Microphones as an invention hark back to the start of experiments with telephony in the 19th century, but as a tool for audio recording and sound reinforcement they were not commonly used until the 1920's, since they were not as energy efficient as other transducers and thus were not really practical until fairly good electric amplification was at hand.
Microphone manufacturer indices
Microphone manufacturers by name
ACO Pacific (Measurement) — Acoustic & Lighting System (PA only) — Active Audio Australia — Acústica F. E. S. — Ambient Recording — AMH Sales — Ampertronic — Argos — Audioprof (PA types only) — Australis Music — Avid — AV-Leader — Bakoon Products — Behringer — Bock Audio — Brüel & Kjær — Carvin — CEVL — Chameleon Labs — Clarity Vision — ClearOne (PA only) — Cloud Electronics (PA only) — Cloud Microphones — Chiayo Electronics — Coles Electroacoustics — Conrad Electronic — DPA — Drawmer — Earthworks — Electrovision — Equipson — FBT — Fostex — GCI Tecnologies — Gewa Music — Gold Line — GTRC Services — Guangdong Takstar Electronic — Gvi Vertriebs-GmbH — Guangzhou Tasso Pro Audio Co. — Hanser Music Group — Heil Sound — Hills Sound, Vision & Lighting — International Audio Group — Izzo — Lax — LinearX Systems — Lindy (Multimedia only) — Lyd og Lys Norge AS — Madboy — Marshall Electronics (USA) — Morgan Instrument — New Sensor Corporation — Audio 4 & C — Numark — Penton (PA types only) — Piyano — Professional Sound Corp. (PSC) — Pro-Linear (PA only) — RCF — Red 5 Audio — Ringway — Roland — Sabine — SD Systems — SE Electronics — Seikaku — Shanghai Silver Flute Sound Co. — Shure Inc. — Sound & Music Distribution — Steinigke Showtechnic — Studioking — Taiden — Taky Electronics — TPEQ s.r.o. — Tropical Music Export Enterprises — TSL — Violet Design — Vissokogovoriteli — Waleed Rajab Est — Wunder Audio — Guangzhou Huadu Xindongyang Audio Equipment Factory — Yoga — Yorkville Sound
Please note that this index excludes manufacturers of wireless and architectural microphones and hydrophones (see below).
Companies that have made microphones in the past
AVM-IRP — Curtis Technology — Drawmer Distribution — Fletcher ElectroAcoustics — Hervic Corp. — HopProd — IRP Professional Sound — JD-Media.
Ambient Recording — Sonotronics.
ClearOne (Ceiling) — Xedit Corp (Ceiling based).
Wireless microphones and systems
Acústica F. E. S. — Audio 4 & C — Australis Music — AV-Leader — Behringer — Carvin — Chiayo Electronics — ClearOne — Conrad Electronic — Electrovision — Enping Karsect — Equipson — GCI Tecnologies — Gorilla Inc. — GTRC Services — Guangdong Takstar Electronic — Gvi Vertriebs-GmbH — International Audio Group — Line 6 — Madboy — Morgan Instrument — Numark — Okayo (Infrared) — OWI Inc. — Panasonic — RCF — Sabine — Seikaku — Shure Inc. — Steinigke Showtechnic — Trantec — Tropical Music Export Enterprises — Waleed Rajab Est — Yoga.
Companies that have made wireless microphones and systems in the past
Wireless musical instrument systems
Acústica F. E. S. — Enping Karsect — Line 6.
Standalone wireless transmitter
Australis Music — Sabine — Steinigke Showtechnic.
Wireless repeaters and utility products
Musical instrument microphones and acoustic pickups
Belcat — Caprice S. L. — Cavanaugh Company — David Gage String Instruments — Fishman — Gewa Music — K & K Sound Systems — Leon Audio Co. — SD Systems — Shadow Electronics — Shenzhen Fzone Technology — Soho Acoustics — Steinigke Showtechnic.
ShenZhen Jinmai Electronics .
ACO Pacific — Acústica F. E. S. — Ambient Recording — AV-Leader — Axel Joost Elektronik — Behringer — Cinela — Conrad Electronic — Crane Song — D'Andrea — DK Independent — Earthworks — Electrovision — Equipson — Gewa Music — Grace Design — Guangdong Takstar Electronic — GTRC Services — Gvi Vertriebs-GmbH — Heil Sound — Hills Sound, Vision & Lighting — Izzo — Leon Audio Co. — Madboy — Middle Atlantic Products Inc. — Piyano — Prind-Co — Professional Sound Corp. (PSC) — Red 5 Audio — SE Electronics — RCF — Reinhardt — RMV — Roland — Shanghai Chaobo Musical Instruments Co. — Shure Inc. — Sound & Music Distribution — Stedman — Steinigke Showtechnic — Thum + Mahr — Tropical Music Export Enterprises — Taky Electronics — Tonstudio Pauly (Screens) — Violet Design — US Music Corporation — Waleed Rajab Est — Whirlwind — Xedit Corp — Yoga — Yorkville Sound.
