Microphones are one of the main pieces of equipment that are hard to choose, especially if you are looking for the best dynamic microphones. Not all microphones are made equal and when you need to buy something as important as a dynamic mic, you need to be well informed before you make a decision on which one to get. We have that covered; keep reading for reviews of the best dynamic microphones available in 2020.
Before we begin: what is a dynamic mic?
A dynamic microphone is usually the type of mic that you see singers use on stage, or the ones around a drum set. Because of its name, you might think that a dynamic mic has something to do with dynamic range, but this is not the case.
By definition, a dynamic microphone is a microphone that uses electromagnetic induction. Dynamic mics are ideal for use on stage or with louder instruments and sounds like drums and loud vocals. They are also usually water resistant and overall very durable.
Here are the best dynamic microphones 2020:
- Electro-Voice RE20
- Telefunken Elektroakustik M80
- Sennheiser e 835-S
- Shure SM7B
- Neumann BCM 705
- Shure SM58
- AKG D5
- Rode PodMic
- Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB
- Shure SM57
1. Electro-Voice RE20
A dynamic legend
The RE20 made by Electro-Voice is somewhat of a legend in the dynamic microphone world. Considered an industry standard, the RE20 is a known favorite among vocalists and sound engineers. I have gotten lucky enough to use one of these and they are a joy to work with.
The RE20 is a steel cased, cardioid pattern microphone (which means you sing or speak into it from one area of the microphone), and it uses the standard XLR cable connection to connect to sound systems and audio interfaces. Phantom power is not needed to power this thing.
The microphone is more tailored to be used for vocals, although it definitely can be used for drums as well. It has a frequency response range that is more specific to vocals, starting at 45 Hz and ending at 18 kHz.
The microphone does not have any type of coloration or embellished frequencies, so you should get an incredibly accurate sound out of it when recording or performing. This top-rated dynamic mic provides a clear, crisp tone without sounding like it has too much high end.
Among other features, the RE20 has a built in shock mount to absorb any shock from bumps or rough use, and it also has a built in pop filter to catch plosives, so you do not need one if you are using this microphone in the studio. It also uses Electro-Voice’s special Variable-D technology to reduce proximity effect.
|Image credit: Electro-Voice Check Price on Amazon||
This microphone is well worth the money, even if it is one of the most expensive ones on this list, because it is more professional. It is a great, high-quality microphone and I recommend it for anyone, whether you record vocals, guitar, drums and other instruments, or perform. It is flexible and with the Variable-D technology you are really getting more than you pay for.
2. Telefunken Elektroakustik M80
The performer’s condenser-type mic
Telefunken Elektroakustik is a widely known, popular audio equipment manufacturer and are best known for their microphones. The M80 is one of their leading dynamic mics. It has a rugged, powder coat body and a chrome plated head grill which makes it ideal for touring as it is extremely durable.
It has got a low mass capsule and an extremely thin membrane which helps capture all the nuances in your voice or instrument. Additionally, it contains a custom wound transformer that matches the impedance of any audio interface or sound board, ensuring that your vocals sound the same every time, no matter where you go.
The M80 is a supercardioid dynamic mic, making it extra directional in terms of picking up sound, and does not require phantom power to work. It is one of the best dynamic microphones for vocals as it is made for touring, although it still would be good for many instruments.
The M80 was made to provide users with a better alternative to the many dynamic microphones that have a heavy midrange frequency laden tone. The frequency response of this mic is 50 Hz to 18 kHz. The M80 gives a performance similar to a condenser microphone due to its frequency response, and does not do away with producing an accurate level of emotion with its tone.
The tone of the microphone can be described as being ‘airy’ and ‘open’ without having the annoying ‘honk’ tone in the upper midrange frequency area that many dynamic mics tend to have. All that being said, the M80 is excellent for studio use along with stage use.
|Image credit: Telefunken Check Price on Amazon||
The M80 is one of the best dynamic mics for recording vocals and I strongly suggest it for vocalists, as well as producers who record a lot of vocals. If you are a performer you will love this microphone and how well it stands up to the high demands of touring and live performing as well as how incredible it sounds. It will also sound good with pretty much any instrument, but might not pick up the very low bass frequencies that give drums their ‘beef’.
