oth Dyn Hc 15-18k 2 / -54   280,
1k ML
  E Kick, floor tom, congas.
Large diaphragm.
Distant freq. resp. 40-16k
Opus 66 Min Dyn Sc 50-16k 2.5 / -52 140 300,
1k ML
  D Snare, toms, cymbals.
Mini.
Opus 67 Ins Dyn Hc 40-12k 1.5 / -56   200,
1k ML
  C Snare, toms, cymbals.
Mini clamp-on gooseneck.
Opus 69 Tap Dyn Sc 35-16k 2.5 / -52   290,
1k ML
  D Close vocals & speech.
Distant freq. resp. 95-14k
Opus 81 Tap Con Cd 50-18k 3.2 / -50 138 190,
1k ML
26 E Vocals.
Opus 83 Cyl Con Cd 40-20k 3.2 / -50 138 190,
1k ML
26 D Hi-hats, drum overheads, brass, woodwind.
Back electret.
Opus 88 Ins Con Cd 30-20k 5 / -46 136 200 22 E Snare, toms, congas.
Max SPL 126 @ 12 V power.
Short G/N & horizontal swivel.
Opus 99 Oth Dyn Hc           EF Kick drum.
Optional ST 99 stand.
TG-X58 Tap Dyn Sc 50-15k 2 / -54   600,
1k ML
  A Budget vocals.
TG-X60 Tap Dyn Hc 40-18k 3 / -50   280,
1k ML
  F Vocals.
TG-X80 Tap Dyn Hc 30-18k 3.2 / -50   280,
1k ML
  G Vocals, esp female.
Smooth response.
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Model Phy Elem PP Freq
resp.
(Hz)
Sensit.
@ 1 Pa
or 94 dB
SPL
(mV/dBV)
Max
SPL
(dB)
Imped.
(ohms)
ML means
min. load
Noise
(dB
(A)
SPL)
Price
band
Suggested
application
& notes
KMS 104 Tap Con Cd 20-20k 4.5 / -47 150 50,
1k ML
18 H Vocals.
KMS 104 plus Tap Con Cd 20-20k 4.5 / -47 150 50,
1k ML
18 H Female vocals.
KMS 105 Tap Con Sc 20-20k 4.5 / -47 150 50,
1k ML
18 H Vocals.
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Model Phy Elem PP Freq
resp.
(Hz)
Sensit.
@ 1 Pa
or 94 dB
SPL
(mV/dBV)
Max
SPL
(dB)
Imped.
(ohms)
ML means
min. load
Noise
(dB
(A)
SPL)
Price
band
Suggested
application
& notes
S1 Tap Con Sc 20-20k 4.5 / -47 150 50 16 E Vocals.
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Model Phy Elem PP Freq
resp.
(Hz)
Sensit.
@ 1 Pa
or 94 dB
SPL
(mV/dBV)
Max
SPL
(dB)
Imped.
(ohms)
ML means
min. load
Noise
(dB
(A)
SPL)
Price
band
Suggested
application
& notes
C01 SA Con Cd 40-18k 22.5 / -33 136 200   A Studio, side-address.
Drums overhead,
acoustic insts,
vocals.
Large diaphragm.
C02 Cyl Con Cd 40-20k 10 / -40 134 200 22 C Instruments.
Small diaphragm.
C03 SA Con Sc/
Om/
F8
40-18k 22.5 / -33 136 200   A Studio, side-address.
Dual capsule.
Large diaphragm.
10 dB pad.
Low cut.
C03U SA Con Sc/
Om/
F8
40-18k 10 / -40 132 N/A   B Studio, side-address.
Dual capsule.
Large diaphragm.
10 dB pad.
Low cut.
16-bit 48 kHz
A/D convertor, USB output.
USB powered.
C05 Tap Con Cd 50-18k 6.3 / -44 130 200 23 C Vocals, insts, speech.
Q1 Tap Con Cd 50-20k   142 90,
800 ML
  A Vocals.
Rising response above 8 kHz.
Q2 Tap Dyn Cd 50-15k 0.3 / -71 137 600   A Budget vocals/insts.
10 dB pad.
80 Hz low cut (12 dB/oct).
Humbucking coil.
Quoted sensit at 0.1 Pa?
Q3 Min Dyn Hc 50-15k 0.3 / -71 137 600   A Drums, guitar cab.
10 dB pad.
80 Hz low cut (12 dB/oct).
Humbucking coil.
Integral stand mount.
Quoted sensit at 0.1 Pa?
