10 Types of Microphones

Cardioid Microphone

If you're looking to record sound that's located in front of and on the sides of the mic -- but not behind it -- the cardioid microphone is for you. A polar plot of the gain for cardioid is heart-shaped (hence the name), with the highest sensitivity located directly in front of the mic, and slightly less on the sides. Because of this, cardioid mics are ideal for recording live performances without capturing too much crowd noise, and many handheld microphones used to amplify vocals are cardioid mics [source: VoiceCouncil Magazine].