Condenser Versus Dynamic Microphone for Podcasting

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There are a few essential pieces of equipment needed to start a podcast. The microphone is the first and most important piece of equipment needed for podcasting because without a microphone, you won’t be able to record your podcast.

But there are so many types of microphones and considerations when buying a microphone, and Condenser vs Dynamic Mics is just one of them.

For those who just want an answer on what to pick because you’re deciding between buying a dynamic mic or a condenser mic – buy a dynamic mic.

The best dynamic mics depending on your budget and level are:

AUDIO-TECHNICA ATR2100x-USB

AUDIO-TECHNICA ATR2100x-USB

  • Dynamic Mic

  • Cardioid polar pattern 

  • Both USB-C digital output and XLR analog output

  • Perfect Starter Mic

Text

BEST FOR
BEGINNERS

SHURE SM7B

SHURE SM7B

  • Dynamic Mic

  • Industry Standard for Professional Podcasters

  • Comes with highly effective pop filter

  • Cardioid polar pattern

BEST FOR EXPERIENCED

I always like to do more research and have a deeper understanding of the different things I’m using and getting into. So this post will get a little more technical for those who want to understand more about microphones, besides the basic: a microphone records your voice.

That’s why whenever you are going to choose the microphone you need to get the right one, otherwise, you won’t get the sound quality you are looking for. There are multiple considerations when looking to buy a mic:

  • Cardioid pattern to reduce noise from the sides and back of the microphone
  • Adding a pop filter to reduce plosive sounds from consonants like P’s
  • A mic boom arm stand and shock mount to reduce desk vibrations
  • Egg carton foam to reduce echoes and voices bouncing all around you

One additional aspect is the dynamic vs. condenser microphone type technology. These are two major types of microphones that you will find out there on the market. They have different functions and benefits.

What Does Dynamic and Condenser Mean?

Condenser and Dynamic refer to the technology inside of a microphone. Microphones use a device called a transducer to record sound waves and convert them into electrical signals from the kinetic energy.

The transducer is a device that changes the energy from one form to another. There are actually three types of transducers in a microphone: Dynamic, Condenser, and Ribbon.

Microphones with a Dynamic and Condenser transducer are mostly used for recording sound. The Ribbon transducer microphones are very expensive and only used by audio engineer professionals.

Got all that? Basically it takes your voice and turns it into something that computers can understand.

Condenser vs. Dynamic Mic

For the majority of beginner podcasters, understanding the technical aspects of a condenser mic vs. dynamic mic isn’t as important, but it’s also not all that complicated – unless you plan to make a mic yourself.

You also don’t need to be a sound engineer or an audio professional to understand the tech. If you stick with me till the end, I hope that I’ll be able to break things down in a way that’s easy to understand.

Condenser Microphone

Condenser microphones are constructed using a backplate or diaphragm that is electrically charged, creating a sound-sensitive capacitor.

A condenser mic captures vibrations to the diaphragm that are created by the sound waves. This system then converts the acoustic energy to electrical signals that are readable by devices like computers, phones, tablets, and other digital audio recording devices.

The diaphragm is generally constructed with a metal coated-plastic or thin metal, and it is placed in front of a charged backplate that is also made with rigid metal. This whole system is called a capacitor, which is capable of storing voltage or electrical charges. The capacitor system takes electrical energy from the picked-up sound and creates audio.

You need a battery or source of power known as phantom power, to make a condenser microphone work because without electricity the diaphragm and the backplate of the condenser mic won’t be active. Based on the microphone brand, the range of electricity is from 9V to 48V.

To record high frequencies and individual vocals, condenser mics are best. When compared to dynamic mics, condenser mics are capable of picking up the lower sounds with better accuracy.

When it comes to the sound sensitivity condenser mics have higher sensitivity compared to dynamic microphones. So, if you don’t have a noise-free place to record sound, then a condenser mic can catch any type of background noise as it is highly sensitive to frequencies.

