Condenser vs. Dynamic Mic

Condenser vs Dynamic Mic

If you want to record your own songs or video tutorials, then you need a proper microphone. This will make your work more professional because the sound will be clearer and crisper.

How to Choose: Condenser vs. Dynamic Mic

If you ask video bloggers or independent studio recorders, you will often hear about two popular kinds of a microphone, condenser and dynamic mics. There has long been a debate about which is better, condenser vs. dynamic mics. Some prefer dynamic microphones because, which are more widely used. On the other hand, many people also invest in condenser mics because of their usefulness in different situations.

So in this article, you are going to learn about these two kinds of mics and find out which will be best for you, condenser or dynamic.

Condenser Mic

Many professional studios use a condenser mic because they have better frequency and transient responses. In other words, they are capable of reproducing the sound of voices or instruments at a fast speed.

Aside from this, condenser mics are also louder than dynamic mics. However, they are more sensitive to sounds at high volumes. Because of that, they are commonly found in professional studios, live music venues, orchestras and more.

Generally, this mic is more expensive than dynamic mics. But today, there are affordable models available for individuals who want to record in their home studios. However, you have to watch out for the brands you are buying because some of them can produce a low quality of sound.

Different Types

1. Large-diaphragm microphones (LDMs)

If you are recording vocals and instruments and want to produce a deeper sound, the right kind will be a large-diaphragm microphone. This condenser mic is producing a warm and natural sound.

2. Small-diaphragm microphones (SDMs)

This kind of condenser mic is often chosen by professionals who want to reproduce fast and solid sounds. That is because SDMs have wide frequency and transient responses, especially for stringed musical instruments. Aside from this, they are also known for reproducing sound evenly, so they are preferred for recording concerts.

The Pros

  • High fidelity sound recording
  • Good response at high frequencies
  • Great for recording any kind of vocals: singing or spoken
  • Wider range or varieties from large mics to small lapel mics

The Cons

  • Requires phantom power
  • More expensive because of electronic parts
  • Electronics parts can be easily damaged
  • Not as durable as dynamic microphones
  • High sensitivity can lead to distortion of sounds or poor performance, especially in recording environments that are loud and not echo-proof

Dynamic Mic

Dynamic microphones may not be as accurate as condenser microphones, but they are definitely more rugged and durable. They are made to withstand any form of abuse such as moisture, making them ideal for the stage.

Brands like the Shure SM57 and SM58 have a reputation known for reproducing good quality sounds and being durable. They may look old after years of use, but will still work the same when you need them.

When it comes to frequency response, dynamic microphones have a limited response which is good enough for live vocals, loud guitar amps and drums.

The Pros

  • Cheaper than condenser microphones because of the low-cost power requirement
  • Rugged and durable
  • Great for recording drums, amplified guitar, or any louder instruments
  • Less sensitive to sounds and not capable of picking up distant sounds
  • Minimize feedback, making it suitable for live performances

The Cons

  • Audio is flat
  • Low sensitivity can mean poor performance
  • Not able to reproduce detailed sounds
  • Poor transient response

Condenser vs. Dynamic Mic: Which one is better?

The truth is, the answer will depend on what you need the most. Some of the major differences between the two are laid out above. What you need to do is to weigh up your priorities.

Do you want something cheap but robust? Then go for a dynamic mic.

Do you want a more high-end mic that will pick up every detail of what you are recording? Then go for a condenser mic.

Before you buy anything, remember what the mic is most suited for. This way, you will get the right tool for the job.