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What Are the Different Types of Microphone Speakers?

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  • Written By: Mal Baxter
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2016
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Microphone speakers are devices designed to project voices captured with a microphone and amplify them through various means, such as through laptop and desktop computers, as well as public address systems small or large. These units commonly consist of technologies that amplify electronic or digital signals that can interface through cable, wireless transmission, and universal serial bus (USB) ports. Sound-amplifying speakers come in a wide range of sizes; they can be as small as a pencil eraser for use with a mobile phone, or attached to belts for mobile presentations. They might be compact for sitting unobtrusively on desktops, placed on stands in computerized communication systems, or function as large, stand-alone units.

Some microphone speakers can function by inputting smaller pocket devices such as smart phones or digital music players. They can be linked with more complex systems, integrated with televisions or computers, mixing boards, or music players, and various other inputs. Various speakers are fed by internal power supplies, while others rely upon an external source of alternating current (AC). Integrating with wireless receivers, some speakers can transmit voice input through microphones for hundreds of yards or meters, permitting the custom placement of devices around rooms to suit user requirements.

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The different types of microphones accommodated by this technology include traditional handheld dynamic or condenser microphones, but also more unconventional kinds of microphones. These might include throat or neck band microphones that place heads on the voice box to pick up vocal vibrations utterly free of environmental noise interference. Others might include citizens band (CB) radio style handset microphones, or remote speaker microphones, as well as microphones that clip to car visors or jacket lapels. Portable voice amplifiers clipped to belts amplify voices picked up by headset microphones, common among hands-free presenters such as seminar speakers and fitness instructors. Many portable units contain their own power sources that use rechargeable batteries, and often come as part of sets with the microphones.

Essentially electroacoustic transducers, speakers transform audio waveform signals into amplified electronic reproductions. Numerous factors will influence the quality of signal amplification. These might include component design, power utilization, and signal strength, as well as the proper use and orientation of the microphone.

Lower-end consumer microphone speakers tend to be made of more affordable components. Those used in professional settings are designed to accommodate more powerful signals and wider transmission areas. Digital technology permits even small, pocket-sized speaker systems to reproduce sound with much greater fidelity than traditional technologies. This permits numerous applications and presentation enhancements while remaining safely in the background, not obscuring or inhibiting a speaker's performance.

Smaller microphone speakers designed for use with mobile phones decrease radiation exposure for the user. They permit the user to avoid repeated or prolonged contact between the phone and the body. This can restrict their interaction to the relatively low-level radiation of the microphone, as opposed to the powerful spikes of electromagnetic radiation emitted by the phone in cellular transmissions. Other microphone speakers are designed as interchangeable, mountable components to be fixed within a user's hardware of choice. Conversely, heavy stage amplifiers increase microphone transmission signals for large halls, auditoriums, and arenas.

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