Headphones have a history that dates past the two world wars. In the early 1900s, headphones with a switchboard were used to transmit and tune into performances around London. As extravagant as it was in it’s time, it became an integral part of radio communication in the war period. Later, as people deemed the desire to using headphones for personal use, Beyerdynamic came up with the world’s first headphone for personal use. Already tired? Don’t worry, we’re done with the history lesson.
Since that time, headphone mics have evolved with growth in technology. Today, mobility and comfort have become an integral part of life. As things are turning smaller from micro to nano, same is the case with earphones.
Most earphones and headphones designed for mobile use have in-line microphones. Some professional headsets have an extra cable for microphone. These microphones used are electret microphones. They are minutely small and can be fixed into small devices. These microphones are also the ones used in mobile phones.
Technically speaking, these electret microphones are as small as a mint candy. They have a dynamic frequency range of 30 Hz to 18 kHz. They are extremely energy efficient as they do not need an external amplifier due to the inbuilt capacitor in it. MEMS (not memes) technology is used to make these micro sized microphones. If you have noticed, the connector pin for a earphone with mic has an extra black line on the pin which uses OMTP technique.
Headsets with a neck mic or a pickup mic have two pins to connect separately to a computer. Nowadays, USB is also used to connect headsets. Headsets are used for hands-free calling, Aviation and many more communication purposes. Many microphones in earphones use noise suppression to block noise around you. Just like your brain cancels out the professor’s voice in a economics lecture.
Along with microphones to attend calls, earphones also have an inline button. These remote buttons mainly are useful for switching tracks and volume control. These buttons use series switching signals for different controls. Some wireless headphones have these buttons on the ear cup or neckband.
The convenience of using a remote and microphone without actually approaching the phone is something we all appreciate. Imagine the freedom of eating a burger without actually holding it. The housing of these buttons in some headphones allow installing an audio booster.
Factoring in the design factor along with quality, many listeners’ have their own preference. If you want earphones that are just for pure music, you might not bother for a microphone. If you are using with a calling device, the microphone might be important to you. Get the perfect buds or heads wisely as you are thinking of tuning into your favourite songs.