7 Best binaural microphones 2019

Binaural microphones or 3D microphones are made for conveying the sound in the most accurate manner possible. Such mics are able to produce recordings, listening to which feels as if you were really there – in the place where the recording took place. If you are not familiar with the concept, watch the video below to learn what it is like to listen to binaural audio. Don’t forget to put on your headphones!

Binaural audio is often called 3D and this is why. In real life, some sounds that we hear come from the distant sources, while others – from the close ones; binaural microphones try to capture just that! Not only that, though. There are always two binaural microphones that come as a pair. In order to provide true stereo experience, the two mics record differently, so that while listening to the recording, you could have the experience as if you were there. The technology is used in film-making, music-recording, documentaries shooting, and more.

Nowadays binaural microphones are becoming more and more available for ordinary users. Some of them, especially budget models, come as a headset that you can put on wherever you want (including your ears). Others are sold together with dummies’ heads or ears. Below we’ve gathered all the best binaural mics that you can buy online. The list starts with budget models and ends with more professional ones.

1. Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset

Price: $$

sennheiser audio

Sennheiser headset is a headset with a microphone. If this sounds strange to you, read on! The device can be used in three different modes. First, you can listen to your favorite music with it. Sennheiser provides a second-to-none listening experience so you can really immerse into a song or a melody. Thus, the first mode is a typical headset (that is very very good).

Secondly, there is a transparent listening mode. You can put on the device and still hear the sounds around you. Not because the soundproofing is bad, but because the embedded mics can convey sounds instantly. For most, this is a mind-boggling experience because usually, we don’t really notice what is going on outside sound-wise.

Finally, you can use the device as a microphone. In order to do that, just turn on your camera or any other app and start recording. Videos recorded with this device are very realistic. You can hear every buzzing and humming that you could hear in the original setting.

Sennheiser Smart Headset is compatible only with Apple iOS devices. Android version hasn’t been released yet, but sooner or later it should be released. So, if you want to have the most unique headphones in the world, check out this device!

Specifications:

  • frequency response: 20 Hz – 20kHz;
  • lightning connector;
  • compatible with Apple’s iOS devices (10.3 or later);
  • includes 1,16m cable.

Check price at Amazon

2. Sound Professionals LOW NOISE IN-EAR BINAURAL MICROPHONES

Price: $

soundprof

Sound Professionals binaural microphone is more available than the previous model. This one costs a little bit less than $100, which makes it available for more people. Also, this mic doesn’t function as a headset – it is just a microphone, so you will get what you are searching for.

The two capsules have an omnidirectional pick-up pattern. They are very small, which makes putting them into your ears a little bit inconvenient. However, you can learn to do this. Your listening ability won’t be impaired, so you can listen to what you are recording.

In order to use the microphones, you’ll need a recorder that has “plug-in-power” or functions with the battery module. Once you’ve put the mics into your ears, you can start recording. It is assumed that every person has different pinnas – an internal part of the human ear – which is why every person hears sounds a little bit different. This means that using your own pinnas for recording will provide you with the sound that is most close to what YOU hear in day-to-day life. Although this is, of course, a little bit exaggerated, it is nice to know that you can convey your listening experience and reproduce it.

All in all, if you need an economical binaural mic, Sound Professionals is a great choice. It will let you make realistic recordings that you can then listen to with awe and rapture. Music, nature, crowd noise – the mic will embrace every single sound.

Specifications:

  • omnidirectional pick-up pattern;
  • flat frequency response;
  • high sensitivity;
  • small size.

Check price at Amazon

3. MS-BINAURAL-EARS – Master Series by Sound Professionals 

Price: $$

masterseries mic

One more microphone by Sound Professionals. This one comes with artificial ears. The ears are needed because let’s be honest, it is not always convenient to put microphones in your ears. So, this is how this problem is solved.

This microphone’s price is the most optimal one on the market – it is not too high, but high enough in order to construct the mic with best-quality materials. The microphone can be attached to cameras, recorder, whatever you like – the most important thing is to make sure you have the needed input and a cable. A cable, by the way, as well as a shock mount that can be easily attached to a camera’s tripod, is included in the shipping package.

The pick-up pattern of the microphone(s) is obviously omnidirectional. In general, the characteristics of this mic are really good. They ought to provide high-quality results. If you want to, you can change how deeply the microphone is set in the artificial ears. There is even a possibility to take the mics out of ears in order to record stereo audio instead of binaural one.

All in all, this is an excellent binaural mic with excellent characteristics. The microphone is made in the USA, which already tells a lot about its quality. Realistic sound is guaranteed!

Specifications:

  • omnidirectional pick-up pattern;
  • 75dB signal to noise ratio;
  • -32dB sensitivity;
  • frequency response: 20-20,000Hz;
  • SPL 120dB.

Check price at Amazon

4. Mini Binaural Microphones by Sound Professionals

Price: $

mini binaural

These are the cheapest binaural microphones that we could find on Amazon. So if you are looking for budget models, this one is for you.

The microphone is produced by Sound Professionals, which is an American company that makes high-quality audio gear within reasonable price ranges. In this article, we’ve already overviewed pinna microphones created by this company – they are the second ones on this list. These mini binaural mics are very similar to the pinna mics. They can be placed inside the ears, but also near the ears – in whichever manner you like most.

