A microphone is simply a device that transforms information from one form to another. It is also called a transducer. It turns sound into an electrical signal. If you have never seen a microphone then you probably have been living under the rocks or perhaps you are an alien who just decided to visit this planet. The microphone covers a wide range of usage. They are in public address systems, telephones, hearing aids, production of motion pictures, sound recording, megaphones, radio and television broadcasting and many more.
Listed below are ten things you probably didn’t know about the microphone:
- The carbon microphone was the first microphone that enabled proper voice telephony and it was developed by David Edward Hughes in England and Emilie Berliner and Thomas Edison in the US. The carbon is the preliminary version of the microphones we use today.
- The microphone can be classified by the size of their diaphragm, their purpose of use, their directional characteristic (such as omnidirectional, unidirectional, Bi-directional) and their transducer principle like the condenser, dynamic, ribbon,carbon any many others.
- The most common type of microphone is the dynamic microphone. And this is because they are versatile and ideal for general-purpose use. The dynamic microphone uses a coil of wire suspended in a magnetic field. They have no internal amplifier and do not have need of batteries or external power.
- Do you know that the microphones are loudspeakers in reverse? Yes they are. The microphone looks very different from the loudspeakers so it is quite hard to identify their similarities. The microphone has identical parts as the loudspeaker but they function in exactly the reverse way
- The microphones are either high impedence or low impedence. The high impedence microphones are cheaper but they cannot drive long cables. They cannot be used in high quality sound systems. The low impedence, on the other hand has the ability to drive long cables and are the best option when high quality sound is important.
- The condenser microphones capture sound with more detail and high frequency energy than the dynamic and the ribbon microphone. The condenser microphone is the best choice for vocal because of the detailed recording it produces. They can’t handle very load sounds and needs to be handled with care because they are fragile.