Midwest Audio Fest

It’s that time audio enthusiasts! Registration for the 2019 Speaker Design Competition is now open! Visit for details and to list your speaker project. We are excited to see all returning participants, and look forward to meeting some new designers this year, as well! Be sure your plans include a visit to the Parts Express Tent Sale for the lowest prices of the year, and the Audio Swap Meet where you can buy and trade with other audio fans. We hope to see you this summer! Vivian and Jill
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New Mic Options - Apples and Oranges

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  • New Mic Options - Apples and Oranges

    I am curious about microphone abilities and want to know if there is anything a UMIK1 can't do that the EMM6 can. I see there are some available calibrated and am wondering which is the wiser option when it comes to ability. Apparently there is a premium option on EMM6 where it's been calibrated for polars. I presume both can measure it, but wanted to be sure the UMIK could do it, as I've seen that one suggested as the better option.

    For the money they are asking i would hate to handcuff myself with a limited ability device. Since it's a measurement device I also feel buying a calibrated unit is the best option.

    Would the UMIK be the general winner over the EMM6? Anything I'm going about wrong?

  • #2
    Those two fill different purposes. EMM6 is a XLR microphone, so you'd need an interface to your PC with a mic pre-amp. The UMIK1 is USB, so it has the interface built in. Other than that they generally should work the same, though I can't comment on the calibration status between the two.

    Here's the pro's and con's of USB microphones:
    No interface card needed. Load drivers, plug it in, take measurements

    Limits you to single channel measurements
    Can't expand to add a impedance jig for ZMA file measurements
    Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
    Wogg Music
    Published projects: PPA100 Bass Guitar Amp, ISO El-Cheapo Sub, Indy 8 2.1 powered sub, MicroSat


    • #3
      Thank you for the reply. I have a Steinberg CI2 interface for music with 48v phantom. That is why I wasn't overly concerned about the XLR/USB connectivity, but rather their abilities.

      The premium for a calibrated mic is a bit much, but am of the belief that there is value in that calibration over just a stock EMM6 or UMIK. I'm not sure which is best out the box from the manufacturer, but their response should be fairly similar if calibrated by the same facility, no?


      • #4
        The big disadvantage of a USB microphone - which is fine for everything but designing speakers - is that due to the integrated usb interface, there is no ability to 'loop back' the test signal. As a result, it is very difficult to get real phase information for individual drivers - you need to convert each response to minimum phase and then find the relative acoustic offset...this topic has been covered at length here, but my firm preference is for an XLR microphone and ARTA for this reason.

        In terms of accuracy; polar response of the mic isn't too important if you're only measuring direct response by windowing reverberation out of the measurement. In terms of SPL accuracy, I would expect any good measurement mic to be flatter than any speaker you're going to design, and if you want to buy a better mic you always have that option if you have a good interface with XLR inputs.