Home > Electronic Gadgets > Evaluating SparkFuns’ Microphone Breakout Boards

Evaluating SparkFuns’ Microphone Breakout Boards

Thinking about an Arduino project using some audio I compared two breakout boards for different microphones I obtained from SparkFun. The green one uses an electret microphone and the build-in opamp a fixed gain of 100. The red one uses a MEMS microphone also found in the PSP2. It has also an opamp onboard with a fixed gain of 100. Curious which one is more sensitive and how the output looks like I connected both to two A/D from an Arduino Mini 3.3V. The small sketch found after the break just writes the values from the A/D to the serial port every 100 µs.

The Sketch

//Microphonetest 10kHz Samplerate

// A1: Electret
// A0: MEMS

byte elec = 1;
byte MEMS = 0;
byte led = 13;

unsigned long time;
int volelec;
int volmems;

void setup()
 Serial.begin(57600);        //maximum for 8MHz Arduino
 digitalWrite(led, LOW);
 digitalWrite(led, HIGH);

void loop()
 volelec = analogRead(elec);
 volmems = analogRead(MEMS);
 time = micros();

 Serial.print(time, DEC);
 Serial.print(", ");
 Serial.print(volelec, DEC);
 Serial.print(", ");
 Serial.print(volmems, DEC);


Since my future project isn’t aiming for hifi audio but only for the noise level present I made some common noise like clapping, talking, whispering, snipped the fingers and played some music. The values coming from the serial connection were recorded with CuteCom (I so love this serial terminal) and plotted with QtiPlot.

As the graph shows the MEMS microphone seems to have the better quality. It shows far fewer noise if there is silence. It seems also to be more sensitive in picking up audio as shown in the “Talking”-section of the graph.

For my future projects I will prefer the MEMS microphone, though it is a little bit more expensive.

Categories: Electronic Gadgets Tags:
  1. February 9, 2013 at 15:36

    This is really the 3rd article, of your blog I really read.
    Yet I enjoy this specific one, “Evaluating SparkFuns Microphone Breakout
    Boards Kink Lab” the most. Regards ,

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