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A Guide to Different Types of Microphones

A Guide to Different Types of MicrophonesWhether you’re performing live on stage or recording in a studio, a suitable microphone is a key element to your rendition. It produces superior-quality sound and enhances your performance by converting the sound waves into audio signals and controlling the frequencies according to your needs. However, the tricky part is that not all microphones are the same.

There are various types of microphones that covert sound differently into electrical signals. They also contrast on the basis of directionality, diaphragm size and transducer or capsule. That’s why it’s important to choose the right type according to your purpose.

But the question is, how do you determine which one will be suitable for your performance? Fear not, RTC Electronics, a well-known electronics store in Mississauga, has compiled a guide that explains the different types of microphones to help you buy the right one.

Directionality or Polar Pattern

The polar pattern of a microphone is the direction in which the device will pick up the sound. Devices that are more sensitive to sound arriving from a particular direction, block the sound from other angles or positions. Understanding the polar pattern of a mic is crucial to catch the required sound and eliminate the unwanted noise. Some of the popular versions are listed below:

1) Omnidirectional Mics

Microphones with an omnidirectional polar pattern can pick up sound within a 360° radius. They can be represented with a perfect circle or sphere. Their design enables them to efficiently capture nuances and produce a more natural sound. This type of mic is ideal for recording acoustic instruments or when recording sound in an open space such as a choir or orchestra. The only problem with these microphones is that they lack noise rejection, which makes them unsuitable for loud and noisy venues.

2) Cardioid Mics

Cardioid microphones are commonly used by professionals. They have a heart-shaped polar pattern and are more sensitive in the front part. These front-focused mics allow you to record the sound from a single sound source while isolating it from the unnecessary ambient sounds. They are suitable for both live performances and studio recordings as they are good at noise reduction. However, these mics become less sensitive and pick up less sound when the object or source moves around.

3) Hyper-Cardioid and Super-Cardioid Mics

Mics with super-cardioid polar pattern and hyper-cardioid polar pattern are variations of a cardioid shape. However, they are more directional than the cardioid mics. Apart from picking sound from the front, they are also sensitive to sound from the rear and sides. The only difference between super-cardioid and hyper-cardioid is that the rear directionality or pick-up area of the former is narrower than the latter. The directionality of these mics helps them provide higher-resistance to feedback and enhanced noise rejection. They are the go-to choice for noisy stage performances and untreated recording rooms.

4) Figure-8 Mics

Figure-8 mics get the name from the graphical representation of their polar pattern which looks like the number 8. They are equally sensitive to sound from the front and the rear, but have a high rejection to sound coming from the two sides. With these mics, you can record two voices at the same time by placing sources at opposite ends of the device. They are also ideal for stereo recording.

Diaphragm Size

A Guide to Different Types of Microphones 2

The diaphragm is an important component of a microphone. It is a thin and flexible material that vibrates when sound waves strike it. The design, material, thickness and diameter of the diaphragm plays a vital role in determining the sensitivity, internal noise level, pressure level handling and dynamic range of the device. Therefore, mics are also classified based on their diaphragm’s size.

1) Small Diaphragm Mics

These microphones have stiffer diaphragms that enable them to handle higher pressure levels and have wider frequency range. They also have low sensitivity and increased internal noise. Their compact design (pencil-shaped) makes them easier to carry and position, and are recommended for acoustic instruments such as guitar, cymbals and hi-hats.

2) Large Diaphragm Mics

Microphones with large diaphragms are more sensitive to sound because of an increased surface area. These mics have large and flexible diaphragms that are capable of detecting even faint differences in sound. However, they have a limited frequency response because the diaphragm is larger and the sound waves need to move more mass. They are most commonly used as modern USB microphones as they produce more transparent and natural sound.

3) Medium Diaphragm Mics

These microphones combine the features of their small and large counterparts. They catch high-frequency sound like a small diaphragm and produce fuller and warmer sound like a large diaphragm. They are not as popular as other microphones but do a decent job in both live performances and studio recordings.

