What is an Omnidirectional Microphone?

In a fast-paced conferencing environment, sound can come from every direction. Sometimes, your team needs a microphone that can capture ideas from everyone in the room, whenever inspiration strikes. In this handy walkthrough, we've shared the benefits of omnidirectional microphones, so that you can decide whether this mic style is right for your business.

What are Omnidirectional Microphones?

The prefix "omni-" comes from Latin and means "all". Someone who is omniscient is all-knowing, while someone who is omnipotent is all-powerful. Likewise, an omnidirectional microphone captures sound from all directions. Whether you're in front, behind, or on one side of the mic, it records the signal with equal strength. This is a different approach from directional microphones, which have a pick-up pattern that captures the sound from one direction.

How Does an Omnidirectional Microphone Work?

Unlike directional microphones, omnidirectional mics have a circular pick-up pattern that records 360-degree audio. Also known as a polar pattern or polar plot, the pick-up pattern is key to every microphone's functionality. No matter where a person is sitting around an omnidirectional mic, they will be heard with equal gain.
Benefits of Omnidirectional Microphones

Omnidirectional mics can offer a more flexible way to capture sound. This is excellent for conferencing scenarios where a team is huddled around a single microphone, like in an open workspace or huddle room or where there is a large number of participants and can’t have directional microphones for each.

What's the Difference Between Unidirectional and Omnidirectional Microphones?

"Unidirectional" is just another way to say directional. Like omni, the prefix "uni-" comes from Latin, but it means "one". In many situations, a unidirectional mic is actually preferable to an omnidirectional mic, because it blocks out unwanted sound. If you're recording a single person's voice and that is the sole focus, a unidirectional mic will allow you to capture it more clearly. However, if another person on the other side of the room started talking, you wouldn't be able to hear them unless you repositioned the mic. Neither microphone is "better" than the other—they just have different features that perform better in certain situations.

What is the Best Omnidirectional Microphone?

The best omnidirectional microphone should captures audio in true 360-degree fashion, while also equipment with acoustic echo cancellation to help combat unnecessary noise like HVAC systems.

Ready to experience the dynamic power of omnidirectional mics? We invite you to use our Product Finder to discover the best unified communications technology for your needs.