Applicability of MEMS microphones for environmental sound level monitoring



This paper explores the challenges associated with the integration of MEMS microphone technology into IEC 61672 classified or type-approved environmental sound level monitors. A comparison is drawn between MEMS microphones and electret condenser capsule microphones to highlight key performance differences within the technologies, and a basic integration method for both technologies is suggested. A review of the IEC 61672 and type-approval standards is conducted against the suggested integration method for a MEMS microphone; key shortcomings are reported and objectively reviewed. Development trends for MEMS microphones are explored, providing key insights into the progression of the technology against electret condenser capsule microphones. Furthermore, the evolution of environmental sound level monitoring systems is explored with a key focus on networked and sound localisation technology. The importance of MEMS microphones within the evolution of environmental sound level monitoring systems is presented alongside key arguments for the practical suitability of MEMS technology over electret condenser capsule technology.