Boundary microphones are mostly used for on-stage presentations, conferencing and training rooms, speech recordings and any kind of online communication. Low-profile design and ease of interaction between the mic and the speaker are their main advantages.
You can find the best boundary microphones on the market in the table below and their cheaper alternatives presented further down in this article.
Boundary microphones are usually cheaper and easier-to-use than gooseneck microphones. They catch sounds in a large range, similar to the ceiling microphones. So they can be used by several attendees at the same time and offer the speaker the freedom to move around while speaking within a short distance near the microphone.
The best boundary microphone on the market, without hesitation, is Shure MX690. No cables, uncompromising audio quality, low-profile design and lots of extra features – 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 make sure that all of its elements are compatible with each other.
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 in 360 degrees or 300 degrees, while the duo version is helpful when attendees are sitting against each other (the 8-polar pattern).
The microphone also boasts additional features like a programmable mute button, resistance against RF-waves of mobile and handheld devices.
Shure MX396 is an irreplaceable tool easily adjusted to small and middle-sized conference rooms.
If you are looking for a simple average-priced microphone solution with a high-quality audio sound, Shure MX393 is definitely the right choice.
The microphone comes a replaceable capsule. This means you can pick a capsule with the right polar pattern according to your needs – omnidirectional, cardioid, or supercardioid. And if you need, you can replace it later with another one.
Shure MX393 has got the same extra features like its “bigger brother” Shure MX396, part of which are RF resistance and programmable mute switch.
If you need a reliable, easy-to-use and high-quality boundary microphone, do not hesitate to buy Shure MX393.
In case your budget is tight, take a look at the Shure CVB B/O omnidirectional microphone from the Centraverse series, whose features are similar to MX393, but comes at a considerably lower price. Audio quality is not that 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 that is 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 that is included in the package.
Combined with the Olympus professional voice recorder, the ME-33 is the ideal solution for recording conference calls and meetings.
To record a stereo sound with ME 33, it is necessary to connect up to 6 microphones. Connecting up to 3 microphones will record the speaker’s voice as a mono sound.
USB cable boundary microphones
The microphone uses 3 cardioid built-in capsules so it can catch sound in all directions.
The newer model AC 424 has a backlit mute button. This boundary microphone also 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 quickly turn any room into a conference room.
A cheaper alternative to MXL AC 424 is Movo MC1000.
Practically there is not a 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 a 25-feet range of the AC 424.
Movo MC1000 and MXL AC 424 are both 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’d rather recommend the AC 424 model.
Wireless boundary microphones
Wireless boundary microphones offer great flexibility. They are easy to rearrange and can be easily 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 making a purchase of wireless microphone equipment.
For small conference rooms where simple audio equipment is enough, we recommend using one or several Bluetooth speakerphones. They are directly connected to a Bluetooth device – a laptop or a smartphone, so they are easy to set and use.
Shure MX690 is a wireless boundary microphone, part of the Microflex series of Shure. The microphone boosts all necessary features – programmable mute button bi-light status indicator, 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.