Most studios use condenser microphones for recording audio because most of the studios are almost noise-free. Because condenser mics pick up wider frequency ranges, the high and low frequencies, they’re more sensitive to random sounds from air conditioner hums, random lip and mouth sounds, and any other odd noises.

For its wide range, the sounds from a condenser mic sound crisp and detailed. That’s why professional sound studios use condenser mics and are very particular when setting up their sound booths.

The Best Condenser Mic for Podcasting

BLUE YETI

BLUE YETI

  • Condenser Mic

  • Tri-capsule array

  • Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, and more

  • Signal to Noise: 100dB

BEST FOR
BEGINNERS

RODE NT1-A

RODE NT1-A (Bundle)

  • Condenser Mic

  • Large 1” capsule with gold plated diaphragm

  • Maximum SPL is 137 dBSPL

  • Cardioid polar pattern

BEST FOR EXPERIENCED

Dynamic Microphones

The construction of dynamic microphones is very simple compared to condenser microphones. The mechanism is very simple, it only consists of three major components – one voice coil, one diaphragm, and a magnet. These three components create great sound quality, leading to dynamic mics being very popular for podcasting.

Dynamic mics are best for capturing strong signals that come from loud sounds. These mics work by a suspending wire of coil that is attached in the back of a thin diaphragm. When sound or audio frequencies hit the diaphragm, it creates a vibration on the coil which produces the sound.

Unlike condenser microphones, dynamic microphones are also cheaper in price. Yes, there are still a few high-quality professional-grade dynamic microphones that are quite expensive. But generally, dynamic mics are less expensive.

Another major difference between a condenser mic and a dynamic mic is that dynamic mics don’t need any external power like batteries to function. \When it comes to durability, dynamic mics are also more durable than condenser mics.

If you’re going to record a podcast from your home then you should go with a dynamic mic rather than a condenser mic. As dynamic mics respond to low frequencies, there is much less of a chance to pick up background noises. So, if you don’t have a very quiet place to record then a dynamic mic is the one you should choose.

Co-hosts and guests can also sometimes get loud, so you might also opt for dynamic mics when setting up multiple person podcast setups.

The best dynamic mics (same ones mentioned above):

AUDIO-TECHNICA ATR2100x-USB

AUDIO-TECHNICA ATR2100x-USB

  • Dynamic Mic

  • Cardioid polar pattern 

  • Both USB-C digital output and XLR analog output

  • Perfect Starter Mic

Text

BEST FOR
BEGINNERS

SHURE SM7B

SHURE SM7B

  • Dynamic Mic

  • Industry Standard for Professional Podcasters

  • Comes with highly effective pop filter

  • Cardioid polar pattern

BEST FOR EXPERIENCED

Conclusion

By now, you should know which type of microphone will meet your needs and environment set up for recording. This guide of condenser vs dynamic mic will surely help you to pick up the best type of microphone for your podcast.

If you’re going to record at home with less control of sounds, then you should go with dynamic microphones. When you have a professional studio and you can ensure no or minimal background noises, go with condenser microphones.

If you’re just starting a podcast and have a tight budget, I’d recommend you go with a dynamic microphone as they’re traditionally cheaper than a condenser microphone.

FAQs

  1. Condenser Versus Dynamic Microphone for Podcasting

    If you're recording at home with less control of background noises, you'll want to go with a dynamic microphone. If you're recording in a studio or room with an ability to control background noise, you can go with a condenser microphone.

  2. What's the Best Condenser Mic for Podcasting?

    The BLUE YETI is the Best for Beginners to Intermediate level podcasters. The RODE NT1-A is Best for Experienced podcasters.

  3. What's the Best Dynamic Mic for Podcasting?

    The AUDIO-TECHNICA ATR2100x is the Best for Beginners and those on a budget. The SHURE SM7B is Best for Experienced podcasters as it's the industry standard for professional podcasting.

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