What is better: low or high sensitivity microphones ? - diyAudio
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Old 6th May 2006, 08:39 AM   #1
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Default What is better: low or high sensitivity microphones ?

Hi boys. I'd like to ask to you what do you this would be better between high and low sensitivity in measurement microphones. I mean: I have not only to know a linear response but I want to measure the exact SPL in ambient with the better transient response and the higher precision.

High sensitivity means that the membrane can output much more voltage than a capsule that have less sensitivity, but what is the most praecise capsule ? Yes, a less sensitive microphone requires much ampification (and it means more noise) but does it means a more stable capsule and better transient response ?

I've seen DPA 4090 (B&K capsule) and Earthworks M30 (20mV/Pa agains 8mV/Pa).

And what does it means the sensitivity error -34dB+-2dB ? Does it means that the SPL value measured is wrong of about 2dB ?

Thanks
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Old 6th May 2006, 06:58 PM   #2
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Sensitivity won't matter much for your needs.
Look for wide bandwidth.

Also, once you calibrate sensitivity error won't matter either.
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Old 7th May 2006, 09:16 AM   #3
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OK, but I'm speaking about the resolution in changing between one SPL level to another. Now im not speaking of tracking an SPL curve but of measuring SPL exact values. I wanted to know (if possible ) if a better sensitivity or lower sensitivity can improve resolution of SPL measurements.

And do you know what is the sensitivity tolerance expressed in dB ?
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Old 7th May 2006, 09:29 AM   #4
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It depends what you're testing. If you need to know the SPL of jet engines, PA stacks running at full tilt or drumkits, you need a low sensitivity mic. If however you are testing domestic speakers, acoustic instruments or background noise, a high sensitivity mic would be more appropriate. They are different because they are used for different purposes, one is not intrinsically better than another.
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Old 7th May 2006, 10:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Web Wolf
OK, but I'm speaking about the resolution in changing between one SPL level to another. Now im not speaking of tracking an SPL curve but of measuring SPL exact values. I wanted to know (if possible ) if a better sensitivity or lower sensitivity can improve resolution of SPL measurements.

And do you know what is the sensitivity tolerance expressed in dB ?

There is no relationship between sensitivity and resolution. The microphone will have far greater 'resolution' than you can use, regardless of its sensitivity.
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