When it comes to the best dynamic microphones for home and professional recording studios, some models always speak for themselves.
The thing with the dynamic mics is that they always avail themselves in a variety of tasks around the studio. Whether you’re in need of the best microphone for singing or podcasting, there’s a pool of options for you in this department.
And one more thing, dynamic microphones cut across all budgets and are not determined by price (if you choose wisely). It’s quite amazing to realize that some of the most outstanding dynamic mics out there play at below 100 bucks.
Peruse any list of the best dynamic microphones on earth, and you won’t lack either the Shure SM57 or 58 or even both. These 2 studio instruments are pretty similar only that the SM57-LC has a small flattened grill while the SM58 boasts a round ball on top.
Released in 1965, the SM57 is particularly White House’s all-time favorite. Shure claims that it has been used by over 30 US presidents thanks to its feedback resistance.
So, what makes the SM57 Dynamic Microphone so dynamic?
First, this is a metallic piece that has been thoughtfully constructed to take a beating both on the road and on stage. Though we don’t recommend testing it on your hard surfaces, the odds are that you won’t easily break it by accidentally dropping it several times.
Second, this must-have microphone has a uniform cardioid pickup pattern. As a result, it’s able to receive signals from the source while isolating the background noise.
Again, considering that it is dynamic, the SM57 can handle high SPL without any distortion. This makes the SM57 the real deal if you’re searching for a cheap dynamic microphone for recording different instruments including acoustic guitars, kick and snare drums, guitar amp, bass amp, saxophone, and congas. Again, its 40 to 15,000 Hz frequency response presents you one of the most affordable dynamic microphones for recording vocals too.
The D5 has been a hit since its inception, hands down. Designed for the unforgiving stage, this dynamic mic has a rugged construction featuring a metallic tube and a tough steel mesh grille. Again, it’s fitted with a dual shock mount! As such, it should stay with you for life with just a little care. But it’s not the construction design that we’re so much into, here is the real jambalaya.
One standout feature with the D5 is its Varimotion Diaphragm Technology. This is a term that you won’t hear anywhere else; it’s a patented AKG’s innovation. This technology enables the D5 to offer the most accurate and near-natural sound reproduction minus the need for pricey mechanical tuning resonators. Well, that may be a bit hard to understand. But all it means is that it makes the mic so good for years of use.
This is made even better by its 70Hz- 20kHz frequency response. In a graphical representation, this frequency range is a lot flatter than most dynamic mics can give. Double this with its 147dB max sound pressure with only 1% distortion, and you get the most affordable dynamic microphone for vocals and live stage performances.
Sennheiser E835 is slightly pricier than the D5 but still below the 100-dollar mark and highly recommendable. In my opinion (though several experts may object it), this German-engineered mic blows the SM57 and 58 out of the water in most applications.
The E835 is a high-quality model regarding construction and sound quality. It feels solid and a bit heavy though it’s still comfortable when used as a handheld stage microphone.
About performance, this mic has lots of clarity and fullness. It also has an incredibly tight pickup pattern. Therefore, it's a great option for stage-use when used by the lead vocalist or backup. Featuring a cardioids polar pattern, Sennheiser E385 pays more attention to the front sounds while excellently rejecting other sounds. This is a must-have feature for the best recording microphones.
Another great feature with the E385 is that its frequency can go as low as 40Hz. This, therefore, means that you can rely on this dynamic mic for recording instruments too. Although the AKG D5 and Shure SH85 tend to put up a fierce fight here, the E385 does a good job with guitar cabs, snare, and brass.
Blue – a USA-based brand- is synonymous with killer microphones. Yes, this is the company behind the Blue Yeti, which I bet you’ve heard of by now. As the Yeti kicks butt in the world of USB-microphones, the enCORE 100 does the same on the side of best dynamic studio microphones.
The enCORE 100 showcases Blue’s vast experience in this niche. It features a stage-ready construction featuring gunmetal gray appearance on its heavy-gauge barrel. It also comes emblazoned with the usual Blue logo and a strong ring to reinforce the grill. On the external features still, enCORE 100’s barrel has a CNC-machined grip that offers worry-free grip while on the stage.
When it comes to audio performance, the enCORE 100 has an amazing range for vocals. It especially feels like a great relief if you’re jumping ship from another mic that felt boxy and congested. Its cardioids pattern has excellent off-axis noise rejection for those noisy stages.
It also has a high SPL handling capability (147dB) that offers you full potential of your voice. Its highs remain well balanced across its 50Hz- 15kHz frequency range.
Again, its bottom end feels nicely rounded while the top end is open, smooth, and detailed. Again, its cardioid polar pattern, 250-ohm impedance, and 1.55 Mv/pA sensitivity work well in reducing feedback and eliminating other anomalies. No wonder it’s amongst the best dynamic mics for live performance and studio recording too.
Unlike the Shure SM57/58, the EV ND767A isn’t a tank and won’t withstand several falls not unless you’re very lucky. However, several on-road bands report that this is their best model since it tends to take a beating.
On the other hand, several users say that the mic went quiet on them without any cases of abuse. Either way, the ND767A is still a recommendable mic especially if you’re a starter looking for a unit with above standard sound quality before upgrading to other high-end dynamic microphones.
One thing that stands out with this mic is its extremely low handling noise. This is as a result of its incredibly large diaphragm transducer. Several sound engineers affirm that the ND767A is the way to go if you’re looking for near ‘condenser’ sound reproductions in a dynamic mic. If you’re looking for a good mic for live performance, this microphones high SPL handling capability allows you to sing as loud as you can be without distortion.
But what makes it more ideal for the stage is its high gain before feedback. Its supercardioid polar pattern makes it your go-to mic if you have speakers placed on both sides of your studio rather than at the center. Lastly, its good clarity makes it a good dynamic microphone for podcasts and voiceovers. It can also be used on almost all kinds of voices including bass.
Our first pick on this list costs a little over 200 dollars- it’s quite pricey than most mics here but worth the shot. Anyone who has used it before will boldly tell you that this isn’t your ordinary dynamic mic. At a glance, the Heil Sound PR 30 appears like a side-addressed condenser microphone. However, this is a large diaphragm end-addressed dynamic microphone.
Here is a glimpse of its features: 600 Ohms impedance, 40Hz- 18kHz frequency response, and low-mass large diaphragm. These are among other features that make Heil Sound PR 30 a versatile, dynamic mic for around-the-studio use.
For instance, this microphone has an extended low-end response (it goes as low as 40Hz) making it a good mic for kick drums and bass cabinets. On the other hand, PR 30 boasts plenty of nicely defined top ends that qualify it as amongst the best dynamic microphones for male vocals. Again, you’ll also find it quite useful for your guitar amps and toms.
The future of dynamic microphones is seemingly brighter than before. As we’ve just seen, these mics are becoming versatile with each day and are not limited to live performances any longer. The juicy part is that they are hands down inexpensive. As such, you can order a bunch for various home studio recording applications without wrecking your account.
Quinn is an audio engineer who is passionate about music production gear. He's been a journalist profiling popular musicians and the gear they use. When not helping musicians and audio producers in studios, he's scouring the market to find the latest gear and music production tech.