This is a particular kind of mic that has very specific uses. It is not just ‘another mic.’ However, to decide on the Best Boundary Microphones, you need to appreciate what they can do.
So how does it work?
It is a mic that works by using the variable pressure caused by sound waves. This pressure exists between a hard surface and the air. Boundary mics will collect the sound waves reflected from the hard surface. They then convert them into output. That, at a very basic level, is the fundamental principle of how it functions.
Boundary microphones are usually quite small and compact and designed to lay on flat surfaces. They operate over large distances and in a wider radius.
What are they for?
They have a wide variety of potential uses but often feature in business conferences, webinars, or presentations. You will see them when a soloist is being recorded or sometimes even a full orchestra. You will also find them in theatrical and group productions.
The big benefits…
They have some very real benefits. The most relevant is that they can collect sounds from a range of sound sources. This is why they are so good for business meetings and conference calls. With a Boundary mic, you don’t need a mic for every participant. One good boundary mic will do the job.
So, let’s have a look at the best options currently available and find the perfect boundary microphone for you…
Top 7 Best Boundary Microphones On The Market In 2021 Reviews
1 MXL AC404 USB Conference Microphone – Best Boundary Microphone for Group Conferences
MXL is a part of Marshall Electronics. Not THE Marshall, but another company set up to manufacturer consumer electronics. MXL is the audio division. They were founded over 30 years ago and manufacture microphones for a wide variety of applications.
What is this mic for?
This is a mic designed as a conference mic and for use for video calls and web-chats. It is suited to all kinds of conferencing services and is able to collect sound even in the noisiest of rooms.
This mic then is suitable for group discussions in busy places. This makes it particularly suitable for group web discussions and conferences.
In many ways, it actually resembles a computer mouse and is designed to lay flat on a surface. It has a tough metal build and measures 4.3 by 2.95 by 2 inches, so it is a compact mic. It weighs under one pound.
Inside the metal grille is a red LED light to indicate the mic is functioning. Being a basic microphone it is easy to set up. On the end of the mic is a USB port for connecting to a computer and a headphone or monitoring jack socket. The USB is compatible with 1.0 and 2.0.
Plug and play…
The mic is powered up through your computer, and there is no on/off switch. As soon as you plug it in, it will work. As a result, you don’t need to download any drivers or extra software.
It has three boundary design capsules offering a spontaneous pattern of 180 degrees. It will give you an approximate radius of 25 feet. The frequency response is 40Hz-16kHz, and it offers a sample rate of 44.1kHz – 48kHz. The frequency is quite wide-ranging and excellent for voice.
A well-made and easy-to-use mic that is stable on any surface and will turn any room into a conference room. It has an attractive price point.
- The well-built metal frame is usable on virtually any flat surface.
- Great for recording voices.
2 AKG Pro Audio microphone PCC160 – Best Sound Performance Boundary Microphone
AKG has a world-wide reputation for excellence. You will likely find at least one of their mics in all the best-recording studios in the world. Founded in 1947 in Vienna, Austria, they have established themselves as one of the big players in the world of microphones.
AKG is known for the quality of the build of their microphones, and this one is no exception. It has a steel body and grille that will be able to handle knocks and even being dropped. It measures 9.7 x 4.9 x 2.8 inches and weighs one and a half pounds.
The styling is designed to allow the mic to sit on a table or other flat surface. In this position, users can be placed around it.
This is an electric condenser mic that has been modified and uses PCC technology. That will help to reduce any unwanted noise.
It has a wide frequency response of 40Hz to 18kHz and an impedance of 150 ohms. Furthermore, it has a half super-cardioid pattern, which also makes it a good choice for speakers at lecterns. There is a ‘bass-tilt’ control that will reduce any unwanted low-frequency noise.
As it is a condenser mic, the PCC160 requires Phantom power. It includes a fifteen-foot cable.
A Variety of uses…
This mic can be used in a variety of places, from lecturers to conference calls, and even as a stage floor mic. Wherever it is used, the performance is exceptional, making it one of the best on our list.
This is a high-quality mic that is, by its price point, best used by high-level users. It is a popular choice amongst theater, lecturer hall, and conference users because of its quality in performance.
- Well-built with great AKG performance.
- Wide-ranging frequency half super-cardioid pattern producing exceptional sound quality.
- The price will put some off.
3 Audix Dynamic Microphone – Most Versatile Boundary Microphone
This is a boundary mic with a wide variety of potential uses. It is ideal for recording productions in the theater or other stage events. It is also very good at handling teleconferencing and boardroom meetings. But it goes a little further than some by being adept at working with acoustic instruments.
