A hypercardioid microphone is a microphone that has a pick-up pattern that is predominantly in front of the microphone, with a greater sensitivity towards the source.
The cardioid pattern refers to an “L”-shaped acoustic filter response which attenuates sounds that are off-axis from the center of the capsule and boosts gain for signals coming from directly ahead.
How does the hypercardioid mic’s polar pattern work?
Within the hypercardioid’s polar pattern, there is an area of sensitivity that extends from the center of the capsule to as far to the left or right.
The benefit of using a hypercardioid microphone for sound recording is that you can significantly reduce background noise because you will pick up only the intended sound source.
What kind of filter does a hypercardioid use?
A hypercardioid use a Q-filter design to achieve its unique response pattern (see figure).
Why should you use a hypercardioid microphone ?
There are various reasons you may choose to use a hypercardioid microphone. You may choose to use this type of microphone because it rejects sound coming from the sides and rear and focuses attention on the source in front of the microphone. You could get away with placing a hypercardioid microphone in a live situation without the need of using noise gating or other processing on your signal chain. This type of microphone is also great for recording overheads, acoustic instruments such as percussion, and room mics.
These mics are perfect for live performance and studio recording because they eliminate unwanted sound that may cause feedback. This is especially useful when using microphones in metal, wood or other hard surfaces because they can pick up vibrations and mechanical noises that can cause feedback on other dynamic microphones.
Hypercardioid mics are excellent for recording overheads, acoustics, percussion and room mics, but you may find it challenging to get a hypercardioid mic to work with vocals because it’s sensitive to off-axis sounds.
Table of Contents
- 1 5 Best Hypercardioid Microphones
- 2 FAQs
5 Best Hypercardioid Microphones
1. Audio-Technica AT4053B
Noted for its exceptional ability to reject unwanted sound, the Audio-Technica AT4053B is one of the best hypercardioid microphones that deliver truly amazing sound output with hypercardioid pattern. It comes with a built-in switchable 80 Hz high-pass filter that offers protection against possible low-frequency noise trouble. It also comes with a switchable pad for reducing sound leakage. The audio cable is less than 6 feet long which is not ideal for some situations.
2. Shure KSM9HS
The Shure KSM9HS is an excellent microphone with a hypercardioid capsule that offers clear sound at a very affordable price. Its sound output is quite good, and it also has lots of nifty features such as a stand-mount tripod adaptor, to allow users to attach the microphone to their cameras or musical instruments. However, the microphone should be plugged into either a power source or via XLR cable for best results.
3. AKG Pro Audio C1000S
The AKG Pro Audio C1000S is a good mic with a hypercardioid pattern that allows it to pick up sounds well in front of the microphone while rejecting sounds from the backside. Music professionals worldwide go for this microphone for its ability to deliver great sound output while remaining relatively affordable. It has an excellent frequency response range of 20 Hz – 20 kHz and is compatible with various music instruments. However, some users have reported problems with how well the microphone picks up vocals during loud music performances.
4. Rode M3 Versatile End-Address
The Rode M3 Versatile End-Address is one of the best hypercardioid microphones that can deliver clear sound thanks to its extra-large diaphragm. It comes with an aluminum body that is easy to carry and use. The transmitter has the ability to pick up high frequencies, which makes it a good choice for vocal recording as well, and it works well with a tripod. However, its price may seem too high for some users.
5. Beyerdynamic M88 TG
The Beyerdynamic M88 TG is an excellent microphone with a hypercardioid pattern that provides the user with clear sound output. Its frequency response range of 20 Hz – 20 kHz is commendable. It also has an LED indicator light to indicate the signal level and a switch to activate/deactivate the low-pass filter. The transmitter has a lock switch for ensuring that the mic stays in place when not in use, making it perfect for live performances such as stage performances or auditions.
6. Samson C01
The Samson C01 Large-Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphone is an affordable and good quality mic with a wide frequency response range of 20 Hz – 20 kHz. It comes with a built-in bass cut filter that eliminates unwanted low frequencies, and it has a switchable equalization control that allows users to restore the microphone’s original sound after recording.
What are hypercardioid mics good for?
Hypercardioid microphones are good for voice pickup, instrument pickup, and sound reinforcement. Another way to say it is that hypercardioid microphones have a tight pickup pattern that reduces noise pickup. Engineers can put a hypercardioid microphone on a guitar amplifier and filter out the feedback caused by the acoustic vibrations of the speaker cone in the cabinet. They can put one on the side of a drum to reduce spill from other instruments on stage.
What is the difference between cardioid and hypercardioid?
The difference is a matter of pickup pattern width and off-axis frequency response. The omni and cardioid are identical in this respect, the only differences between these two being physical: the directional mic doesn’t have a grill. A hypercardioid mic has an increased frequency response above the axis compared to a cardioid microphone, but has a narrower pickup pattern.
Which microphone has a hypercardioid polar response?
Beyer makes a microphone with a hypercardioid polar response. The beyerdynamic M190, an updated version of the M160, is one example. Some vintage microphones have hypercardioid polar responses as well, such as the Neumann U47. Incomplete polar response pickup patterns may also be achieved with various boundary mics and other devices that use two cardioid capsules in conjunction.