Transducer Type (Capsule)

A transducer, also known as a capsule, is a device or sensor in a mic that detects an audio signal and converts it into an electrical signal. A microphone can have different types of transducers, which can be classified into the following:

A Guide to Different Types of Microphones 1

1) Dynamic Mics

Dynamic microphones are one of the most commonly used varieties because of their versatility, durability, inexpensiveness and less sensitivity to ambient sound. They have a simple, sturdy structure and don’t need a power supply. These mics have a moving coil magnetic diaphragm that catches high sound pressure levels. They’re an ideal choice for recording sound from loud instruments such as electronic guitar and drum kits. Dynamic mics are great for both live performances and studio recordings as they eliminate unwanted distortion while recording loud sounds.

2) Condenser Mics

Condenser mics have a thin conductive diaphragm placed near a metal backplate. In this arrangement, the condenser is charged with electrical currents to create sensitivity. Instead of moving coils, these mics use capacitance to create audio signals, which improves the sound quality. As they are very sensitive to breathing and popping, they pick up a lot more details compared to dynamic mics. That’s why they are perfect for precision recording and capturing subtle sounds such as acoustic guitars and pianos. Due to their high sensitivity, they are an inappropriate choice for high-level sound. If you’re using a condenser mic for recording vocals, a popper stopper or pop shield is required to stop the excess air pressure from vibrating the microphone.

3) Ribbon Mics

Ribbon microphones are not as popular as the above-mentioned types, but they’re the most fragile. They have a delicate design that features a very thin ribbon element in a magnetic field within the capsule. This ribbon vibrates and converts sound waves into electrical signals by magnetic induction. These expensive mics are great to pick up the nuances of intricate sound sources. The extreme sensitivity of these microphones make them ideal for vocals, piano, choirs and string instruments.

The world of microphones is unique and diverse. There are several varieties of microphones that are divided on the basis of polar pattern, diaphragm size and the type of transducer. Hopefully, the above-mentioned guide will help you understand the different types of microphones and choose a suitable one according to your needs.

If you have already decided on your favourite type, browse through our collection of high-grade wireless microphones and hand wired microphones to select the one that suits you.

Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Subwoofer

Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Subwoofer 2A subwoofer is a loudspeaker dedicated to reproducing bass or low-frequency sound. It is designed to improve the low-frequency range of loudspeakers producing high-pitched frequencies and enhance your general listening experience. This impressive device is available in a variety of sizes with various configurations. With so many options to buy from, selecting a suitable one can be a little tricky.

At RTC Electronics, a leading electronics store in Mississauga, we have an understanding of what to look for in an electronic device. That’s why we have compiled a list of key factors that you should consider when buying a subwoofer to make the most of your purchase.

Size

The size of a subwoofer is an important factor as the larger the surface area, the deeper the sound will be. The larger the box, the more air is moved by the subwoofer and louder bass is produced. If you want your device to produce a tighter, richer sounding bass, then go for a small-sized subwoofer. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a deeper and louder sound, then a larger device is best. Subwoofers are generally available in four sizes, 8 inches, 10 inches, 12 inches and 15 inches. When choosing the size, make sure that you have ample power and space for the subwoofer. For example, if you have chosen 15 inches’ device, but you’re unable to provide the power required to produce the sound, then it is a waste.

Enclosure

Subwoofers are generally placed in a wooden enclosure that comes in two kinds of builds, sealed and vented. A subwoofer with sealed enclosure is built to produce tight, accurate bass as there is no place for air to move in or out. On the contrary, vented or ported enclosures are built to produce the maximum output from the subwoofer. They are suitable for producing sound with deeper bass. In this enclosure, vents are used to reinforce low bass frequencies, but in order to do so, their accuracy takes a hit.

Key Factors to Consider When Buying a SubwooferSealed enclosures are not as efficient as vented enclosures because they require more power to produce the same amount of bass. In short, if you want more thumping sound, then a subwoofer with ported enclosure is the right choice whereas if you’re looking for clarity over power, then go for a sealed enclosure.

Power

Considering the power handling capacity of a speaker is essential as not all subwoofers can receive the same amount of power. Make sure that the subwoofer you want to purchase matches with the amplifier you’re using to get the maximum output. That said, if you want plenty of bass, then go for a powered subwoofer with built-in amps and driver so that there’s no need to get additional power from your home theatre receiver.

