Are condenser mics better than dynamic? (Important Facts)

Condenser mics are not at all better than dynamic ones. While they do have some better functions, dynamic mics also have characteristics that make them stand out. Neither is better than the otherーthey both have specific purposes, and this article will help you pick which one is the best for you. 

Condenser microphone

What is a Condenser Microphone?

Condenser microphones record sounds by converting the sound waves into electrical energy. To do that, a small metal plate called the diaphragm vibrates whenever it gets hit by a sound wave and goes back and forth to create an electrical signal that gets stored in the device. 

The sound quality is unparalleled; however, due to its sensitivity and dependence on electrical charges, the microphone is so much more easily damaged; even particularly loud sounds can ruin its diaphragm. It’s also sensitive to shock and weather conditions such as exposure to water and strong winds. 

What is it best for?

Condenser microphones are best for recording vocals and softer instruments like piano, cymbals, or acoustic guitars. It’s also the most commonly used in recording studios or home-based studios that are sound-treated. 

Types of Condenser Microphones

  1. Large-diaphragm condenser microphones

Large-diaphragm microphones warm up the sounds whenever they’re recording, so the output usually becomes a lower frequency than that of small-diaphragm microphones. They’re best used for recording bass instruments or vocals to enhance the deepness of the sounds. 

Because of the diaphragm size, they aren’t the best for recording softer and background noise, making them the best for noise cancellation. All you’ll need to do is record your primary sound, and you’re good to go!

Some of the best large-diaphragm condenser microphones in 2021

  1. Neumann U 87 Ai


  • The world’s most famous studio microphone
  • Classic sound, instantly recognizable yet versatile
  • Balanced frequency response
  • Three polar patterns: omni, cardioid, figure-8
  • Switchable low cut and pad
  • Very low self-noise

Check the Latest Price

  1. Audio-Technica AT2020


  • The price/performance standard in side-address studio condenser microphone technology
  • Ideal for project/home-studio applications
  • High SPL handling and wide dynamic range provide unmatched versatility
  • Custom-engineered low-mass diaphragm provides extended frequency response and superior transient response
  • Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of the desired sound source
  • AT2020 (black model) Accessories Included: Stand mount for 5/8″-27 threaded stands; 5/8″-27 to 3/8″-16 threaded adapter; soft protective pouch
  • AT2020V (limited-edition silver model) Accessories Included: AT8458a shock mount; 5/8″-27 to 3/8″-16 threaded adapter; soft protective pouch

Check the Latest Price

  1. Rode NT1-A 1″ Cardioid Condenser Microphone


  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Ultra-low noise, self-noise of only 5dB (A)
  • Wide dynamic range
  • True condenser (externally biased)
  • Internal capsule shock mounting
  • Includes RØDE SM6 shock mount, pop filter, and dust cover
  • 10 year extended warranty when you register your microphone

Check the Latest Price

  1. sE Electronics SE4400a


  • Four polar patterns
  • Hand-crafted vintage-style brass capsule
  • Two bass cuts
  • Two pads
  • An adaptable shock mount
  • Nonreflective paint
  • Offers custom shock mount and chassis

Check the Latest Price

  1. AKG C214


  • Sonic character of the C414 XLII
  • Outstanding dynamic range and ultralow noise
  • Switchable 20dB attenuator and bass-cut filter
  • Integrated suspension
  • Roadworthy design

Check the Latest Price

  1. Small-diaphragm condenser microphones

Small-diaphragm microphones have a more balanced output after recording as they have a consistent pick-up pattern. It also records at a much higher frequency than large-diaphragm condenser microphones, so it’s best to record high-pitched sounds and string instruments. 

Compared to large-diaphragm microphones, they’re more sensitive to noise, so they can pick up even the softest sounds in the background, making them the best type for group recordings and performances.

Some of the best small-diaphragm condenser microphones in 2021

  1. Neumann KM 184 


  • Cardioid pickup pattern without off-axis coloration
  • Very low self-noise
  • High SPL capability
  • Transformerless electronics
  • Octo Set with 8 microphones available

Check the Latest Price

  1. Shure SM81-LC


  • 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response
  • Flat response curve for accurate reproduction of sound sources
  • Low noise and high output clipping level
  • Low distortion over a wide range of load impedances
  • Cardioid polar pattern, uniform with frequency and symmetric about axis, providing maximum rejection and minimum coloration of off-axis sounds
  • Low RF susceptibility
  • Selectable low-frequency response: flat, 6 or 18 dB/octave roll-off
  • 0 dB/10 dB lockable attenuator switch
  • Phantom powering (DIN 45 596 voltages of 12 to 48 Vdc)
  • Rugged steel construction for durability
  • Field-usable over a wide range of temperature and humidity conditions

