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Need a dynamic microphone? We rank the top 12.

Because of how popular they are, finding the right dynamic microphone to meet your needs isn’t easy. The problem isn’t that there aren’t enough options, it’s that there are so many options that picking the one most suited to your recording requirements becomes a complicated decision-making maze. This page is dedicated to surfacing the best dynamic microphone on the market, ranked below.

#1

Shure SM7B

by Shure

Type
Dynamic
Connection
XLR
Estimated Price
$399
Endorsments
103 hosts
#2

Audio-Technica 2100

by Audio-Technica

Type
Dynamic
Connection
XLR & USB
Estimated Price
$79.95
Endorsments
113 hosts
#3

Shure SM58

by Shure

Type
Dynamic
Connection
XLR
Estimated Price
$99
Endorsments
63 hosts
#4

Heil PR40

by Heil

Type
Dynamic
Connection
XLR
Estimated Price
$329
Endorsments
54 hosts
#5

Rode Podcaster

by Rode

Type
Dynamic
Connection
USB
Estimated Price
$229
Endorsments
45 hosts
#6

RE20

by Electro-Voice

Type
Dynamic
Connection
XLR
Estimated Price
$350
Endorsments
43 hosts
#7

Rode Procaster

by Rode

Type
Dynamic
Connection
XLR
Estimated Price
$229
Endorsments
40 hosts
#8

Shure SM57

by Shure

Type
Dynamic
Connection
XLR
Estimated Price
$99
Endorsments
12 hosts
#9

Samson q2u

by Samson

Type
Dynamic
Connection
XLR & USB
Estimated Price
$60
Endorsments
10 hosts
#10

RE320

by Electro-Voice

Type
Dynamic
Connection
XLR
Estimated Price
$299
Endorsments
13 hosts
#11

Rode NT-USB

by Rode

Type
Dynamic
Connection
USB
Estimated Price
$169
Endorsments
8 hosts
#12

Shure Beta 58a

by Shure

Type
Dynamic
Connection
XLR
Estimated Price
$159
Endorsments
0 hosts
#13

Sennheiser 935

by Sennheiser

Type
Dynamic
Connection
XLR
Estimated Price
$180
Endorsments
0 hosts
#14

Sennheiser e835

by Sennheiser

Type
Dynamic
Connection
XLR
Estimated Price
$100
Endorsments
4 hosts
#15

Behringer XM8500

by Behringer

Type
Dynamic
Connection
XLR
Estimated Price
$19.99
Endorsments
13 hosts
#16

PODMic

by Rode

Type
Dynamic
Connection
XLR
Estimated Price
$99
Endorsments
8 hosts

Understanding the dynamic microphone

Let’s start by apologizing for the length of this article. It’s long because it’s important to actually understand what a dynamic microphone is before you fork out your money for one. The burden of understanding seems so grave when you start out searching for podcasting equipment. But after twenty or thirty minutes of reading, you’ll have your head wrapped around the major ingredients that can alter the price, performance, and the popularity of a dynamic microphone. A dynamic microphone does what all microphones do: convert sound into an electrical signal, which can then be stored, reproduced and manipulated with editing software. But it’s the way that every dynamic microphone on the market performs this function that makes them a part of the same family. In this article, we’ll help explain exactly what a dynamic microphone is, so you can decide whether or not you want to buy one, and we’ll also go into detail about all the things you ought to look out for when you’re trying to buy a good one. Read our comparison of condenser vs dynamic microphones or have a look at the models of some of the more popular brands, like Behringer Audio.

What is a dynamic microphone?

All types of microphone are based on the same scientific concept. An internal diaphragm registers the vibrations and variations of the sound waves that enter the mic, which are then converted to an electrical signal. In the case of a dynamic microphone, the electrical signal is generated thanks to a wire voice coil fastened within a magnetic field produced by an internal magnet. When the wire voice coil, to which the diaphragm is attached, vibrates in synch with the diaphragm the vibrations registered are converted to electrical signals because of the electromagnetic process at play.

The pros and cons of a dynamic microphone

Pros

The pros of the dynamic microphone are as follows:
1. No need for batteries or phantom power
Because a dynamic microphone performs its task of converting sound to electrical signal thanks to the naturally-occurring electromagnetic energy generated by the internal magnet, there is no need for the mic to rely on contrived power, usually through batteries or some external power source. This can be quite an advantage for some people, especially those who want as simple a recording setup as possible, and don’t want to deal with the admittedly minor, but still added, hassle of dealing with a microphone that requires batteries or some other source of power.
2. Affordability
Because of their simplicity and popularity, the dynamic microphone is generally cheaper than its main competitor, the condenser microphone. For podcast hosts with modest budgets, therefore, they can be excellent entry-level mics.
3. Sound performance
When it comes to recording voice (which we assume most reading this will use theirs for), the dynamic microphone is a superb option because it produces such a warm, consistent sound.
4. Durability
Again, because of the way it operates internally, the dynamic microphone is very durable and survives conditions that other constructions of microphone would suffer through, particularly heat and humidity.

 Cons

The cons of the dynamic microphone are as follows:
1. Microphone size
Unlike condenser microphones, which can come in smaller physical sizes, dynamic microphones can be large units. This might pose a challenge for some podcast hosts, particularly those who travel frequently with their mic or who have a small recording space.
2. Not as versatile for recording instruments
Some of the technical limitations of the dynamic microphone make it less capable of adequately recording inputs with high frequencies, namely some instruments. Of course, if you’re a podcast host with an intention to use your mic just to record your voice, this shouldn’t be an issue for you.

What to look out for when buying a dynamic microphone

When you’re on the hunt to buy a dynamic microphone there are a few choice specifications you should have in mind, to ensure you get a mic that perfectly serves your needs. We’ll go through the two main considerations now.
1. Polar pattern
The polar pattern of a microphone refers to the directions and angles of sound it can comfortably pick up during recording. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a dynamic microphone that doesn’t have a cardioid (or some variation thereof) polar pattern. The cardioid polar pattern is designed to pick up sound waves that hit the mic from directly in front. It picks up virtually no sound waves that hit the capsule from behind, and has a tough time picking up waves that hit it from either side. The cardioid polar pattern is obviously best for podcasters and broadcasters, who speak directly into the front of the mic when they’re recording.
2. Equivalent noise level, or self-noise level
When a dynamic microphone is referred to by its ‘equivalent noise level”’ or ‘self-noise level’, what the manufacturers are meaning is how much noise the microphone itself produces. A noisy mic is obviously a bad thing, and we’re sure you’ve heard podcasters in the past who were recording into a mic with a poor equivalent noise level or self-noise level. The white-noise sound of the mic can be heard, distractingly, competing with the host’s voice. When you’re researching for a dynamic microphone to buy, you want to find one with the lowest equivalent noise level or self-noise level as possible (within your budget, obviously). The unit is measured in decibels, which will probably appear on the specifications table as either “dB” or “dB-A” (for example, “18 dB-A”. Just know you’re ideally trying to buy a mic with as low a number as possible, as the lower the number is the quieter the mic is.

Conclusion

As we said at the outset of this article, shopping for a good dynamic microphone isn’t easy when you first start out. There are literally hundreds, possibly thousands, of models on the market, manufactured by dozens of companies, and every model has its own complicated list of specifications for you to wade through. Have confidence knowing that a dynamic microphone is a great choice for podcasting. Look for one with a cardioid, hypercardioid, or supercardioid polar pattern and a reasonably low equivalent noise or self-noise volume.