Acoustic beamforming describes microphones focusing on what you want to hear.
The purpose is to improve the quality of a sound source (such as a voice), while rejecting environmental and background noise.
Multiple microphones can be configured in an array. The signals from these "phased array microphones" can be processed to be more sensitive to sound coming from one or more specific directions than sound coming from other directions.
This allows you to focus on a particular point in space. The task is easier when the sound you are trying to amplify is louder than the surrounding noise.
Acoustic beamforming is a rich, complex topic, with exciting applications:
- speaking in the noisy places
- focusing the camera microphone array on the subject in the lens
Conference Room speakerphones
- focus on the source of the loudest sound (the person currently speaking)
Car hands-free microphones
- focus on the sound from the speakers' sitting positions
- imagine the audio zooming in with the video to get you close to the sounds from the action