Check the Latest Price

  1. sE Electronics sE8


  • All-metal housing with a gold-plated XLR connector, premium finish & accessories 
  • Two switchable low-cut filters (80Hz or 160Hz)
  • Two switchable pre-attenuation pads (-10 dB and -20 dB)
  • Sophisticated electronic design provides extremely low noise without the use of integrated circuits
  • Transformerless design for excellent transparency and clarity
  • Proven Class-A circuitry ensures a high dynamic range without distortion and brilliant transient response
  • Gold-sputtered diaphragms ensure maximum reliability
  • Every capsule is handcrafted and individually tuned in our very own factory
  • Ultra-precision electrode design optimized for superb linearity and natural sonics
  • Ultra-thin 3 microns gold-sputtered diaphragm for superior transients
  • Newly-developed backplate design provides smooth, natural sound & truly consistent off-axis response
  • Sophisticated acoustic design with precision components
  • Avoids coloration in demanding applications

Check the Latest Price

  1. Avantone CK-1


  • Uses Include: Cymbals, Hi-Hats, acoustic guitar, drum overheads, piano, percussion, etc
  • Standard Items Supplied:
  • Avantone CK-1 FET Microphone
  • Avantone SSM Shockmount
  • Elegant padded genuine wooden Mic box
  • 19mm Cardioid, Omni, and Hyper-Cardioid capsules
  • Owners Manual

Check the Latest Price

  1. Shure KSM 141


  • Extended frequency response
  • Low self-noise
  • Exceptional reproduction of low-frequency sounds
  • Can withstand high sound pressure levels (SPL)
  • High output level
  • No crossover distortion
  • Uniform polar response
  • Superior common-mode rejection and suppression of radio frequency interference

Check the Latest Price

What is a Dynamic Microphone?

Dynamic microphones don’t work with electricity; instead, they work with magnets. The internal wire coils are connected to the diaphragm that spins whenever it is hit by a sound wave, which causes turning. This action then causes vibrations that create the electrical signals to record the sounds. 

They’re much more durable and sturdy than the condenser microphones. You don’t have to worry about being so careful about its storage, but dynamic microphones cannot record sounds as well as the condenser ones. 

What is it best for?

Dynamic microphones are best for live band performances since they’re a lot more durable to weather conditions. They’re also best used for louder instruments like loud guitars, live vocals, and drums due to their high-pressure resistance. 

Some of the best dynamic microphones in 2021

  1. Electro-Voice RE20

Features: (derived from the Electro-Voice official website)

  • The classic sound of FM radio voices
  • Smooth, natural, and controlled sonic character
  • Variable-D for minimal proximity effect
  • True cardioid with no coloration at 180-degrees off-axis
  • Voice tailored frequency response
  • Studio condenser-like performance
  • Large-diaphragm dynamic element
  • Humbucking coil guards against line hum
  • Mid-bass tone-shaping switch

Check the Latest Price

  1. Telefunken Elektroakustik M80

Features: (derived from the Telefunken official website)

  • Wide frequency response
  • Condenser-like performance
  • High SPL capabilities 
  • Low mass capsule and super thin capsule membrane 
  • Custom wound impedance matching transformer 
  • Proprietary capsule assembly
  • Chrome-plated headgrille

Check the Latest Price

  1. Sennheiser e 835-S

Features: (derived from the Sennheiser official Amazon store)

  • Gentle presence boost to even tonal response ensures clarity and projection
  • Minimal proximity effect provides consistently clear bass end performance when singing closer to or further from the capsule
  • Cardioid pick-up pattern provides good signal isolation and feedback rejection, enabling higher sound levels to be obtained
  • Metal construction and internal shock-mount system minimizes handling noise
  • Frequency response 40-16,000 Hz, Impedance 350 Ohms. Rugged metal housing

Check the Latest Price

  1. Shure SM7B

Features: (derived from the Shure official website)

  • Rugged construction for securing the microphone cartridge
  • Detachable close-talk windscreen and switch cover plate 
  • Reduces distortion from loud sources
  • Bass roll-off and mid-range emphasis 
  • Dynamic cartridge with a flat, wide-range frequency response
  • Air suspension shock isolation and pop filter 
  • Classic cardioid pattern
  • Wide-range frequency response

Check the Latest Price

  1. Neumann BCM 705

Features: (derived from the Neumann official website)

  • Functionally optimized design
  • Specially designed dynamic capsule
  • Optimized for close speech
  • Hypercardioid pattern
  • Integrated pop screen and shock mount
  • Headgrille twists off easily for quick cleaning

Check the Latest Price


If you’re a professional looking to record high-quality songs or music, condenser microphones are the best way to go! Given that they are generally much more sensitive and technically advanced, you will need the proper equipment and location for it, so it’s suggested that you only use it when you already have a studio at hand.

However, if you don’t particularly need clean-cut audio, the dynamic microphones are the best ones for you! Their quality may not be as clean-cut, but you can record professional videos and podcasts with it. They’re also not as sensitive, so if you’re looking for an on-the-go microphone to take with you on live performances, then seriously consider getting the dynamic microphones.

These two types have entirely different purposes and are suited for various artists and works, so you really cannot distinctively say that one is better than the other. You just have to choose which is the best for your lifestyle and profession to get the most out of your money and create the best products possible.

Jacob Miller

Hi, I'm Jacob Miller, and welcome to AudioOver, a platform designed to help aspiring music producers create music from home. With a musical background inspired by my award-winning father, I've been passionate about music since I was young.

Recent Posts