MEMS Microphone Hookup Guide

Contributors: jenfoxbot
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Note: This tutorial was originally written for the MEMS microphone breakout with ADMP401. However, the IC is EOL. The replacement is ICS-40180 from InvenSense. The overall functionality is the same with some slight differences in the specifications, which will be outlined in the Hardware Overview.


The SparkFun MEMS microphone breakout board is a simple and easy-to-use microphone for a variety of sound-sensing projects. The on-board microphone is a low-power, omnidirectional microphone with an analog output. It works for both near and long-range uses and is particularly good for portable applications due to its low power consumption. Possible applications include: smartphones, digital video cameras, and keeping an "ear" on your pets while you're away. Below are boards that breakout the ADMP401 and ICS-40180 microphones.

SparkFun MEMS Microphone Breakout - INMP401 (ADMP401)

11 Retired
SparkFun Analog MEMS Microphone Breakout - ICS-40180

SparkFun Analog MEMS Microphone Breakout - ICS-40180


Read this hook-up guide to get an overview each breakout board and how to use it, including its technical specifications, how to hook it up to a microcontroller, and an example code to get started!

Questions? Feedback? Want to share an awesome project you built using this sensor? Write a comment at the end of this tutorial!

Suggested Reading

To successfully use the SparkFun MEMS microphone breakout board, you'll need to be familiar with Arduino microcontrollers, analog (aka ADC) input, and sound waves. For folks new to these topics, check out the following resources to get a feel for the concepts and verbiage used throughout this tutorial.

What is an Arduino?

What is this 'Arduino' thing anyway? This tutorials dives into what an Arduino is and along with Arduino projects and widgets.

Installing Arduino IDE

A step-by-step guide to installing and testing the Arduino software on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Analog vs. Digital

This tutorial covers the concept of analog and digital signals, as they relate to electronics.

RedBoard Qwiic Hookup Guide

This tutorial covers the basic functionality of the RedBoard Qwiic. This tutorial also covers how to get started blinking an LED and using the Qwiic system.

We also suggest reading the following for more information about sound and specifications for the IC that is populated on your version of the MEMs microphone breakout.