However, it should be noted that it will work better with instruments that do not feature a powerful bottom end.
This condenser mic has a Hemi-cardioid pattern. Therefore, it is designed to pick up sound from designated areas. It is easy to position and very simple to work with.
It has a frequency range of 50Hz-18kHz and has a high-sensitivity. As a result, it can handle subjects at a distance, which makes it ideal for all of its potential uses. If you have to deal with a larger audience, then this mic will do the job.
If you are looking for a boundary mic with high performance, then you will need to consider this mic as one of the Best Boundary Microphones in terms of versatility.
It has a tough build with its die-cast zinc casing and a strong wire mesh grille. Additionally, it comes with a cable that is twenty-five inches long. It has a compact size, measuring just 2 x 6 x 4 inches and weighing only six ounces. Once again, it is designed to be able to work from a table or other flat surface. Being a condenser mic, it will require Phantom power.
A good all-around mic, but getting towards being expensive.
- A good sturdy build with a range of possible applications.
- Wide frequency range and a Hemi-cardioid pattern.
- A little expensive.
4 Audio-Technica PRO 44 Cardioid Condenser Boundary Microphone – Best Value for Your Money Boundary Microphone
Audio-Technica is a Japanese company founded in 1962. They have established a firm and respected reputation for manufacturing quality audio products. This applies, particularly to their microphones and headphones. They are one of a select group of manufacturers that produce good quality equipment but ensure the prices are still affordable.
Practical and versatile…
The Audio-Technica Pro 44 is a boundary microphone from their affordable range. It is ideally suited for conferences and online group meetings. But it also excels working in lecture halls and on podiums for presentations.
In fact, it will work well when placed in the middle of a group of people. Even in that challenging environment, it will still produce a high level of sound quality.
This is a small diaphragm condenser microphone with a unidirectional polar pattern. As such, it will require phantom power. It has a frequency response of 70-16,000 Hz. Some might consider that a little narrow and lacking in the bottom end. However, it is ideal for the spoken word.
It is a very sensitive mic and when in use, can pick up the rustle of any papers being moved. The signal to noise ratio is 55dB, and it has a vibrance range of 86dB.
It is a compact mic that measures just 3.30 x 5.60 x 2.00 inches. Therefore, it is small enough to be used in confined spaces. It has a reasonably strong design, which makes it long-lasting and durable. However, it should be noted that it is quite lightweight and needs to be positioned securely.
It comes with a 25-inch cable. Internally it carries all the necessary electrics required, so there is no need for an external power source. Please note that this does not apply to phantom power.
A cost-effective mic from a respected manufacturer, it is one that you should look at if you are on a budget.
- It has a variety of potential uses.
- A very attractive price point.
- Very sensitive to peripheral sound.
5 CAD Audio USB U7 Boundary Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone – Best Boundary Microphone for Speeches
If you are looking for a budget range boundary mic, then this will be worth considering. It has a very distinctive design. But at 6.20 by 8.50 by 3.00 inches, it is a little larger than some of its competitors.
However, it has a very low profile design that is quite unobtrusive. And at just ten ounces, it is very lightweight.
The quality is good with a top made from a metal mesh that is quite strong. Underneath where the mic meets the surface where it is placed, it has a rubberized plastic. This will stop it from sliding around when in use. It is, therefore, an ideal mic for placing on a table for meetings or other recorded work.
It is supplied with a ten-foot USB cable for connecting to a laptop. The CAD Audio USB U7 is compatible with both PC and Mac.
It is a condenser mic with an omnidirectional pickup pattern, with a coverage of 360 degrees. So, it is ideal for meetings where there are several people.
It is a highly sensitive mic, and care needs to be taken to reduce the impact of ambient noise. This could mean the rustling of papers or external noises if placed near a window. The frequency response makes it ideal for speech. This means it is great for meetings or creating notes. Likewise, it can be used for creating documents or for adding voice to slide presentations.
It should be noted that this is not an ideal mic for recording instruments. Essentially, it is set up for voice capture. Whilst it has all the attributes to be a great little mic for office use, and it can also be used at home.
Quick and easy to use…
This is a mic you can just plug in and use. No drivers are required in its basic operation. However, if you want to record, you may need recording software. This will depend on the system you use, so it is worth checking.
A neat little microphone that might be very basic but is priced very competitively.
- Well-built with a low-profile design.
- Designed especially for capturing speech.
- Quite a basic option.
6 Audio-Technica PRO 42 Miniature Cardioid Condenser Boundary Microphone – Best Budget Boundary Microphone
Back again to Audio-Technica, This Boundary mic is the PRO 42 Miniature. Aptly named because of its size. At 3.3 x 5.6 x 2 inches, it is positively tiny.
