Choosing a microphone for a business conference

Microphones are your business assistants. It would seem that it is not difficult to arrange a meeting room, hold a conference, connect a microphone for video communication. However, there is a wide range of microphones for business events of any scale. How to choose a microphone to make your conference sound better?

Conference systems and sound systems are an integral part of the conference room. The presence or absence of sound equipment affects the process of the whole event. In negotiations, speeches and meetings it is very important that all participants and speakers can hear each other without listening and not straining.

What criteria are important when choosing microphones for conference rooms?

The most important element is speech intelligibility; speech must be understandable. The human mind, trying to compensate for the missing words and “blurred” sounds, spends a lot of time on understanding the proposal. As a result, the negotiations become ineffective, a lot of inaccuracies and errors appear. Therefore, it is very important that all participants have the most clearly and accurately heard the speakers of the event. Read the top listed conference microphones.

When choosing a conference microphone, you need to pay attention to three main characteristics:

  1. Directivity pattern

The characteristic shows the dependence of the microphone on the location of the sound source and plays a role only when the microphone is used in a noisy room. Direction Types:

  • omnidirectional – catch the maximum number of sounds from all sides;
  • bidirectional – capture sound from two sides, for example, only to the left and right of the microphone;
  • unidirectional – capture sound only from the front.

The latter type is the most popular; unidirectional in turn are divided into cardioid, supercardioid, and hypercardioid.

  1. Frequency response

Indicates the range from low to high frequencies within which the microphone generates an output signal. To determine the necessary indicators, it is necessary to understand by whom, how and for what the microphone will be used in the future.

  1. Sensitivity and sound pressure level

Sensitivity demonstrates the characteristic perception of a quiet sound with a microphone. The higher the value, the lower the sensitivity of the microphone to voice volume.

The sound pressure level is measured in decibels and shows the highest possible microphone volume

Microphones designed for conference rooms automatically adjust the balance, selecting the best characteristics for all participants in the hall. But each conference room has its own characteristics and equipment requirements, as it has individual acoustic characteristics.

Examples of the use of conference microphones in various types of conference rooms:

Small office or meeting room

A relatively small room or office, which can hold up to 6 participants at one table. Features: a lot of furniture regarding the size of the room, low ceiling height, a small echo, close proximity of participants to the microphone. An omnidirectional microphone will be an excellent solution for sound quality and equipment cost. It is installed alone, usually in the center of the table, and receives signals from all speakers.

For example, Shure MXA310 benchtop microphone provides multifunctional customizable coverage. Implemented in an elegant desktop design in various colors.

Standard conference room or large office

This is a regular conference room, which is designed for 12-16 participants. The larger the room, the more acoustic problems arise (air vents, air conditioning, a large number of participants, more echo, noise).

Microphones with larger coverage and the option of connecting additional microphones are necessary for such a room. A critical opportunity for such a room is the possibility of independent echo cancellation and gain control for each microphone. Outdated models of conferencing systems do not independently optimize the acoustic parameters, which leads to a large level of noise, echo and large interruptions in the conversation.

An economical option is a ceiling omnidirectional microphone or several desktops (the number of pieces directly depends on the number of participants). This type of equipment perfectly masked by the interior design. Ceiling microphone array is ideal for rooms where it is preferable to not have microphones on the working surface. The Shure MXA910 microphone independently recognizes sound coverage areas, but also additionally has 10 software configuration perception patterns. In standard cases, desktop conference microphones or congress systems are installed.

Boardroom, large conference room

The ideal solution for this type of room is individual conference systems; they provide high-quality sound, complete clarity of the speaker’s speech. As additional microphones, you can consider options – lavalier and pendant microphones.

If there is a large opening in the hall, concrete surfaces or decorative glass are additional acoustic features of the room and they must be taken into account. High-quality sound must be created throughout the room, and not just around the main conference table so that the speaker behind a separate chair can also hear perfectly well, like other conference participants.

Mobile conference rooms, transforming rooms

This refers to the halls in which the possibility of rearrangement of furniture and equipment is provided; or it is possible to divide the halls using mobile partitions, depending on the type of event. This type of conference room is most often found in hotels and business complexes. The transforming hall almost does not reflect the sound and has a minimum level of noise due to special partitions, acoustic ceiling, and carpet. The mandatory criterion for microphones for ease of movement and transportation – a wireless configuration. Wireless conference systems make equipment mobile and reduce relocation time.

There are many options when selecting conference microphones. Do not neglect the technical characteristics, focusing only on the cost of equipment. A one not successful event can negatively affect the decision of your clients or partners or spoil the reputation of the company.