Electret microphones

Invented by Sessler and West, electret microphones are some of the simplest and most efficient recording devices. They are inexpensive to produce and offer users versatility and ruggedness. The high quality sound characteristics offered by this type of microphone made it an appreciated tool in many areas where such a device had uses.

One of the best places to use electret microphones is in telephony, as they are small and accurate. In fact, they can be as small as a shirt button, a fact that gives them a wider range of uses. Sessler and West’s invention provided society with the right answer for high quality and compact sizes, allowing numerous appliances to become better.

How do they work?

electret microphone - Sony

Such a microphone has a film layer that resembles the head of a drum and which is found above a metal surface, parallel to it. Incoming sound waves produce pressure fluctuations in the air and the layer of film is distorted. As the polarized electret moves near the metal surface, the fluctuations are recorded by the metal. The metallic part is connected to a wire that transmits the weak electric currents thus triggered to a recording device or amplifier. Teflon coatings are mostly used in electret mics for the thin film layer, as it was shown that this particular material offers the best results.

The simplicity of these microphones does not mean that their sound recording and transmitting capabilities are impaired. On the contrary, they can rival more sophisticated microphone models in many areas and they have remained, till this day, some of the most convenient and versatile microphones on the market.

Electret Condenser Microphones

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