I've written an app that's pseudo-intelligent and responds to voice commands. I'd like it to be able to pick up my speech from anywhere (initially just one room, but possibly many later on).

At present I'm using a bluetooth mic but it's annoying and frankly looks ridiculous.

The room I'm starting with is approx 4x7m. The floor is carpet and there's furniture against almost all the wall space. There are no obvious echoes (at least that I can hear).

Can anyone with some experience suggest how I should get started?

What sort of microphone should I be looking for? and do I need any processing equipment?

  • \$\begingroup\$ What platform does the app run on? Are you looking for a commercial microphone or something to use in some circuit you are designing? \$\endgroup\$
    – Oli Glaser
    Dec 30, 2011 at 23:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Windows 7 / .Net 4 using the Microsoft native Speech Recognition engine. I don't particularly want a box between the mic(s) and pc but can live with one if it makes it easier. I've also got a netduino which could be pressed into service. \$\endgroup\$
    – Basic
    Dec 30, 2011 at 23:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ NB: In future, I may well have I/O (through the netduino) but don't have any plans for the speech recognition to be anything other than mic directly into ms speech engine \$\endgroup\$
    – Basic
    Dec 30, 2011 at 23:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Small modern domestic market video cameras seem to do exceptionally well with their microphones. I don't know what magic they work but they seem to achieve a degree of "reach" that is far better than a typical hand held mic. Using a vidcam mic or mics or seeing how they do what they do may be worthwhile. \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon
    Dec 31, 2011 at 0:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RussellMcMahon Thanks, that's a good idea - by coincidence I have a webcam on order so I'll give that a try too. Any makes/models of camera that you think have particularly good mics? \$\endgroup\$
    – Basic
    Dec 31, 2011 at 1:04

1 Answer 1


Boundary microphones are specifically designed for this application. Mount it on a wall or in a corner.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Martin, that looks like exactly what I'm after - I'll do some more reading and make 100% sure then accept. \$\endgroup\$
    – Basic
    Dec 31, 2011 at 18:27

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