Olympus ME-52W Noise Canceling Microphone

Pinned on November 3, 2013 at 1:41 am by Stephanie Paolucci

Olympus ME-52W Noise Canceling Microphone

Noise cancelling microphone for use with Olympus digital voice recorders. Comes with 3.5mm monaural plug, tiepin clip, and extension cord.

Product Features


Lew Miller "Silver Eagle" says:

An outstanding compact microphone My first reaction to this microphone was astonishment at is its small size. It’s larger than most lapel microphones, but that’s because of the physical requirements for noise-cancellation. Still, it’s very small, especially for a true “cardioid” (noise-cancelling) microphone.The performance is superb! As Jim wrote, it is very sensitive. I tested it in a quiet room at distances up to 10 feet away. At about 3 feet, my voice was strong and clear. At 10 feet, it was obviously remote, but the sound was good and very clear, with no echo. Off-axis, the sensitivity drops rapidly. At about 70 degrees, the sound weakens noticeably, and beyond 90 degrees, it is almost inaudible.M. L. Strickland is correct in warning that the microphone requires external power. The instructions on the box specify 1.5 – 10 volts. Writers who reported that the microphone was very weak were almost certainly using a recorder that does not provide the necessary excitation voltage. This energizer voltage draws negligible power from the recorder’s batteries.However, he is wrong when he writes, ‘… the noise “cancelation” is only provided by a directional shield. True cancellation is obtained by using a stereo mike with the two pickups wired to cancel noise that arrives at both equally.’Noise-cancelling microphones have existed almost from the start, long before stereo ever existed. The close-up photo on this page clearly shows a slot (“port”) in the side of the microphone’s body. There is another on the other side. These ports channel sound to the back of the transducer (the sound-sensitive element) so that it is 180 degrees out of phase with the sound striking the front. These opposing signals cancel each other acoustically, but there is always some sound “leakage” through the case and because of imperfect cancellation, resulting in a weak output.This microphone is intended for recording sounds at a distance, which is the purpose of all cardioid (unidirectional) microphones. Its output level is higher than on most microphones, so there is a possibility of distortion, especially if the sound source (such as the speaker) is too close. For a normal voice, I suggest it be held 8 to 12 inches from the speaker’s mouth.This microphone was bought to be used on an Olympus DS-330, a six-year-old monophonic digital voice recorder. The internal microphone is sensitive and effective, but because it is omni-directional, recordings in a noisy environment, or at a distance from the speaker, are unclear. The ME-52W mic worked equally well in the “Dictation” (low-sensitivity) and “Conference” (high-sensitivy) modes, but the “Dictation” mode is preferable. It’s almost identical in sensitivity to the “Conference” mode, and omits residual background noise, such as radios and air conditioners.With a rated frequency range of 100 – 15,000 Hz, and depending on your equipment, the ME-52W makes excellent voice recordings, and respectable, but not perfect, music recordings. It essentially eliminates echoes, and strongly reduces background sounds. If it’s compatible with your equipment, it should be a winner.Edit; 16 Jun 2012:Several inquiries regarding the use of this microphone on stereo recorders prompt me to add this comment.This microphone is monophonic, and two-channel recording from this mic requires one of two conditions:1: The recorder has a “mono-input” or “mono-recording” mode, which delivers the signal from the microphone to both recording channels,or2. A mono-to-stereo adaptor must be used. These adaptors are available at Radio Shack stores, and usually in the electronics departments of Wal-Mart and Best Buy stores. The “plug” end of the adaptor will have two contacts: the tip, and a “ring” below it. The plug on this microphone has only the tip contact. These adaptors usually cost about $2 to $3.Stereo hand-held recorders have become very popular, but most of the less-expensive models do not have cardioid microphones. A couple of notable exceptions:Both recorders cost about $100.When searching for stereo recorders, be sure to look for “cardioid” or “uni-directional” in the descriptions of the microphonesEdit; 19 Jul 2012:This microphone will not work with the iPad, iPhone, or iPod, as many users have discovered, for two reasons:1: The jacks on these devices are non-standard2: The microphone requires power from the device to which it is connected.While browsing through the comments today, I came across a reference which I immediately checked out, and I learned…

SoundGuy says:

Does just what you want For a cheapo microphone, I was pleasantly surpised with how well this worked at picking up speakers who were a distance away. You may have to adjust the sensitivity of the recorder, because the sensitivity of this mic is significantly higher than the built-in stereo mic, and recording to ‘hot’ will result in garbled, distorted sound.The Olympus recorders seem to select sensitivity with labels like ‘dictate’ and ‘conference’, where ‘conference’ would normally be used in a distant recording situation but if the record bar hits the right side of the screen you want to set it to the lower sensitivity mode ‘dictate’. In any case, with this (mono) mic you should change your recording mode to Mono so you can get double the record time.

Matthew Billings says:

good in a noisy setting I did an interview in a noisy restaurant and put the recorder on the table with the mic pointed straight up. The mic picked up both voices very well and cut down the background noise by at least 70%. The interview would have been impossible otherwise.

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