Throat microphone

Last updated
Oxygen mask KM-34 for MiG pilots with a throat microphone Oxygen mask KM-34.jpg
Oxygen mask KM-34 for MiG pilots with a throat microphone
Throat microphone LA-5 (Soviet Union early 1980s), same model as above LA 5 throat microphone.jpg
Throat microphone LA-5 (Soviet Union early 1980s), same model as above
A general-purpose throat mic used for two-way radio communications TTT-HEAD.png
A general-purpose throat mic used for two-way radio communications

A throat microphone, also called a laryngophone, is a type of contact microphone that absorbs vibrations directly from the wearer's throat by way of single or dual sensors worn against the neck. The sensors, called transducers, can pick up speech even in extremely noisy or windy environments, such as on a motorcycle or in a nightclub. Other types of microphones do not function well under these conditions because of high levels of background noise. Advanced laryngophones are able to pick up whispers, and therefore perform well in environments where communicating with others at a distance in silence is required, such as during covert military or law enforcement operations. Throat microphones are also very useful when helmets or respiratory protection is required. Many full-face SCBA, CABA, SAR respirator, PAPR, or re-breather masks do not have a provision for a microphone inside the mask. The throat microphone can be used safely, as it is positioned outside the mask's face seal and as such does not compromise the respiratory protection provided by the mask, nor does it violate mask approvals and certification.

Contact microphone

A contact microphone, also known as a pickup or a piezo, is a form of microphone that senses audio vibrations through contact with solid objects. Unlike normal air microphones, contact microphones are almost completely insensitive to air vibrations but transduce only structure-borne sound. Often used as acoustic leakage probes, they also enjoy wide usage by noise music artists experimenting with sound. Contact microphones based on piezo materials are passive and high-impedance, which can make them sound 'tinny' without a matching preamp.

A transducer is a device that converts energy from one form to another. Usually a transducer converts a signal in one form of energy to a signal in another.

Motorcycle two- or three-wheeled motor vehicle

A motorcycle, often called a bike, motorbike, or cycle, is a two- or three-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycle design varies greatly to suit a range of different purposes: long distance travel, commuting, cruising, sport including racing, and off-road riding. Motorcycling is riding a motorcycle and related social activity such as joining a motorcycle club and attending motorcycle rallies.



In 1934, aviator Wiley Post incorporated earphones and a throat mic into the design of the world's first pressure suit to explore the limits of high-altitude, long-distance flight. During World War II, German Luftwaffe pilots [1] :176 and panzer crews used the first throat microphones. Soon after, they were adopted by the Allied air forces—the USAAF with the T-20 and T-30 and the RAF with the Mark II. Later, Soviet pilots relied on LA-3 and LA-5 models. [2]

Wiley Post American aviator; first pilot to fly solo around the world

Wiley Hardeman Post was a famed American aviator during the interwar period, the first pilot to fly solo around the world. Also known for his work in high-altitude flying, Post helped develop one of the first pressure suits and discovered the jet stream. On August 15, 1935, Post and American humorist Will Rogers were killed when Post's aircraft crashed on takeoff from a lagoon near Point Barrow in the Territory of Alaska.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

<i>Luftwaffe</i> Aerial warfare branch of the German military forces during World War II

The Luftwaffe was the aerial warfare branch of the combined German Wehrmacht military forces during World War II. Germany's military air arms during World War I, the Luftstreitkräfte of the Army and the Marine-Fliegerabteilung of the Navy, had been disbanded in May 1920 as a result of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles which stated that Germany was forbidden to have any air force.

Starting in the 1970s, researchers explored the use of throat microphones in speech therapy, [3] especially to relieve stuttering. [4]

Speech-Language Pathology is a field of expertise practiced by a clinician known as a speech-language pathologist (SLP), also sometimes referred to as a Teacher or a speech therapist. SLP is considered a "related health profession" or "allied health profession" along with audiology, optometry, occupational therapy, clinical psychology, physical therapy, and others. The field of SLP is distinguished from other "related health professions" as SLPs are legally permitted to engage in certain disorders which fall within their scope of practice.

Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases as well as involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the person who stutters is unable to produce sounds. The term stuttering is most commonly associated with involuntary sound repetition, but it also encompasses the abnormal hesitation or pausing before speech, referred to by people who stutter as blocks, and the prolongation of certain sounds, usually vowels or semivowels. According to Watkins et al., stuttering is a disorder of "selection, initiation, and execution of motor sequences necessary for fluent speech production". For many people who stutter, repetition is the primary problem. The term "stuttering" covers a wide range of severity, encompassing barely perceptible impediments that are largely cosmetic to severe symptoms that effectively prevent oral communication. In the world, approximately four times as many men as women stutter, encompassing 70 million people worldwide, or about 1% of the world's population.

