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Microphones and Acoustics

Frequently Asked Questions

Get your most commonly asked acoustics questions answered.

Section I: Definitions and Terminology
Section II: Microphone Recommendations
Section III: Calibration and Testing
Section IV: Specification Clarifications
Section V: Specialty Microphone Applications
Section VI: Maintenance and Handling

If you don’t see the answer to your question, call our 24/7 SensorLineSM 716-684-0001 to speak with an application engineer or visit Ask the Acoustics Experts.

Why do I measure a different sensitivity in the field than what is listed on your factory calibration certification?

Changes in temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure may change microphone sensitivity. This is why environmental conditions are stated on PCB® calibration certificates.  The sound field can also have a significant effect on the measured sound pressure at frequencies above 5 kHz.  Be sure to use the correction curves that are specified for the sound field where the measurement is being performed.  It is also noteworthy that these sound fields are often idealistic.  In practice, a "free" field may not be complete free of reflections or a random incidence field may not provide reflections from all directions.  The mounting configuration of the microphone and objects near the microphone can affect the measured response even when located behind the microphone.  Every configuration is different.  Signal conditioning and data acquisition equipment can affect the sound measurement by limiting the dynamic range or attenuating the signal at different frequencies.

Why do I measure a different sensitivity in the field than what is listed on your factory calibration certification?

Changes in temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure may change microphone sensitivity. This is why environmental conditions are stated on PCB® calibration certificates.  The sound field can also have a significant effect on the measured sound pressure at frequencies above 5 kHz.  Be sure to use the correction curves that are specified for the sound field where the measurement is being performed.  It is also noteworthy that these sound fields are often idealistic.  In practice, a "free" field may not be complete free of reflections or a random incidence field may not provide reflections from all directions.  The mounting configuration of the microphone and objects near the microphone can affect the measured response even when located behind the microphone.  Every configuration is different.  Signal conditioning and data acquisition equipment can affect the sound measurement by limiting the dynamic range or attenuating the signal at different frequencies.