Customers like ceiling microphones for a variety of reasons — no cables on the table, no drilling holes in tables, a more aesthetically pleasing design and freedom to move around the room.

Many technological advancements and improvements in microphone design make it possible for ceiling microphone quality to be as good, if not better, than tabletop mics in many environments.

The ceiling tile surrounding the microphone enhances low-frequency response, making voices sound more natural than tabletop microphones.

Best Practices for Ceiling Microphones Installations

Develop an acoustical model
An acoustical model is based on room dimensions, materials, application, and acoustics.  It will help to determine whether ceiling microphones are appropriate for the room, the number of mics needed, and where they should be placed to deliver the desired coverage.

Figure 1: Room 34’ x 19’  /  Figure 2: Room 23’ x 21’
Even though one room is larger, with a larger table, the rooms require the same number of mics to achieve the desired coverage. If an acoustical model had not been developed, the larger room would have been over miked.


Minimize ceiling noise
HVAC air movement from the ceiling creates noise that is extremely hard to remove from the audio path.  Only the mixers with sophisticated algorithms with individual per-channel processors can reduce the noise without generating audible artifacts.  Because air vents push air down toward the floor, flush-mount ceiling microphones have a natural advantage over hanging mics since they are mounted out of the air path and are not impacted by this type of noise.

Configure microphone settings for best performance
Mics must be configured for the mixer to which they are connected in order to perform as intended.  It is important to consider the mixer input sensitivity, which for most ceiling-installed mics tends to be higher than for tabletop or gooseneck mics.  All professional mixers that support multiple mic types allow the setting of proper mic sensitivity.

Create zones for voice lift
Voice lift is the concept of allowing participants in large rooms to hear each other within the room.  A technique used to accomplish this is to divide a large room into two or more zones for speakers and mics.  The mics in each zone feed the speakers in the other zones, thus minimizing the occurrence of feedback.  Voice lift is often used in rooms where participants may be more than 30 feet apart.

Test system to ensure quality
On completion of installing the equipment, the performance of the system needs to be evaluated.

Hanging microphones were designed to close the talker-to-element distance.  This reduces the pickup pattern area, requiring more mics for a specific room adding complexity and noise into the system.  In addition, that hanging microphones are more sensitive to air motion, which creates white noise in the background.

Consider Flush Ceiling Microphones!!!

Courtesy of CTG Audio