The Future of Microphones – Part 2

We continue our blog looking at the new technologies that are creeping into the microphone industry, and there is a radical new product that has hit the market with brave and brash marketing capturing everybody’s imagination, the Throwable Microphone.

The Throwable Microphones

Radical microphone manufacturer Catchbox have launched a new microphone on the market which they are calling the Throwable Microphone. The whole ethos of this product is to engage the audience as much as possible, and to stop the problem of endlessly having to pass a microphone around in group situations. The microphone is housed in a padded cube that protects the technology of the actual microphone. This cube can be tossed around the room and has the added advantage of muting itself when it senses flying in the air or being passed around. Its popularity is its simplicity says the manufacturer, people immediately understand how to use the product.

The New Technologies

Many of the new technologies in the microphone industry are to do with the microphone processing methods, beamforming, source separation and localization. But some manufacturers are taking a more radical view at the traditional ways that technology has worked in the past.

Always Ready Technology

One such radical idea is the Always Ready microphone, devices that have such technology are common in phones and react to a sound or wake-up phrase. This wake-up normally sparks a reaction, and in the case of something like Siri will initiate data to be transmitted. Always Ready devices have some serious benefits, the primary one being that the device is not running live all the time that will increase battery and privacy issues. If operated with the required safeguards to protect privacy and safety then this technology is a sound option.

Data Transmitted

Today microphones can be used for transmitting data, if you take a device that is able to translate speech into text for example then it will probably do this within normal hearing range. As technology advances in this area then there will be definitely be more devices that operate completely locally and will only work for the purpose they are designed for and not pick up background noise.

Modern Products to Watch Out For

There are some great new products that have come onto the market in recent times and one manufacturer leading the way is Holophone who have released a highly interesting range of surround sound microphones that include their Model H2-Pro, and the H4SuperMini. Squarehead Technology have also joined the party with a staggering 315 range of microphones that are designed to be used in arena environments. These range from microphones designed for hanging and sound pick up devices for crowd cheering etc.

There is no doubt about the leaps and bounds that the microphone industry has developed at, the technologies now being used in the construction and manufacture of the humble microphone is beyond all recognition of the first mikes than were developed in the formative years. Who knows where this new technology will eventually lead us but one thing is for certain the quality and materials used to make them will continue to improve.