We know that many of our customers must use their microphones even during the Covid-19 pandemic. But microphones--especially those used for close-range speech or vocal recording--require special care to avoid carrying the virus from one user to the next. Here are some tips on how to minimize this risk, based on our knowledge as of March, 2020. Please follow the current recommendations of your local health authorities.

use of plastic bags

This is no time to be delicate; the main risk comes from the spit that everyone has in their breath to some extent. Droplets of spit can be so small as to be nearly invisible, but they carry viruses among other things. Thus the immediate goal for health purposes is to prevent those droplets from landing on the surface of a microphone, where they could be passed along to the next user of that microphone, or to the engineer who handles it. A thin plastic bag pulled over the microphone, neither too tightly nor too loosely, will effectively protect the microphone.

See www.bonedo.de/artikel/einzelansicht/lassen-sich-mikros-mit-plastiktueten-vor-viren-schuetzen.html for the photos, even if you don’t understand the German text.

(The article is mainly concerned with reporters’ use of hand-held microphones for interviews, but the same principles apply elsewhere as well. The bag should be as thin as possible for minimum effect on sound quality, but it must be free of holes. And while the article doesn’t mention this, the bag must obviously be changed after each person uses the microphone, or else it itself will become a vehicle for contagion.)

use of wind & pop screens

If a pop screen doesn’t cover the entire microphone, it will not protect the microphone sufficiently from the attachment of viruses. Thus it is no substitute for a plastic bag. If a person sings or speaks into a pop/windscreen at close miking distance, the screen must be cleaned sufficiently after use; see below. Alternatively, the virus will die in a few days if the windscreen is set aside in storage. The easiest way is to use only one windscreen per person. Most foam windscreens are not expensive and can be delivered quickly.

Cleaning a windscreen

Windscreens made from plastic and other solid materials can be cleaned with cleaning agents or disinfectants with no problem. But never use any liquid cleaners or chemicals on foam or fur-like windscreens, as this can permanently damage the windscreen.

Cleaning the microphone

The microphone housing can be cleaned with a cloth moistened with an appropriate cleaning agent. Do not soak the cloth in cleaner or disinfectant, however; a little goes a long way. To prevent damage, great care must be taken to ensure that no liquid gets inside the microphone or (especially) reaches the diaphragm inside the microphone capsule. The most reliable way to make sure that a microphone is virus-free is to store it for a long enough time, i.e. for several days after use. The virus dies off much more quickly at higher temperatures. Our microphones are heated to 60° C (140° F) during manufacture (“artificial aging”), so we know that a temperature of 50°- 60° C will not harm the functioning of the microphone.