Updated on Mar 15, 2022
If you're looking for the best dynamic microphones on the market, then you've come to the right place. The team at Musician Nerd specializes in all-things microphones and many of the products we've worked with fall into this category. Our review team has personally tested every microphone you find on this list, and we're excited to help you find your next microphone!
While we do have many favorites, finding the best dynamic microphone requires a little work from your end, too, as you need to know exactly what problem you're looking to solve. Not all microphones are made the same, whether dynamic, condensers, or ribbons. Dynamic mics are typically used for vocals in either music or broadcasting but can also be found in studios for musical instruments and more.
We're going to start by running you through our top choices, and then we'll dive into each one and talk about why we're recommending it. Our list has no significant order to it; we just want to include a variety of choices for different needs while also offering both high-end and affordable options. You should know exactly which microphone is right for you by the end of this.
By popularity, the Shure SM58 would have to take the cake for the best overall dynamic microphone on the market. This timeless classic can be found everywhere, whether it's your local band, legendary rock stars, pop stars, or even the president; When it comes to singing or speaking your heart out, people rely on the Shure SM58. And the best part is, it's not even that expensive!
The Shure SM58 is a dynamic microphone that knows how to handle your voice with care. It uses a cardioid polar pattern, which focuses the microphone sensitivity to the front, leaving the background noises behind.
The spherical mesh grille and built-in pop filter help keep wind and plosive noises out of your mix. Shure also helps you on-stage by preventing handling noises. To do this, they use a pneumatic shock mount, which absorbs vibrations before they can corrupt your audio!
The Shure SM58 also features a durable construction that offers great durability for those always on the road. Not only will you get that warm, crisp sound from this dynamic microphone, you get all these other features to ensure the quality persists.
The Shure SM7B is one of the more pricey options on this list, but it's one of my all-time favorite dynamic microphones. We have it listed as a top choice for podcasts, but don't be fooled! The Shure SM7B is used for much more than that, including the radio show "The Breakfast Club" for those hip hop freestyles & Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album for his rock vocals. Talk about versatility!
The Shure SM7B does an incredible job capturing the most intimate details from your voice. This microphone uses a cardioid polar pattern designed to reject off-axis audio, so you can sing or speak however works for you with minimum coloration. Better yet, you get advanced electromagnetic shielding to prevent humming noises from your nearby electronics. This is especially useful for streamers.
The air suspension shock isolation and pop filter will prevent unwanted mechanical and breathiness noises, keeping your audio pure. One of the most notable features, however, is the bass rolloff & mid-range emhpasis. What this translates to is a lot of vocal presence.
The only frustrating part about the Shure SM7B is it has very little output. You'll end up needing a few other pieces of equipment, like a preamplifier & clean gain boost. We break this down further in our article about why the Shure SM7B is so quiet. However, if this dynamic microphone caught your eye, it is well worth the trouble.
The Rode Podmic is another fantastic dynamic microphone with a very specific purpose. As the name suggests, this broadcast-quality microphone is designed for podcasts, livestreaming, and other speech applications. While it may not be as good as the Shure SM7B, for the price point it comes in around, you can't beat it!
What I love about using the Rode Podmic is how authentic it sounds. As soon as you start using it, you'll know what I mean. It really has that classic "radio" sound, but only in a good way. The audio is front-addressed, so you can stick it up on your microphone stand and point it right in front of the speaker and won't have to worry about background noise getting in the way.
The dynamic capsule does an amazing job capturing the richness of your voice, adding a lot of depth to your audio. The frequency response range is 20Hz to 20kHz which contributes to that audio depth. And like others on this list, it has a tight cardioid pattern offering superior room noise rejection.
I also just love how it looks. This will be especially important for live streamers, having such an authentic looking broadcast style microphone can add a sense of credibility for your audience. It also feels just as durable as it looks, so you don't have to worry about damaging it. For this price range you just can't beat it.
Now we've already talked about how the Shure SM58 is one of the most famous vocal microphones on the market, but for those who want the best quality without concern for the cost, the Sennheiser e945 is your go-to dynamic microphone. It's not uncommon to see this one being used by famous artists all across their world tours, as it goes just a little further than the SM58.
One of the first differences to point out is the Sennheiser e945 is using a super-cardioid polar pattern, which is essentially just more directional & tight than your traditional cardioid microphone. This offers you even more rejection from ambient noises so that you can perform on stage without the risk of feedback coming through your mic.
The shock mounted capsule has very low sensitivity to impact, so no matter what you've got planned for your performance, you won't need to worry about vibrations corrupting your sound. Similar to the SM7B, however, is the hum-compensating coil; This reduces electrical interference on stage.
If you're playing outdoors and you're worried about different climates affecting your audio, the Sennheiser e945 has you covered. They utilize a Neodymium ferrous magnet with boron, which will keep your microphone stable regardless of climate. This would be my preferred dynamic microphone for live performances, but most people can make do with the SM58.
The Electro-Voice RE20 is another favorite dynamic microphone amongst podcasters. In fact, an old podcast I used to watch featured one person using the Shure SM7B with their counterpart using the Electro-Voice RE20. They both sound brilliant, but the one edge I found with the RE20 was that I didn't need a clean gain booster to get a lot of output.
This large-diaphragm dynamic microphone is the classic sound of FM radio voices. The audio produced is crystal clear, with a smooth & natural sonic character. As we would expect, it uses the cardioid pattern with no coloration at 180-degrees off-axis so that background noise won't be an issue!