Are you looking for a mic that doesn’t dominate the landscape? Then this boundary mic from Audio-Technica is the answer. Its small footprint renders it perfect for use where space might be a bit limited, for example, on a lectern or any area where minimum visibility might be important.
But it is also good for the usual uses. These might be board meetings or any other application where a surface mounted mic is important.
It offers a crisp and clear reproduction of audio in whatever application it is used. Whether it is a conference, meeting table, stage, or podium, the quality is high.
It is a condenser mic with a unidirectional polar pattern and low-mass diaphragm. The polar pattern does mean it is sensitive to sound arriving from one particular area. Therefore, it can reduce the impact of unwanted sounds.
Being a condenser mic, it will require phantom power.
It is a typical Audio-Technica style. Strong and ready to be used with a rugged grille. It has a seven-meter cable that is attached that has an XLRM-type connector. The cable is permanent and cannot be removed. That may be a problem for some people.
A great little mic at a very cost-effective price.
- A very small mic that is great for those wanting minimum visibility.
- Well-built at a very cost-effective price.
- The cable is not detachable.
7 Crown PZM30D Boundary Microphone – Best Premium Boundary Microphone
For our final look at the best boundary mics, we take in the Crown PZM30D from AKG. This is a high-performance mic with a high-performance price tag. You can expect something special with this mic, and you will get it. It is specifically for professional recording, broadcasting, and sound reinforcement.
How can you use it?
This has several uses. Of course, meetings and conferences are on its list of usage options, but it extends much further than that. This is a mic that can capture individual instruments and even full orchestras. And it would be able to handle full stage productions in theatres.
Why is it so special?
It has two frequency responses, flat or rising. Either of these may be selected to suit the application that is being mic’d. This gives more flexibility in where you can place the mic.
The flat setting gives you a smooth, even response that works well with high frequencies. The rising setting adds presence and sharpness and a crisp attack to the sound. Thus making it perfect for a piano, drums, and percussion.
The frequency response is 20Hz to 20kHz, and it has a maximum SPL of 150dB. This means it can handle anything you decide to throw at it. The capsule mounts into what is referred to as the pressure zone. This is a space where the reflected sound and the actual direct sound are in phase. This makes it more sensitive, in fact, up to 6dB more sensitive.
It has a very storing metal housing that will be able to withstand plenty of use and accidental knocks. There is a detachable cable. It measures 9.30 by 7.30 by 2.80 inches and weighs under one pound. It is fitted on a plate for securing its position.
This mic has a 360-degree field of sound capture. So, if you want a mic that picks up everything, this is it. It isn’t cheap, though as you might expect. Audio of this quality never is. That being said, it should be considered as one of the Best High Quality Boundary Microphones you can buy.
- The strong build is suitable for a wide variety of applications.
- Dual-frequency responses offering great flexibility.
- The price will scare a few.
Best Boundary Microphones Buying Guide
All microphones perform better at certain things. But with Boundary mics, that is even more applicable.
What is it for?
Some will excel at the business meeting/conference aspect. They will have a wide field of sound collection, and the frequency ranges are perfect for voice. But those mics may not be suitable if you are thinking about instruments. Either in a group or solo.
The recording of musical sounds takes on a different requirement. Especially if it is an instrument with varying levels of volume. The obvious is drums, but a piano can also have a wide spectrum of sound. You will need a higher SPL from your choice if that is how you plan to use it.
This is an issue for every mic, but with a boundary mic, it is important. Most can easily sit on flat surfaces, tables, or even the floor. The latter in the case of theater productions or even orchestras.
In which case, they need to be able to withstand accidents and take a few knocks. Possibly even trodden on. The quality and strength of the build are important.
This is an area that is also wide-ranging. Some boundary microphones are very expensive. But they may be designed for applications you don’t need. Choose your mic based on the priorities you have for its use.
Looking for Something Else?
Finding the right microphone has never been easier. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Condenser Microphones, the Best Dynamic Microphones, the Best Lavalier Microphones, the Best XLR Microphones, and the Best Wireless Microphones you can buy in 2021.
Also, take a look at our reviews of the Best Interview Microphones, the Best Vocal Mics, the Best DSLR Camera Microphones, the Best Microphones for YouTube, and the Best Shure Microphones currently on the market.
What are the Best Boundary Microphones?
We would require a mic that can have a variety of uses. But it must have a strong build. Therefore, we would pick the…
Not a cheap option but a quality mic from a quality manufacturer.
Until next time, happy listening.