10 Best Dynamic Microphones in 2020 (Review)
Dynamic microphones are considered “multi-purpose” microphones because they have such a vast variety of uses. Some microphones in the dynamic category are better than others for certain purposes, which can make buying one a little overwhelming.
This is why we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best dynamic microphones in 2020 to help you make your decision. Each mic is listed with its main purpose and strength, whether that be for karaoke, performance, professional, or studio use. We’re also going to go over how to choose the right microphone, how much you should be paying for a good one, and what microphones in the dynamic category are used for. We will start off by listing the best and most popular dynamic microphones:
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The Best Dynamic Microphones
1. Singing Machine SMM-205 Dynamic Microphone
The Singing Machine SMM-205 is another mic in the dynamic category that’s made for one specific purpose: karaoke. It has a uni-dimensional feature and it’s equipped with high-sensitivity equipment. It’s going to have an ability to project with a large, bright sound. You will hear a bit of an echo with this one, but if it’s used solely for karaoke, that’s not a problem. The proximity effect is quite optimal for this use.
The high-sensitivity of this microphone is going to make each sound that goes through it very audible. That means any breathing, touching of the mic, or side/background noises will be picked up. When singing karaoke, this is a desirable feature as it will highlight the person’s voice and the music behind them.
While it’s best suited for a smaller setting, like a house party, the Singing Machine can also be utilized in bars and karaoke clubs. You may not be able to hear every word projected if you’re sitting in the back of a large space, simply because of that echo. If you’re looking for a home/studio karaoke mic, this one is a great fit for you.
2. Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Dynamic Microphone
This mic has what’s called an extended frequency built into it. Extended frequencies are in a similar category as flat response microphones, like condenser mics. The extended frequency can make for a sound that doesn’t change quite as much. Its goal is to produce sounds that aren’t exaggerated, but when you’ve got a band where you need your vocals to rise above the music, this probably won’t be your best choice.
The Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB is ideal for smaller settings for this reason. You’re not going to get those extreme highs and lows that you can get with other frequencies, but you won’t need that if you’re not using it for a performance setting. For things like podcasts, voiceovers, and studio recordings, this mic is an ideal choice. Your voice will sound clear and precise, making it great for those options.
Our favorite feature is that it is equipped with a USB port, meaning you can plug it straight into your computer. This makes the recording process simple, because the mic will be recognized by most of the software utilized by musicians. It’s also a small dynamic microphone, so it is lightweight and easy to travel with.
3. Pyle-Pro PDMIC58 Dynamic Microphone
This model is a great starter mic for anyone who is learning how to properly project their voice into a microphone. It’s frequently used by music teachers and band directors in aiding in their students’ vocal techniques. Some professional musicians may use these as well, but this model’s strength really caters to the student. It has the most common frequency and the most common cardioid feature, so it’s great for training.
What we love about this model is that it comes with a cord (most mics do not, unless you upgrade), and it has an all-metal construction and an anti-dent ring. It’s a sturdy microphone, which is rare in the inexpensive models like these. It does not come with an adapter, but those are easy and cheap to purchase separately. Wireless microphones are great if you’re on stage or if you’re in a fast-moving setting, but the cord on this one is perfect for learners.
The Pyle-Pro PDMIC58 is a cardioid mic, so again, you’ll be getting straight sound from the front. Background noise will be minimal. It has an ultra-wide frequency response, and it comes with a built-in pop filter.
4. Behringer Ultravoice Xm8500
This Behringer Ultravoice XM8500 is a great choice if you’re playing in a band with two or more members. The reason for this is its excellent shock mount system. Noises like your hands on the mic, your other bandmates, and the high sound of the crowd in front of you will not be picked up.
Like most dynamic mics, it’s hard-wearing and resistant to falls. If the mic gets dented, the sound will not be affected. This Behringer product also has a 50Hz to 15kHz response, so you have some control over how your vocals are being projected. If you want to hear more of a range of sound amplification, this model is designed to provide that.
This model doesn’t come with any kind of cord or cable, so that will need to be purchased separately. That being said, this is a fantastic cheap dynamic microphone. Buying the cord won’t be much of an added expense.