Design

There are two types of subwoofer designs, down-firing and side-firing. As the name suggests, a down-firing subwoofer is pointed downwards whereas a side-firing subwoofer is pointed in the front or on the sides. Interestingly, bass is less directional than treble or higher-frequencies. But, if you want the bass to directly come towards you, choose a front-firing sub whereas if you want the bass to spread evenly inside the room, then a side-firing is the best choice.

When buying a subwoofer, make sure that you consider its size, power handling capacity, design and enclosure type. It will help you choose an appropriate device for your home theatre and boost the quality of sound produced. To learn more about finding the right subwoofers, contact RTC Electronics, a leading e-commerce retailer of electronic accessories in Mississauga.

A Complete Guide to Buying Portable Bluetooth Speakers

Buying Portable Bluetooth SpeakersA portable Bluetooth speaker is a versatile electronic accessory for anyone who owns a laptop or smartphone. Whether you want to use it to transform a dull party into a rocking entertainment zone or take it to your office for an important presentation or meeting, this handy accessory never fails to surprise you.

Portable Bluetooth speakers offer impressive audio and can be paired with most devices for terrific sound quality. The market is filled with a lot of models with various specifications. But, specifications can’t be used as the parameter to judge how good a speaker is. The best way to buy Bluetooth speakers is to compile a checklist of features that you want in your accessory, prioritize your requirements and gather every piece of information before making the investment.

We, at RTC Electronics, understand that when you buy an electronic accessory you want value for your money. That’s why we have compiled a complete guide to buying portable Bluetooth speakers so that you can get the best deal.

Understand the Specifications

The first thing to know about an electronic accessory is its specifications and the same is true for portable Bluetooth speakers. The features of the accessory are not the only factor that affects your purchase decision, but it is definitely one of the primary ones. Therefore, understand the specifications of the Bluetooth speaker and find out what it needs to have to maximize your purchase. Begin with the following specifications-

1) Frequency Response

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Frequency response refers to the audible frequency range produced by a speaker. In other words, it is the range at which the speaker can produce sound. It is measured in Hertz (Hz), for example, 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz. This number stands for the lowest frequency (20 Hz, i.e., a very low bass tone) and the highest frequency (20,000 Hz, i.e., the highest treble) that can be produced. It is said that the wider the range, the better is the quality of sound. However, the size of the speaker also matters. If the speaker is small, the range will also be narrow whereas if it is a big speaker, the range will be wider.

The range of human hearing is 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz so many people believe that a Bluetooth speaker of this frequency response will be the best. But in reality, you need something different. Hearing ability differs from person to person, especially when they grow old. Also, you hear the sound clearly when you’re close to the speakers as the sound is coming directly to you whereas if you’re sitting at a distance, the sound gets reflected from walls, furniture, ceilings and other objects in the room. Therefore, choose a speaker with a little more bass tone and a slightly lower top frequency to get a lifelike sound in a room.

2) Bluetooth Version

The version of Bluetooth is an important factor that can affect your speaker’s performance. The quality of audio transmission and the distance between your device and the speaker is determined by it. If the version is old, then it is likely to hamper the connectivity and deliver low-quality sound.

When talking about faster data speed, any version between Bluetooth v2.x to Bluetooth v4.x are great options to consider. These versions offer Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) which improves the quality of streaming by allowing a higher amount of data to be transferred per second between the devices. But, if you also want a good battery life for your device without compromising on the sound quality, then Bluetooth v4.x is your best bet. This version supports Low Energy devices, thus reducing the power consumption. That said, a speaker with Bluetooth v4.x version also comes in handy if you want to connect it with other Low Energy devices like fitness trackers.

3) Connectivitybluetooth connectivity

Bluetooth speakers are designed for wireless connectivity. But, to be prepared for worst-case scenarios, a speaker with an auxiliary connector is a good investment. For instance, when the Bluetooth isn’t functioning properly or your device is unable to connect via Bluetooth, you can use the auxiliary access via 3.5mm phono jack to connect your device. So, look for a Bluetooth speaker that offers a wired connection as well. Generally, it is written as ‘Aux-in’ on the specifications table. A wired connection in the speaker is also beneficial for saving your phone’s battery. If you’re running short of battery on your smartphone, you can still use the speaker by connecting it through aux cable.