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3. Sennheiser e 835-S
A good choice under $200
The e 835 is a dynamic cardioid microphone by Sennheiser and is another good option for your stage or studio use as a producer, performer, or instrumentalist. Labeled as a live performance mic, the e 835 has a rugged metal housing to keep it from getting seriously damaged and stand up to high demands from potentially rough stage use.
It is a standard dynamic XLR microphone with a cardioid pick up pattern and does not need phantom power from a sound system or audio interface to power it. Ideally, the e 835 is best suited for vocals, but can be used for higher tuned drums and instruments that have a lot of upper midrange frequencies or instruments that require more presence in a mix.
The frequency response range is 40 Hz to 16 kHz which should provide enough of a range to cut through high levels on stage. As for the tone, it provides a clear reproduction of audio and adds a lot of presence. The e 835-S also gives a consistent sound quality at different distances and positions from the source of audio and also rejects feedback really well.
As for other features, it has an on/off switch if you need to turn it off for some reason, and it also has a hum compensating coil to take care of handling noise.
|Image credit: Sennheiser Check Price on Amazon||
The Sennheiser e 835-S is a really good microphone, especially for performing, due to the boost of presence to cut through stage noise. I would not necessarily recommend it for studio use unless you plan to EQ out the increased upper midrange frequencies, because otherwise you will be getting an inaccurate representation of vocals or instruments with that boost. Nonetheless, it is a really solid dynamic microphone that performs very well.
4. Shure SM7B
The mic that made Thriller
If you are not familiar with the Shure SM7B, you may be surprised to know that this dynamic microphone was used to record Michael Jackson’s vocals for his hit record, Thriller. I have been lucky to use this model of microphone for vocals myself, and it really is an amazing mic.
The SM7B has a sturdy metal casing and the setup allows it to either be suspended or used on a normal mic stand in a studio. It uses an XLR cable to connect to a sound board or audio interface, and it is a cardioid microphone that does not require phantom power.
The SM7B is mainly ideal for vocals, but can be great with pretty much any instrument as well. It is known to keep out a lot of background noise, while capturing the main audio source perfectly.
It has a frequency response rate of 50 Hz to 20 kHz, and provides a warm, smooth tone with clear bass and a decent boost in the upper midrange, giving the audio source plenty of presence and warmth.
As for other features, the microphone has a bass rolloff switch and a presence boost switch. It also has a built in pop filter and shock isolation to keep your recordings safe from any noise from bumps. It also has advanced electromagnetic shielding that protects the audio from hum caused by computers and other electronics. The SM7B comes with a windscreen and a switch cover plate if you need them.
|Image credit: Shure Check Price on Amazon||
I can not fault this mic on too many things. It is a fantastic choice and definitely a steal, coming in at under $500. For being a dynamic mic, it really does sound great and provides a classic tone that adds a ton of character. If you are in need of a great sounding mic that produces a lot of warmth, definitely give this one a try.
5. Neumann BCM 705
Effortless high-end audio
Neumann is easily one of the best-selling companies for studio microphones, whether they are condensers or dynamic mics. The BCM 705 is actually mainly for radio broadcasting and things of that nature, but that actually makes it even better for studio use. It was specifically made for conveying emotion with technical perfection.
The body of the microphone is made with metal and it has a built in pop filter to reduce plosives and an internal shock mount to reduce shock from any type of bumps or rumble from movement. It uses standard three pin XLR cables and does not need phantom power.
It is a hypercardioid pattern mic which means that it is even more directional than a normal cardioid mic and will only pick up audio from a source that is right in front of it. This ensures that background noise is kept out of the audio signal, making it ideal for use in studios that can not be completely soundproofed.
Since the BCM 705 was made for broadcasting, it is definitely best for vocals, especially screaming vocals, but also is good for bright brass instruments and guitar amplifier cabinets.
It has a frequency response range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz and has a boost in the high midrange and a bass rolloff to add presence and clarity and keep the lows from sounding boomy, respectively. It captures emotions in vocals extremely well and is great for very detailed recordings.
|Image credit: Neumann Check Price on Amazon||
I recommend this mic to anyone who wants a lot of detail and character in their recordings. It is the most expensive microphone on this list, but very well worth it because of the quality you get out of it.
