PC Accessories

What Is an Omnidirectional Microphone?

Microphone

If you have a recording setup at your home, it may seem overwhelming to see the variety of options for microphones. Still, you might be interested in selecting a suitable recording device to meet all your requirements. That is where omnidirectional mics come into play. 

Quick Answer

Omnidirectional microphones are sound input devices that capture voice equally from all directions. These mics are helpful if you want to receive sounds from multiple instruments. 

This article will elaborate on the omnidirectional microphone and how you can set it up with two simple methods. We will also discuss the features of an omnidirectional microphone and how it works for sound recording.

What Is an Omnidirectional Microphone?

The prefix Omni is a Latin version of the English word “all.” When we combine it as Omnidirectional, it means “all directions.” Thus, an omnidirectional mic is an audio input device that can record sound equally from 360-degree around it.

Whether it’s front, back, or side of the mic, an omnidirectional mic will pick up sound at the same frequency from all directions. 

Although this microphone follows the pressure principle of a single diaphragm microphone, it is different from your traditional PC or headphone mic, especially when you want the audience to hear sounds from multiple directions. 

Omnidirectional microphones are also suitable if you want to record nature’s sounds or set up a home recording studio for hosting a live podcast.

Reasons To Use Omnidirectional Microphones

You may find a range of recording devices for podcasting or studio recording. But here are a few beneficial reasons to use an omnidirectional microphone:

  • Flexible positioning design.
  • No Polar Pattern issues.
  • No Null points.
  • No lobes of sensitivity.
  • Less handling.
  • Reduced Vibration Sounds.
  • Resistant to wind or breathing noise.
  • Low Plosive Sounds.
  • Lesser Proximity Effect.

Difference Between Unidirectional and Omnidirectional Microphones

Unidirectional is just another way to say direct. Like omnidirectional microphones, the prefix “Uni” in a unidirectional microphone indicates “one.” This means the unidirectional microphones can only record sounds and voices from a single direction.

It’s best to use a unidirectional mic if you’re recording a single person’s voice and don’t want any unnecessary interruption from surrounding noise. 

However, if more than one individual is involved in the recording session, it is suitable to use an omnidirectional microphone.

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Each microphone is designed for a specific purpose, and it is up to you to choose one, depending on the recording environment.

Setting Up an Omnidirectional Microphone

If you’re unfamiliar with setting up an omnidirectional microphone on your device, our two step-by-step easy methods will help you achieve this task without much trouble.

Method #1: Using an Omnidirectional Mic on Windows

Your Windows PC will support an omnidirectional mic like any other audio input device, which can be set up by following these steps:

  1. Connect the omnidirectional microphone with your PC’s Microphone In port.
  2. Click “Start Menu,” type in “Sound Settings,” and press “Enter” on the keyboard. 
  3. Find and click the “Choose your input device” menu under the Input section.
  4. Select the “External Microphone” from the drop-down menu.
  5. You are ready to use your omnidirectional microphone with the Windows PC.
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You can speak in the omnidirectional microphone to see if it works by noticing the raising bars next to the microphone icon under the “Test Your Microphone” section.

Method #2: Using an Omnidirectional Mic on MacBook

You can easily set up an omnidirectional mic with your Mac computer to use for podcasting or voice recording by following these steps.

Step #1: Connect Headphone Splitter

Since MacBook has a 3.5mm headphone jack, you’ll need a headphone splitter to connect the omnidirectional microphone. Plug in the microphone in the mic port end of the splitter. Connect the 3.5mm jack of the splitter with your MacBook.

Step #2: Setup the Microphone

Click the “Apple Menu” logo on the upper left corner of the screen. Head to System Preferences >  Sound and select the “Input” tab. Select the “External Microphone” from the list as it will be your omnidirectional microphone. You can adjust the Input Volume slider to balance the mic’s sensitivity.

Step #3: Test the Microphone

Speak into your omnidirectional mic and observe the fluctuating bars next to the “Input Level” section. 

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The recording indicator light of Control Access lets you know when your microphone is in use. You can observe the light to see if an app is using the microphone.

Summary

In this guide about omnidirectional microphones, we discussed two different methods to connect the mic with your Windows PC and Mac computer.

We also featured descriptive information on an omnidirectional microphone with its features. Moreover, we featured some beneficial reasons to opt for this microphone. 

We hope this article helped enhance your knowledge about input sound devices and their use; now, you can easily get the most out of your recording setup.

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