Microphones have been bliss for every artist around the world. Whether you are recording in a studio or singing in a concert, they have been a winner. Not only for artists but also mass people use it for various purposes. However, not a single type is dominating the market right now. It’s much confusing to choose the right mic for your work, ugh, so frustrating! Let’s see the battle of Dynamic vs Condenser Mic.
With plenty of other options, dynamic mics and condenser mics are gaining popularity right now. They are renowned for their outstanding performances in their own way. But which one is the best? That’s what this article is all about!
Here, we will provide you with the basics so that you can get a good idea of dynamic vs. condenser.
What is a Microphone and How Does it Work?
Microphones are devices that convert sound to an electrical signal to a language that computers can understand. It’s not actually computers only but any other device.
A basic example can be when you are singing in a concert with a microphone in your hand. Your voice will enter the device by converting them into signals and the sound boxes receive those signals. Later, the sound boxes convert those electronic signals into the original content and spread them across the audience. As a result, the audience can hear your voice but in a louder tone.
Usually, electronic devices can’t take our human language. Microphones convert sound waves to program the language so that computers or any device can work on it.
Colloquially, microphones are known as mics or mikes. You might come across a lot of types of microphones (probably you have seen dynamic and condenser mics a lot!). It’s pretty obvious to think about the dynamic vs. condenser mic to know which one is better. Well, the difference lies in how each mic converts signals.
Here, we will be discussing only dynamic and condenser microphones. We will try to provide as much as information possible regarding each mic. Hopefully, you will get a clear understanding of the dynamic vs. condenser mic at the end of this article.
What is a Dynamic Microphone?
A dynamic microphone is the most primitive type of microphone that works by using a diaphragm. Now, a diaphragm is a device that can sense sound signals. It is made of plastic or polyester film. When a sound is created by the dynamic microphone, the sound signals hit the diaphragm and cause a movement. The diaphragm moves slightly up and down adjacent a metal coil. It produces a small AC current that takes in the sound waves.
Usually, dynamic microphones are renowned for their capability of withstanding high sound pressure levels. You can rock on a live show with this simple yet sturdy microphone. And yes, you don’t have to worry about the price. It’s much reason for the rudimentary design. However, you might notice some durability issues in some cases.
This microphone is not for low-frequency music. The coil has a certain weight. It takes a much high volume of sound waves to hit the coil ground. Low-frequency sounds are unable to vibrate the coil the way you are expecting.
With that being said, let’s look at the pros and cons of this microphone to get a better picture.
- Extremely robust body
- Resistant to feedback
- Exclusively designed to handle high-frequency sound waves
- Perfect for loud music recording
- Best suitable for live concerts
- Has an internal built-in power system
- Reasonable price
- Can’t reflect the low-frequency sound level
- Less sensitive
- Poor dynamic range
What is a Condenser Microphone?
Condenser microphones also contain diaphragms but they are much thinner than responses to high-frequency sound levels. This thin metal piece is known as a backplate. By charging static electricity, this diaphragm can work with the sound levels. Worth mentioning, the current of static electricity is created by the soundwave hitting on the diaphragm.
Well, by charging electricity we mean applying external electricity. This is an unusual case in dynamic microphones.
Condenser microphones usually need between 9 and 48 volts of electricity. You can use batteries or phantom powers to flow current into this device.
Let us put here a little note on Phantom Powers for those who are unaware about it. This is a very small amount of power that makes your microphone’s diaphragm move. It is derived from a pre-amp or your audio interface.
Take a glance at the pros and cons of the condenser microphone here below:
- Responses to high-frequency sound waves
- Has a more intricate sound detailing system
- Has a higher dynamic range
- Contains more sensitivity than dynamic microphones
- The transient response is faster than any other mic
- Too fragile
- Unable to handle high-frequency sound levels
- A power source is a must for this microphone (phantom power or internal batteries)
- Only works better for small confined spaces
- Costs much higher
Dynamic vs. Condenser Mic: Which One is Better?
As you can see both of the microphones have their own positive and negative issues. They are completely different in operation which brings us to the battle dynamic vs. condenser mic.
If you think about it, dynamic mics are unable to respond to lower frequency sound waves whereas condenser mics can. So, if you are a person who needs a mic only for working in a studio, you should purchase a condenser mic. However, for people who love to perform loud music on open platforms (e.g. concerts), we think a dynamic mic will be the perfect fit for you.
So, you see, it actually depends on how you will use this mic. Try to measure your performances and find out your requirements. Each of the mics is good in its own way. You just have to match your choice according to your need.
You can also read: How to Use Phone as Microphone