Category Archives: Microphone

Sommer Unspools SC-Planet CPR Mic/Control Cable

Santa Rose, CA (April 30, 2020)—Sommer Cable has introduced its new SC-Planet CPR microphone and control cable.

SC-Planet CPR features a special design with dual-stranded wires and a certified heat resistant AL/PT foil screen, including a drain wire for 100% shielding coverage. The wire diameter of 0.34 mm²  / AWG 22 is intended for long-distance transmission and for connections compliant with 100 V technology.

Sommer Cable Launches Transit MC 1101 Cable

The cables are available as a single 6.2 mm / 0.24 in. cable or double pair 11.6 mm / 0.46 in. version. Designed with heat and fire protection in mind, the cable is certified for the highest-rated fire protection in accordance with the strict European Construction Products Regulation EU 305/2011. Nonetheless, the company reports that the cabling is flexible and supple to work with, and can be laid easily in cable trays and dado ducts.

Cables pursuant to the fire protection class Cca are subject to regular certification and inspection. On request, Sommer Cable will provide the declaration of performance as required by EU Construction Products Regulations.

Sommer Cable •


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JLab Audio Debuts Talk Series USB Mics for Podcasting

JLab's new Talk line of microphones includes three models(l-r) — the Talk Go, Talk and Talk Pro.
JLab’s new Talk line of microphones includes three models(l-r) — the Talk Go, Talk Pro and Talk.

San Diego, CA (April 29, 2020) — While best-known for its consumer earbuds and headphones, JLab Audio is expanding into the USB microphone market with the introduction of its Talk line of mics aimed at podcasters, streamers, home recordists and others. The line debuts with three models—the JLab Talk Go, Talk and Talk Pro.

All JLab Audio Talk microphones feature plug & play compatibility, 3.5 mm headphone jack for zero-latency, quick-mute button, 5/8″ mounting metal foldable stands and on-mic controls. In addition, each model comes with a USB / USB-C braided cable. The mics have a 20 Hz – 20 kHz frequency response and a 120 dB max SPL.

The Talk Go condenser mic is intended to be more portable, and is earmarked for calling, streaming and podcasting. It offers 96 k/24-bit recording and sports two 14 mm condensers, offering both cardioid and omni patterns.

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The Talk builds on that, including three condensers and four directional options—cardioid, omni, stereo and bi-directional—and the Talk Pro takes those specs and adds in a recording sample rate of 192 k.

“While we’re not abandoning our roots in audio, the Talk series shows that JLab’s ability to innovate can go well beyond what you hear, to what you say, and potentially, even further,” said JLab CEO Win Cramer.

The JLab Talk GO ($49), Talk ($99) and Talk Pro ($149 ) are all scheduled to ship in early May, 2020.

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DPA 4560 CORE Binaural Headset Microphone—A Real-World Review

In 1992, Denmark’s distinguished measurement equipment manufacturer Brüel & Kjaer spun off its specialist pro audio division. At that point, the sales and service of the B&K Series 4000 microphones were outsourced to Morten Støve and Ole Brøsted Sørensen, two former employees. Shortly afterward, they went on to form Danish Pro Audio (DPA), which launched its first product, a series of compact cardioid and omnidirectional condenser mics, in 1994. Since then, DPA has established itself as a leading manufacturer of high-quality condenser microphones for professional applications in studio, film & video, broadcast and sound reinforcement.

My first DPA purchase was a pair of 4061 Miniature Omnidirectional Microphones which I fell in love with after reviewing them nearly 20 years ago. Since the 4060 and 4061 share identical capsules but have slightly different sensitivities, I was very pleased to discover that the DPA 4560 CORE Binaural Headset Microphone (4560) was based around the current version of the 4060, now called the 4060 CORE Miniature Omnidirectional Microphone.