Throat microphones have maintained their presence in the military, law enforcement, and emergency services. Newer single-transducer designs are available that make the throat microphone much more comfortable to wear than earlier units and also better balance transmission quality. Additionally, this next generation of throat microphones provides varying outputs and frequency responses to accommodate a wide variety of professional communication devices such as digital and analog portable radios and Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) and P25 systems.

Law enforcement system by which some members of society act in an organized manner to enforce the law

Law enforcement is any system by which some members of society act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, deterring, rehabilitating, or punishing people who violate the rules and norms governing that society. Although the term may encompass entities such as courts and prisons, it is most frequently applied to those who directly engage in patrols or surveillance to dissuade and discover criminal activity, and those who investigate crimes and apprehend offenders, a task typically carried out by the police or another law enforcement organisation. Furthermore, although law enforcement may be most concerned with the prevention and punishment of crimes, organizations exist to discourage a wide variety of non-criminal violations of rules and norms, effected through the imposition of less severe consequences.

Terrestrial Trunked Radio, a European standard for a trunked radio system, is a professional mobile radio and two-way transceiver specification. TETRA was specifically designed for use by government agencies, emergency services, for public safety networks, rail transport staff for train radios, transport services and the military. TETRA is European version of trunked radio similar to Project 25.

Several throat microphones now exist for mobile devices.

See also

Noise-cancelling headphones type of headphones

Noise-cancelling headphones are headphones that reduce unwanted ambient sounds using active noise control. This is distinct from passive headphones which, if they reduce ambient sounds at all, use techniques such as soundproofing.

A noise-canceling microphone is a microphone that is designed to filter ambient noise

Subvocal recognition

Subvocal recognition (SVR) is the process of taking subvocalization and converting the detected results to a digital output, aural or text-based.


  1. Reitsch, H., 1955, The Sky My Kingdom, London: Biddles Limited, Guildford and King's Lynn, ISBN   1853672629
  2. "Throat Microphone Accessories". Vocomotion.
  3. Dewar, Dewar, and Barnes (1976). "Automatic triggering of auditory feedback masking in stammering and cluttering". The British Journal of Disorders of Communication. 11 (1): 19–26. PMID   938616.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. "Accessories". Casa Futura Technologies. Retrieved 7 July 2011.

Related Research Articles

Sonar technique that uses sound propagation

Sonar is a technique that uses sound propagation to navigate, communicate with or detect objects on or under the surface of the water, such as other vessels. Two types of technology share the name "sonar": passive sonar is essentially listening for the sound made by vessels; active sonar is emitting pulses of sounds and listening for echoes. Sonar may be used as a means of acoustic location and of measurement of the echo characteristics of "targets" in the water. Acoustic location in air was used before the introduction of radar. Sonar may also be used in air for robot navigation, and SODAR is used for atmospheric investigations. The term sonar is also used for the equipment used to generate and receive the sound. The acoustic frequencies used in sonar systems vary from very low (infrasonic) to extremely high (ultrasonic). The study of underwater sound is known as underwater acoustics or hydroacoustics.

In telecommunication, a communications system or communication system is a collection of individual communications networks, transmission systems, relay stations, tributary stations, and data terminal equipment (DTE) usually capable of interconnection and interoperation to form an integrated whole. The components of a communications system serve a common purpose, are technically compatible, use common procedures, respond to controls, and operate in union.

Personal protective equipment

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injury or infection. The hazards addressed by protective equipment include physical, electrical, heat, chemicals, biohazards, and airborne particulate matter. Protective equipment may be worn for job-related occupational safety and health purposes, as well as for sports and other recreational activities. "Protective clothing" is applied to traditional categories of clothing, and "protective gear" applies to items such as pads, guards, shields, or masks, and others.

Microphone a device that converts sound into an electrical signal

A microphone, colloquially nicknamed mic or mike, is a transducer that converts sound into an electrical signal.

Headphones pair of small speakers held close to a users ears

Headphones are a pair of small loudspeaker drivers worn on or around the head over a user's ears. They are electroacoustic transducers, which convert an electrical signal to a corresponding sound. Headphones let a single user listen to an audio source privately, in contrast to a loudspeaker, which emits sound into the open air for anyone nearby to hear. Headphones are also known as earspeakers, earphones or, colloquially, cans. Circumaural and supra-aural headphones use a band over the top of the head to hold the speakers in place. The other type, known as earbuds or earpieces consist of individual units that plug into the user's ear canal. In the context of telecommunication, a headset is a combination of headphone and microphone. Headphones connect to a signal source such as an audio amplifier, radio, CD player, portable media player, mobile phone, video game console, or electronic musical instrument, either directly using a cord, or using wireless technology such as Bluetooth, DECT or FM radio. The first headphones were developed in the late 19th century for use by telephone operators, to keep their hands free. Initially the audio quality was mediocre and a step forward was the invention of high fidelity headphones.

