Condenser Microphones vs. Dynamic Microphones

When you're shopping for microphones, you'll encounter a wide variety of microphone types. Today we are going to introduce you to two of the most common types of microphones in the market. We will also help you choose the right microphone for various applications.

1.Condenser Microphones

Condenser microphones, also named capacitor microphones, are the most common types of microphones for studio recording. A condenser capsule consists of an electrically conductivethin diaphragm in close proximity to a solid metal plate. When sound waves hit the diaphragm, it moves back and forth relative to the solid back plate. The capacitance changes to the rhythm of the sound waves as the distance between the two capacitor plates changes.  In this way, the sound is converted into an electrical signal.

Due to its extremely low mass, the diaphragm of a condenser microphone can follow the sound waves more accurately than that of a dynamic microphone. Therefore, condenser microphones offer superior sound quality. Of all microphone types, condenser microphones have the widest frequency response and the best transient response. Also, condenser microphones generally have a louder output, but are much more sensitive to loud sounds. Condenser microphones require the use of an additional 48V power source also called Phantom Power.

With condenser microphones, you'll find two different types: small diaphragm, and large diaphragm.

  • Small Diaphragm Microphones

Small diaphragm microphones (SDMs) are generally the best choice when you want your microphone to reproduce fast sounds, such as stringed instruments. SDMs are also the preferred choice for concert taping.

  • Large Diaphragm Microphones

Large diaphragm microphones (LDMs) are generally the choice for studio vocals, and any instrument recording where deeper sounds are desired. A large diaphragm microphone generally warms up the sound of what it's recording.

2.Dynamic microphones

Dynamic microphones are relatively sturdy and resilient to rough handling, which makes them the perfect choice onstage. A dynamic microphone has a thin diaphragm attached to a coil of wire, which in turn is surrounding a magnet. When sound waves vibrate the diaphragm, it also vibrates the coil. The difference on the magnet transforms into current in the wire. The current goes into an external device or speaker. The speed of vibration determines the current and the resulting sound signal. 

Dynamic microphones are better suited for handling high volume levels, such as certain musical instruments or amplifiers. Dynamic microphones have no internal amplifier and do not require batteries or external power.

3.Choosing The Right Microphone

Recording vocals at home

You'll need a large-diaphragm condenser microphone.

Click here to buy TONOR Pro Studio Condenser Microphone Kit Blue.

Recording Acoustic Guitar

You'll need a small-diaphragm condenser microphone.

Recording Cello/Upright Bass

You'll need a large-diaphragm condenser microphone.

Concert Recording

You'll need a pair of small-diaphragm condenser microphones.

Live Show

You'll need a dynamic microphone.

Click to buy TONOR Pro Vocal Dynamic Microphone Black.

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