Buying the best boundary microphone will benefit your audio capturing in many ways, especially if you’re in need of some certain applications, such as conferences, churches, meetings, desktops, specific instruments and more. They’re not necessarily the most “popular” type of mic (although the internal build is since it’s technically a condenser microphone, more particularly small-diaphragm); however, if you feel a boundary mic is something you’ll benefit from, you’ve come to the right place. There are some amazing models out there to look at, so we compiled a list below to give you the options of the best boundary microphones in the market today.
What are boundary microphones?
To review for a little bit before we get int our picks, a boundary microphone is a small diaphragm condenser microphone with a twist — it’s capsule and internal circuits are mounted into a housing to lay on or be attached to a flat surface. They typically fit in the palm of your hand and can record great distances, usually with a cardioid or super-cardioid polar pattern. So why would anybody need to have a microphone solution such as this? What are the benefits of laying on a surface flat?
As seen in our best microphone guide that also explained the many types of mics out there in the world today, these particular boundary mics are used for picking up rooms with multiple audio sources. The flat surface (as in wall, table, or ceiling) is ideal because the boundary mic is made specifically to pick up sound that is reflected off the surface it’s on. Think of any time you need to pick up sound from an entire room, such as business meetings, but we’ve also seen them in various other applications such as pianos, sports (like hockey boards for body check sound effects), small musical ensembles with room acoustics, and more.
The best boundary microphones
Audio-Technica Pro 44
Let us start this list with a multifaceted condenser microphone that is perfect for applications with low required visibility. Coming from one of our favorite brands ever, the Audio-Technica Pro 44 provides a rocky design and construction, creating a more durable microphone which will also enable it to have longevity as a long-term investment. The Pro 44 notably comes with a 25’ detachable cable that gives the artist a little bit more breathing room and ability to move around. This is a microphone with so many great features, but what truly makes it one of the best boundary mics available is the combination of audio quality as well its ability to be positioned it whatever manner you desire. This creates various specific advantages, including the enhancement of its signal-to-noise ratio, as well as an increased suppression of ambient noise. There is little reason to question the price tag of this mic (it sits in the middle price-point), as it features so many high-quality elements. It’s safe to say that Audio-Technica has once again created another superb product in the Pro 44.
This higher-end model is for those wanted something a bit better in overall build and quality, and if you have the cash this one is without a doubt one of the best boundary microphones for various reasons. To start, how can we not mention the microphones high sensitivity, and ability to handle large amounts of distance. The Audix ADX60 is going to amplify your sound so well that people will be able to hear your voice and instruments at a highly increased range. This is a great boundary mic choice if you are in the music industry, speaking on a large stage, or even speaking in a business conference. The mic itself requires a 9-52V phantom power for its operational use and it also comes with a 25’ cable and phantom power adapter. The ADX60 is an optimally designed condenser microphone that is going to without a doubt be easy to position, and also durable enough to withstand an increased amount of usage. The build includes a nice 12 mm capsule, grill made of steel mesh, as well as a little mini-XLR connector. Do not miss out on Audix’s latest creation, because they’re moving fast — we recommend this as the best boundary mic if your budget is high.
The CAD U7 is the next boundary mic on our list and is another great little condenser microphone that is engineered to help articulate your speech in the way that you desire. The true beauty in the U7 is it’s ability to capture speech, which is so often important in conferences or business meetings. The microphones frequency response is more than adequately designed to capture and deliver your voice so that others know exactly what it is you’re saying, so we don’t recommend this one for any instruments if that’s what you were planning on using your boundary mic for. There is not much to complain about with CAD’s U7 as it comes with all the necessities, including a 10’ USB cable, an omnidirectional pickup pattern so that you can absorb frequencies from all directions. It’s quite budget-friendly (lower than both of the previous models listed), so if you’re looking for an affordable boundary mic to deliver your speech, CAD has got you covered.
The Shure MX391 is truly one of the boundary microphones hidden gems, and it isn’t because of how much we love the brand. This flat frequency responsive mic comes with an abundant number of intriguing features that make it a pick as one of the best boundary microphones on the market. When thinking about your boundary microphone a feature that is often overlooked, yet incredibly underrated is the range, or lack thereof when it comes to the sound. Many would settle for just about any “quality” since as long as you can hear it it’s fine; however, we know others who are concerned with wanting as much clarity as possible. Shure’s MX391 comes with high quality silent membrane switches as well as LED indicators that are going to give you the ability to reach long distances when voicing your words. In addition, the mic comes with features such as your choice of condenser cartridges as well as a 4-meter cable that contains a 4-pin mini connector. To top off this beautifully crafted microphone, let us not forget about the reasonable price, although it’s up there in comparison to a lot others (you’ll be getting what you pay for).
