Dynamic microphones can be great for both vocals and instruments. However, not all microphones perform the same. There are certain features that make for a great performance of a microphone. To learn more about the best dynamic microphone and other great microphones, please read this article.
1. Shure SM7B
- Great for vocals
- Mid range presence boost control
- Bass rolloff
- Pop filter
- Rejects electromagnetic hum
- You’ll need a good preamp
The Shure SM7B is a very popular dynamic microphone and many professionals use it. The microphone has a very plain design and it comes in matte gray. The yoke mounting technology allows the microphone to be easily mounted and dismounted. This technology also makes the positioning of the microphone very easy. The microphone furthermore comes with the good-quality, detachable A7WS windscreen and it is very durable.
When it comes to its features, the Shure SM7B has a lot to offer. The microphone has a wide frequency response range that extends from 50Hz to 20kHz and a maximum SPL of 180dB. Its midrange presence boost control helps it project strong and accurate midrange sounds. The bass rolloff prevents any low-frequency noise from being projected by the microphone. Furthermore, the built-in pop filter reduces the plosives and the A7WS windscreen greatly removes the breathing noise.
Design of the Shure SM7B
Shure SM7B is designed to reject any electromagnetic hum produced by the electronic devices. The microphone also has an integrated shock mount that takes care of the mechanical noise.
This microphone is great for vocals, and it works particularly well for rock vocalists. However, it can accurately pick up instrument sounds as well. Its cardioid polar pickup pattern allows the microphone to be very sensitive for the sound source of your preference, and it helps the SM7B to not pick up any side noise. The sound that the microphone produces is clean and detailed, with a strong midrange and highs.
In order to get the best out of this microphone you’ll need a good preamp. However, the Shure SM7B has a lot to offer, so this is a necessity.
2. Electrovoice RE20
- Great for vocals, instruments, podcasts, gaming
- Has a bass rolloff
- Uses the Variable-D technology
- Has a pop filter
- Has a frequency response ranging from 45Hz to 18kHz
- Pretty heavy
More than just a pretty mic
The Electrovoice RE20 is one of the best dynamic microphones currently available. This microphone has a metal housing and acoustic openings all over it. The housing has a champagne color and looks unique. You can easily mount it to the stand and supply it with power via its XLR 3-pin cable. The microphone is very durable and will withstand all kinds of environments.
This microphone has features that make for its great sound. Its frequency response range goes from 54Hz to 18kHz, and the microphone sounds great all the way through it. The Electrovoice RE20 has a bass rolloff that removes any unwanted noises with lower frequencies. The Variable-D technology that the microphone uses helps it control the proximity effect. This means that you can sing close to the microphone and sound great. If you worry about plosives finding their way to the microphone, worry less because the Electrovoice RE20 has a built-in pop filter.
This microphone is amazing for vocals, instruments, podcasts, and gaming. The frequency response of the Electrovoice RE20 makes the microphone very suitable for deeper voices, acoustic guitars, and bass drums. Its cardioids polar pickup pattern does well in picking up the sounds that come at the top of the microphone, but rejects the ones directed to its sides and back. The sound that you’ll get with this dynamic microphone will be rich in details and natural.
One thing you should consider when it comes to this microphone is that the Electrovoice RE20 is pretty heavy. However, this ‘flaw’ looks very tiny in comparison to the amazing sound this microphone has to offer.
3. Shure SM58
- Great for vocals
- Has a frequency response ranging from 50Hz to 15kHz
- Cardioid polar pickup pattern
- Built-in pop filter
- Integrated shock mount
- A bit of a lower-quality reproduction of the higher frequencies
The Shure SM58 is a wonderful choice if you want to hear a great projection of your vocals. The microphone is very durable, which is not a surprise since that’s one of Shure’s major priorities. It looks very simple and just like most of the other dynamic microphones. Its design features a microphone handle that’s made of metal and a metal grille at the top. The handle is black, giving the microphone an overall sophisticated, yet simplistic feel.
Top 3 for a reason
The Shure SM58 has all the features necessary that make a dynamic microphone great. The microphone has a frequency response that extends from 50Hz to 15kHz. It is obvious that its manufacturers wanted it to be suitable for vocalists and avoided extending the range to some lower frequencies. The microphone furthermore has a built-in pop filter which offers great control over the plosives and any breathing noises. The mechanical noise, on the other hand, is reduced to minimum by the microphone’s integrated shock mount.
This microphone has a cardioid polar pickup pattern, and it’s great for picking up your voice and nothing but your voice. All the noise control features of the Shure SM58 contribute to the noise reduction, and unwanted sounds are very unlikely to be projected. The frequency response of the microphone has strong middle frequencies. You can expect this microphone to sound clear, natural, and accurate.
Something that is a bit shady about the Shure SM58 is its ability to project the higher tones. The microphone might sound a bit hissy in the higher end. However, this is barely noticeable, so it doesn’t really influence Shure SM58’s overall performance. You can read our full Shure SM58 review here.
4. Sennheiser MD 421-II
- Great for instruments, group vocals, and brodacasting
- Has a bass rolloff
- Uses the cardioid polar pickup pattern
- Great at rejecting feedback
- The design of the clip is not very good
If you want a versatile microphone, the Sennheiser MD 421-II could be the right microphone for you. This microphone has a nice design, and it looks classy and luxurious when it’s in your arms or on its clip. The housing of the microphone is made of composite glass, and the body is shaped from metal. This construction is very durable, and it makes the microphone resistant to moisture, dust, and any impact. To connect your dynamic Sennheiser MD 421-II, you’ll have to use an XLR-3 connector.
