What is a unidirectional microphone?

Do you need a microphone that adds clarity and does not pick up excess noise? Well, a unidirectional microphone is what you need to maintain high-quality sound clarity. Whether you have a conference call or recording a podcast, a unidirectional microphone will be perfect.

A unidirectional microphone picks up sound with higher gain and is made for conferencing space. It usually records voice from a single direction known as the voice side for better gains. Unlike omnidirectional, a directional microphone cannot record from all sides.

Are you searching for a microphone and wondering which one will work the best? This article is about unidirectional microphone and why it is an ideal choice.

What is a unidirectional microphone?

What is a unidirectional microphone?

A unidirectional microphone is great if you want to remove the extra noise and focus only on the main sound source. It is perfect for recording lectures and attending meetings where you want the main sound source to be clear. 

To record clearly on a unidirectional microphone, one must ensure that the sound source is directly in front of the microphone. The microphone’s pickup pattern is in the direction of the sound canceling the noise.

A unidirectional microphone has two sides: a pickup and opposite sides. The audio is clearer when the sound source is on the pickup side. However, if the audio source is on the opposite side, the sound will be mellow.

A unidirectional microphone is also known as a directional or cardioid microphone. Users love to invest in a unidirectional microphone if they are taking calls or recording in a noisy environment. It only focuses on picking up the speaker’s voice while eliminating interruptions.

How does a unidirectional microphone function?

Before understanding how a unidirectional microphone works, you must look at how omnidirectional microphones function. An omnidirectional microphone picks up sound from all sides; hence, it also records a lot of background sound.

However, a unidirectional microphone is the opposite of an omnidirectional microphone. It has a heart-shaped sound pickup grill recording sound directly in front of the microphone. The sound coming from the microphone’s side is slow or less intense.

A unidirectional microphone does not have any sound source at the rear end. You can invest in a unidirectional microphone if you are a lecturer or have important online meetings to attend. The tight microphone pattern is great for picking sound from a direct source and rejecting other sounds.

Benefits of a unidirectional microphone

Benefits of a unidirectional microphone

A unidirectional microphone is a great variant that can help you achieve better sound quality. Are you wondering if you should go for an Omni-directional or a unidirectional microphone? We think a directional microphone is the best choice in most cases. Here is why a unidirectional microphone is a better choice:

1.   Single pickup pattern

A unidirectional microphone means a microphone that has a single pickup pattern. Usually, a unidirectional microphone has a heart-shaped grail with a sensitive front. It majorly records the sound source directly in front of the microphone.

The sides of the microphone are barely sensitive to the sound. Hence, any external noise is canceled, and the direct sound source is highlighted. Any sound at the microphone’s rear end is not recorded. It is a perfect device for noisy surroundings as it adds more clarity.

2.   Great microphone for entertainment

A unidirectional microphone is a great investment if you have a YouTube channel or have your podcast. It is a great source to record voice-overs with clarity as the sound will not disperse. Any external sound is canceled out, adding more clarity.

If you are a podcaster and you need a microphone with top-notch clarity, a directional microphone is a way to go. It does not disperse the sound even when speaking closer to the mic. It helps in alleviating your content quality and attracting the audience.

3.   Recording lectures

Most universities use a unidirectional microphone to record sound. When a professor is giving lectures, they use a directional microphone for recording. The lecture is recorded with more clarity no matter how noisy a classroom is.

It is not often recorded, even when the students make too much noise. The rear sides of the microphone do not record much sound; hence, the external noise is canceled. It also works best for conference meetings. Alternative unidirectional microphones are also used for short films and high-quality videos.

What are the types of unidirectional microphones?

What are the types of unidirectional microphones?

There is not only one type of unidirectional microphone but a couple of types. This section will discuss the three most used types with a unique pickup pattern. Here you go:

●    Supercardioid microphone

A super-cardioid microphone is one of the finest microphones that filmmakers use. It is not like the original unidirectional microphones as it is more forgiving. It has a unique pickup pattern with sound sensitivity on the sides.

It mostly records the sound coming from the front end of the microphone. It does not record the sound source of the rear side, but it does record from the sides. The microphone is ideal for giving sound depth while adding the clarity required.

●    Hypercardioid microphone

A hyper-cardioid microphone works best for recording instruments and stationary sound sources. It has a high-power pickup pattern which adds more clarity and finesse to the overall process. It is designed to isolate the sound source and pick up even the minute details.

A hypercardioid microphone is the most sensitive of the microphone access pickup, even the sharpest sound. Due to its high directionality and rear lobe sensitivity, it is used in films and high-quality video projects.

●    Unidirectional microphone

A unidirectional microphone is the original one through which other types were invented. It is not the most forgiving microphone as the sound source must be directly in the front. It only picks up sound with high gains.

The sound source should be directly in the front to achieve more clarity. Its rear end does not record any sound making the result noiseless. To get the best sound quality, you must invest in a good unidirectional microphone that keeps the sound natural. The mic records the best sound at the front and center.


Multiple microphones in the market claim to provide the best sound quality. However, a unidirectional microphone is a versatile one that works best in different situations. It is the best microphone for filming, recording podcasts, recording lectures, and attending important meetings.

It is the opposite of an omnidirectional microphone which also records background noise. However, it may not be the best microphone to record a conversation. Its sides and rear-end are not sensitive to sound, hence not providing great clarity. You need to place the sound source directly in front and center of the microphone to achieve clarity.

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