Beamforming microphones combine an array of microphone elements with intelligent DSP to enable definable polar patterns. When the intelligent DSP includes beam tracking and/or multiple beams, these beamforming microphone arrays are excellent for capturing simultaneous talkers accurately, such as in an audio or video conferencing scenario. The beamforming aspect of these array microphones is that the “beams” (polar patterns) of the mics can be controlled and shaped through DSP, allowing the beams to be “aimed” at the appropriate areas in the room.
As with all microphones though, the room acoustics and ambient noise have a direct impact on the audio quality. If speech originating in the room is unintelligible to listeners in the same room, no microphone can successfully overcome this acoustical handicap. This technical note, explores some of the design considerations and trade-offs for lobe design in different use cases involving beamforming microphones.