Q6 Tap Dyn Sc 50-15k 3.2 / -50   500   A Vocals.
On/off switch.
Q7 Tap Dyn Sc 80-12k 2.2 / -54   200   A Vocals.
Rising response to 7 kHz, falls rapidly above 8.5 kHz.
Q8 Tap Dyn Sc 50-16k 2.5 / -52 150 2300   A Vocals.
QKick Min Dyn Sc 50-16k 0.8 / -62 147 200   D Kick, bass drums, perc.
QSnare Ins Dyn Sc 50-16k 0.78 / -55 133 200   B Snare.
Rim-mount clamp.
QTom Ins Dyn Cd           B Toms.
Rim-mount clamp.
R11 Tap Dyn Hc 60-18k 0.2 / -74 130 400   A Vocals, insts.
R21 Tap Dyn Cd 80-12k 1.8 / -55   500   A General stage use.
S11 Tap Dyn Cd 60-18k 0.2 / -74 130 600   B Vocals, insts.
S12 Tap Dyn Hc 60-18k 0.3 / -70 130 600   B General stage use.
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Model Phy Elem PP Freq
resp.
(Hz)
Sensit.
@ 1 Pa
or 94 dB
SPL
(mV/dBV)
Max
SPL
(dB)
Imped.
(ohms)
ML means
min. load
Noise
(dB
(A)
SPL)
Price
band
Suggested
application
& notes
H-1 Tap Con Cd 20-20k 2 / -54 145 200,
1k ML
18 F Vocals.
SE3 Cyl Con Cd 20-20k 10 / -40 135 <200 17 E Studio,
acoustic insts.
4 dB lift around 10 kHz.
10 dB pad.
Low cut switch.
SE2200A SA Con Cd 20-20k 14.1 / -37 130 <200 17 E Vocals, insts.
10 dB pad.
Low cut switch.
Large diaphragm.
Transformer coupled.
TITAN SA Con Cd 20-20k 40 / -28 128 <200 16 E Vocals,
acoustic insts,
percussion.
10 dB pad.
Low cut switch.
Gradual lift to +9 dB at 10 kHz.
Titanium diaphragm.
Transformerless.
Sennheiser click for website       Back to start of Microphone Details       Skip to next manufacturer
Model Phy Elem PP Freq
resp.
(Hz)
Sensit.
@ 1 Pa
or 94 dB
SPL
(mV/dBV)
Max
SPL
(dB)
Imped.
(ohms)
ML means
min. load
Noise
(dB
(A)
SPL)
Price
band
Suggested
application
& notes
e602 Oth Dyn Cd 20-16k 1 / -60   250,
1k ML
  C Kick, bass cab, tuba.
Humbucking coil.
e602MkII Oth Dyn Cd 20-16k 1 / -60   250,
1k ML
  C Kick, bass cab, tuba.
Humbucking coil.
e604 Ins Dyn Cd 40-18k 1.8 / -55 160 350,
1k ML
  B Drums, brass.
Mini clip-on.
e606 SA Dyn Sc 40-15k 1.5 / -56   350,
1k ML
  B Guitar cab.
Side address.
e608 Ins Dyn Sc 40-16k 0.8 / -62   350,
1k ML
  C Woodwind, brass, drums.
Mini gooseneck clip.
e609 SA Dyn Sc 40-16k 1.5 / -56   350,
1k ML
  E Guitar cab, toms.
Side address.
Humbucking coil.
e614 Cyl Con Sc 40-20k 3 / -50 139 50,
1k ML
24 D Drums overhead, woodwind, string, flute, sax, cymbals, hi-hats.
e664 Cyl Con Cd 40-20k 32 / -30 130 200,
1k ML
16 F Drums overhead, hi-hats,
acoustic insts.
e825S Tap Dyn Cd 80-15k 1.5 / -56   350,
1k ML
  A General stage use.
e835 Tap Dyn Cd 40-16k 2.7 / -51   350,
1k ML
  A Close vocals.
e840 Tap Dyn Cd 40-18k 2 / -54   350,
1k ML
  B Close vocals.
e845 Tap Dyn Sc 40-16k 1.8 / -55   350,
1k ML
  B Close vocals.
e855 Tap Dyn Sc 40-18k 1.8 / -55   350,
1k ML
  D Close vocals.
e865 Tap Con Sc 40-20k 3 / -50 150 200,
1k ML
  E Vocals.
Back electret.
e901 Bnd Con ½Cd 20-20k 0.5 / -66 154 <100,
1k ML
  E Kick drum.
