There are so many aspects need to be considered in choosing a USB microphone, such as sensitivity, sampling rate, frequency response, polar pattern, signal-to-noise ratio, maximum SPL, and more. Today, I will talk about sampling rate and bit depth into details and try to simply discuss why 192kHz/24bit bring broadcast-level sound quality.
What’s Sampling Rate and Bit Depth?
You may see the two parameters in the specifications on shopping page or in the product manual, but both of them seldom talk you into the meaning of them. Sampling rate also referred to sampling speed, means the times that microphone sound card records sound waveform in one second. The Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem states that in order to accurately reconstruct a signal with a specified bandwidth, a frequency that can be defined such as 20Hz to20kHz, the sampling rate must be greater than twice the maximum frequency of the signal. If sampling rates are too low, the original signal’s information may not be completely reproduced from the sampled signal meanwhile it may lead to aliasing distortion. In other word, the higher the sampling rate, the more precise details the recorded sounds have.
Therefore, many engineers employ 88.2kHz, 96kHz even 192kHz to ensure extremely accurate recordings that capture every detail. Although the sampling rate of 192kHz records sounds that are above normal range of human hearing, some believe that the ultrasonic frequencies can interact and create unexpected musical effects. For these people, the higher rate is generally considered better.
The bit depth is the number of bits of information in each sample and it directly corresponds to the resolution of each sample. Bit depth record and reproduce fluctuations in the waveform. The higher the bit depth, the more data will be captured to more accurately recreate the sound. If the bit depth is too low, information will be lost and the reproduced sample will be degraded.
Besides, bit depth determines the dynamic range of signal. Theoretically, the common 16bit can record a dynamic range of about 96dB, and the maximum dynamic range of 24bit is about 144db.
In the past, 96kHz/24bit is considered as the “high resolution” audio. Along with the rapid development of technology, 192kHz/24bit becomes the relatively higher standard in audio technology that many microphone manufacturers pursue and try to realize at this stage.
EMR: The USB Microphone that Produces 192kHz/24bit Sound
As I am saying, the microphones update quickly to cater for great demand of market especially due to the rise of short video and live streaming. Many video bloggers or podcasters have increasingly requirements to recording high quality sound in their videos or podcasts in order to obtain more subscriptions. The expensive equipment and complicated operation in the recording studio are not within many people’s considerations because of budget and field. USB microphones are gradually favored because of its friendly price and easy setup. Some doubt that compared to other professional musical microphones, USB microphone can’t not bring out studio-level sound. Actually, USB microphones upgrade a lot. Taking example of MOMAN microphones, the first generation EM1 USB microphone is 48kHz, which also gives the non-destructive output and meet the requirement of daily recording occasions like online conference, gaming and live-streaming.
The new generation EMR microphone even raises the sampling rate and bit depth up to 192kHz/24bit, and firstly is combined with retro appearance. According to some reviews, it can totally play a great role in voiceovers, podcast recording, instrument recording and more demanding occasions. Based on discussions above, we could confidently look forward to the performance EMR brings with 192kHz/24bit.
Certainly, performance of one microphone is affected by many other aspects and the specific sound effects will also determine the applicable scene of the microphone. It’s believed that most people like me, aim to get a microphone with high performance at its most friendly price. Hope this passage could bring something useful for you guys before you get a great microphone and do your better work with it.