The EarSet should always be used with a protective cap in place to keep sweat, makeup and other foreign material out of the microphone. The microphone is specifically designed for use with a cap in place. The cap determines your EarSet's pickup pattern: The hypercardioid cap provides the best isolation from all directions, with a null facing toward the floor where wedge monitors are often placed. We recommend this mode for most applications. Being more directional than the cardioid, it's slightly more sensitive to air movement and the windscreen should always be used. The cardioid cap is slightly less directional, with a null toward the performer's back. It's most useful for trade-show presenters or other performers who have a monitor speaker over their shoulder or behind them.