Dynamic vs. Condenser Microphones - A Factual Comparison

November 18, 2022

Microphones can make or break a recorded audio production. It's important to choose the right type of microphone that matches your recording situation and budget. In this blog post, we'll compare two popular microphone types: dynamic and condenser microphones.

Dynamic Microphones

Dynamic microphones are often used in live performances and recording situations where high sound pressure levels are common. They're durable, have a smooth frequency response, and are less expensive than condenser microphones. Dynamic microphones don't require phantom power, making them a popular choice for on-the-go recording situations.

Dynamic microphones use a moving coil diaphragm to convert sound waves into an electrical signal. This process is accomplished by placing a magnetic coil near the diaphragm. As the sound waves hit the diaphragm, it moves back and forth, causing the coil to move within the magnetic field, generating the electrical signal.

Some popular dynamic microphones include the Shure SM58 and the Electro-Voice RE20. Both microphones are prevalent in the music industry for their ruggedness and natural sound.

Condenser Microphones

Condenser microphones are more sensitive and have a higher frequency response than dynamic microphones. They require phantom power to operate, and they're more expensive than dynamic microphones. Condenser microphones are ideal for studio recordings, podcasting, and voiceover work.

Condenser microphones work by using a thin diaphragm made of conductive material placed close to a metal plate. When sound waves hit the diaphragm, it vibrates, causing a change in capacitance between the diaphragm and the metal plate. This change generates an electrical signal that can be amplified.

Some popular condenser microphones include the Neumann U87 and the Audio-Technica AT4053b. These microphones are known for their clarity, sensitivity, and versatility.


When it comes to dynamic vs. condenser microphones, the choice depends on your recording situation and budget. Dynamic microphones are cheaper, rugged, and don't require phantom power, while condenser microphones are sensitive, have a higher frequency response, and require phantom power to operate.

In terms of frequency response, dynamic microphones have a smooth and flat response, which is ideal for recording loud sources such as drums and guitar amplifiers. Condenser microphones have a more extended frequency response, making them ideal for recording vocals, acoustic guitars, and other delicate sound sources.


In summary, both dynamic and condenser microphones have their strengths and weaknesses. Dynamic microphones are perfect for live performances and high sound pressure level settings. On the other hand, condenser microphones are ideal for studio recordings and delicate sound sources. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on your needs and budget.

We hope you found this comparison informative and helpful. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.


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