Parabolic Microphones

The parabolic microphones are the kind of microphones that use a parabolic reflector which is

also called parabolic dish/mirror and which is designed in shape of a paraboloid of revolution. The parabolic reflectors have a double function of collecting and distributing energy (light, sound and radio waves). Its functioning is ensured by the paraboloid shape (the angle of incidence to the inner surface of the collector is equal with the angle of reflection, then all the incoming parallel rays are reflected to the focus).

The parabolic microphones use the reflector so that they can collect and focus the sound waves into a microphone receiver. This type of mic is generally used in activities that include nature recording, eavesdropping, law enforcement, and even espionage.

Special features of tha parabolic mic

Parabolic microphones are not usually used for standard applications. They are not recommended in such cases because they are engineered in such a way that they supply with poor low-frequency response. This can be considered as a side effect of these microphones’ design. This problem occurs as a direct result of the physical laws that govern sound waves.

The parabolic microphones are able to focus only those waves whose wavelength is considerably smaller than the diameter of the parabola. It is well known that the sound waves travel in the atmosphere with a speed of 300 m/s (the actual speed of sound). In order to get hi-fidelity sound, which goes down to 20 Hz (the lowest limit that the human ear can support), one needs a parabola that has a bigger diameter than 15 meters in diameter. The majority of the parabolic microphones are not engineered to give an excellent fidelity but to get a more operating size.

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