Rests on rubber mat.
e902 Oth Dyn Cd 20-18k 0.6 / -64   350,
1k ML
  D Kick, bass cab, tuba.
Humbucking coil.
e904 Ins Dyn Cd 40-18k 2 / -54   350,
1k ML
  D Drums.
Clamp included (MZH604).
Humbucking coil.
e905 Min Dyn Cd 40-18k 2.6 / -52   350,
1k ML
  D Snare drum.
Integral stand-mount.
Humbucking coil.
e906 SA Dyn Sc 40-18k 2.2 / -53   350,
1k ML
  D Guitar cabs, percussion, brass, acoustic strings.
Switchable presence peak ('bright', 'normal' or 'smooth').
Side address.
Humbucking coil.
e908B Ins Con Cd 40-20k 4 / -48 147 100,
2k ML
35 E Wind instruments,
congas.
Gooseneck + clamp.
Includes MZA900P in-line pre-amp (unless suffix 'ew').
e908D Ins Con Cd 40-20k 4 / -48 147 100,
2k ML
35 E Drums, percussion.
Gooseneck + clamp.
Includes MZA900P in-line pre-amp (unless suffix 'ew').
e914 Cyl Con Cd 20-20k 12 / -38 136 100,
1k ML
19 G Piano, cymbals,
acoustic guitar,
orchestra overhead,
choir.
3-pos low cut.
10 or 20 dB pad.
e935 Tap Dyn Cd 40-16k 2.8 / -51   350,
1k ML
  D Close vocals.
Humbucking coil.
e945 Tap Dyn Sc 40-18k 2 / -54   350,
1k ML
  E Close vocals.
Humbucking coil.
HS2 Hst Con Om 20-20k 5 / -46 142 1k,
4.7k ML
26 H+ Speech.
Very thin boom.
Anthracite.
3-pin Lemo plug (for radio packs SK 50, 250, 5012, 3063).
-1 variant has short capsule,
-2 variant has long capsule.
HSP2 Hst Con Om 20-20k 2 / -54 150 1k,
4.7k ML
28 H+ Speech.
Very thin boom.
No-suffix variant is anthracite with 3-pin plug (for radio packs SK 50, 250, 5012, 3063).
-3 variant is beige,
-EW variant has 3.5mm TRS jack (for radio packs SK 100, 300, 500 or for MZA900P power module),
-5 variant has no plug,
-M variant is for smaller heads.
HSP4 Hst Con Cd 40-20k 4 / -48 150 1k,
4.7k ML
37 H+ Vocals.
Very thin boom.
No-suffix variant is anthracite with 3-pin Lemo plug (for radio packs SK 50, 250, 5012, 3063).
-3 variant is beige,
-EW variant has 3.5mm TRS jack (for radio packs SK 100, 300, 500 or for MZA900P power module),
-5 variant has no plug,
-M variant is for smaller heads.
MD421MkII Tap Dyn Cd 30-17k 2 / -54   200, matched   G Speech, acoustic guitar,
drums.
4-pos low cut.
MD425 Tap Dyn Sc 40-18k 1.6 / -56   350,
1k ML
  G Vocals.
MD431MkII Tap Dyn Sc 40-16k 2 / -54   250,
1k ML
  H Vocals, speech.
MD441U Tap Dyn Sc 30-20k 1.8 / -55   200,
1k ML
  J Instruments.
5-pos low cut.
Hi boost.
Square cross-section.
MD835 Oth Dyn Cd 40-16k 2.7 / -51   350,
1k ML
    Close vocals.
Capsule in
e835 & eW135
(green ring).
MD845 Oth Dyn Sc 40-16k 1.8 / -55   350,
1k ML
    Close vocals.
Capsule in
e845 & eW145
(blue ring).
MD865 Oth Con Sc 40-20k 3 / -50   200,
1k ML
    Vocals.
Back electret.
Capsule in
e865 & eW165
(red ring).
ME2 Lav Con Om 40-18k 20 / -34 130     A+ Lavalier.
Incl. with eW112
and eW312
Evolution wireless series.
ME3 Hst Con Sc 40-18k 1.6 / -56 150     C+ Headset.
Incl. with eW152
Evolution wireless series.
ME4 Lav Con Cd 40-18k 40 / -28 120     A+ Lavalier.
Incl. with eW122
and eW322
Evolution wireless series.
ME34 Oth Con Cd 50-20k 10 / -40   50,
1k ML
26 C Speech, vocals.
Capsule for MZH30xx gooseneck.
