Measurement microphones – an introduction


You might be forgiven for thinking that a microphone is just that, a microphone. There are, however, many different microphones for all kinds of purposes; from studio recording to live audio, from broadcast sound to the one in your iPhone, and microphones used for scientific purposes, measuring changes in audio or vibration output.

Within these categories, there are, of course, variations too. Vocal microphones, such as the fabled Shure SM58 for example, tend to be directional cardioid dynamic microphones, although omnidirectional microphones are also available and are preferred by some users due to the durability of use.

This is the same with measurement microphones. There is a vast array of products available from a number of suppliers all with varying specifications and uses including varying pressures and frequencies as well as different atmospheric environments.

Choosing the right microphone

With a number of products available, choosing the right microphone for your own or company needs is essential. If you’re using Skype at home, for example, you might choose a Blue Yeti USB microphone. But for a live music performance at Wembley Stadium, you would need something more powerful and versatile, such as the SM58. The same applies to choosing the right microphone for measuring, whether that’s for the consumer electronics market or the automotive and aerospace sector.

There are several options to consider when choosing your microphone. One example is Externally Polarised vs. Pre-polarised Microphones. Condenser microphones require a polarisation voltage and this can either be supplied externally or through the microphone itself. Depending on the use and location of your microphone, there are, of course, advantages and disadvantages to both types but this is an example of one of the choices you will make when choosing your new microphone.

Most suppliers will provide expert advice and guidance and recommend a product to suit your specific needs and requirements. One such organisation is the manufacturer of measurement microphones, GRAS not only manufacture high quality microphones but also provide a full sales service and have worldwide distribution of their products, meaning you can access their market leading equipment wherever you are. With parts and supplies as well as in-house calibration services, GRAS really is a one stop shop for your measurement microphone needs.

What can I measure with my microphone?

Although the measurement microphones are high performance devices, they can actually also be used for recording standard audio, such as music or even your new podcast! Having said that, there are of course, as we have said, a range of products on the market which cater to this need. What it does show, however, is the incredible durability of these microphones. Measurement microphones are used throughout many manufacturing and consumer industries including audiology devices, consumer electronics, motoring and aerospace engineering, defence, research and education and environmental noise monitoring. So whatever you need your measurement microphones for, you can be sure there’s a product out there for you.