The mics come with additional clips and windscreens, however, even with the windscreens, they are not able to eradicate background noise. Well, this is what you get for such a low price. Nevertheless, the mics can produce binaural audio. Its quality may be lower than the one pro mics are capable of, but you get the result and sometimes this is all that matters.

Mini binaural mics are used with recorders that have plug-in-power or can power them through some other ways. All in all, if you want to record binaural audio and don’t mind some white noise, why not to go for a cheaper model?

Specifications:

  • frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz;
  • dynamic range: 81dB/96dB;
  • SPL: 105dB/120dB;
  • sensitivity: -42dB;
  • signal to noise ratio: 58dB;
  • comes with windscreens and clips.

Check price at Amazon

5. Roland CS-10EM Binaural Microphone

Price: $

roland mics

One more $100 microphone on our list. This one is made by Roland. The mic works just like the first model – you can simultaneously record audio and listen to it. Monitoring allows you to stay alert of the sounds around you.

There are two cables – the red one should be connected with a microphone input, the black one – with a headphones input. The feedback is minimized, so you can enjoy clear recordings without distortions.

The microphone is compatible with plug-in-power recorders, but incompatible with computers. There are special cables that come together with the mic in order to ensure its compatibility with other devices: attenuator cable with 3.5mm connector, 6-foot premium extension cable, 3.5mm headphone/microphone Y splitter cable. The shipping package also has a USB adapter and a case.

The mic is appreciated by many for its price-quality ratio. Besides, some people find the recording process with headphones to be more convenient. If you belong to one of these two categories of people, go on and check the mic on Amazon.

Specifications:

  • omnidirectional pick-up pattern;
  • frequency range: 20Hz-20kHz;
  • sensitivity: 102dB/1mW, 500Hz earphones, -40dB 1V/Pa mic;
  • requires 2-10V.

Check price at Amazon

6. 3Dio FS FS-2W-001

Price: $$$

3dio model

Now let’s move on to more serious equipment. 3Dio Free Space binaural microphone is a high-quality mic that can convey sounds in the most realistic manner possible. You can use this mic with a stereo digital recorder, an audio interface or a mixer. Just make sure your hardware has two channels for recording.

The ears, as well as all the necessary cables, come together with the microphone. The sound quality of the binaural audio produced by this mic is awesome. The device can record in any given environment – music halls, windy jungles, stormy oceans – you name it!

You can order this one both on Amazon and on the company’s official website. If you aim for really good quality, don’t miss this option!

Specifications:

  • omnidirectional pick-up pattern;
  • frequency range: 10Hz – 10kHz;
  • sensitivity: -28±3dB at 1kHz (0dB=1V/Pa) Rl=3.9KΩ, Vcc=5V;
  • 122 dB SPL;
  • signal to noise ratio: 80dB to 1kHz;
  • requires 5V (3V~10V);
  • has a 9V alkaline battery that can last up to 300 hours of use.

Check price at Amazon

7. 3Dio FS XLR FSXLR-2W-002

Price: $$$

3DIO new

This 3Dio Free Space microphone is an improved version of the previous model. The difference between them is that this model has XLR-inputs which are much more powerful than other audio inputs. As for the other specifications, they are all pretty much the same – the same power requirements, the same frequency response, the same sensitivity, etc.

3Dio company has other models as well which you can explore by yourself. As for now, we’ve decided that the two mentioned microphones are enough. Besides, others cost an arm and a leg and therefore available only to the professionals or studio-owners. If you can afford an expensive binaural mic, check the 3Dio website.

The microphones like this one are great at conveying the atmosphere of a venue. They are real game-changers in the microphones’ world!

Specifications:

  • omnidirectional pick-up pattern;
  • frequency range: 10Hz – 10kHz;
  • sensitivity: -28±3dB at 1kHz (0dB=1V/Pa) Rl=3.9KΩ, Vcc=5V;
  • 122 dB SPL;
  • signal to noise ratio: 80dB to 1kHz;
  • requires 5V (3V-10V);
  • 9V alkaline battery.

Check price at Amazon


F.A.Q.

Q: Can I use binaural microphones with my smartphone?

You can use certain models of binaural mics with your smartphone without any additional hardware, like, for example, with Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset. However, in most other cases it is necessary to have an additional audio interface that has two channels and can provide the mics with enough power. 

Q: Can I make a binaural microphone by myself?

In theory, you can make a binaural microphone by yourself. In order to do that, you’ll need two lavalier microphones, preferably of high quality, and a dummy’s head. You can also use other types of microphones – lavalier ones are just easier to attach wherever you want to. The most important thing is to place the mics inside the artificial human ears. There are lots of DIYs on the web that can help you to construct a binaural mic by yourself. The final result though is not guaranteed.

Conclusion

These days recording binaural audio is available almost to everyone. The video quality is improved all the time, so why the audio quality should lag behind? If your goal is to reach high fidelity, then a binaural microphone is exactly what you need.

There are different options that you can explore – from the cheapest ones that cost less than one hundred dollars to the most expensive ones with the price of 5 or even 8 thousand dollars. The quality can be different, however, it shouldn’t scare you off. There is always an optimal solution for amateurs that is sold at a reasonable price.

There are two kinds of binaural microphones – the ones that are installed in a dummy’s ears and the ones that you can put into your own ears in order to reach that desired high fidelity. The latter ones are usually cheaper, however, it doesn’t mean that they are worse. Besides, you can always order a dummy’s head separately and mare a superpowerful binaural mic with your own hands. Be inventive and choose the best microphones’ gear with MicSpeech!

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