Surround sound mounts and caskets
Ambient Recording — Cinela — Trinnov Audio.
Trapezes and remote controlled suspension systems
While it's completely impossible to find and discuss every last type of make and manufacture of microphones, the object of this section is to list at the least the more interesting ones for audio recording standpoint.
One of the worlds biggest makers of pro and semi-pro microphones, there exists a mailing list on Yahoo that discusses AKG products in general and mics in particular.
Has a few mics intended for DJ or similar sound reinforcement use. This includes the DJM-600 budget dynamic hand held mic, the MC-1 butterfly clip mic and the WR-80 wireless system.
Applied Microphone Technology (AMT)
Makes small condenser microphones intended for recording acoustic instruments, especially wind instruments.
Has a range of standard and wireless mics for PA usage mostly.
Makes a range of low price microphones, both for communication and musical usage, some of them quite sturdy and practical for this price range. Most of their models utilise a crystal based transducer.
Manufactures a large range of condenser and dynamic mic's for sound reinforcement and recording usage, also has wireless systems.
Makes a range of studio microphones.
Audio Engineering Associates
Makes the R 44 ribbon microphone, a clone of the old RCA 44 mic.
Sells 2 precision eletret omni desings intended to de used for audio measurement applications, more info here.
Makes low to mid end microphones, more geared towards live sound than recording but few studio oriented models as well.
Makes a huge range of mic's much of the miniatures are intended for business, communication and broadcast use, but many interesting designs from a audio/musical standpoint as well. Is a large OEM so you may already be using them without knowing.
Beijing 797 Audio
One of China's main producer of studio and other high quality recording microphones, both condensers and dynamic types, strangely enough the dynamics have the outward appearance of old Sennheiser mics from the 70's. Some of the best mic's currently made in China but their studio models are expensive.
Makes a huge range of mics, range mostly geared towards sound reinforcement but also a range of recording mics. This is also the only company that makes ribbon microphones at reasonable prices.
Baltic Latvian Universal Electronics (BLUE)
Makes some high end microphones that have been getting rave reviews recently, they also restore old mics.
Makes large diagram condenser microphones like the CR-10, all high end & handmade studio quality stuff.
Brüel & Kjær See --> DPA
Has a range of wireless and normal microphones intended for club or sound reinforcement use.
Makes a small range of hand held dynamics, intended for live sound and reinforcement use.
Makes studio quality microphones.
Makes omnidirectional mics mostly intended for surround sound production.
This manufacturer has a large range of dynamic hand held microphones ideal for sound reinforcement usage, some of their mid impedance Super Caridiod models would make good budget recording mics, at the least the Neodymium based SCM-5266 that has much better audio specification than the rest of the product range and indeed than similar dynamics from other Asian sources. they also have an interesting range of double diaphragm models that circumvent the usual limited frequency range of dynamic mics by having a separate diaphragm for low and high frequencies.
Unusual and highly effective contact microphones, actually a thin flexible strip available in a variety of lengths that you can curve around instruments or other vibrating bodies, brilliant for recording in a noisy environment even for instruments that you would never usually apply a contact mic to such as a grand piano (yup, done that, works well).
Chaoda Professional Audio
Has a range of hand held and sound reinforcement microphones and wireless systems.
Makes hand held dynamics.
Makes a large range of mics such as lavalieres, gooseneck, boundary layer and similar types intended for sound reinforcement use, but has recently started making handhelds etc...
Has a small range of dynamic handheld models suitable for PA or home use.
Makes a range of ribbon microphones that have their origin in the BBC designed microphones from the 50's, the 4038 is a studio version and the ENG 4104B is that famous lip-contact, noise cancelling mic that you can see in use by BBC radio commentators to this day. The 4038 has an exceptionally thin ribbon resulting in a heavenly sound.
Manufactures miniature binaural microphones mostly intended for use in live gig recording etc. but location sound nuts should also take a look.
Makes a large range of microphones for sound reinforcement purposes along with their famous PZM studio mics.
Makes a miniature lavaliere microphone along with headset mics and the like.
This German craftsman is currently making hand crafted studio mics such as the Valet Voice and the VM-1 to critical acclaim, these are all large diagram condensers.
