Boundary Microphone – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Recording Techniques Glossary

What is a Boundary Microphone?

A boundary microphone, also known as a pressure zone microphone or PZM, is a type of microphone that is designed to be placed on a surface, such as a table or a wall, rather than being held or mounted on a stand. This unique design allows the microphone to pick up sound from a wide area while minimizing unwanted noise and reflections.

How does a Boundary Microphone work?

Boundary microphones work on the principle of pressure zone microphones, which take advantage of the boundary effect. When a microphone is placed close to a surface, such as a table or a wall, the sound waves that hit the surface create a pressure zone that enhances the microphone’s sensitivity. This allows the microphone to pick up sound from a wider area with greater clarity and detail.

Where are Boundary Microphones commonly used?

Boundary microphones are commonly used in conference rooms, lecture halls, and other large meeting spaces where multiple speakers need to be picked up clearly. They are also popular in theatrical productions, broadcast studios, and recording studios where a discreet microphone solution is needed.

What are the advantages of using a Boundary Microphone?

One of the main advantages of using a boundary microphone is its ability to pick up sound from a wide area while minimizing unwanted noise and reflections. This makes boundary microphones ideal for capturing group discussions, presentations, and performances with clarity and detail. Additionally, boundary microphones are often more discreet and less obtrusive than traditional microphones, making them a popular choice for installations where aesthetics are important.

How should a Boundary Microphone be positioned for optimal results?

To achieve optimal results with a boundary microphone, it should be placed on a flat surface, such as a table or a wall, with the microphone element facing upwards. The microphone should be positioned in the center of the sound source, such as a conference table or a stage, to ensure even coverage of all speakers or performers. It is important to avoid placing the microphone near reflective surfaces or sources of interference, as this can affect the microphone’s performance.

What are some popular Boundary Microphone models on the market?

There are several popular boundary microphone models on the market, each with its own unique features and specifications. Some popular boundary microphone models include the Shure MX393/C, the Audio-Technica U851R, and the AKG CBL410 PCC. These microphones are known for their high-quality sound reproduction, durable construction, and versatile mounting options, making them ideal for a wide range of applications.