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What Is a Microphone Amplifier?

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  • Written By: C. Daw
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2016
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The microphone amplifier is the electronic device that converts sound waves into electrical waves and amplifies it afterwards. It then reconverts it back into sound waves for hearing purposes. This amplifier can be regarded as the combination of the connectors, wires, and balanced XLR microphone inputs to provide the high gain and low noise voice along with needed impedance and SNR characteristics. Various styles and models can be purchased around the world, and they can even be made from items that people have around the house or shop.

The microphone amplifier, or the preamplifiers, is used for the purpose of increasing the voltage level of the signal taken from the microphone output. It has a very weak voltage level, such as having an approximate range from 0 to 100 microvolts. By the use of an amplifier at the input of the audio mixer, the voltage level increases by 70 dB and could range from 0 to 10 volts. The use of a preamplifier is important in a sense that the signal obtained from the microphone should be amplified because some low impedance microphones don’t provide enough signal strength.

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The use of a microphone amplifier is versatile and they are found in almost every sound and electronic circuitry on the market. They are mostly found in audio mixing devices, sound recorders, sound systems, and other computer and hardware implementations. These devices are individually used also with the ADC devices. The first input to the preamplifiers is the audio signal having extremely low voltage strength with meager voltage value, such as a few microvolts. These signals are sufficiently increased in gain and voltage so that they are easily used for audio mixing, as well as other sound related purposes.

This type of amplifier is very useful electronic circuitry that can provide good gain boosting services and output characteristics, but there is a possibility that it could increase the voltage level too much. This can induce a lot of noise and distortion into the signal, resulting in serious damage to the equipment. The magnitude of the signal should be kept at the optimal level in order to avoid the noise and distortion effects, as well as the damage that can result. To avoid these noise problems, a compressor can be used after the amplifier to control the voltage level of the signal. Solid states, and tube amplifiers, are two types of microphone amplifiers. A solid state microphone amplifier is better than a tube amplifier because their sound quality and gain performance is far better than the tube amplifiers.

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