Have they invented the snorkel-microphone yet?
December 15, 2010 6:30 PM   Subscribe

Privacy-preserving microphone: does this product exist yet?

I envision a microphone with some kind of rubber, snorkel-like end that affixes over the entire mouth and lips, so that people in the room with you can neither hear nor see what you're saying.

Hopeless wishful thinking? (I've tried Googling but I'm not sure how to describe this idea succinctly.)

I'd be equally interested in other ways I could make personal calls without bothering strangers in the subway, at the gym, on a plane, etc.
posted by foursentences to Technology (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: They exist. They are made for stenographers. Search for a stenographer's microphone and you will find some.
posted by twblalock at 6:39 PM on December 15, 2010

Response by poster: Perfect; that's exactly the device I want. Followup: does anyone know how well the relatively cheap ones -- $200 or so -- block noise? And/or what kind of storefront I could go to to try one out in person?
posted by foursentences at 6:52 PM on December 15, 2010

Best answer: I haven't used one, but I assume there would only be a market for models that block all noise. Otherwise they just couldn't be used for their intended purpose.
posted by twblalock at 10:06 PM on December 15, 2010

Best answer: I've noticed quite of few people in China using the microphone on their headphones to do something similar by holding the mic in their cupped hand in front of their mouth. They speak close to a whisper, but the proximity of the mic and the hand blocking external noise seems to work.

I've been on the other end of a call like this, and while the other person can be clearly heard, it has a weird non-emotional quality to the tone. Still, works in a pinch.
posted by qwip at 2:45 AM on December 16, 2010

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