What is a large diaphragm? Middle diaphragm? Small diaphragm?

What is a large diaphragm? Middle diaphragm? Small diaphragm?

Large diaphragm microphone

In practice, people often call a microphone with a diaphragm greater than or equal to 3/4 inch as a large diaphragm microphone. Generally speaking, a microphone with a larger diaphragm produces a larger sound, which caters to the needs of engineers who like to record more distinctive sounds (such as human voices).

In addition, large-diaphragm microphones are more sensitive to audio signals than small-diaphragm and medium-diaphragm microphones because of their relatively large contact area with audio signals. People generally think that large-diaphragm microphones can capture more low-frequency signals than small-diaphragm microphones. This argument is reasonable, Because compared with some small-diaphragm microphones that are reasonably designed and can provide high-definition sound effects over a wide frequency range, large-diaphragm microphones tend to enhance certain characteristics in the audio signal to make it sound The effect has obvious bass characteristics.

In the current market, there are many very high-quality large-diaphragm microphones, such as U87 Ai, MK4 and so on. The large-diaphragm microphone has a clear and thick sound, high sensitivity, and good sound quality. It can cope with most sound sources, but it has strict requirements on the recording environment: Don't fall, don't moisten, don't blow
Mid-diaphragm microphone

The definition of a mid-diaphragm microphone is also one of the more controversial topics, because in history there are only large-diaphragm microphones and small-diaphragm microphones. At present, the upper and lower limits of its diaphragm diameter have not yet formed a clear conclusion. However, most professionals and manufacturers believe that microphones with a diaphragm diameter between 5/8 inches and 3/4 inches are mid-diaphragm microphones.

Generally speaking, medium-diaphragm microphones are better at capturing instantaneous signals and high-frequency signals, and their sound effects are relatively round and full, with the warm texture of a large-diaphragm microphone. There are also many excellent mid-diaphragm microphones.

Small diaphragm microphone

At present, there is no final standard for the size of the diaphragm of small-diaphragm microphones, but most professionals and manufacturers believe that all microphones with a diaphragm diameter of less than 5/8 inches are small-diaphragm microphones.

In terms of sound effects, small-diaphragm microphones are better at capturing high-frequency and instantaneous signals like mid-diaphragm microphones, but However, its sound is slightly inferior to that of large-diaphragm and mid-diaphragm microphones. This may be due to its relatively small diaphragm area, which is more susceptible to air fluctuations. But it will also bring advantages that large diaphragms cannot have, such as easy control and portability. It is very suitable for personal studios, it will not let you lose too much sound details, and will not take in the subtle noise.

The small diaphragm has good high-frequency clarity, moderate sensitivity, relatively simple maintenance, and strong adaptability to the environment. It is often used on-site or voice recording.  Some sound engineers use small diaphragm microphones to record in the studio to find specific sound effects.
Generally, large diaphragm, medium diaphragm and small diaphragm have their own characteristics. Large-diaphragm microphones have the highest diaphragm sensitivity, whereas small-diaphragm microphones have the lowest sensitivity. The large diaphragm diaphragm is easy to move and can output a high level even at a relatively low sound pressure level.