A microphone is an electric device that amplifies the sound of a voice or instrument. If you're going to stand up in front of a large crowd and want to be heard, you better use a microphone.

Microphones require electricity and amplifiers to work — what they do is take a sound and convert it into an electrical signal. That signal can then be amplified and sent to a speaker or recorded. Performers can sing softly into a microphone and still be heard clearly by an audience member at the very back of a huge concert hall. The popularity of radio and film inspired this meaning of microphone — originally, the word meant "ear trumpet for the hard-of-hearing."

Definitions of microphone

n device for converting sound waves into electrical energy

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a small hidden microphone; for listening secretly
capacitor microphone, condenser microphone
microphone consisting of a capacitor with one plate fixed and the other forming the diaphragm moved by sound waves
crystal microphone
a microphone in which sound waves vibrate a piezoelectric crystal that generates a varying voltage
directional microphone
a microphone that is designed to receive sound from a particular direction
spike mike
a contact microphone for listening through walls
cardioid microphone
a directional microphone with a cardioid pattern of sensitivity
Type of:
electro-acoustic transducer
a transducer that converts electrical to acoustic energy or vice versa

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