discussion / Acoustic Monitoring  / 21 August 2019

Microphone for bird monitoring on Raspberry Pi


I am building a system to monitor birds (i.e. ~50-20k Hz) using a Raspberry Pi and I am looking for the best option for the microphone. I am considering:

- a USB microphone with integrated DAC, such as the Dodotronic Ultramic UM192K, but it is expensive (200€) and I don't need ultrasonic frequencies.

- a sound card, such as the Sound Blaster PLAY! 3 or the Ugreen sound card with a "standard" microphone with 3.5mm plug. I found recommendations for the Primo EM172 microphone (there is a recent thread here about it), but it has an electret capsule and needs to be powered and I cannot find any cheap sound cards with plugin power. I have been said that it works anyway but I am not sure about the sensitivity and SNR...

- MEMS microphone, such as the Invensense ICS-40720 (recommended in this paper), or the Knowles SPM0408LE5H-TB-6 used in the famous Audiomoth, but it requires some hardware development I am not skilled at.

Has anybody any advice on some not-too-complicated configuration that would provide good sound quality and sensitivity?

Thank you !