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  1. #1

    Hearing Loss Group - Microphone Requirements

    A hearing loss group meets at our retirement home monthly. We have an induction loop, but all of our mikes seem to be unidirectional, are best heard pointed directly at the mouth. Some attendees lip read, so cannot have the speaker's mouth obscured. The mike gets passed around during discussion, and some people don't remember to hold it correctly. Would an omnidirectional or cardiod mike which could be held below or near the mouth better suit our needs? Or, are there other solutions - lavalier for the main speaker?

    Thanks for any help.

    Bob R.

  2. #2
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    I wouldn't go completely omnidirectional as that's likely to present a new set of problems. I'd say a fairly sensitive cardioid would be the best bet. Try to find one that can be comfortably held a foot or so from the mouth. I've found that if you make the sound level far too high when the mic is held too close to the mouth, people quickly learn to hold it at the correct distance (of course that's with people who have normal hearing though).

    Lavalier mics have great sound but they are a bit of a hassle and it's easy for people to forget they're wearing one.

    BTW it's "mic" and "mics", not "mike" or "mikes".
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  3. #3
    Thank you Dave. Our administration is balking at buying another mic, they now have 5 covering 2 rooms, all unidirectional. If they can be persuaded, what measure of sensitivity of a cardioid mic would qualify it as "fairly sensitive?"

    You didn't seem to rule out lavaliers. Might they be less expensive, and worth considering? Would solve the mouth coverage problem we have.

    And, thanks for the spelling correction. I'm a layman walking among professionals here.

    Bob R.

  4. #4
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    You'd probably be fine with a Shure SM58 (1.85 mV @ 94 dB SPL). I might go for something slightly more sensitive like the Rode M3 (6.30mV @ 94 dB SPL).

    Of course sensitivity is only one part of the equation, I'm not saying the decision should be based on that alone.

    Although I wouldn't completely rule out lavaliers I doubt whether they would be practical. They're certainly not good for handing around. A lav mic for the main speaker could be an option though. A lot depends on whether it's wireless or not - wired lav mics obviously tend to limit your movement, and can lead to all sorts of drama when someone forgets they're wearing one and tries to walk away.

    It's hard working with people who aren't familiar or comfortable with mics. Unfortunately you might always have to prompt and remind some people to hold the mic correctly.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  5. #5
    I wouldn't go completely omnidirectional as that's likely to present a new set of problems.

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