Determine the Utility

Apart from the specifications, you also need to filter your search for portable Bluetooth speakers on the basis of where and how you will use them. If you’re buying the speakers for your home, then consider its appearance as it should match your home’s colour scheme to blend in with the décor. Go for the one that offers high-quality sound and has a stylish appearance to work as a statement piece for your room. Also, if the purpose of your purchase is to use the speakers for hands-free calls, then buy Bluetooth speakers with built-in microphones which enables you to answer the phone calls.

Many people prefer taking their Bluetooth speakers with them while travelling. For them, weather-resistant Bluetooth speakers will be the perfect choice. These electronic accessories are designed to withstand rain, snow, dust and sometimes shock too, thus making them an ideal companion for people who love outdoor adventure. If you’re also looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker which you can carry with you to overnight camping trips, then buy a compact one with a good battery life and a USB charging port so that you can charge it even with a power bank. Also, consider the battery size which can give 4 to 5 hours of backup to make the most of your outdoor trip with the speakers.

Decide the Budget

Your budget plays a vital role in narrowing your search. There are a wide variety of portable Bluetooth speakers available online or in store. Some speakers offer various features on a budget while others are a bit expensive because of their high-end specifications. For example, speakers like EARSON Outdoor Sports Wireless Bluetooth Speaker and Pyle Bluetooth Mini Speaker can be bought within a budget of $40.00 along with the benefit of several features. The EARSON Outdoor Sport speaker has built-in Bluetooth (version: 2.1 + EDR), the battery life of up to 4 hours, rechargeable battery along with water, shock and dust-resistance, thus making it an ideal choice for people who want an outdoor-friendly electronic accessory at a reasonable rate. On the other hand, the Pyle Bluetooth Mini Speaker features hands-free call answering, AUX 3.5mm input, integrated stereo sound with rich bass, USB charging port and compatibility with virtually any audio device. It is the perfect piece for buyers who want a go-to portable Bluetooth speaker for prolonged entertainment.

When shopping for portable Bluetooth speakers, make sure that you prioritize what you want, how you want to use the speakers, understand all important specifications and look for them in the one you’re buying. To maximize your purchase, always choose a reliable electronic accessory store and get authentic products.

Have a look at our exclusive collection of portable Bluetooth speakers to get excellent sound-quality at affordable prices. You can also contact us as 1-866-624-9986 to get the best deals on electronic accessories online.

6 Essential Gadgets to Make Your Home Smarter

Are you tired of mundane chores? Are you looking for solutions to make your life easier? Do you want assistance in completing your daily tasks? If you have answered yes to all the questions, then you definitely need to transform your traditional home into a smart home.
6 Essential Gadgets to Make Your Home Smarter

The difference between a manually operated home and a smart home is modern technology. Bring the best of science to your home with some cool gadgets that are designed for functionality and aesthetics. These gadgets are great additions to a home as they solve problems quickly and efficiently.

Give a futuristic look to your abode while getting some assistance on your daily chores by bringing these 6 essential gadgets to your home.

1) A Smart Doorbell

A smart doorbell is not only a useful gadget to make your home smarter but also a great accessory for people with limited mobility. This doorbell can be connected to your smartphone app via Internet. It notifies you when someone arrives at the door. You can watch and talk to the guest through the built-in HD camera and microphone. This useful accessory is a great addition to your home that increases the functionality and security of your living space.

2) A Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat can be of great help when it comes to making your home smarter and more energy efficient. It is a convenient addition that can sense your needs and operate your home’s heating and cooling system accordingly. It will automatically turn off your air conditioning when no one is at home and turn it back on at the designated time. Some high-tech thermostats are designed to take record of your habits and preferences and manage the HVAC system of your home according to it.

3) An Internet TV Box

Why stick to the old-school way of watching television, when you can make it smarter with live streaming? Buy an Internet TV box for your home to stream movies and shows, browse the web, access social media and play games online. This smart gadget will give you access to some top-notch services such as Netflix and Amazon Video while offering a rich user experience.

