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Directional vs Omnidirectional Microphones – What’s the difference?

The optimum microphone for your purposes should always be chosen with consideration for the appropriate polar pattern. You must think about how you want the microphone to capture sound, and most importantly, where the microphone will be used.

A particular purpose is frequently considered when designing a microphone. Others will just pay attention to the one target source directly in front of them, while some will virtually equally collect sound from all directions. To obtain the finest performance out of the mic for your needs, it’s critical to know which is best. So let’s compare directional and omnidirectional microphones in detail.

What is a Polar Pattern?

But let’s pause for a moment before we examine the mics more closely and compare them. We must grasp the idea of directionality in microphones in order to gain a full image of both mics. We refer to this region of directionality as the Polar Pattern.

The location from which the microphone gathers sound is referred to as the Polar Pattern. The sound will occasionally come from the front and occasionally from the back. And occasionally from many different angles. The polar pattern is the main distinction between omnidirectional and directional microphones. This is a reference to the microphone’s sensitivity to sound coming from all feasible directions. and thus, how much signal the microphone will capture and from where it will do so.

When to use Directional mic?

This kind of microphone is good in isolating the desired on-axis sound from a single specified direction. When recording live sound, especially live musical performances, use this kind of mic. A directional mic, such a hypercardioid, can perform well even on a sound stage with a lot of background noise.

You direct it at yourself, so the audience can clearly hear you. Alternatively, because it will pick up sound in the direction you’re using it and reduce distracting ambient sounds, you can use it to record in a studio with bad acoustics.

You can use them to record podcasts, online meetings, and games when you’re at home. Additionally, they work well for capturing educational content for podcasts. Because your voice is the primary sound your audience hears and not the distracting background noises in the room, a directional mic is useful for working and streaming.

When to use Omnidirectional mic?

This kind of mic doesn’t require you to aim it at a specific angle or direction. So, depending on what you need to record, you can record sound from all around, which may or may not be useful. The finest applications for omnidirectional microphones are studio recordings, room recordings, choir recordings, and other large sound sources.

This mic has the benefit of sounding genuine and open. They are also a fantastic option to employ in a studio setting with decent acoustics, a low stage volume, and live applications. The ideal choice for mics that are close to the source, like earsets and headsets, is omnidirectional. As a result, you may also use them for streaming, gaming, and conferences, albeit the sound quality might not be as good as, say, a hypercardioid mic.

Due to its lack of directionality, this mic has the drawback of being unable to eliminate or significantly reduce background noise. Therefore, a directional mic is preferable if you need to reduce background noise in the room or monitor feedback while performing on stage and a good mic windshield or pop filter is insufficient.