6. Shure SM58
A true classic
Sometimes the best microphones are not hundreds or thousands of dollars. The Shure SM58 is proof of this. It is one of the most popular microphones to date and if you have watched a concert on YouTube or listened to a live performance or a speech on TV, there is a great chance that you have listened to and/or seen a Shure SM58.
The SM58 has an extremely sturdy build with an internal shock mount to absorb rumble, an internal pop filter to tame plosives, and it feels fairly heavy for being as small as it is. It uses an XLR cable to connect to a sound board or audio interface and does not require phantom power to work.
It is a cardioid microphone which makes it great for stage and studio use as it keeps out background noise. The SM58 is great for vocals and pretty much any instrument. It has a frequency response rate of 50 Hz to 15 kHz with a boost at 4 kHz, which is not as wide a range as other dynamic microphones, but that can easily be remedied in your DAW with a little EQing.
Because of the boost at 4 kHz it adds some warmth and presence which is a sound you find on many older records, but it is also very helpful for live performances as that extra presence helps vocals and instruments to cut through the mix easily.
I use the SM58 for a lot of my vocal recording and it is a fantastic little thing. I have been able to use it for recording in places that are not sound proofed and the recordings still come out great.
I honestly like it better than most condenser microphones, because of the warmer tone and the vocal isolation. I prefer my vocals to have quite a bit of airiness to them which the SM58 does not really provide, but a high shelf filter in my EQ takes care of that problem.
|Image credit: Shure Check Price on Amazon||
Because of the price tag, you easily get the best value with this microphone, in my opinion. It is a tried and true mic that never fails. If you need something reliable and cheap yet great sounding, the SM58 is the way to go. I strongly believe that every musician, vocalist, and producer should try this microphone out at least once in their lives.
7. AKG D5
Cheap, but packs a punch
AKG is a well known company that has really good microphones, although it is not as popular as Shure or Neumann. The AKG D5 is a microphone similar to the Shure SM58 and the Sennheiser e 835. It has a metal body and uses three pin XLR connections. Since it is a dynamic microphone, it does not need phantom power to work properly.
The D5 is a supercardioid microphone, which means that it is even more of a directional pattern than a hypercardioid pattern, allowing only the source from the front of the microphone capsule to take in audio. This aids in isolating the audio source from background noise in stage settings or louder studio settings. The AKG D5 is best for use with vocals, brass instruments, woodwinds, pianos, and other stringed instruments.
The microphone has a frequency response range of 70 Hz to 20 kHz, which pretty much confirms that it is not exactly ideal for drums or bass amp cabinets. The tone that the microphone provides is very clear and crisp, which usually means that there is some added high end.
As for other features, it has a dual internal shock mount, ensuring that rumble will not be a problem at all while performing and recording. It also has a noiseless on/off switch.
|Image credit: AKG Check Price on Amazon||
If you are someone who finds the warmth of the Shure SM58 too muddy for your taste and the tone of the Sennheiser e 835 just not right for your needs, the AKG D5 may be just what you need. I recommend it to performers who need a durable microphone that does not have as much bass as other dynamic mics do. If your voice is very bass heavy, try this one out.
8. Rode PodMic
Best dynamic microphone for podcasting
If you have never heard of Rode, definitely check them out. They are an amazing company with some great midrange priced microphones. The PodMic, however, is priced quite nicely for how well it works and how great it sounds. The Rode PodMic is the best dynamic microphone for podcasting and streaming. If that is your thing, this mic is the only one you will need.
It is a dynamic microphone that is optimized for broadcasting, podcasting, and streaming, and handles different levels of audio very well. If one minute you are going from talking normally to screaming the next minute, the PodMic can easily handle it and still keep a balanced sound.
The PodMic has a sturdy metal build, making it durable enough for rough use. It uses an XLR connection and can be used with a microphone boom arm or a normal microphone stand depending on your preference, and it does not need phantom power. The PodMic is optimized for use with Rode’s RODECaster Pro Audio production console, but will be fine with any console or audio interface.
Because this microphone is so good at handling things like screaming, it is obviously best used for vocals, but probably would also be fine with drums and loud guitar amp cabinets.