Active noise control method for reducing unwanted sound by the addition of a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first

Active noise control (ANC), also known as noise cancellation, or active noise reduction (ANR), is a method for reducing unwanted sound by the addition of a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first.

Hearing aid electroacoustic device

A hearing aid is a device designed to improve hearing by making sound audible to a person with hearing loss. Hearing aids are classified as medical devices in most countries, and regulated by the respective regulations. Small audio amplifiers such as PSAPs or other plain sound reinforcing systems cannot be sold as "hearing aids".

Earmuffs Ear-protecting headgear worn over ears to protect from cold or loud noise

Earmuffs are objects designed to cover a person's ears for hearing protection or for warmth. They consist of a thermoplastic or metal head-band, that fits over the top or back of the head, and a cushion or cup at each end, to cover the external ears. This article focuses on earmuffs that are worn for hearing protection.

Respirator Device worn to protect the user from inhaling contaminants

A respirator is a device designed to protect the wearer from inhaling particulate matter, including airborne microorganisms, fumes, vapours and gases. There are two main categories: the air-purifying respirator which forces contaminated air through a filtering element, and the air-supplied respirator in which an alternate supply of fresh air is delivered. Within each category, different techniques are employed to reduce or eliminate noxious airborne contaminants.

Sound-powered telephone

A sound-powered telephone is a communication device that allows users to talk to each other with the use of a handset, similar to a conventional telephone, but without the use of external power. This technology has been used since at least 1944 for both routine and emergency communication on ships to allow communication between key locations on a vessel if power, including batteries, is not available. A sound-powered phone circuit can have two or more stations on the same circuit. The circuit is always live, thus a user begins speaking rather than dialing another station. Sound-powered telephones are not normally connected to a telephone exchange.

Carbon microphone

The carbon microphone, also known as carbon button microphone, button microphone, or carbon transmitter, is a type of microphone, a transducer that converts sound to an electrical audio signal. It consists of two metal plates separated by granules of carbon. One plate is very thin and faces toward the speaking person, acting as a diaphragm. Sound waves striking the diaphragm cause it to vibrate, exerting a varying pressure on the granules, which in turn changes the electrical resistance between the plates. Higher pressure lowers the resistance as the granules are pushed closer together. A steady direct current is passed between the plates through the granules. The varying resistance results in a modulation of the current, creating a varying electric current that reproduces the varying pressure of the sound wave. In telephony, this undulating current is directly passed through the telephone wires to the central office. In public address systems it is amplified by an audio amplifier. The frequency response of the carbon microphone, however, is limited to a narrow range, and the device produces significant electrical noise.

Riot protection helmet

A riot protection helmet is a type of helmet designed for law enforcement and military use to protect its wearer's head, face and eyes from handheld melee weapons, and thrown projectiles such as bricks, as may be met in riot control. Many modern riot squad helmets are reinforced with materials that will protect the wearer from dangerous substances such as acids or industrial chemicals. The riot protection helmets are usually made to be able to easily fit a Gas mask, especially when tear gas is being used.

Ultrasonic transducer

Ultrasonic transducers or ultrasonic sensors are a type of acoustic sensor divided into three broad categories: transmitters, receivers and transceivers. Transmitters convert electrical signals into ultrasound, receivers convert ultrasound into electrical signals, and transceivers can both transmit and receive ultrasound.

Acoustic quieting is the process of making machinery quieter by damping vibrations to prevent them from reaching the observer. Machinery vibrates, causing sound waves in air, hydroacoustic waves in water, and mechanical stresses in solid matter. Quieting is achieved by absorbing the vibrational energy or minimizing the source of the vibration. It may also be redirected away from the observer.

Sensear is a business in Belmont, Perth, Western Australia and Carpentersville, Illinois, USA, that makes and distributes hearing protection and communication equipment. The company’s products are designed to protect hearing and allow normal communication.

Robotic sensing is a subarea of robotics science intended to give robots sensing capabilities, so that robots are more human-like. Robotic sensing mainly gives robots the ability to see, touch, hear and move and uses algorithms that require environmental feedback.

Small arms ammunition pressure testing is used to establish standards for maximum average peak pressures of chamberings, as well as determining the safety of particular loads for the purposes of new load development. In metallic cartridges, peak pressure can vary based on propellant used, primers used, charge weight, projectile type, projectile seating depth, neck tension, chamber throat/leade parameters. In shotshells, the primary factors are charge weight, projectile weight, wad type, hull construction, and crimp quality.