Surface microphones are considered a subset of flush mount microphones that are much thinner and smaller at about 3-5mm thick. They are designed is to be as thin as possible to have as little exposure to the surroundings so they are unaffected by moving particles and do not record turbulence noise.
Unlike flush mount models, surface microphones do not come with exchangeable capsules. Most surface microphones also come built in or with an attachable of a rubber fairing to further reduce turbulence. The cables of surface microphones are also smaller and require an adapter to connect to standard sound analyst systems.
Uses of Surface Microphones
Similar to flush mount microphones, surface microphones are used to record and measure noise in confined space and areas where a standard microphone cannot fit into. Due to their even smaller size, they do not affect the aerodynamics of the structure when they are mounted, hence allowing for accurate recording of the acoustics without affecting the structure.
However, they are designed primarily for windy operations where only the acoustic sound and vibration recording is required and not the ambient noise or turbulence. In windy locations, moving particles in the air add an additional layer of unwanted noise to the reading which makes sound recording and measurement inaccurate. With the small area of protrusion, the amount of rushing wind recorded by surface microphones is deeply reduced, focusing only on the sound or the noise that is required.
This could be on a moving object or environment monitoring at a gusty area. Without the need of a stand, and from the microphones low profile, the microphone records accurately and discreetly. Together, with the rubber fairing to further reduce turbulence, the right sounds can be narrowed down and analysed.
Sound insulation is another area that surface microphones are used in. With the turbulence noise being negligible, it can easily get down to the actual sound a human is exposed to.
This can be applied to a building, or more commonly, a vehicle such as an aircraft, automobile or a train where the movement causes turbulence that affects passenger comfort. From microphones mounted on the outside and inside, the amount of noise reduced from the outside can be easily measured and thus effectiveness of the noise insulation.
To learn more about surface microphones and how they can be used in your industry or research, contact TME Systems today!