Took over the microphone manufacturing arm of Brüel & Kjær, these are easily the most transparent mics made in the world today, and some of the most costly as well, but since they are really all omnis at heart not really suitable for all purposes. Originally designed for scientific and measurement purposes they are also popular with loudspeaker manufacturers for product development and testing. And as with all good microphones clones are staring to appear left, right and centre, some of them claiming to be the originals :) Owners and other fans should note that there is a mailing list on Yahoo dedicated to discussing those microphones.
Makes high quality omnis that are not unlike the DPA mics in design concept.
Esoteric Audio Research - Yoshino (EAR)
Makes the EAR Valve Microphone, an oddball studio condenser that marries the fab Milab capsule with valve electronics.
Makes studio microphones.
Makes a range of microphones intended for use in sound reinforcement applications but they do find their way into the odd studio. Also has a range of wireless mic's.
Makes a fairly large range of dynamic microphones including quite a few wireless models, and in a variety of configurations inc. hand held, gooseneck and a variety of consumer type setups. Fairly cost effective.
Makes budget dynamic hand helds.
Makes an assortment of microphones for sound reinforcement use, both standard and wireless.
Manufactures condenser mic's exclusively, that includes some small diaphragm models for hand held and discreet usage but most of their products are large diaphragm models intended for recording work and that includes a few valve driven models.
Has a range of mics intended for club and sound reinforcement use, quite a few wireless models as well.
Makes a small range of capacitor microphones for recording/studio use.
Yet another Chinese microphone manufacturer, this time with a broader range than usual and has a variety of dynamic and condenser microphones for both musical and sound reinforcement usage, including wireless models.
Has a small range of mics but is probably better know for their wireless microphone systems.
Although this manufacturer is mostly making inserts and functioning as an OEM they also have a range of hand held mics under their own name, including wireless models.
Makes the usual handheld budget dynamic mics and additionally a range of cheap electret condensators geared towards home movie making, including a stereo model.
Makes custom studio and voice microphones in addition to some standard capacitor models.
Has a range of condenser and dynamic mics intended for sound reinforcement, more info here.
Has a large range of dynamic hand held and tabletop mics, these are intended for PA and karaoke use rather than for recording etc.., also has a range of wireless mics for similar applications in mind and a couple of long range microphones (non parabolic).
Makes a range of mics intended for DJ, club and sound reinforcement use, mostly budget types.
Mostly an OEM manufacturer of microphone inserts for other manufacturers and the parts market, but also supplies handhelds and wireless systems under it's own name..
Manufactures dynamic hand helds and wireless microphone systems.
Not to be confused with another Chinese brand, Jinjue (as above). Interesting... as every other Chinese manufacturer they have the usual lot of hand held & wireless dynamic models but more interestingly they have a mic that goes by the (terrible) name of Brainpower, that has sibilance reducing electronics inside. This is an excellent idea, especially in sound reinforcement were out and out sound quality is perhaps not your ultimate aim, and having sibilance detection and correction in the mic rather than later in the chain is a very practical solution. Wonder why we haven't seen this kind of a product from the western manufacturers.
Has at the least on model of a condenser studio mic.
Joseph Audio (China)
Makes low end hand held microphones and wireless microphone systems.
Their NX series of minuscule music and recording mics are interesting and apparently much better than the average Taiwanese junk.
Makes budget dynamics including wireless models.
KEL Audio Design
Makes the HM-1 recording microphone.
K & K Sound Systems
Has a range of microphones and pickups designed for the recording of acoustic instruments.
Makes a range of microphones, note that there is no info on them on their homepage.
Makes dynamic and electret hand held microphones mostly budget stuff.
Line Audio Design
Makes a range of unique miniature condensers but has also recently added studio condencer microphone to the fold, those utilise a unique triple membrane design.
Makes the RS1 which is a high end recording condenstor with switchable pattern responces.
Has a range of microphones, including models intended for recording and sound reinforcement and some high end electrets.
The original George Neumann company operated in 2 locations in i Germany before WWII and while we all know and love the Berlin company that became famous after the war, fewer know that a part of the company was on the eastern side of Germany and continued operating independently after the split of the country, while it sold their products in the east bloc under the Neumann name they exported to the west under the name of Microtech Gefell and later changed the name of the company to that. Interestingly they continued to develop some of the same capsules that their western counterparts did, but along other lines. Currently manufacture a line of studio and measurement microphones ranging from fairly budget models to top of the line models. The M-G fanclub has a mailing list on Yahoo.