It has a cardioid pick up pattern which means that it picks up sound from one direction and makes sure that background noise is not picked up. The frequency response range is 20 Hz to 20 kHz which is fantastic for something so cheap, and as far as tone goes, it produces a rich, balanced tone with clean lows and crisp highs.
|Image credit: Rode Check Price on Amazon||
If you enjoy streaming or podcasting, this dynamic mic is a good choice for you. Although it does have a wide frequency response range and can handle vocals well, it is made more for broadcasting and podcasting.
However, due to the character of the microphone, it is not ideal for singing, although it may be okay for screaming vocals and loud guitars or drums. It can still be used for singing if you want a cheap alternative, but I would definitely recommend that you find something else to use for singing.
9. Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB
Audio-Technica does not have many USB microphones, but if you are looking for the latest one, their ATR2100-USB model is great. The ATR2100-USB microphone is a metal bodied handheld microphone that works with both USB and XLR, so it does not need phantom power and it can be used with a computer, audio interface, or sound board.
This type of flexibility is not something you see super often with handheld dynamic mics as usually you see more condenser mics that have USB capability, but it is not unheard of. The ATR2100-USB is best used for vocals, but will also sound great if used with guitar amplifier cabinets, drums, or other stringed instruments.
It can easily be used in small home studios, on stage, out in the field, for podcasting, or for voice overs. It has got a cardioid pick up pattern, reducing input from the sides and back of the microphone and isolating the main source of audio, so if you have got a lot of background noise it should handle that with no problem.
The frequency response range is from 50 Hz to 15 kHz, which is not super wide, but still should be enough for most needs, and if you need more of a boost in certain areas you can remedy that through the EQ in your DAW. It has a smooth, warm tone similar to that of the Shure SM58.
Other features include a headphone jack input built into the microphone for monitoring, an on/off switch, and a volume control for the headphone volume on the bottom of the mic. It also comes with a tripod stand. Additionally, the mic is compatible with Windows and Mac, so you will have no problem connecting to your DAW.
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The ATR2100-USB is a solid choice for many recording and performance needs and I strongly suggest it if you are on a budget. It is excellent quality for how much it costs and it is sure to satisfy your ear and your wallet. I would not recommend it for high-end studios, but for a smaller studio or a bedroom studio it would be a great microphone to use.
10. Shure SM57
The best dynamic instrument microphone
The SM57 by Shure is another legendary dynamic microphone. The SM57 was specifically made for instruments as it was designed to handle high gain, high pressure, explosive sounds that come out of drums, guitar amp cabinets, brass and wind instruments, and more without causing distortion or feedback.
It is a metal bodied microphone made to withstand rough use and hard knocks. It has a uniform cardioid pick up pattern and an integrated pneumatic shock mount system to absorb rumble from handling and produce great tone without picking up background noise.
Like all dynamic microphones, the Shure SM57 does not require phantom power to work which comes in handy if you don’t have a system that can provide that extra 48 volts. It also uses the standard XLR cable to connect to whatever equipment you use.
Although the SM57 is great for all instruments, the ones that tend to really shine when used with this mic are drums and guitars, because it’s especially suitable for close mic use. Even though it is mainly an instrument microphone, it can also be used for vocals that need a presence boost.
Speaking of presence boost, the frequency response range of this microphone is 40 Hz to 15 kHz and there is a bit of a boost in the upper midrange to provide clarity and – like I just mentioned – presence. You will find that there is a bright tone from the SM57 microphone that gives it clarity in mixes that are busier or muddy.
|Image credit: Shure Check Price on Amazon||
If you need a microphone that is extremely durable and will stand up to a ton of abuse while sounding great at the same time in both the studio and on stage, the Shure SM57 is your microphone. It’s a complete steal and you will be able to use it for years to come.
The best dynamic microphone may be cheaper than you think. If you want to have great sounding recordings and live performances, but do not have the money to spend on a condenser microphone, a dynamic microphone will work for you just as well. They are much more affordable than condensers and with the right EQing, they can sound every bit as nice as a condenser mic.
I would strongly recommend that you consider taking a look at some of these microphones on this list or even consider purchasing one. You absolutely will not regret it.
Jordan is a music producer, content creator, writer, and session musician. He has been producing music and engineering live performances for over 7 years. He is an experienced guitarist and enjoys listening to and playing many different genres of music.