Electret.
ME35 Oth Con Sc 50-20k 10 / -40   50,
1k ML
26 C Speech, vocals.
Capsule for MZH30xx gooseneck.
Electret.
ME36 Oth Con Sh 40-20k 10 / -40   50,
1k ML
23 E Mini shotgun.
Speech, vocals.
Capsule for MZH30xx gooseneck.
Electret.
ME65 Tap Con Sc 40-20k 10 / -40 142
(3%)
200,
1k ML
20 E Speech & vocals.
Use K6 or K6P powering module.
Back-electret.
ME66 Cyl Con Sh 40-20k 50 / -26 125 200,
1k ML
10 F OB & film.
Back electret.
Use K6 or K6P powering module.
MKH20 Cyl Con Om 12-20k 40 / -28 134 150,
1k ML
10 J Insts,
ambience recording.
10 kHz boost +6 dB.
10 dB pad.
RF condenser.
Transformerless.
MKH30 Cyl Con F8 40-20k 25 / -32 134 150,
1k ML
13 J 'S' of M-S pair.
100 Hz low cut -5 dB.

10 dB pad.
RF condenser.
Transformerless.
MKH40 Cyl Con Cd 40-20k 25 / -32 134 150,
1k ML
12 J Insts, speech.
100 Hz low cut -3 dB.
10 dB pad.
RF condenser.
Transformerless.
MKH80 Cyl Con Sw 30-20k 40 / -28 136 150,
1k ML
10 K Vocals, insts.
50 Hz low cut -3 or -6 dB.
10 kHz boost +3 or +6 dB.
6 or 12 dB pad.
RF condenser.
MKH416
P48U-3
Cyl Con Sh 40-20k 25 / -32 130 25,
800 ML
13 J Film, radio, TV.
48V version of MKH416TU-3.
RF condenser.
Transformerless.
MKH416
TU-3
Cyl Con Sh 40-20k 20 / -34 130 15,
1k ML
14 J Film, radio, TV.
12V version of MKH416P48U-3.
RF condenser.
Transformerless.
MKH800
P48
Cyl Con Sw 30-50k 40 / -28 136 150,
2k ML
10 K Om/Cd-wide/Cd/F8.
Instrument recording.
Piano, strings,
drum overheads.
50 Hz low cut -3 or -6 dB.
8 kHz boost +3 or +6 dB.
6 or 12 dB pad.
RF condenser.
MKH816
P48V
Cyl Con Sh 40-20k 40 / -28 128 8,
400 ML
    News gathering, film.
Hc below 500 Hz.
48V version of MKH816TU-3.
RF condenser.
Transformerless.
MKH816
TU-3
Cyl Con Sh 40-20k 40 / -28 118 8,
400 ML
    News gathering, film.
Hc below 500 Hz.
12V version of MKH816P48V.
RF condenser.
Transformerless.
MZH3015 Gnk               B Pre-amp & 15 cm gooseneck for ME34, ME35 & ME36 capsules.
MZH3040 Gnk               C Pre-amp & 40 cm gooseneck for ME34, ME35 & ME36 capsules.
MZH3042 Gnk               D Pre-amp & 40 cm gooseneck with 2 bends for ME34, ME35 & ME36 capsules.
Shure click for website       Back to start of Microphone Details
Model Phy Elem PP Freq
resp.
(Hz)
Sensit.
@ 1 Pa
or 94 dB
SPL
(mV/dBV)
Max
SPL
(dB)
Imped.
(ohms)
ML means
min. load
Noise
(dB
(A)
SPL)
Price
band
Suggested
application
& notes
55SH Oth Dyn Cd 50-15k 1.3 / -58   150   F Speech, vocals.
1940's retro styled.
520DX Oth Dyn Om 100-5k 13 / -38   High,
100k ML
Unbal.
  F Harmonica
"Green Bullet".
Palm-held.
Volume control.
Cable attached.
565SD Tap Dyn Cd 50-15k 1.6 / -56   250   E Stage speech.
588SDX Tap Dyn Cd 80-15k 0.17 / -75   150   B Budget vocals & speech.
Beta 52 Oth Dyn Sc 20-10k 0.6 / -64 174 45   F Kick, bass cab.
Beta 52A Oth Dyn Sc 20-10k 2.7 / -51   150   F Kick, bass cab.
Beta 56 Min Dyn Sc 50-16k 2.8 / -51   290   E Toms, brass, woodwind.