Let’s talk even more high-end here. The Crown PCC-160 is next on our list of some of the best expensive boundary microphones for you to consider. This mic contains a bass-tilt switch that enables the user to adjust its low-end response to whatever application that aligns with it, allowing for more custom tweaking depending on your mood or particular application that day. PCC standing for Phrase Coherent Cardioid, (it’s actually made by AKG, a brand you may be familiar with) which is an enhanced technology that uses tiny diaphragms creating a frequency quite smooth so you will be free of any issues that deal with phase interference. The mic’s polar pattern is a super cardioid which is optimal for picking up a specific source in front of it. The beauty of the supercardiod is that it is essentially going to eliminate all displeasing noise from its surroundings. The best way to describe the PCC-160 is “multitalented.” When it comes to adaptability, while sustaining the same polished sound, the PCC-160 fits each and every need. There is a lot to be excited about if you’re considering Crown’s PCC-160 so don’t be afraid to let this year’s edition be the continuation of your next boundary microphone journey if you have some extra cash at hand.
MXL has yet again come out with another superb mic in one of our guides with the MXL AC-404. This is hand down one of the best boundary microphones around the middle price-point, and is fully equipped with 3 capsules specifically designed for a 180-degree arc that contains a high voice recognition system to better capture whatever noise that is presented. This mic is perfect for speeches or on-stage theater as it is designed with pristine intelligibility allowing your words to come out crystal clear. A popular use for this boundary microphone is typically within churches, business web conferences, or even in the court of law. It conveniently comes with an easy to use plug and play USB connectivity, as well as it’s ideal compatibility with both Mac and PC computers. So, if you’re looking for a boundary microphone to use to better articulate your speech to larger audiences, you have a safe bet in the AC-404.
The Movo MC1000 is another one of our favorite cheap and budget-friendly picks, and it’s a directional conference microphone that is ideal for webinars, class conferences, or business calls as it is equipped with three audio capsules and a super cardioid polar pattern. This boundary microphone is going to make your life and work a whole lot easier especially if you are trying to reach decent-sized crowds. The sound provided from the mic can capture everything in a 20’ radius as well as 180-degree coverage, making this one of the best boundary microphones for the workplace. This is a model that is picture-perfect for video conferences and large meetings due simply to the fact that it can pick up all voices and sound within its large range. The boundary mic comes with little bundle that’s floating around with headphones if you can find it. We love the speaker monitoring jack for your live audio monitoring and instant plug-and-play capabilities. If you’re looking into creating a more successful business meeting, the MC1000 is certainly going to enhance that mission.
Here we have a boundary mic that is designed to be utilized with desktop-installed sound. The Shure CBV-B comes with top-of-the line commshield technology that is going to protect you from unwanted RF interferences from outside devices. When you add up the CVB-B/O’s reliability and its technological features, it’s hard to find a reason to complain if you’re OK with using RF connectivity. This is one of the best boundary microphones for corporate environments who don’t want to hassle with the possibility of interruption as it is heavily used for business meetings, as well as churches and courthouses. The mic itself features cardioid or omnidirectional polar patterns enabling it to pick up the exact clear sound you are searching for. There shouldn’t be a fear in terms of clarity of your speech when it comes to debating this purchase, as the frequency response is battle tested and ideal for any harsh conditions in which it is presented with. The features as well as the price tag provide little doubt that this is one of the best boundary mics on the market.
Audio-Technica Pro 42
Audio-Technica has provided us with another one of its latest masterpiece when it comes to boundary microphones. The Audio-Technica Pro 42 is just a few numbers below our previous #1 pick; however, is yet another one of the best boundary microphones available, more specifically for houses of worship as well as large business conferences as it comes with a wide-range condenser element as well as a low-mass diaphragm for a higher quality sound performance. The microphone is a miniature cardioid condenser boundary microphone that is not going to come across as too flashy or too obvious when it comes to its appearance in the room. Its low-profile design creates a minimal amount of visibility, so for those of you who want to amplify your sound without causing a large visibly distraction, this boundary microphone might be your optimal choice. The Pro 42’s rugged design and construction enables this to create incredible durability and strength which will disallow you from having to repurchase a new microphone every year. The price of the Pro-42 is relatively standard, so if you want an upgraded quality at a low-quality price, Audio-Technica’s other popular solution is a great choice for you.
Lastly, Crown’s PCC170SW boundary microphone is a smart, durable, and versatile pick that is exceptionally designed for a crystal-clear sound. Before you allow the price to steer you away, let’s see what this one is about. This super cardioid microphone is appropriate for virtually any use when it comes to attempting to boost your noise at an increased rate. The mic can be used in basically any setting you can think (regardless of what you’re trying to record, distance or size), churches, office meeting rooms, as well as in a government courtroom. This is one is great for reproducing your voice in not only an identifiable manner, but also with enhanced reach for expected listeners of an extended range. The mic capsule is not the largest of capsules and is therefore going to make sure your frequency response is smoothly delivered without worrying about phase interference. It also comes with intensified LED lights that reduce to a rate of 70dB when it is turned off for an enhanced power system. This highly equipped boundary mic, as well as its reasonable price, allow this guy to be considered one of the best boundary microphone choices out there if you’re in a professional setting and have the budget to spare.