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Condenser Mic vs Dynamic Mic: A Detailed Guide

While there are many microphones out there, you are likely to come across two kinds of microphones, the condenser microphone and the dynamic microphone. More and more musicians are looking into home production and these are the most commonly used.

Both have their differences and uses, but which one is the right microphone to choose?

The simple answer is, “It depends on what you’re planning to record.” But I’ll go a little more in-depth and provide a more straightforward answer.

One Thing to Know Before We Dive In

A little crash course of diaphragms for those unfamiliar. They are what make microphones do their thing. The two most common are the moving coil and the front plate diaphragm.

Sound waves hit the diaphragm, causing them to move and replicate the acoustic energy to electric energy.

They also come in a small or large size, typically found in condenser microphones. With this background in place, we can move on to the nitty gritty of the two microphones.

Condenser Microphone

The first of the two is the condenser microphone. You’ll find these in many recording studios, and for good reason.

In the world of music recording and production, this is the go-to for many artists and producers. Condenser microphones are high-quality, durable, and built to last. Most of all, they are sensitive.

Sound waves hit the metal plate causing the diaphragm to vibrate. This creates a boost. The boost requires phantom power, hence why they typically come included with audio interfaces.

They also come in many variations. You can choose microphones with larger diaphragms or the complete opposite. They also can come in different polar patterns, from unidirectional (cardioid) to omnidirectional.

Dynamic Microphone

Dynamic microphones are more common, and sometimes cheaper than condenser microphones.

The diaphragm is made differently than a condenser microphone. Most of the time, they are made of plastic as suppose to metal. Since it’s different it doesn’t require phantom power.

As for its polar pattern, it is primarily cardioid.

grey microphone on brown wooden stand


Let’s start with the first consideration of many people.

Condenser microphones are made differently than dynamic ones. As such, they are typically more expensive. There are affordable options, but you’ll be more likely to obtain more high-end dynamic microphones for the same price.

Dynamic microphones are more affordable but also provide clear-quality audio recordings.

In this case, dynamic microphones win in this category.


The obvious pick for this category is the condenser.

While you don’t have to worry about hearing unwanted noise with dynamic microphones, you won’t get the same intricacies. You also won’t hear as much in the higher frequencies. This might be an issue if your song has audio tracks in that area.

Condenser microphones are the industry standard when it comes to audio quality. They have more power and are built to capture clear and accurate sounds.

If you have the proper room treatment, your condenser microphone will capture those little details with pristine.

However, the key phrase here is proper room treatment. This leads us to the next category, convenience.


As mentioned, condenser microphones are top-notch when it comes to quality. But they can do their job a little too well. This can be detrimental for many bedroom producers since bedrooms aren’t built for noise cancellation.

There is of course the quick-fix solution of room treatment, but that isn’t really a “quick” fix. Room treatment takes time and resources. Not to mention getting it right can be challenging as not every bedroom is the same.

This is why dynamic microphones are more of a convenient investment with bedroom studios. Since they are less sensitive than condensers, they won’t be able to pick up as much of the unwanted noise that lingers in the room.

You can use the limitation to its advantage if you need to take vocal tracks in the comfort of your own home. No need to worry too much if you’re in a noisy environment.

Which Mic Works Well With What Instrument?


Dynamic microphones don’t pick up that much detail with what they record, which is something you will need when recording guitar amps.

Since they aren’t as sensitive as condenser microphones, they can handle louder sounds. You don’t need to worry about feedback and clipping when it comes to recording your guitar amp.

So if you want to use your guitar amp’s sound for a track, then a dynamic mic’s got you covered.


Another instrument that can benefit from dynamic microphones is the drums.

If we’re talking about loud instruments, drums definitely take the cake.

Snares and toms make very loud sounds, so the less sensitive dynamic microphone can handle the stronger sound pressure. There are microphones tailored for drums, although they are pretty pricey.

In this case, dynamic microphones will help you get your desired snare and tom sound.

Recording Vocals

If room treatment isn’t an issue for you, then the condenser microphone is the number one choice.

Crystal clear quality is what condenser microphones do best. So if you want high-quality vocals, I would recommend investing in a condenser microphone.

Ambient Sounds

Ambient sounds refer to more atmospheric background sounds. In this case, condenser microphones will be able to pick up the intricacies of whatever sound you are recording.


So which of the two is the right microphone?

For many bedroom musicians, the right microphone to start out with is the dynamic microphone.

This is the better choice for simpler setups as it is less sensitive than a condenser microphone, making it more lenient with whatever environment you are in.

I have my own bedroom studio and use a condenser microphone since it came with my audio interface. I found ways to make it work like recording in a relatively quiet time and shutting the windows. Even so, I would recommend dynamic microphones for both cost efficiency and convenience.

Condenser microphones are still great for when you’ve treated your room or found an area that is quiet enough to record.

Don’t cheap out on them though. Always do your research when it comes to finding good quality dynamic microphones. This also applies to condenser mics.

In terms of how many instruments it can record and the convenience, then the dynamic microphone’s the best one to start with.

In conclusion, both condenser and dynamic microphones have their unique strengths and are suited for different recording environments and applications. The choice between the two should be guided by your specific needs, the acoustic properties of the recording space, and the sound source you’re capturing.

At the end of the day, the best microphone is the one that helps you achieve your desired sound and brings your audio vision to life. Happy recording!