Mini.
Beta 57A Tap Dyn Sc 50-16k 2.8 / -51   290   E General stage insts,
esp. guitar cab & brass.
Beta 58A Tap Dyn Sc 50-16k 2.7 / -51   290   D Stage vocals.
Beta 87A Tap Con Sc 50-20k 2.4 / -53 140 150,
800 ML
23.5 F Stage vocals.
Beta 87C Tap Con Cd 50-20k 2.8 / -51 139 150,
800 ML
22 FG Stage vocals & speech.
Cd version of Beta 87A.
Beta 91 Bnd Con ½Cd 20-20k 1.1 / -59 160 150,
1k ML
35 G Kick, piano.
Boundary.
Max SPL 156 @ 1k load.
Beta 98 D/S Ins Con Sc 20-20k 1 / -59 160 150   F Snare, toms.
Max SPL 156 @ 1k load.
Beta 98 H/C Ins Con Cd 20-20k 1.9 / -56 163 150   F Horns.
Max SPL 155 @ 1k load.
Beta 98 S Min Con Sc 20-20k 1 / -59 160 150   F Instruments.
Max SPL 156 @ 1k load.
BG1.0 Tap Dyn Cd 80-12k 1.4 / -57   600   D Budget vocals.
BG1.1 Tap Dyn Cd 85-14k 1.5 / -56   180   A Budget vocals.
General stage use.
BG2.0 Tap Dyn Cd 80-14k 1.6 / -56   150   F Vocals.
BG3.0 Tap Dyn Cd 60-15k 1.8 / -55   150   F Vocals, brass.
BG3.1 Tap Dyn Cd 60-14k 2.1 / -54   290   C Vocals.
BG4.0 Cyl Con Cd 40-18k 4.0 / -48   600   H Drum overhead.
BG4.1 Cyl Con Cd 40-18k 4.0 / -48 129 600,
800 ML
24 E Drum overhead,
instruments.
BG5.0 Tap Con Cd 40-18k 3.5 / -49   600   H Vocals, choir.
BG5.1 Tap Con Cd 70-16k 3.5 / -49 130 600,
800 ML
25 E Vocals.
Electret.
BG6.1 Min Dyn Cd 80-15k 2 / -54   290   D Instruments.
Mini.
Easyflex EZB/C Oth Con Cd 50-17k 11.2 / -39 122 170 23 E Speech, vocals.
Boundary, for lectern/floor.
Easyflex EZB/O Oth Con Om 50-17k 20 / -34 117 170 18 D Speech, vocals.
Boundary, for lectern/floor.
Easyflex EZG series Gnk Con Cd 50-17k 5.2 / -46 129 180 29 E 12" or 18" gooseneck.
XLR or threaded flange mounting.
Easyflex EZO Oth Con Cd 50-17k 5.2 / -46 129 180 29 E Choir.
Overhead suspension.
Grey or white.
KSM9 Tap Con Cd/
Sc
50-20k 2.8 / -51 152 150,
1k ML
22 H Vocals.
KSM27 SA Con Cd 20-20k 14 / -37 138 150 14 FG Budget studio.
80 Hz (18 dB/oct) low cut.
115 Hz (6 dB/oct) low cut.
15 dB pad.
Rec load 2.5k.
Large diaphragm.
Shock mount included.
KSM32 SA Con Cd 20-20k 16 / -36 133 150,
1k ML
13 H Studio vocals.
80 Hz (18 dB/oct) low cut.
115 Hz (6 dB/oct) low cut.
15 dB pad.
Max SPL 139 @ 2.5k load.
Large diaphragm.
Transformerless.
KSM137 Cyl Con Cd 20-20k 14.1 / -37 134 150,
1k ML
14 H Studio strings,
piano, drum overhead,
woodwind & double bass.
80 Hz (18 dB/oct) low cut.
115 Hz (6 dB/oct) low cut.
15 / 25 dB pad.
Max SPL 145 @ 5k load
(170 @ 5k & 25 dB Att).
Transformerless.
KSM141 Cyl Con Sw 20-20k 14.1 / -37 134 150,
1k ML
14 H Studio strings,
drum overhead,
woodwind & double bass.
Switchable Om / Cd.
80 Hz (18 dB/oct) low cut.
115 Hz (6 dB/oct) low cut.
15 / 25 dB pad.
Max SPL 145 @ 5k load
(170 @ 5k & 25 dB Att).
Transformerless.
MX202 Oth Con Om 50-17k 42.2 / -27 117 180,
1k ML
21 F Choir.
Overhead suspension.
