5 Best Dynamic Mics For Recording Vocals

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Dynamic microphones often get a bad rep for recording vocals compared to condenser mics, their phantom-powered cousins.

In reality, dynamic mics can be amazing for vocals and have captured many iconic songs. They are part of any worthwhile microphone collection and are wonderful on amps, drums, and many other sound sources. 

We’re going to check out the 5 best dynamic mics for recording vocals you can get for the money. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly vocal mic to get started, or just want to upgrade your mic setup, these are the mics you should consider.

Let’s get into it!

Audio-Technica ATR2100X-USB

Audio-Technica is a fine company with a long history of making quality microphones. The Audio-Technica ATR2100X-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone continues that proud tradition in the modern age. It’s a great tool for recording both sung and spoken-word vocals and is capable of killer results in any number of situations.

One of the coolest things about the ATR2100X-USB is its connectivity. It sports XLR and USB outputs that will allow you to plug into pretty much anything in the world. It also has its own dedicated headphone out for the most direct monitoring possible. It has a smooth frequency response no matter how it’s plugged in and makes an outstanding choice for singing and podcasting. 

PROS:

  • XLR and USB outputs for full analog and digital connections. 
  • Has its own headphone jack. 
  • Has its own volume control, which is a rare feature at this price point
  • Made by one of the best companies in the business.
  • Just under $100

CONS:

  • A bit entry-level. 

Shure SM7B

The Shure SM7B is the gold standard for dynamic microphones in the recording or podcasting studio. It’s been used on countless productions and, once you can recognize one, you’ll see them everywhere.

The SM7B is the mic used to record Michael Jackson’s vocals on Thriller, the biggest-selling album of all time. It will absolutely deliver the goods for anything you’re working on. 

The SM7B has a wide and flat response, which makes it amazing for singers and talkers alike. It boasts a fully professional XLR connection that will pipe the mic’s clear, robust tone into any system at hand. It’s the go-to microphone for many of the best engineers, streamers, and podcasters in the game and is backed by decades of success. If you can only buy one dynamic microphone, this is it. 

PROS:

  • It’s the industry standard for dynamic studio microphones. 
  • It’s silky, smooth tone excels on sung and spoken vocal tracks.
  • Will give you many years of high-performance use.

CONS:

  • Needs a good preamp to truly shine.
  • May be too pricey for small studios. 

Shure SM58

If you’ve never sung through a Shure SM58, you’re probably pretty new to all this music stuff. The SM58 has dominated stages for decades but is also a worthy contender for studio vocals. It’s another of Shure’s industry-leading products that have become an iconic piece of kit. 

The 58 works on a cardioid polar pattern to best reject background sounds and can handle a ton of gain before feedback. It has a frequency response curve designed to maximize all types of vocals and produces minimal handling noise. It’s also one of the most reliable dynamic microphones ever made. You could literally hammer nails with one of these all day and still be ready to track at night. If you can’t swing an SM7B, get an SM58. 

PROS:

  • One of the most popular microphones ever made.
  • Tailor-made for vocals.
  • Tough as nails and will never fail. 
  • Affordable. 

CONS: 

  • Not usually considered a recording mic. 
  • So popular that someone might steal it. 

Sennheiser E835

Sennheiser is another of the all-time great microphone companies and must be included in any chat about what mics to use. The E835 is a premium dynamic vocal mic that will give up righteous sounds in any audio setting.

It boasts a clear and even frequency response and is designed to minimize the Proximity Effect to guarantee a tight bottom end. It’s a competitor of the Shure SM58 so shop, compare, and let your ears decide for you. 

The E835 employs a professional XLR output and is compatible with almost any audio system. Its internal shock-mount system and tough, metal construction make it one of the quietest mics out there as well as one of the most dependable. Any Sennheiser product will get the job done for you but the E835 just seems to have a little extra magic that its users love. Highly recommended. 

PROS:

  • It’s a Sennheiser. 
  • Extremely low handling noise. 
  • Ten-year warranty for peace of mind. 

CONS:

  • Similar to a Shure SM58. You decide which one sounds better.
  • Plain charcoal finish. 

MXL BCD-1

MXL has become one of the most important microphone brands to emerge in the 21st Century and offerings like the BCD-1 are the reason why. MXL products always punch way above their weight and give recording enthusiasts access to professional sounds at unbeatable prices.

The BCD-1 gives users low noise, high output, and a spectacular amount of value. It has a super-tight cardioid polar pattern that’s great at rejecting off-axis sounds, which makes it the right mic to use if you’re recording several people at once. 

The BCD-1 is marketed as a spoken-word microphone but works just as well on singers. Like any other mic, you have to plug up its XLR connector, take a listen, and decide if it’s right for the project at hand.

MXL microphones always rate high on the bang-for-the-buck meter and give home and project studios the kind of sounds that only big-league professionals could afford back in the day. If you don’t know MXL yet, it’s time to get hip. 

PROS:

  • Great sound and value.
  • High output with minimal noise.
  • Comes with a windscreen and protective case.

CONS:

  • MXL may be an unfamiliar brand to some buyers.
  • Low resale value. Buy it to use it. 

What is a dynamic microphone anyway?

A dynamic microphone is a passive device that turns sound into energy by the use of electromagnetic technology. 

Unlike a condenser microphone, it doesn’t need additional electrical power and operates purely on the physical energy that hits its membrane and moving voice coil.

Dynamic mics rule the live show environment and are often used on guitar amps, drums, and vocals. They’re tough, durable mics that can survive almost anything a musician could put them through and come out ready for tomorrow night’s gig. Two of the most famous dynamic microphones are Shure’s eternal SM57 and SM58. 

Are dynamic microphones better?

This is a bit of a loaded question because, in music, better is always in the eye of the beholder. Different mics do different jobs and have their own unique applications. Also, it’s quite legal to use a microphone in a way most other engineers don’t in pursuit of a compelling sound.

If you’re after normal sounds, use your mics the way they’ve been proven to work. If you’re chasing something out of the ordinary, experiment with your gear until you hear what you need. 

The best microphone is the one that sounds the best to your ears. 

Can you use a dynamic mic to record vocals?

Of course, you can. Dynamic mics can deliver excellent results on vocal tracks of all kinds. They work equally well for singing, voiceovers, and podcasts and are essential to anyone producing audio content in any way.

They also work surprisingly well in situations where you have to record multiple people in the same room due to their typically tight, cardioid pickup patterns. 

Conclusion 

We hope you enjoyed reading this review about the best dynamic microphones for recording vocals and feel ready to make an informed choice.

Only you know what you want to sound like, so getting some hands-on time with any of these will help your process a lot. Trust your ears and you’ll never go wrong. See you next time! 

1 COMMENT

  1. Everyone I have asked recommends Sennheiser mics. Looking at the price of the one listed here, it appears to be $100. I was hoping to find one a bit cheaper since I am just looking to record myself for YouTube videos. Nothing fancy. I just want to get my voice out there. I am going to have to check around and see if I can find it cheaper, if not I will have to bite the bullet! All things considered, it isn’t THAT expensive for what you get but still, I am on a budget!

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