What is the the transient response time of the usual (cheap) PC microphone?

I have recorded the burst of rubber balloons (for a school project -- measuring the speed of sound) and found that it takes some 10 ms for the transient to die away. Is this a typical value? I would like to know if this is part of the signal or just an artifact from the microphone.

1 Answer 1


The characteristics of the recording of an impulse response depend on the room you are in. The more reverberation, the longer the sound will take to die away. If you search the internet you will find loads of places selling or giving away free impulse responses. Some die away after a second or two, others last for several seconds. For your project you could download some of these impulses and compare them with those you recorded to see if you are getting similar transient response times with your microphone.

Here's some sites to get you started:

  • Thanks. I found in the sites you recommended that the impulse response time of (presumably good quality) microphones is of the order of a few milliseconds. So, 10 ms for a cheap mike seems ok.
    – Carlos
    May 1, 2011 at 3:40

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