You’ll need to buy a good microphone if you’re podcasting, and the first issue you need to resolve is whether you should pick a dynamic or a condenser microphone. Unfortunately, this isn’t really a simple choice. Over the years, it’s been a hotly debated issue and quite each type has the support of large number so experts.
Podcasting Debate on Condenser vs. Dynamic Mic
We aren’t going to make it easy for you by picking a choice either. Instead, we’re going to clarify the differences between the two types, so that you can decide which one is best for your needs.
Top Facts about Dynamic Mics:
- These are probably the more common type of microphones. They’re used by all kinds of people, and not just by podcasters. Musicians, broadcasters, and radio announcers tend to use them too.
- As a general rule (though there are of course some exceptions), dynamic mics are more affordable.
- For the most part, these mics are much more focused. This means it mainly records the sounds right in front of it. So, it’s more suited to podcasts that only have a single speaker or sound source. You may also have to get that mic really close to your mouth.
- Many love dynamic mics because they’re not as accurate in how it records sounds. This means it doesn’t pick up any unwanted sounds like your lip smacks and how your saliva rolls in your mouth. That can be a real turn off when you’re broadcasting your podcast.
- In addition, these mics are also better in ignoring ambient You’d be surprized at just how much noise we learn to ignore inside the room or even inside the house. Dynamic mics can keep from recording the hum of your air conditioner, refrigerator, electric fans, and computer. It may not pick up the sound of outside traffic either.
- Dynamic mics are better able to withstand various forms of abuse, such as moisture and even getting dropped. This makes them the better option for field recordings and onstage work.
- Some say that the sound of dynamic mics is a bit flat and less rich. That’s because these mics tend to record on a narrower range of frequencies.
- Dynamic mics also don’t need their own power supply.
Top Facts about Condenser Microphones
- In general, condenser mics are more expensive than their dynamic counterparts. Yes, there are some very affordable condenser mics around, but more often than not, they’re made in countries where the quality control standards aren’t very high.
- You can get better sound reproduction from a condenser than from dynamic, and most people tend to regard the condenser sound as warmer and friendlier. So if you’re playing a high-quality instrument, this mic can capture all the audio details that make your instrument sound great.
- Condenser mics need to have their own power supply, so some have batteries installed. But this doesn’t have to be overly complicated, as you can get that power from the PC USB connection. That’s why the vast majority of USB podcasting mics (about 90%) are condenser models.
- These mics can pick up sounds from all around. So if you’re having a group discussion or an interview, then a condenser mic can suffice and record everyone in the discussion. You also don’t really have to get it close to you to record what you’re saying, so you can have more space around you.
- The main problem with condenser mics is that they’re more likely to pick up ambient noises and other sounds that you don’t really want included in your recording. These sounds are those you’ve learned to ignore, and they can include low-frequency thrumming that you can’t normally hear. So unless you’re in a really good recording studio that blocks outside noise, you have to get various filters in place to keep the ambient noise to a minimum.
- The condenser mic even picks up on various speaking habits and features that don’t really sound all that good. These sounds include plosives, lip-smacking, and various other unsavory sounds like your saliva in your mouth. You’ll need to put up pop filters to keep this problem under control.
- Condenser mics also tend to be a bit more fragile. Keep them away from moisture, and don’t knock them about. For goodness’ sake, don’t drop them either—they’re not for mic drops at all.
Making Your Decision
So, with this overview of the practical differences between dynamic and condenser mics, hopefully you now have a clearer idea of which is better for you.
Choose dynamic mics if:
- You have a limited budget.
- You’re the only speaker in your podcast.
- It’s noisy where you’re recording.
- You tend to record a lot in the field.
Choose condenser mics if:
- Sound quality is more important to you.
- You tend to interview people or have group discussions.
- You have the budget for this, and you don’t mind buying additional filters to keep out the ambient noise.
- It’s no bother for you to edit your recordings to eliminate the ambient noise.
Each podcaster has different needs—pick a mic that meets your needs. Whether it’s a condenser or a dynamic, it’s really up to you!