Makes specialised mics for acoustic musical instruments.
Has a range of high quality recording and sound reinforcement microphones and has recently added high end omni mic's for voice applications, also has a range of rugged electrets intended for use were you would normally use a dynamic mic. Most of them feature a unique rectangular capsule but some of the condensers feature a more familiar circular one.
Specialist manufacturer of wireless microphones, has some very advanced wireless systems.
Makes a large range of microphones, these are fairly expensive units intended for use in recording studios. Their larger units are legendary for both sound quality and construction.
Makes a line of large and small diaphragm condensers intended for the studio market, but also has some other interesting models such as the MK 403 boundary layer condenser mic, a somewhat unique design.
Has a range of instrumentation and measuring microphones.
This Taiwanese communication specialist manufactures wireless microphone systems intended for use in sound reinforcement situations. The wireless systems are available in a variety of integrated versions and a modular system for those that need to integrate them into custom products. The microphones themselves are all dynamic as is to be expected for the application they are designed for.
Has a range of some very cost effective and excellent sounding studio microphones, the build quality has not always been excellent but the price has more than made up for that.
Has a range of mics intended for club, live and sound reinforcement use including a few wireless models.
Pearl Mikrofonlaboratorium AB
Makes a range of studio microphones using their unique capsule.
Has a small number of consumer mics intended for home & video recording R-PVK45 model is a budget hand held omnidirectional mic, the R-PVK18 model is a low budget omni intended for voice recording. They also make 2 low cost tie clip microphones the stereo R-PVC 200 and the mono R-PVC 150. You should also note that the company manufactures a range of microphone inserts, more info on them here.
Has a range of dynamic mic's intended for PA applications, available in wired and wireless variants.
Pearl Mikrofonlaboratorium AB
Makes high quality recording microphones.
The company has been putting less emphasis on their microphone modes lately in response to the influx of cheap competing products from China and they do not even have any technical info on their homapage anymore. All of their models have a dynamic element, are fairly keenly priced and are more intended for PA and live usage than recording but the range includes the UM95, UM97 and UM98 handheld models and the gooseneck UM93.
Makes a range of hand held condenser and dynamic microphones intended for sound reinforcement use.
Professional Sound Corp. (PSC)
Has a small range of mics intended for broadcast/PA use including headsets and lavaliere models.
Makes a small range of ribbon studio microphones. You can read a nice review of their 121 model by SOS.
Makes a range of mics, mostly studio models.
Has a range of fairly cost effective studio microphones, mostly large diaphram models but a couple of smaller condensers have been introduced recently including a stereo model, their most interesting model is the NT2000 model which is a large diaphram recording mic with fully variable polar pattern, high-pass filter and pad responses.
Makes a variety of budget hand held microphones, also wireless versions.
Makes specialised microphones and pickups designed for the recording of acoustic instruments.
One of the German microphone pioneers, but their best known mics are the modular models.
Makes a wide range of microphones ranging from cheap consumer units up-to expensive professional units.
Has a huge range of microphones, mostly dynamics intended for sound reinforcement use but you'll find almost anything in their catalogue.
Makes budget multimedia microphones, plus inserts etc...
SM Pro Audio
Has a small range of cost effective microphones including the MC01 large diaphragm condenser along with the more standard EM280 electret and EM9600shotgun mics.
Makes a miniature microphone called DSM along with some accessories, mostly intended for binaural recordings.
Makes a range of budget and mid range mics, their forte has always been stereo microphones that the company has choosen to call "Digital" on their homepage for some reason, those are excellent value, but some of their voice/conference models have interesting characteristics as well. Sony also makes hand held, camcorder and wireless models as well.
The original surround sound microphone, created as a result of research into 3 dimensional sound in the UK in the 60's and 70's that also gave birth to Ambisonics. There is a mailing list on Yahoo groups that discusses the soundfield family of mics.
Makes hand held dynamics and gooseneck dynamics and condensers, along with a range of accessories. Budget brand.
Has a range of wireless microphone systems in addition to hand held models.
Makes a few models of microphones but no info on their homepage.
Makes a line of wireless mics and wireless systems.
Has a range of microphones, some of the better low/mid end mics around, this link is in German N.B., I could not find an equivalent English page.
Makes lavalier microphones.
Makes a large range of condenser and dynamic mics, also wireless systems.
Has a range of microphones for sound reinforcement usage including handhelds, lavalieres, headsets and wireless models.
While only one model is really a proper dummy head they have a number of microphones that are attached to your head in various ways that .
While only one model is really a proper dummy head they have a number of microphones that are attached to your head in various ways that .