The What: Audio-Technica has introduced four new condenser boundary microphones: the ES945O/FM3 omnidirectional, ES947C/FM3 cardioid, ES945O/FM5 omnidirectional, and ES947C/FM5 cardioid condenser boundary microphone.
The What Else: The omnidirectional ES945O/FM3 and cardioid ES947C/FM3 feature a three-pin XLR output connector. Designed for intelligible conferencing, recording, monitoring, and other demanding sound pickup applications, the ES945O/FM3 and ES947C/FM3 mount unobtrusively in tabletops or panels, but include a highly visible two-state RGB LED ring (seven selectable colors + OFF) to indicate mute status. The microphones’ polar patterns provide 360-degree (ES945O/FM3) and 120-degree (ES947C/FM3) coverage, respectively. A rugged all-metal case with a two-layer steel mesh grille protects the microphone element, while A-T’s proprietary UniGuard RFI-shielding technology provides rejection of radio frequency interference (RFI). Both mics are equipped with a self-contained power module, eliminating the need for an external one, and come with a pair of rubber isolators for mechanical isolation from the mounting surface.
The omnidirectional ES945O/FM5 and cardioid ES947C/FM5 have a similar feature set to the FM3 models but offer remote muting and control, as well as a five-pin XLR output connector. Additionally, with the FM5 models, not only can the switch be configured for remote muting and/or external contact closure, but it can also be set up to trigger an external device, such as a camera or the room’s lighting.
The Bottom Line: These mics feature a capacitive-type user switch that enables muting of the microphone, making them especially well suited for conferencing applications. The FM3 models replace the existing ES945/LED and ES947/LED and feature local muting, while the FM5 models represent an entirely new product for Audio-Technica with an advanced feature set offering remote muting and control.