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Audio Solutions Question of the Week: Can I Use A Microphone In Extreme Weather Conditions (Hot, Cold, Humid, Etc.)?

microphone in extreme temps

Question: Can I use a microphone in extreme weather conditions (hot, cold, humid, etc.)?

Answer: While a microphone is not unduly sensitive to the environment, temperature extremes can be harmful. Avoid leaving the microphone in the open sun or in areas where temperatures exceed 110° F (43° C) for long periods of time. Extremely high humidity should also be avoided. If you do use a microphone in excessively humid environments, be certain to remove it from that environment when not in use, wipe it down, and place it in a dry location until you need to use it again. The best option would be to place the microphone in a box with a desiccant bag to draw out the moisture.

The problem with using a microphone in an extremely cold environment is that a stiff diaphragm becomes noisy. Freezing the mic will not hurt it. However, with freezing, you automatically create humidity. There is no way around this. If you use the mic in freezing temperatures, you should expect it to be noisier and have frequency response changes (due to stiffness of the diaphragm) and for there to be added noise (due to moisture, which messes with element capacitance). When you remove the mic from the freezing conditions, you should wipe it down and place it in a dry location – ideally, as indicated above, in a box with a desiccant bag to draw out the moisture.

In either hot or cold conditions, it is always good practice to store microphones in normal operating conditions when they are not in use. If you have further questions on using your microphone in extreme weather conditions, feel free to contact the Audio Solutions Department to discuss your specific application.