There are multiple types of microphones, aka mics available in the market. Each mic has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages. Essentially mics have transducers, which convert one form of energy into another. In the case of mics, transducers convert acoustic energy into electrical/magnetic energy. This article covers the two most popular microphones. Their internal mechanisms lead to varying costs, usage, and durability of the products. To understand in detail, the following are the differences between dynamic vs condenser Microphones.
Dynamic vs Condenser Microphones – Mechanism
The word Dynamic comes from the word Dynamo, which involves the principle of electromagnetic induction. The assembly of dynamic microphones comprises an outer membrane known as diaphragm, a permanent magnet, and a movable coil.
This coil rests in the magnetic field generated by the permanent magnet. When the sound waves reach the outer membrane, it directly hits the coil inside. The coil inside the membrane, which initially was in the presence of a magnetic field starts to move because of the sound waves. It opposes the existing magnetic field and alters it. This alteration creates an electromotive force.
They deal with capacitors with two parallel plates. The assembly of condenser microphones comprises an outer diaphragm and a condenser inside. A condenser, which is a synonym of the capacitor, comprises two metal plates parallel to each other.
The capacitance of the capacitor depends on the space between the plates. Hence, when the sound waves hit one of the plates. It changes the space between the plates and, in turn, changes the voltage. This change in voltage then results in the creation of the required electrical energy.
Dynamic vs Condenser Microphones – Cost
Because of the way the parts are assembled, they have a very simple design. Due to this simple design, dynamic microphones are very economical and just cost a very small fraction of the money as compared to condenser microphones.
Because of the capacitor involved with a moving plate/diaphragm, they have a very complex design. Their complex design makes them a bit less economical as compared to dynamic microphones. Some of the high-quality condenser microphones cost a bomb!
Effect of temperature and humidity
They are raw. The internal mechanism involves a permanent magnet and a coil. This mechanism leads to heavy resistance to high temperatures and extreme humidity.
The Capacitor’s plate and other materials used in the condenser mics bring a big drawback. At times, instead of air, various other materials are used between the plates of the capacitor. They can’t resist high temperatures and humidity. Hence, you cannot take them to harsh climates. Doing so, at times, results in temporary or sometimes permanent damage to them.
Dynamic microphones are one of the oldest kinds of microphones know. There is no power supply required in the case of dynamic microphones. This is purely due to the lack of any active circuitry present in them.
They are delicate modern-day machines. Their internal mechanism, which comprises an active circuitry requires the microphones to be connected to an external power source for their functioning. This power is referred to as phantom power. This power is essential to move one of the plates initially.
Dynamic vs Condenser Microphones – Usage
Qualities like these make them an ideal choice for stage performance. They are not that sensitive and hence do not capture much noise when compared to Condenser Microphones. They are meant for activities wherein there is rough use of mics, usually where large and loud sounds are given as input.
They are very sensitive and have a high-frequency range, which makes them ideal for studios. Condenser microphones are ideal for situations where you need to capture delicate sounds. Since they have the ability to capture a vivid spectrum of sound, condenser microphones are your go-to choice.
Since Condenser mics are very fragile, people should handle it with utmost care. Due to their delicate internal mechanism, they capture noise to a great extent. Hence, condenser microphones are of great use in studios where there are noise cancellation walls.
Differences between Dynamic & Condenser Microphone
|Dynamic Microphones||Condenser Microphones|
|It does not require an external power source.||It requires an external power source.|
|Not sensitive to high-frequency sounds.||Sensitive to high-frequency sounds.|
|When it comes to price range, it is comparatively cheaper.||When it comes to price range, it is comparatively expensive.|
|In terms of structure and composition, this microphone is strong and sturdy.||In terms of structure and composition, this microphone is delicate and fragile.|
|This type can deal with very loud sounds.||This type cannot deal with very loud sounds.|
|Works on the principle of electromagnetism.||Works on the basis of an electrically charged Capacitor.|
|It makes use of simple design and structure.||It makes use of complex design and structure.|
|Flat frequency response and extended frequency range are not possible with this type of microphone.||Flat frequency response and extended frequency range are possible with this type of microphone.|
|Microphone remains unaffected by extreme temperature or humidity.||Microphone gets affected by extreme temperature and humidity.|
|Used for stage performances.||They are used for studio recordings.|
Now you might be thinking about which one to buy. So, here is a quick summary for that – A dynamic microphone is best for live situations because they are more durable, and they handle loud noises as well, and they do pretty good at background noise rejections. If you are concerned with broadcast sound, which you hear on TV or Radio or Background sound, you must go for a dynamic microphone.
You can also share your thoughts and opinion below in the comment section about your choices. Also, if you know any other significant difference that might be an ice breaker, do let us know.