The Difference Between Dynamic Microphones and Condenser Microphones

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Dynamic Mics need no external power or batteries. They record far less surrounding noise and are far cheaper than Condenser Microphones. You can use them in far noisier environments.

The way the dynamic mic is designed helps to handle loud sounds (like a booming voice of a speaker or a vocal singer). They are usually the mic of choice in live venues. The dynamic microphone usually makes them sound better than a condenser microphone will.

In addition, the dynamic microphone does not pick up as many background noises. This makes for a far better audio track if you are using this for a recording (in a studio or on a podcast).

To effectively use a dynamic microphone, you will need to speak directly into the microphone. If you are off to one side or any other direction rather than straight on, the microphone will not pick up your voice adequately. Even being just one to two feet away will sound like you are on the other side of the room!

Condenser mics do add a very high level of sound quality to all of your recordings, but you need to be in a relatively quiet place to use them. By design, they pick up a huge amount of background noise.

Condenser microphones usually are used to capture the sound “around them” rather than a spoken word “into them” (like dynamic microphones). It is possible to use one condenser microphone, set on a table (such as the “snowball” microphone) and capture a conversation with several people. Although the quality will not be as great, it is possible to do. This would be almost impossible if you were using a dynamic microphone.

The other thing you need to know about condenser microphones is that they need external power. Usually, with modern microphones, this will by “phantom power” obtained from plugging in a USB plug from the microphone into your computer. It is convenient, but not the best.

With a USB microphone you can take it straight out of the box, plug it in and start recording. An XLR microphone is connected via XLR cable. This means if you want to plug it into your computer you’ll also need to buy some more equipment (mixer or soundboard).

In my opinion (and remember, this is my opinion. Others may have differing views), one of the best condenser microphones for podcasting is the Blue Yeti (selling for about $100 or so). And one of the best dynamic microphones for podcasting is the RODE Podcaster (selling for about $250 or so).

But, do your research. Only invest in what you need. Do not buy more than you need or it will simply be a waste of money.

Would you rather spend $250 on a RODE Podcaster microphone and interview friends in a bar or spend $100 on a Blue Yeti and do the same (and probably have a better audio file than the more expensive microphone)?

But if you are going to be in a studio (either professional or a dedicated quiet place in your home), would you rather sound like you are “talking in an open room” with the Blue Yeti or as if you had a high end recording studio by using the RODE Podcaster microphone?

As in all things, the choice is yours. Choose wisely!


Robert Thibodeau has been in online media since 2010. Between his online radio programs and his podcasts, he has accumulated about 4,000 episodes and conducted 600+ interviews in that time. He has helped many people to launch their own podcasts (many of which have earned numerous podcasting awards). He has a complete podcast training program, taking you from “Concept to Launch and Into Monetization.” You can read more information on his training program at http://www.podcast-training.com You can also download his “Podcast Creation Checklist” for FREE under the “Services” tab on his website. He has also created a Christian podcast hosting and marketing platform at https://www.faithcasters.net

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