The Best Dynamic Microphones
[This article contains affiliate links, As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.]
From live performance to all kinds of applications in the studio, dynamic microphones are a huge part of music recording. These mics are beloved for their ruggedness and reliability, a good dynamic mic can take plenty of beatings. Furthermore, if you’re ever looking to record a loud sound source, this mic type is going to be your best friend. Dynamic microphones are also beloved for anything requiring a warmer sound (voiceovers, toms, low brass).
Regardless of how you plan on using it, you will likely find a number of situations where a dynamic is a perfect solution. Here are several of the best ones you can buy today.
Shure SM57 - $99.00
Is there really anything else I could kick off this list with? Nope. The Shure SM57 is without a doubt an industry standard. It’s crazy versatile, built like a tank and no self-respecting studio would be caught dead without a couple of these in their mic locker. Why is this mic so important? Well, it’s sort like the gold standard for what a dynamic mic should function and sound. You would be surprised just how many things this mic records well. Specifically, it is the absolute most popular choice for snare drums and guitar amps. While some people like it paired with another mic and others prefer it alone, you would struggle to find someone who doesn’t like this mic.
Sennheiser MD421 II - $379.95
The MD421 is not nearly as commonplace as a 57 is, but make no mistake, this is still regarded as being one of the best out there. Just like you would expect, this Sennheiser is VERY durable and should last you forever. And it’s also a great price considering the sound quality it provides. What really makes the 421 standout is its versatility. Even more so than a 57, this mic sounds good on just about everything. It is probably most beloved for being a toms and percussion mic, but it does much more. The main surprise for people with this one is the vocal record capability. So if you were to say there was such a thing as a desert island dynamic mic, this would be it.
Shure SM58 - $99.00
Yes, Shure’s SM58 is also very deserving of a spot on this list. Even though this and the 57 are the same mic in a lot of ways, there is still one key difference. The SM58 is the king of live vocal mics. Take everything that is great about the 57, change up the grille design, add a pop filter and you have a legendary live performance tool. While these still get used in the studio from time to time, typically people will choose another mic when in a more controlled environment. Overall, if you need a mic for singing at shows, this is the most reliable option out there.
Electrovoice RE-20 - $449.00
If you ever find yourself in a radio or broadcasting studio, this mic is very likely to be lying around somewhere. The RE-20 is the only mic on this list not specifically intended for music recording. This model is marketed by Electrovoice as a broadcasting mic and with how prominent it is in radio, it's hard to disagree with them. However, you can still get a lot of use from this even outside its intended purposes. Many studio engineers like to use RE-20s to capture vocals, strings and even kick drums. This mic’s versatility is definitely right up there with the others on this list.
Sennheiser e609 - $109.95
This mic is a very specialized piece of gear, but it is so great I had to put on this list. The e906 is not nearly as versatile when compared to any of the other dynamics previously mentioned. Although, this mic was not created to sound great on one thing... guitar cabs. This is quite close to a 57 in a lot of ways, but Sennheiser has a slightly different tone to their design. The e609 handles bass frequencies significantly better than a Shure does (IMO). If you are looking for a single mic for an electric guitar that doesn’t require a lot of post EQ, this is a great option.
Shure SM7B - $399.00
To conclude this list we have yet another Shure mic, however, this one is quite different from the previous two listed. The SM7B is like the e609 in that it really only is for one thing, only in this case we are talking about vocals instead of guitar cabs. Some people swear by this as their primary vocal mic, even over a nice condenser. So while different from a condenser, the sound of an SM7B is in no way inferior. In fact, this mic is commonly used on rock and metal vocalists due to its better handling of louder sound sources. Furthermore, some people just really prefer the slightly warmer tone this mic provides over most other mic types.
That covers some of the best dynamic mics that are available on the market today. There are plenty more great options that I have left off this list. Everything above just covers the classics and some of my personal favorites. The truth is dynamic mics are typically much more consistent in terms of sound quality than condensers. Even really affordable mics of this variety tend to hold their own. But don’t get me wrong, the ones on this list are some of the best, most tried and true obtainable. So if you are in need of a dynamic mic, everyone listed here does what it should and does it really well.