Frequency curve – You may have heard the term “flat frequency response” or flat frequency curve”. This means that every frequency is output at the same level it was recorded. Whilst this is great for purists, consumer music usually needs extra bass and treble added to the mix. Most headphones solve this by artificially boosting certain frequencies, resulting in the classic “smile-shaped” frequency curve.
Headphones With Mic Buyers Guide
There is a tonne of things to take into consideration with any set of headphones but as we have plenty of other headphone buyers guides you can dive-into we are going to try to keep our main focus on the microphones in today’s info.
What to Look For When Buying Headphones with Mics?
For the majority of shoppers, a microphone inclusion in your headphones is nothing more than a welcomed bonus item.
They provide the convenience of call handling without needing to retrieve your mobile and the majority of manufacturers have cottoned on quickly to the popularity of this mod-con.
Some mic additions are just filler with many of them pretty sub-par for the task in hand just simply added for show or to compete with the market.
Often they are a cheap microphone that the company believes will add sufficient value to their basic headphone model but for some of us, the microphone quality is far more integral so we need to think a little harder.
A microphone function in a very similar manner to the speakers in your headphones both are different types of transducers so it is fair to say most headphone manufacturers know how to make a decent microphone.
When it comes to a mic the surface area isn’t as important as with a speaker as we are moving the air with our breath whereas a speaker has to move the air to recreate the sound-waves.
Most smartphones and other thin-profile devices that harbor microphones have very small mics fitted. The television industry and theater use lapel microphones which measure less than 50mm in diameter which still gets the job done.
The polar pattern of the microphone is what dictates what it can manage to capture. A directional mic can only detect field disturbances from a solitary direction. This can mean that they are often the better choice for communication.
Directional mics must be placed on an arm like a headset which is ideal for a work environment and indeed for gaming purposes. Though if you are gaming you will need bigger better speaker drivers to get a more immersive experience.
If you don’t want an arm then an omnidirectional microphone is your only salvation but they pick up sound from your environment. If you choose a set of headphones with a built-in mic then it will probably be omnidirectional.
If this is the case you will probably want to think about noise cancellation or you could find that your calls are not as clear for the listener.
Noise cancellation is a double-edged sword but for call-handling, it is pretty important unless you have a near field directional microphone.
Noise cancellation relies on additional microphones placed externally to capture surrounding sound then play the waves twice with one copy 180 degrees out of phase with the original input. The 2 opposite sets of waves cancel each-others peaks and troughs.
Noise cancellation can muddy your audio as your brain tries to interpret the cancellation waves it can create its sort of background noise which granted is low volume and non-invasive but can be a deal-breaker if you are ultimately looking to enjoy your favorite tunes.
When it comes to the wired versus wireless debate it rests on your intended use because a Bluetooth signal is not as high fidelity as a direct audio signal and it can also be subject to interference as well as time delays. Typically delays will be nominal but it can cause a cutting in and out effect known as stuttering.
If you are hoping to use your microphone for professional use then it would probably be more practical to settle on a wired headphone option.
Wires bring with them the pesky problem of tangling in transit. They are are very likely to tie themselves in inexplicable knots if they are left in a pocket and quite often this can be one of the notorious parts of your headphones to break on you.
If you are buying a wired set then the cords should be coated, twisted or braided to give them a smoother surface that is harder to tangle and easier to untangle as well.
The importance of the microphone on your headphone sets boils down to how you will likely use it so make sure you have your requirements in mind before you buy.
We have tried to include a good variety in this article and we have steered away from too many Bluetooth models as it can be less reliable as far as communication signals are concerned.
For business use you need to have a line you can trust to makes sure nothing gets lost over the phone as it were.
We have highlighted some shining examples and none of them will break the bank so why not pick a pair today.
If you are looking for a more discreet, on the go, in-ear option then you might fancy giving our true wireless headphone article a read although they operate via Bluetooth they could fit the bill.