Microphones: How they work and how to choose which one is right for you

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Selecting the correct microphone from the lab cabinet or the manufacturers' catalog can be a difficult task, especially for NVH engineers new to sound measurements. This tutorial session will focus on the operational principles of several different types of microphones, including condenser, MEMS, and electret microphones. Scientific and economic selection criteria will be discussed, based on the needs of specific tests and industries. We will discuss which level of accuracy of microphone calibration is important for you, and how that affects the schedule and cost of measurements. Finally, several rules-of-thumb will be presented with regards to when we can bend the rules of microphone selection, and when we cannot.

Publication Title

INTER-NOISE and NOISE-CON Congress and Conference Proceedings