A decent choice
The Sennheiser MD 421-II doesn’t lack the features that are necessary for a great performance. This microphone has a 5 position bass rolloff, and it offers a great bass attenuation. By choose one of these 5 positions you’re making the microphone suited for different types of uses. The microphone features a large diaphragm and it’s very sensitive. Furthermore, the Sennhaiser MD 421-II does a great job in rejecting any potential feedback that can occur.
This microphone uses a cardioid polar pickup pattern, and it’s great at projecting your voice with the clarity necessary for a good dynamic microphone. Its wade frequency response that ranges from 30Hz to 17kHz enables the microphone to be highly susceptible to low, middle, and high frequencies. Aside from being able to pick up all of those sounds, the Sennheiser MD 421-II does that with great precision and accuracy. The sound that you’ll hear while using this microphone will be clear and detailed.
Even though it’s a great microphone, the Sennheiser MD 421-II needs to be equipped with a better clip. The clip that currently comes with it is a bit unreliable, and it might not hold the microphone very well.
5. Sennheiser E845
- Supercardioid polar pickup pattern
- Has an integrated shock mount
- Great impedance of 350 ohms
- Has a maximum SPL of 150dB
- Greatly reduces the proximity effect
- Not a good choice for your studio
Simple and affordable
The Sennheiser E845 microphone is one of the most affordable microphones on the list. This microphone has a simple design, with a metal body colored in blue. Its grill is black, and like the rest of the microphone’s body, it is very durable. It can sustain a lot of impact, it you will not see a scratch on its body because of how sturdy its construction is. The microphone can be powered with an SLR-3 connector. It is very hand friendly, and it is the perfect microphone for a live performance.
The Sennheiser E845 has simple, but very effective features. This microphone is equipped with a high-quality internal shock mount system that prevents mechanical noises from transferring in the sound. Its maximum SPL goes as high as 150dB, which is great if you’re using it to enhance the sound of your instrument. The microphone furthermore has a great impedance of 350 ohms, and it can accurately receive the electric signals for a better sound quality. When it comes to the proximity effect, the microphone reduces it almost completely. This way you can sing your soul out even if you’re closer to the microphone.
In terms of the way it performs, the Sennheiser E845 delivers and it delivers greatly. The microphone relies on its supercardioid polar pattern, and it accurately projects your voice without the interference of unwanted noise. Its frequency response has an emphasized mid range suitable for singers, and its SPL allows any instrument to sound awesome. If you’re looking for a nice and warm sound, this really is the right microphone to go for.
As we mentioned earlier, this microphone is great for live performances. However, if you want a microphone for your studio, you might want to skip the Sennheiser E84.
6. Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB
- Cardioid polar pickup pattern
- Both USB and XLR connectable
- Offers real-time monitoring
- Compatible with both Windows and Macintosh
- Doesn’t do well in picking up sounds at a distance
The Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB is another affordable microphone that is very promising. This microphone comes packed in a simple-looking body with a silver color. As in the case of the grille, the body is made completely of metal and it’s very durable. You can easily use this microphone indoors or outdoors, for singing, broadcasting, or podcasting. This is made possible with the two way in which the microphone can be powered—a USB or an XLR cable.
Packed with features
Considering its price range, this microphone by Audio-Technica comes packed with some nice features. If you decide to buy it, you will be greatly pleased by the microphone’s cardioid polar pickup pattern. This pattern will reduce amount of side noise that is picked up by the microphone, while picking up the nuances of your voice.
In case you want to monitor yourself in real time, you do have the option to do that. The microphone features a headphone jack where you can plug in your headphones and listen to your performance.
The Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB microphone is compatible with many devices that use Windows or Macintosh. To secure the microphone in position you can use a tripod or a clamp stand.
This microphone will impress you with a lot of things, but maybe not so much with how able it is to pick up distant sounds. Of course, at this price range, we cannot really complain about that. Keep it in close proximity of your mouth or instrument, and you will have a great experience with it.
How to pick the best dynamic microphone
Polar pickup pattern
When buying a dynamic microphone, look for one that has a cardioid or a supercardioid polar pickup pattern. These polar patterns will allow the microphone to pick up the sound of your voice with no outside noises. Most of the microphones that are dynamic will have one of these polar patterns.
The frequency response is another important factor to consider when buying a dynamic microphone. You should look for microphones that have a frequency response range adjusted to be sensitive to vocals or instruments. This way, the microphone will be able to accurately project the sounds coming from the source of sound.
Maximum Sound Pressure Level (SPL)
The maximum SPL is especially important when you’re buying a dynamic microphone to emphasize the sound of an instrument. A higher maximum SPL means that a microphone can tolerate louder sounds without them becoming distorted. Pick a microphone with a nice maximum SPL so to optimize the quality of the projected sounds.
Pop filters, boosters, bass rolloffs, and shock mounts
Many good dynamic microphones often come with a pop filter, other come with a booster, while some of them feature a bass rolloff. It is not uncommon, however, for a microphone to have more than one of these features or all of them. Pick your microphone wisely because you’ll want a sound free from plosives, mechanical, and side noise.
What you’ll use the microphone for
Before you buy your microphone, know the features that work best for vocals and those that are best for instruments. Many microphones claim to be designed for both vocals and instruments. However, look into the specifications of the microphone and do more research before you buy it.
At the end of the day, you will need a microphone that’s durable. You will not get far if you buy a microphone that can easily break or get damaged. Mind the materials that your microphone of preference is made of, and pick one with a sturdy construction.
The microphones on this list have the features that a good dynamic microphone should have. We hope that they caught your attention, and that at least one of them ends up in your arms. However, if you’d like to check out other microphones, we recommend you use our buying guidelines during your research.