You will find a good assortment of dynamic microphones in any professional music studio or live music set-up. Here we take a look at: why any good studio will have at least one dynamic mic; when you should use a dynamic mics; and which is the best dynamic microphone? (If you want to skip the detail then you can jump straight to our recommended dynamic mics)
Certainly some of the most famous and popular mics in the world are dynamic mics. Think of the Shure SM57 and SM58. Or if you want to go really pro, the Audix dynamic microphones. What studio or live vocalist wouldn’t want to own at least one? Let’s have a look why …
The most significant thing about dynamic microphones is they can handle loud noises really well (you will often see this referred to as sound pressure level or SPL). This makes them perfect for rock vocalists, drums, guitar amps and other loud signals. They are the ultimate ‘live’ mic, but this quality can make a dynamic mic the perfect choice for a home recording studio.
Dynamic microphones do not have the sensitivity and frequency response of condenser microphones, and they often impart a “dirty” or “gritty” sound to the signal. But this can be part of their charm! And it makes them very robust and easy to use.
One of the key things about using a dynamic mic is you do not have to worry so much about background noise, and acoustic treatment when recording with a dynamic mic. So let’s get a little bit technical (you might want to skip this bit and get straight to which are the best dynamic microphones that are available now.
What Is A Dynamic Microphone?
The dynamic mic uses a magnetic field to convert sound impulses from the diaphragm into electrical energy. The diaphragm is often made of plastic or Mylar and is located in front of a coil or wire called a voice coil. The voice coil is suspended between two magnets. When the diaphragm moves in response to sounds, the voice coil moves as well. This interaction between the voice coil’s movement and the magnets creates the electrical signal. If you want to delve even deeper, then take a read of our in-depth article about different types of microphones, their specs and uses.
What Are Dynamic Mics Mostly Used For?
These are the instruments that are most commonly recorded, or amplified, using dynamic microphones. If you want to record any of the following instruments in your home recording studio, consider a dynamic microphone.
- Electric Guitar (record the amp output with dynamic mic positioned by the cab)
- Electric Bass Guitar (again, record the amplifier with dynamic mic)
- Hand Drums
- Kick (Bass) Drums
- Vocals (especially ‘live’ vocals)
- Saxophones and Horns
Is A Dynamic Microphone Good For Home Recording?
The common view, when setting up a home recording studio, is that a large diaphragm studio condenser is the best microphone. But this may not always be the case. If you have a ‘difficult’ recording space, plagued with echoes etc, then you may end up having to spend a fortune on acoustic treatment to get a decent recording. So a good quality dynamic microphone could be the answer for you. They are more directional and just won’t pick up so much of what is going on in the background. This can make a dynamic mic the ideal microphone for a beginner.
How Do I Record Through My Dynamic Microphone On My Computer?
Once you know you want to use a dynamic mic, you have two options.
- Buy the dynamic microphone and a suitable audio interface with microphone input. Read more here about how to choose the best audio interface for your home studio. The good news with a dynamic mic is you do not need to worry about phantom power, so any interface with mic input will do the job. Still confused? Read more here about how to connect a mic up to your computer.
- Purchase a dynamic USB microphone. That way you can connect it straight up to your pc, mac or iPad without buying anything else. Cheap and easy! PLUS two of our top recommendations (the Samson Q2U and the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB are dual function. You can use them as a USB mic or as an analog microphone using XLR lead. This makes them exceptional value for money and a really useful purchase.
1. The Best Dynamic XLR Microphones
These are our TOP THREE recommendations if you want to purchase a standard, analog dynamic microphone that you can connect to any mixer or audio interface via an XLR lead. You can find out more about these top Dynamic Mics by following the links to see them on Amazon. There you can read detailed customer reviews and more information about the spec. Any technical terms you are not sure about are covered in our in-depth article about different types of microphone.
Best Budget Dynamic Microphone: Samson Q7 Dare we say … almost as good as the legendary Shure for less money?
Best Mid-Price Dynamic Mic: The legendary Shure SM58 the absolute no-brainer. The best-selling dynamic mic of all time?
Pro USB Mic
Best Pro Quality Dynamic Mirophone: Audix OM5 for those in the know Audix mics are the professional’s choice
2. The Best Dynamic USB Microphones
Here are our TOP THREE recommendations if you decide to invest in a dynamic USB microphone. Follow the links to view the microphones on Amazon, and read detailed product information and customer reviews. Note that two of these are actually DUAL-FUNCTION so you can use them as a digital USB microphone OR as a standard analog dynamic microphone with XLR connection, making them doubly good value-for-money purchases.
Best Budget Dynamic USB Mic: Samson Q2U Dynamic USB Mic
(*** Dual Function USB and XLR ***)
Best Mid-Price Dynamic USB Mic: Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Dynamic Mic
(*** Dual Function USB and XLR ***)
Pro USB Mic
Best Pro Quality Dynamic USB Mic: Rode Podcaster Dynamic USB Mic
(*** USB Only ***)
Most Popular Dynamic Microphones
Below is a list of the top six best selling and therefore most popular dynamic microphones available on Amazon. The list is updated automatically daily, so you will always be able to see which dynamic mic is being bought the most. These microphones tend to be at the cheaper end … but are great if you are a beginner on a tight budget and just want to get started. Happy hunting
by Singing Machine
99 used & new from $3.21
53 used & new from $13.99
Buy new: $16.32
118 used & new from $3.21
Buy new: $64.93
45 used & new from $52.16