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What is a Throat Microphone?

By Josie Myers
Updated May 16, 2024
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A throat microphone is a device that amplifies the voice by way of the throat rather than the mouth like a traditional microphone. It picks up sound waves more directly from the vocal chords and can arguably produce a clearer vocal sound than other amplification devices. It is used in a variety of situations to cut down on outside noise interference.

The throat microphone was supposedly first used in military applications. Throat amplification allows the user to speak in a quieter tone with the same amplification as traditional microphones. Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) teams and other ground forces could therefore use them with less chance of being heard by opposing forces. They are also sometimes located inside of an aeronautic helmet or safety helmet.

The technology was later picked up by those in the music industry and other stage shows. The throat microphone is particularly helpful in situations with a noisy atmosphere. Nightclubs and large stage shows use them most frequently since they cut down on noise interference in the sound equipment. Discussions between bar patrons and the like are less likely to interfere with the sound quality of a throat microphone than a mouth one.

Many states have passed laws requiring the use of hands-free devices when using a cellular telephone while driving. These laws have prompted phone and gadget companies to seek alternatives for the best voice clarity over a cellular line. The throat microphone technology was picked up on as a way to achieve vocal clarity with little interference from car noise. When combined with a simple earphone, hands-free two-way communication is possible.

The throat microphone also comes in handy when using a personal computer for video conferencing. The vocal clarity is superior to most computer microphones, so some choose to use a throat microphone to supplement a separate camera device. Since it is a hands-free device, it allows for simultaneous typing which also makes it convenient for businesses that take phone orders.

The devices fit around the neck like a necklace. Some connect entirely around the neck, while others are a half circle. The microphones themselves are situated right near the voice box. A pair of earphones connects at the device at the back of the neck.

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Discussion Comments
By Reminiscence — On Oct 22, 2014

I do a fair bit of singing at local churches, and I wouldn't mind trying out a throat microphone myself. It would allow me to move around the stage more naturally, for one thing. Some smaller churches don't have the kinds of handheld microphones singers prefer, and a standard wireless lavalier microphone can be overpowered by a strong voice.

I will have to visit a good music store and see if I can find a throat mic like the ones described in this article. Maybe I'll find some useful throat microphone reviews online, too. I want to make sure I'm getting one that won't burn out when I belt out some of those high notes.

By AnswerMan — On Oct 21, 2014

I was watching a reality show the other night where the participants were survivalists who agreed to be naked. They did wear what looked like necklaces, and I realized those things were actually throat microphones. Since the premise of the show was to put these people in the middle of a jungle, I couldn't see how the production crew could still pick up solid audio from the actors. Now I know the dialogue between the survivalists was being picked up through the throat mic.

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