5. Shure SM58-LC
The Shure SM58-LC has a cardioid polar pattern, so it is not going to pick up any sound from the sides or the back. Your voice won’t be completely isolated. You’ll hear all sounds in front of the mic (like your guitar, for example). It will, however, pick up your voice more dynamically than any of the other sounds present. This is also a dynamic recording microphone; it’s going to sound great in a recording studio.
With this model, a 4,000 Hz frequency rise is present and you’ll get a nice presence boost. Your highs and lows will sound accurate, and you’ll be able to equalize it to tailor your needs. This makes it the perfect fit for sound reinforcement and studio recording. It has a built-in spherical wind and pop filter, which is a necessity for any performing vocalist. It’s going to eliminate sharper breath sounds and soften sharper consonants, so your lyrics will be heard clearly.
It comes with a zippered storage pouch and a mic stand adapter, and this particular model has the option of add-on features like a cable and an on/off switch. The basic model has no cord or switch. You can upgrade to whatever suits your needs.
6. Shure SM57-LC
The Shure SM57-LC is one of the most durable mics in our review. This model is made specifically for road use and stadium use, so it has been built to last. The built-in windscreen, or the head of the mic, is made from a hard-wearing and virtually indestructible material. This protects the precious materials on the inside: the diaphragm, the coil, and the magnetic core. It’s also square-shaped, which makes it slightly more resistant to dents when dropped. This isn’t to say it can’t be dented – most mics can. But with this one, there will be no loss of input quality.
While all mics in the dynamic category are considered multi-purpose, many have their strengths. Some are great with specifically vocals; others are great for percussive instruments etc. This model works just as well for instruments as it does for vocals.
The SM57 also differs in that it isn’t set to a specific tuning like other mics are, so there is a wider range of frequencies to choose from. This is a great mic for instruments because of that non-specific tuning range.
7. Shure SM7B
This model is different than the others in our buying guide. It’s specifically made for television and studio use. It’s perfect for radio and television because it has a shielding feature that protects it from electromagnetic hum (like computer monitors). It also has an air suspension shock feature that eliminates any unwanted mechanical noise.
This model also comes with a windscreen, which is great for isolating vocals and providing a warm, accurate sound. This is part of what makes it perfect for speaking. Every word will be produced the way it goes into the mic. The flat response is a contributing factor to this feature.
While the Shure SM7B Dynamic Cardioid Microphone is ideal for the aforementioned settings, that doesn’t mean it won’t work for singing/vocals. On the contrary – that warm sound is great for particular kinds of music. Just keep in mind that it’s more of a studio/recording mic than an arena/stage mic. The mic bracket design is also a bonus, as it will make for a sturdy mic that isn’t bobbing back and forth with each movement. This is a professional dynamic microphone.
8. Samson Q2U
This is a perfect dynamic podcast microphone. It has a USB digital output so that it can easily plug straight into your computer. It also has an XLR output so that you can plug it into a mixer, making it great for getting the exact sound you want out of your voice. The USB and XLR cables make this an easy mic to hook up to audio interfaces. The main reason it’s so great for podcasts is that it comes with everything you’ll need to get set up, including a tiny desk stand for your mic.
The Samson Q2U is also equipped with a headphone jack, so you’ll be able to hear yourself without any interference or feedback. This is also going to eliminate any kind of echo that you’d get from standard mics in the dynamic category. Any recording program on your desktop or laptop will be able to recognize the mic as soon as it’s plugged in. This is a huge advantage for people who do frequent podcasts or voiceovers. These microphones do not utilize phantom power like condenser mics do, but this model is the closest thing you’ll get to that. The sound is very isolated.
This Q2U comes in a convenient starter pack that includes that desktop stand, the XLR and USB cables, a head sponge, Cakewalk Music Creator software, and a mic clip that allows you to rotate it in whatever position suits you. The sound quality is outstanding with little-to-no unwanted background noise. This is thanks to the superior cardioid feature. This is possibly the best dynamic microphone under $100 that you’ll find in our review.