Interchangeable cartridges
(R183=Om, R185=Cd, R184=Sc).
101mm gooseneck attached.
Black or white.
Cd 17.8 / -35 124 28
Sc 21.1 / -34 123 27
MX412SE Gnk Con /O
Om
50-17k 42.2 / -27 117 180,
1k ML
21 F Lectern.
Microflex series.
Interchangeable cartridges
(R183B=Om, R185B=Cd, R184B=Sc).
12" gooseneck.
Permanent mount flange.
/C
Cd
17.8 / -35 124 28
/S
Sc
21.1 / -34 123 27
MX418SE Gnk Con /O
Om
50-17k 42.2 / -27 117 180,
1k ML
21 F Lectern.
Microflex series.
Interchangeable cartridges
(R183B=Om, R185B=Cd, R184B=Sc).
18" gooseneck.
Permanent mount flange.
/C
Cd
17.8 / -35 124 28
/S
Sc
21.1 / -34 123 27
PG48 Tap Dyn Cd 70-15k 2.5 / -52   600   A Speech.
PG52 Oth Dyn Cd 30-13k 1.8 / -55   300   D Kick.
PG56 Min Dyn Cd 50-15k 1.6 / -56   200   B Snare, toms.
Mini.
PG57 Tap Dyn Cd 50-15k 1.6 / -56   200   A Budget instrument.
PG58 Tap Dyn Cd 60-15k 2.2 / -53   300   A Lead vocals.
PG81 Cyl Con Cd 40-18k 4.0 / -48 131 600,
2k ML
  C Acoustic instruments.
SM10A-CN Hst Dyn Cd 50-15k 0.45 / -65   223   C Speech, vocals, sports broadcast, intercom.
Freq. resp. & sensit. @ 8 mm.
XLR connector clips to belt (no pack).
SM48-LC Tap Dyn Cd 55-14k 1.3 / -58   150   B Speech, budget vocals.
SM57-LC Tap Dyn Cd 40-15k 1.9 / -54   310   D Snare, guitar cab.
SM58-LC Tap Dyn Cd 50-15k 1.9 / -54   150   B Stage vocals.
SM81-LC Cyl Con Cd 20-20k 5.6 / -45 136 85,
150 ML
16 H Acoustic guitar,
piano, woodwind,
drum overhead,
cymbals.
Studio & live orchestras.
100 Hz low cut.
10 dB pad.
SM86 Tap Con Cd 50-18k 3.15 / -50 147 150,
600 ML
23 DE Stage vocals, speech.
SM87 Tap Con Cd 50-18k 2.0 / -54   150   G Vocals.
SM87A Tap Con Cd 50-18k 2.4 / -52 140 100,
800 ML
24 F Stage vocals, speech.
SM89 Cyl Con Sh 60-20k 2.2 / -53 127 100,
800 ML
16 J Film & TV.
160 Hz low cut.
SM93 Lav Con Om 80-20k 7 / -43 120 90,
800 ML
22 F TV, theatre.
Lavalier.
SM94-LC Cyl Con Cd 40-16k 3.5 / -49 141 200,
800 ML
25 G Acoustic insts.
Max SPL 123 on battery power.
WL93 Lav Con Om           D Lavalier.
Use with wireless mics.
WL183 Lav Con Om 50-17k     1800 22.5 D Lavalier.
Use with wireless mics.
WL184 Lav Con Sc 50-17k     1800 22.5 E Lavalier.
Use with wireless mics.
WL185 Lav Con Cd 50-17k     1800 22.5 E Lavalier.
Use with wireless mics.
WL50 Lav Con Om 20-20k 5.5 / -45 133 20k ML 30 G Lavalier.
Variable HF response (cap).
Use with wireless mics.
Various colours (suffix letter).
5V supply.
WL51 Lav Con Cd 20-20k 10 / -50 138 20k ML 35 H Lavalier.
Flat LF response.
Variable HF response (change grille).
Use with wireless mics.
Various colours (suffix letter).
5-9V supply.
Model Phy Elem PP Freq
resp.
(Hz)
Sensit.
@ 1 Pa
or 94 dB
SPL
(mV/dBV)
Max
SPL
(dB)
Imped.
(ohms)
ML means
min. load
Noise
(dB
(A)
SPL)
Price
band
Suggested
application
& notes

Back to start of Microphone Details

* See the note on noise level at the top of the table.


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This page last updated 29-Oct-2014.