In some applications an array of omnidirectional or cardioid microphones offers advantages over an ultra-directional microphone, such as increased sensitivity, improved signal-to-noise ratio, and electronic control of beam direction, focusing, and sidelobe level. It is likely, however, that there will be variations in the amplitude and phase response of the individual microphones, especially if low-cost elements are used. Tolerance theory is used to show that, for many applications, these errors do not significantly degrade the directivity of the array. Performance limits are given, and experimental results are presented to support these findings.
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