4) A Smart Pet Feeder

If you’re away from home during the day or travel frequently, then you need a smart pet feeder to ensure that your furry friend is never left without food. This wonderful gadget will dish out the exact amount of food specified for your pet at a set time. Some high-end feeders allow you to use your smartphone app for monitoring your pet with the built-in camera and speaker.

5) A Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Do you want a tidy home without much elbow grease? If so, then a robot vacuum cleaner is the perfect gadget for your smart home. This automated assistant will take the hassle out of your household chores and keep your home clean. As far as dust capacity and suction power is concerned, it is as good as your standard vacuum cleaner. But, unlike the traditional cleaners, it is a convenient option as you don’t need to operate it manually. Simply switch it on and set it loose.

6) A Voice Assistant

Smartly control your smart gadgets with a voice assistant. This versatile gadget is transforming the way we communicate and complete tasks. It is a software agent that can perform several tasks or services for you such as making reservations, playing music, adding items to the shopping list, and requesting information. Voice assistants are built with voice recognition technology and AI or artificial intelligence. These gadgets will help you go hands-free and control other gadgets through voice commands. For example, you can ask your voice assistant to change your smart TVs channel, set an alarm, set your thermostat to a certain temperature and play your favourite song. You can perform all these tasks without moving from your comfortable couch. Now that is called building a smarter home. Isn’t it?

Hurry up and buy these wonderful electronic accessories to make your home smarter. The above-mentioned gadgets are not only functional but also great additions to enhance the value of your home. Visit your nearest electronic gadget showroom in Toronto and get these amazing helping hands for your home.

The Ultimate Guide to Buying Car Speakers

A high-quality car speaker can put the life back into your vehicle’s sound system. It has the power to transform your car into an entertainment spot by delivering exceptional sound and offering outstanding performance. That’s why it’s necessary to look for great car speakers when upgrading your four-wheeler sound system. However, as several varieties of car speakers are available, the selection is difficult.
car speakers

The best way to get the perfect speaker for your car’s sound system is to consider certain important factors before making the purchase. Here’s a quick guide to what you should look for when buying car speakers.

Size

The size of your car speaker is the first thing to consider as you can’t purchase an oversized or undersized speaker. You have to buy a right-sized device that can fit into your current speaker receptacles. Take out the old speaker from your car’s sound system and measure it. Write down the model number and specifications of the speaker and get a new one that matches the existing one.

Sensitivity

The sensitivity of a speaker refers to how much power the device needs to give a specific volume level. In simpler terms, the sensitivity of a speaker indicates its loudness and can be measured in decibels (dB). The higher the sensitivity level, the louder the speaker. If you want to get the most out of your car speakers, select the one with higher sensitivity as it will require less power and deliver maximum volume. The best choice will be a car speaker with over 90 dB sensitivity rating.

Power Handling

Power handling means how much power a speaker can handle without causing any damage. Measured in Watts (W), power handling ability of a speaker should match the power put out by your car’s head unit or external amplifier. If you have a powerful external amplifier, choose a speaker whose power handling is close to the output of your head unit.

When choosing the power rating, make sure which one do you want as speakers have two power ratings, RMS (root-mean-square) and Peak. The RMS rating of a speaker is its continuous output without getting damaged. On the contrary, the Peak rating is the maximum power a speaker can handle instantly. Go for the RMS rating because it realistically measures the power handling capacity of the speaker.

Material

The material your car speaker is made of plays a crucial role in determining its sound quality and lifespan. Speakers made with low-quality materials are likely to degrade over time. Speakers made with a stiff, lightweight woofer material like polypropylene mixed with metal-coated synthetic fabrics or mica are long-lasting and produce the best bass. Rubber surrounds are also a good option that lasts long and provides exceptional sound quality. Avoid buying surrounds made with foam and cloth or paper as they are not durable. As far as the tweeter is concerned, choose a hard material like ceramic, metal or graphite.

When buying new car speakers, make sure that it is compatible with your existing sound system. Look for a device with high sensitivity, great power rating and excellent build quality to get value for your money. Also, always buy electronic devices and accessories from a reliable store in Toronto to get original products.

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