Microphones are very useful and you can find them in use for various activities. They can be of use in almost any field you can think of. You can even find them used in large retail commercial stores, such as in a grocery store or warehouse. They are not strictly for use only in the entertainment industry or for public speaking anymore. Microphones are even used in hospitals, banks, schools, jails, etc. A microphone converts sound to patterns of electricity. A microphone picks up sounds and broadcasts them over speakers.
There are basically two different kinds of microphones, the unidirectional microphone and the omnidirectional microphone. Unlike a unidirectional microphone that only picks up sounds from something directly in front of it, an omnidirectional microphone picks up sounds from all directions. A unidirectional microphone is normally used to pick up the sound from a solo speaker, singer or musical instrument. An omnidirectional microphone is used to pick up the sound of a group of singers or musical instruments.
You can easily spot an omnidirectional microphone because it will have rounded ends which are very sensitive and protected by a heavy mesh bulb. The filament in the omnidirectional microphone is protected by the mesh covering so that it does not get contaminated by objects and dirt which can disturb the working of the filament. You may also see some omnidirectional microphones that have a foam rubber shell for protection. This kind of microphone works best when you are outside in the wind as it will shield the microphone from ambient noise. News reporters and sports reporters use them during newscasts. Many times you will see this kind of microphone suspended from the ceiling for recording choral groups. During a musical performance involving only two musicians an omnmicrophone can be placed between them. If there is one vocalist and musician they may also share an omnidirection microphone. The kind of microphone that you see on a speaker’s lapel or blouse may also be an omnidirectional microphone. You will also find unidirectional microphones like this too.
The smallest omnidirectional microphones are the best performance at high frequencies. They are also considered to be the purest microphone in relaying the original sound. There are some drawbacks to these kinds of microphones. For one, they do not discriminate between unwanted sounds so background noises can be picked up and amplified. When recording, the best type of microphone is the unidirectional microphone if background noise is to be completely left out. Feedback loop is more common when an omnidirectional microphone is used so it must not be placed directly in front of the person speaking. The wavelength of sound on an omnidirectional microphone at 10 kHz is little over an inch (3.4 cm). This is why the smallest microphones can be ¼ inch in diameter. They are pressure sensitive and their frequency response can be as low as 20 Hz or below. There are various omnidirectional microphones on the market. You can find mini microphones to plug into your laptop to record lectures at school.
There are omnidirectional microphones that are used in headsets, for stenography and other recording notes, etc. People are using microphones to talk with family and friends on skype and to make other VoIP calls. Microphones can be purchased for every day use or for professional uses online and in retail electronic stores. If you are not sure which type if best for your use you can ask for personal advice from someone who work in electronics. There are also various reviews you can read of the many makes and models online before you purchase the best one for your needs.