Condenser Microphone Vs Dynamic Vocals (Pros & Cons)

The choice of microphone can be confusing since there are different types available for different scenarios. If you don’t make the right choice, you may end up with a lot of difficulties in processing the audio for output and will not fetch the best quality.

The most popular microphone types that are widely used is the condenser mics and dynamic mics. Each has different working principles and both of them have unique working scenarios. So, let us discuss the differences, uses, pros, and cons of condenser mics and dynamic mics in this article.

Condenser Microphone Vs Dynamic Vocals

Condenser Microphone Vs Dynamic Vocals

A condenser microphone is a highly sensitive device, and it can pick up even the slightest noise inside the room. Therefore, it is only applicable in a studio setup that has soundproofing. As for the dynamic microphone, it is not too sensitive, and it requires the user or the instrument to be nearby for better audio pickup. That is why, dynamic mic is used widely in stage performances.

Now we will individually discuss both microphones regarding their working principle, uses, pros, and cons.

Condenser Microphone

In this section we are going to see the Working Principle, the uses, types, Pros and Cons.

Working Principle of Condenser Microphone

As the name suggests, this microphone works using the electrostatic principle. You can find a thin diaphragm and backplate in the mic which forms the two plates of a capacitor which is also known as a condenser.

When sound waves fall on the diaphragm, it vibrates, and the capacitance of the setup is changed. This change in capacitance is converted into an electrical signal by a preamplifier in the mic.

This electrical signal is sent to the speaker which converts this electrical signal into sound waves that are heard by others.

Since the condenser mic uses a thin diaphragm, it is very sensitive to slight disturbances. That is why, you can find these mics to pick up even the faintest noises in the surrounding.

Another important thing with condenser mics is that they require phantom power to work. It is usually present in the preamp and without it, condenser mics cannot function properly.

The Uses of Condenser Microphone

Condenser mics are used widely in studio recordings and for capturing vocals or acoustic instruments with high precision.

We already established that condenser mics are very sensitive, and you can get highly detailed sounds when recording with them.

It is better to use it in a sound-proof environment because you don’t have to do much post-processing like noise reduction.

Condenser mics can be very useful in recording high-precision vocals and acoustics from instruments. But that also must be used in sound-proof environments.

Types of Condenser Mics

There are typically two types of condenser mics:

  • Large Diaphragm
  • Small Diaphragm

Large Diaphragm mics are used in the studio recording for vocals and instruments. Also, it is used for podcasting, broadcasting, etc.

Small Diaphragm mics are used for capturing acoustic instruments such as pianos, violins, etc. They are responsive and have a wide frequency range.

Pros and Cons of Condenser Microphone on PC

Pros Cons
High sensitivity and accuracy which aids in capturing fine details of the sound Require power source (phantom power) for operation
Wider frequency response and extended high-frequency range More fragile and sensitive to handling noise
Suitable for capturing vocals and acoustic instruments in controlled environments. May pick up unwanted background noise
Requires controlled environment
May need extensive post-processing

FAQs: Condenser Microphone

What not to do with a condenser microphone?

Never put a condenser microphone in an environment where the sound pressure is too high. Because high sound pressures will damage the diaphragm and render the mic useless. Check the sound pressure level (SPL) in your environment before using a condenser mic in it. That is why it is always suitable to use this mic in a sound-proof environment.

Can you use a condenser mic on a PC?

You can use a condenser mic with a PC only with an audio interface that has phantom power with it. There are audio interfaces that have USB connectivity through which you can connect your mic and PC easily. But make sure to have phantom power to operate the mic properly.

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Dynamic Microphone

This section will cover the working principle, use, types, the benefits, and cons.

Working Principle of Dynamic Microphone

A dynamic microphone uses the principle of electromagnetic induction. Here a diaphragm is attached to a coil of wire which is present in a magnetic field.

When sound waves hit the diaphragm, it moves and creates an electric signal. Since the coil of wire is present in a magnetic field, it creates an electrical current and this is then captured by a speaker which produces the sound output.

Diaphragm in a dynamic microphone is not very thin and sensitive. It requires high-pressure sound waves to create a vibration and have a considerable induction of electrical signals.

That is why, it is not very sensitive to the noises, and you have to keep the mic pretty close to the audio source to get a good output.

The Uses of Dynamic Microphone

Dynamic mics are widely used in stage performances, instrument amplification, public speaking, and similar scenarios.

Since dynamic mics require closer contact with audio sources, it will not pick up any noise from the crowd and you can comfortably use it for public and stage performances.

Also, when you want to amplify any music instrument output, you can place a dynamic mic closer to it and get a loud output in the speakers.

You can comfortably use it in high sound pressure environment and keep it close to big speakers to amplify sound to a larger space. They are highly durable and long-lasting than condenser mics.

Types of Dynamic Microphones

There are three different types of dynamic microphones:

  • Handheld
  • Instrument
  • Ribbon

Handheld microphones are widely used for live performances and public speaking. While Instrument microphones are used for capturing sounds from specific instruments.

Ribbon microphones are special types of mics used in studio recordings and offer smooth vintage sound output.

Pros and Cons of Dynamic Microphone

Pros Cons
Rugged and durable construction, resistant to rough handling. Generally, have lower sensitivity and frequency response compared to condenser microphones.
Can handle high sound pressure levels without distortion. Limited high-frequency capture, resulting in less detail.
Less sensitive to handling noise and background noise. May require proximity to the sound source for optimal performance.

FAQs: Dynamic Microphone

Can I record vocals with a dynamic mic?

Yes, you can record vocals with a dynamic mic, but you have to be pretty loud and close enough to the mic to get a good output. A better scenario is where you have to use both vocals and instruments with a dynamic microphone. If you want a sensitive output, then you have to go for condenser mics.

Condenser Mic vs Dynamic Vocals

Factors Condenser Mic Dynamic Mic
Working Principle Electrostatic Electromagnetic induction
Diaphragm Construction Thin and Sensitive Thick and less sensitive
Power Requirement Requires Phantom Power Not required
Sensitivity Highly sensitive Less sensitive
Frequency Response Wide Narrow
Self-Noise Lower High
Noise Handling Highly Sensitive Less Sensitive
Durability Less durable Highly durable
Cost Expensive Affordable
Applications Studio Recording, Vocals, and Acoustic Recordings Live performances, Stage vocals, public speaking, instrument amplification

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A microphone is one of the most sought devices, especially in this era. If you are planning to get into media, then you must know what kinds of mics are available and which one is best for you. The most commonly used condenser and dynamic mics have been discussed in this article and you can now confidently choose one for your requirements.

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