Sennheiser – Microphone Hygiene. With many disinfection measures in place to help stop the coronavirus, you may be wondering how best to clean your microphone, bodypack transmitter and microphone receiver. Sennheiser have created this guide with suggestions on some practical measures that can help protect you and others.
Sennheiser – Microphone Hygiene
How to maintain good microphone hygiene in audio applications
To reduce the risk of spreading diseases through bacteria and viruses, one or more remedies, explained in detail below, may be used:
- Ideally, have just one user per microphone (including the accessories)
- After or before use, clean all surfaces, i.e. microphone housings, head baskets and accessories
- Leave the microphone unused for some time period.
- Utilise accessories such as windshields and thin plastic film bags to add protection
Cleaning the microphone housing
For cleaning Sennheiser/Neumann microphone housings from soiling including human exhalations, you may use ethyl alcohol (ethanol) or isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol)*. Used as a disinfectant, typically a 70% solution is used. Apply with a disposable soft cloth, a soft brush or paper tissue. Make sure that the liquid is applied only to the outside of the microphone and does not enter the inside or the capsule. Do not use rough materials which might scratch the surface. Do not use any solvents stronger than ethanol or isopropanol, as these might damage the surface. Never use sprays directly onto the microphone, as these can deposit on the membrane and thus damage the microphone capsule. Please be aware that extensive use may cause cosmetic damage to microphone.
Cleaning removable microphone head baskets
With some microphones, the head basket can be easily removed for cleaning or replace (refer to Sennheiser and Neuman basket list below). Make sure not to touch or damage the capsule! With the head baskets containing foam windshields, remove the inner foam and clean it separately as described in latter. Metal head baskets can then be cleaned also on the inside with ethanol or isopropanol. You may also immerse the head basket in clean, hot water (e.g. 70°C/160°F). Do not use the dishwasher. Let the basket dry out completely before re-assembly.
Cleaning the inner assembly/amplifier
The inner assemblies/amplifiers are typically enclosed in the housing and well protected from outside soiling. Cleaning will hardly ever be necessary. Only a soft brush should be used to clean off dust and soiling. Do not use any liquids or solvents, as the insulation and sensitive parts of the circuit may be harmed.
Cleaning the capsule
If this should become necessary, it strictly must be done only by a skilled serviced technician. The membrane is too delicate to be cleaned without the proper expertise.
- Unscrew the top sound inlet basket from the microphone module by turning it anti-clockwise
- Remove the foam insert
- Use a slightly damp cloth to clean the top sound inlet basket from the inside and outside
- Use a brush and rinse with clean water.
- Dry the top sound inlet basket and foam insert
- Reinsert the foam insert
- Screw the sound inlet basket back onto the microphone module
Is there a possibility a virus can spread via a microphone?
When we speak, tiny liquid droplets leave our mouth together with the air we exhale. These droplets of saliva can accumulate in and on the windscreen of a microphone, especially during close-miking. Although it is not very likely that these droplets will leave the windscreen, there is a possibility that the next speaker or singer touches the windscreen with their lips, and if this windscreen was contaminated, the virus could enter their body. The virus can also be transferred when you replace a windshield and do not observe the necessary hygiene measures. If you touch a windshield that has just been used and then touch your face, you may contract an infection.
References and more content– Sennheiser UK
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*Please note, in certain countries Sennheiser products may not be available from A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd (AC-ET). The rights and ownership of all trademarks are recognised. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information is correct, AC-ET accepts no liability for errors or omissions. Technical specifications and data are provided for guidance only. Because manufacturers constantly aim to improve their products, they reserve the right to amend or alter at any time and without prior notice, the specifications of any product. E&OE.