Boundary microphones are mostly used for on-stage presentations, conferencing and training rooms, speech recordings, and online communication. Their main advantages are low-profile design and ease of interaction between the mic and the speaker.
You can find the best boundary microphones on the market in the table below, and their cheaper alternatives are presented further down in this article.
|The Best Wireless Boundary Microphone SHURE MX690|
|The Best XLR Boundary Microphone SHURE MX396|
|The Best 3.5mm Boundary Microphone OLYMPUS ME33|
|The Best USB Boundary Microphone MXL AC 424|
Boundary microphones are usually cheaper and easier to use than gooseneck microphones. They catch sounds in a large range, similar to ceiling microphones. So they can be used by several attendees simultaneously and offer the speaker the freedom to move around while speaking within a short distance near the microphone.
Table of Contents
WHICH IS THE BEST BOUNDARY MICROPHONE?
The best boundary microphone on the market, without hesitation, is Shure MX690. There are no cables, uncompromising audio quality, low-profile design, and many extra features – a programmable mute button, battery level indicator, and more. The microphone is with a cardioid polar pattern, which is quite practical. It reduces surrounding noises and is adjustable to various types of meeting scenarios.
The microphone is easy to move, so there is an optimal distance between the speaker and the microphone. Shure MX690 is perfect for rooms where furniture is often rearranged.
The purchase of wireless boundary microphones is quite an investment, so on such occasions, we recommend planning the entire conference microphone system in advance and ensuring that all of its elements are compatible.
Learn more about Shure MX690 and choosing wireless boundary microphones by reading our dedicated section below.
XLR CABLE BOUNDARY MICROPHONES
Shure MX396 is a flexible and high-audio quality solution. This microphone has two versions – duo and trio. It is practically a combination of two or three cardioid microphones. You can pick the right version of the model according to the positioning of the microphone on the table and the number of speakers using it. In this way, this mic is adjustable to different conference table scenarios.
The duo version uses two cardioid capsules, and the trio version – has three cardioid capsules built-in. The trio version catches sound at 360 degrees or 300 degrees, while the duo version is helpful when attendees sit against each other (the 8-polar pattern).
The microphone also boasts additional features like a programmable mute button and resistance against RF waves of mobile and handheld devices.
Shure MX396 is an irreplaceable tool easily adjusted to small and middle-sized conference rooms.
SHURE MX 393
If you are looking for a simple average-priced microphone solution with a high-quality audio sound, Shure MX393 is the right choice.
The microphone comes with a replaceable capsule. You can pick a capsule with the right polar pattern according to your needs – omnidirectional, cardioid, or super-cardioid. And if you need to, you can replace it with the other one.
Shure MX393 has the same extra features as its “bigger brother” Shure MX396: RF resistance and a programmable mute switch.
If you need a reliable, easy-to-use, high-quality boundary microphone, do not hesitate to buy Shure MX393.
If your budget is tight, look at the Shure CVB B/O omnidirectional microphone from the Centraverse series, whose features are similar to MX393 but come at a considerably lower price. The audio quality is not good, but Shure CVB B/O is the best XLR boundary microphone in its price range.
3.5MM CABLE BOUNDARY MICROPHONES
Olympus МЕ33 is a powerful omnidirectional microphone designed to catch speech clearly, even in large conference rooms. This is possible due to the daisy-chain capabilities of this boundary mic. Multiple microphones ME33 are daisy-chained using a connector included in the package.
The ME-33 is the ideal solution for recording conference calls and meetings combined with the Olympus professional voice recorder.
To record a stereo sound with ME 33, connecting up to 6 microphones is necessary. Connecting up to 3 microphones will record the speaker’s voice as a mono sound.
USB CABLE BOUNDARY MICROPHONES
MXL AC 424
The microphone uses 3 built-in cardioid capsules to catch sound in all directions.
The newer model AC 424 has a backlit mute button. This boundary microphone also has a 3.5mm headphone jack, if the speaker needs to use the microphone for a private meeting.
AC 424 has an attractive round design with an all-metal corpse.
It is an easy solution to turn any room into a conference room quickly.
Read our review of MXL AC424 for further information.
A cheaper alternative to MXL AC 424 is Movo MC1000.
Practically, there is no great difference in the design and durability of the two microphones. Still, the mute switch is not available. And the range of this mic is shorter – 20 feet compared to the 25-foot range of the AC 424.
Movo MC1000 and MXL AC 424 are great for conference meetings, Skype calls, and recordings. Movo’s model is better suited for small rooms with a shorter distance between the mic and the speaker. If you truly aim for an omnidirectional microphone, we recommend the AC 424 model.
WIRELESS BOUNDARY MICROPHONES
Wireless boundary microphones offer great flexibility. They are easily rearranged and can be moved closer or further from the speaker.
When choosing wireless conference microphones – be it a boundary or any other type – the entire microphone system should be planned together. The wireless microphones need to be compatible with the audio receiver they use. That is why we strongly recommend a consultation with an audio specialist before purchasing wireless microphone equipment.
We recommend using one or several Bluetooth speakerphones for small conference rooms with simple audio equipment. They are directly connected to a Bluetooth device – a laptop or a smartphone, so they are easy to set up and use.
The battery life is an issue that should be considered – they need to last longer than the meeting duration.
Shure MX690 is a wireless boundary microphone, part of the Microflex series of Shure. The microphone boosts all necessary features – a programmable mute button, a bi-light status indicator, and rugged construction. It also has the ComShield technology protecting against RF interference of mobile devices. The microphone operates with two AA batteries.
This mic is compatible with Shure SLX wireless systems, including the SLX4L receiver.