A digital microphone is a device that captures analog sound waves and converts them into electronic signals using digital technology. It is now commonly used especially when people use their smartphone or computer for recording. In this post, we will explore the following aspects. Read on to get more information.
- What is a digital microphone and the types of digital output ports?
- What are the types of digital microphone?
- What are the pros & cons of using it for recording?
- What are the differences between analog and digital wireless microphone system?
What is digital microphone?
Microphones are first analog and then digital if needed. This is the right way to consider whether microphones are analog or digital. Microphones first generate analog audio signals (alternating current voltages). If necessary, these analog impulses can be converted to digital signals.
A digital microphone includes an analog-to-digital converter (ADC). The ADC receives an analog signal from the diaphragm/capsule and transforms it into digital signals, which it then outputs.
Because this transformed digital audio signal is eventually outputted via the microphone's output, the microphone is referred to be "digital."
There are usually three types of digital output ports on the mic.
Types of digital output ports or connectors on microphone
Digital microphone usually has the following ports or connectors.
A USB microphone is a stand-alone microphone that is usually placed on a desk, table, or other surface. It is It is usually a digital microphone for computer that connects to your console or PC through a USB wire. It can take up sounds from all throughout the room, which is useful when recording meetings or podcast episodes.
Digital microphone for Android phone comes with Type-C port and Type-C connector to offer plug-and-play recording.
USB Type-C, often known as USB-C, is quickly becoming the standard connector for transferring data and power to and from a broad range of computing devices. Its symmetrical shape allows it to be placed either way - up or down - removing many of the inconveniences associated with previous USB ports and placing it on par with Apple's reversible Lightning plug.
For example, the SYNCO G2 Pro features a digital Type-C output port on the receiver. It allows you to connect it directly to the Android smartphone or laptop using the supplied Type-C cable. There is no need to use an audio interface or adapter.
Digital microphone for iPhone usually features Lightning connector. Lightning is an 8-pin plug that may be placed face up or face down and transmits a digital signal. It is found in Apple products like the iPhone and iPad.
What are the types of digital microphone?
As transducers, microphones exist in a range of shapes and sizes. Dynamic (moving coil), condenser, and ribbon are the most common. Are digital microphones available with moving coil, condenser, and ribbon capsules, or are they limited to a single transducer type?
In theory, any microphone may be converted into a digital microphone by inserting an ADC before the mic output. As a result, digital dynamic, condenser, and ribbon microphones are now available on the market.
Digital condenser microphone
A condenser microphone uses electrostatic principles to transform sound waves into audio signals. It accomplishes this with a capsule resembling a parallel-plate capacitor. One plate moves (the diaphragm), while the other remains immobile (the backplate).
A dynamic microphone uses electromagnetic induction to transform sound waves into audio signals. It does this through the use of a moveable diaphragm (with an associated conductive coil) that lies inside a magnetic field in a permanent magnetic structure.
The transducers of ribbon mic are dynamic. The name "ribbon microphone" refers to the diaphragm of these microphones and was popularized to differentiate them from moving-coil dynamic mics.
It uses electromagnetic induction to transform sound waves into audio signals. It achieves this by suspending a conductive ribbon-like diaphragm within a magnetic field in a permanent magnetic structure.
Why digital condenser microphone is more commonly used than dynamic and ribbon types?
Condenser mics make up the vast majority of commercial digital USB microphones. Why is that so?
The majority of digital/USB microphones are condensers simply because of the way they are used. Condenser mics perform well for this purpose when using USB microphones to record one person speaking. Voice recording can be done with dynamics (both moving coil and ribbon), although condensers perform better in such scenario.
What are the pros and cons of using digital jack microphone?
Generally speaking, digital microphone generates digital signals that are measured in bit-depth, sampling rate, and dBFS and are often sent through USB. It brings the following pros and cons to recording.
Using digital microphone for recording brings the following benefits and drawbacks.
- Simple to use with computers: Simply plug it in (or, at the absolute least, get a driver).
- Zero-latency headphone monitoring is often integrated into the microphone.
- Converting the analog signal to digital at close proximity (inside the mic) reduces the possibility and impact of electromagnetic interference in the mic signal
The drawbacks are as follow:
- Are usually restricted to recording only one microphone at a time.
- Cannot be used with analog or analog-to-digital equipment (audio interfaces, for example).
Digital wireless microphone VS analog: What are their differences?
Wireless systems use analog or digital techniques to transform analog audio into a radio signal and back. It's difficult to make a direct comparison between digital and analog systems—you'll need to consider component quality, functionality, your budget, and intended use. But, everything else being equal, there are significant differences.
Fidelity begins with your sound source. When selecting a microphone, make sure it sounds fantastic, can deal with high SPLs, and is durable enough to be used on stage.
Digital wireless lavalier microphone often provides superior audio quality than analog system. The audio stream is transformed to a high-resolution (typically 24-bit/48kHz) digital signal that is free of analog blemishes and interference.
The time delay between signal input and output is referred to as latency. Analog systems have a nearly minimal delay by design. The process of converting analog to digital and back again created unacceptably significant delays in early digital systems. Most modern digital systems have solved these constraints.
Digital microphone is more secure because it can encrypt the output signal, while analog devices cannot. This is critical if your system is transmitting sensitive information, such as during a government meeting. However, not all digital systems will support encryption. If you choose digital wireless microphone for security concerns, this is something to consider.