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The 4560 is a handpicked stereo pair (sensitivity within ±1.5 dB) of 4060 CORE microphones uniquely mounted on a pair of earhooks (from DPA’s 4266 Flex headset). The headset is ergonomically designed for easy adjustment and a comfortable fit. It is adjustable to fit any head shape and ear size and from more than a few feet, is virtually invisible. Included with the 4560 is a pair of foam windscreens that both secure the microphone’s position in the ear and provide wind noise damping. Since the 4560 terminates in DPA MicroDot connectors, it can be easily utilized with DPA’s standard XLR adapters along with high-end mic preamps, but it also works with the MMA-A Digital Audio Interface. This creates a compact and completely mobile binaural kit as once the 4560 CORE BHM is connected to the MMA-A’s MicroDot connectors, the MMA-A can then be connected directly to an iOS device or the USB port on a Windows or Mac PC. iOS operation is via the free DPA MAA-A app. The app includes gain control, HP filter activation, and the ability to store settings into one of four presets. There are also three recording Mode options (Mono, Stereo or Dual), but recording binaural requires the interface to be set to stereo.

Binaural recording is centered on the principle of placing microphones on an artificial head or an actual human’s head with the mics positioned either just outside the ear canals or at the bottom of the ear canal in close proximity to the eardrum. The recording technique facilitates extremely accurate sound reproduction through headphones, giving the listener the sense of actually being in the space where the recording was made. Creating binaural recordings has traditionally been quite expensive as dummy heads configured for binaural recording typically cost several thousands of dollars, and recording has to be done utilizing expensive low-noise mic preamps along with a professional recording medium. The 4560 is affordable ($1,100) and yields stunning results that will no-doubt rival the results from a binaural recording configuration that costs several thousand dollars.

Binaural recording captures the Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF) which expresses how much the influence of the head, ears and torso affect the transmission of a soundwave from a sound source to the eardrums. Ear shape and size, head shape and size, and the distance between the ears are just some of the factors that contribute to the HTRF. This means that the most accurate binaural recordings will always be made using the listener’s head, not someone else’s head or a dummy head. That said, any binaural recording will typically create a more encompassing and 3D listening experience for everyone, even if the HRTF isn’t their own.

The applications for binaural recordings are endless and include capturing sound effects and location ambience for theatrical podcasts, capturing sound effects and/or soundscapes for film, TV, video games and VR, and capturing musical performances for headphone playback.

I’m a bit of an ambience fanatic, so I couldn’t wait to take the 4560 into the world to capture some audio. I found the headset a bit clumsy and slow to properly fit the first couple of times I put it on, but once I became used to the placement and fit, taking it on and off became second nature and took virtually no time.

The majority of my 4560 recording was done utilizing the MAA-A interface and iOS app, and everything worked like a charm. Capturing everything from the sound of traffic at a busy intersection to birds in a park to a winter thunderstorm (yeah, I live in Nashville, so it rains here even in the middle of the winter!) was flawless. I even snuck the headset into a symphony performance, where I wonderfully recorded a 62-piece orchestra at 24-bit/96 kHz.

While binaural recordings are designed for headphone listening, an inverted HRTF can be utilized to convert the binaural recording into a stereo recording perfectly suited for loudspeaker playback. DPA recommends a simple (+2 dB low shelf @ 480 Hz, -11dB bell, Q=1 @ 4 kHz, +8dB, Q=2 @8 kHz) curve to utilize a binaural recording for stereo playback. Of course, every HRTF is unique, so this curve becomes a starting point and adjustments should be made from this point according to acoustical analysis and/or taste. I used the 4560 to record an acoustic guitar in the studio and then applied the HRTF “decoder curve” to the recorded audio to use it in a track I was engineering, and it worked perfectly. I should also point out that users utilizing the 4560 CORE BHM for scientific purposes will want to incorporate the DPA DWA4060 calibrator inserts so the microphones can be perfectly calibrated.

In true DPA fashion, the DPA 4560 CORE Binaural Headset Microphone is a spectacular device that is fun to use, but more importantly, it wonderfully captures audio without compromise. Anyone interested in binaural or portable hi-resolution recording should give it top consideration.

DPA Microphones •

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