9. Audio-Technica AT2005USB
The Audio Technica AT2005USB is a handheld dynamic that is available in two different packages: Standard and Streaming + Podcasting. It’s a wonderful unit for podcasting/voiceovers/home recording and performance. Unlike some of the other mics we’ve been discussing, this one is great for both home use and performance use. That being said, it really shines as a dynamic studio microphone. It’s equipped with both a USB and an XLR input, meaning you can plug it into your computer or you can plug it into your amp.
One of its best features it that it has a headphone jack and headphone volume control. There’s no need to control the volume from your computer or your amp if you’re using it with headphones. The cords that are included are on the short side, so if you need to use this mic on stage, just make sure to purchase a longer cord. Both XLR and USB are included in the standard pack, along with the convenient desktop tripod stand.
This model also has a superb cardioid pickup pattern. You’re going to get a nice, smooth sound with a productive sensitivity to bass notes + no outside interference with this dynamic mic.
10. Mediasonic MC-1326
The Mediasonic MC-1326 is a standard, uni-directional mic that can be used both professionally and for karaoke. Because of its high-sensitivity and wide frequency response, it is not the choice you’d pick if you needed a microphone for any other instruments.
This mic comes with a 10 ft. XLR cord with a one-quarter inch cable, which you typically don’t find with mics on the cheaper-side like this one. The quarter inch cable allows you to plug it directly into amps. When you start getting into the smaller cables, like a one-eighth inch, you’re only able to plug the microphone into your phone or other small outlets like that.
For the price, this mic cuts out quite a bit of noise. If you’re running the mic through an audio interface, you’re not going to hear things like air conditioners or heating systems. Keep in mind that to get the best result with this mic, you will need an interface to increase the gain.
How to Choose the Right Dynamic Microphone – 3 Things to Look For
Make Sure the Model You Choose is Equipped with a Cardioid Feature
No matter what your need is with your microphone, that cardioid feature is a must-have. When you’re talking or singing into the mic, you don’t need or want sounds from the backside of the mic to be picked up. Your voice should be isolated, and the only way to do that is with cardioid dynamic microphones.
Look for Durability
Whether you’re in a studio or stadium setting, chances are, your mic is going to get dropped. Look for brands that use durable mesh for the top of your mic. Most of them even have anti-dent rings, which are great for stage use.
Always Purchase a Mic That Has a Pop Filter Built into It
The last thing you need when you’re performing or recording are the pops and crackles that frequently come with fast-moving air or sharp consonants. Most mics have the filters built-in, but it’s good to double-check. You can also buy additional filters that are placed in front of the microphone. If you don’t have that filter, any word that starts with a “p” or a “b” is going to create a very unpleasant sound. It’s also a good idea to get something with high sound pressure levels (high spl) to avoid distortion.
How Much Should You Expect to Pay for a Good Dynamic Microphone?
There are a couple of things to consider here, including what you’re using it for and whether or not you need some of the added features that come with these models. Chances are though, if you’re paying less than $30, the microphone won’t last as long or sound as good. (There are a couple of exceptions, but that is the general rule.) The $50-$60 range is what you should expect for a good one. Exceptional ones may be closer to $300+, so again, it depends on your needs. You may also have the need/want for a wireless dynamic microphone, a vintage dynamic microphone, or a dynamic broadcast microphone. They all vary in prices. As long as you know what you’re looking for going into this process, you’ll find the right one for the right price.
What are Dynamic Microphones Used For?
Mics in the dynamic category are considered “multi-purpose microphones”, meaning they can essentially be used for any of your vocal or instrumental needs. They’re great for performing in large crowds on stage, but they’re also fantastic for things like podcasts, recording, and studio use. If you want to have a little karaoke, some mics are compatible with boombox radios for at-home party fun. Each mic has a certain purpose or strength, though, and that’s what you want to look out for.
The bottom line is that if you want to use your microphone at home for podcasts or personal song recordings, you’ll want one that has more of a flat-range and lower frequency. If you want something with a brighter, more vibrant sound, go for mid-high range. As long as you know what you’re buying it for, the dynamic category will work for you.