Even cooler is the Variable-D technology, which helps prevent the Proximity Effect. Essentially, you can move around the microphone without noticable changes in the output levels.
In many ways the performance reminds me of a studio condenser, while also offering the features of a traditional dynamic microphone. At the end of the day, the Electro-Voice RE20 is one of the top choices on the market for podcasts.
If you're looking for something more affordable and easier to work with, we've got you covered. The Audio-Technica AT2005USB is a cardioid dynamic microphone that can plug right into your computer's USB port and be ready to go. This will be useful for minimalists getting started at home with their podcasts, music recordings, or anything else voice related!
The most significant advantage of the AT2005USB is that it's all-purpose and affordable. It has a very rugged design that feels like a quality vocal microphone, and if you don't want to record via USB, they also offer an XLR port. This allows you to take this microphone from your computer to the stage, making it one of the most versatile options on this list.
If you're looking for a dynamic microphone to use for streaming, you'll be glad to hear that this one comes with a headphone output with level control so you can monitor your audio in real time. This can help you stay aware of any audio issues during your live streams.
When you buy the Audio-Technica AT2005USB, you will also get USB & XLR cables, a threaded stand clamp, plus a tripod desk stand. While you'll commonly see this microphone used on the tripod, don't be fooled! You can absolutely bring it up on stage with you.
The Shure SM57 is another popular dynamic microphone that is the instrument counterpart of the Shure SM58. I've worked with a lot of musicians, and it's the one microphone I see consistently time and time again and for a good reason. I like to use this to record the guitar; although it's important to remember it with instrument microphones, it's not one-size-fits-all. One of the first things to consider is the difference between small diaphragm & large diaphragm microphones. The Shure SM57 is the former, and we'll talk about what it's good for.
I often see people purchasing a microphone and then leaving a negative review because THEY didn't understand their own needs. Large-Diaphragm condensers will usually do a better job picking up complicated frequency variances & ambiance, while small-diaphragm dynamics like the SM57 will do a good job narrowing that down.
While this isn't required, I like to use it more on higher frequencies, like the neck of my guitar, the snare drum, and the cymbals, while using a condenser for the kick drum & guitar body. But you will still be astonished at how great the Shure SM57 does with recording the guitar body & even guitar cabinets.
And best of all is the price. It comes at around the same price as the Shure SM58, making it one of the most affordable high-quality instrument microphones on the market. With some of the alternatives, you'll find that price does affect the quality, but the Shure SM57's most outstanding highlighted feature is that it's so affordable for the amount of quality it offers. Easily a 10/10 for a dynamic microphone.
For this option, we're taking things in a slightly different direction. You might be wondering, "why are you showing us a ribbon microphone and not a dynamic microphone" but the reality is, ribbons are dynamics. This is something we'll dive into in the next section of this article, but for now, let me tell you why the Beyerdynamic M160 is worth the hefty investment.
After working with microphones for many years I can tell you that the hype for ribbon microphones is justified. The deep natural sound they're able to produce is unmatched, and the M160 has a high level of versatility. The high SPL (Sound Pressure Level) allows you to record loud sound sources without any distortion.
If you're a classic rock fan, you'll be interested to know that the legendary John Bonham from Led Zeppelin used to use this microphone on his drumset. I've also had the chance to use this microphone with my guitar repeatedly, and it does one of the best jobs to reproduce complicated frequencies. On top of that, you can record your vocals with it too.
The only place I wouldn't really use this microphone is for podcasts and streaming. I'm not saying it wouldn't do a fantastic job for that, because it certainly would, but it's overkill to the max. For any non-musical applications, I would stick with the SM7B or RE20, but for everyone else, the Beyerdynamic M160 is well worth it.
While you may think that you need a dynamic microphone, an important question to ask yourself is why? And the only real way for you to know why is to know exactly what a dynamic microphone is and the purpose it serves. Many people associate dynamic microphones with vocals, which is not the right way to look at it. Often times dynamic microphones will have a level of directionality using either a cardioid or hyper cardioid polar pattern.
Those polar patterns mixed with other internally built features help aid in vocal isolation which is why they're so commonly found on stage, using off-axis rejection to prevent feedback from the other instruments. But there can be, and actually are condenser microphones that do the same.
What makes a dynamic microphone dynamic is actually the electric conduction that converts sound into an electrical signal using electromagnetism. These can be either moving coils or ribbons, which is why you may have heard that ribbon microphones are actually another type of dynamic microphone.
In this case, we'll focus on moving coil microphones. They use a coil attached to the rear of a membrane with a strong magnet surrounding it. As you sing into the microphone, this membrane moves in the pattern of the sound waves, moving the coil with it. When this process happens it induces a small signal voltage inside the coil. This is what allows the sound waves to convert to an electrical signal in the same pattern as the sound waves.
Condenser microphones, on the other hand, are more similar to singing into tissue paper, a very thin membrane that moves back and forth without coil and magnet, which is why they're much more sensitive (and accurate) when compared to dynamic microphones.
By now you should know which dynamic microphone is right for you. Whether you're getting ready to launch your podcast, getting set up on SoundCloud, or need some new equipment for your band, Musician Nerd has you covered. We work with all different types of microphones so feel free to browse our other content and don't forget to pick up a microphone preamp as well!
If you purchase one of the microphones from this list, let us know in the comments which one and why! We love hearing your feedback as it can help us improve our content for our future viewers. Do you think we're missing an essential choice here? You let us know and we'll look into it.
Posted on Mar 15, 2022
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