Condenser microphone: Which are the best of 2022?
Today’s topic is: condenser microphone, an ideal instrument if you want to record clearly and in detail.
These models are widely used in recording studios, to capture audio from artists singing and / or playing musical instruments, because it gives greater clarity to these different sounds and does not capture external noise.
But there are other types of microphones, what differentiates one model from the other is the use you will make of it, there is an ideal model for each type of capture. So if you are thinking of buying a microphone, but are unsure of which type, model or brand to buy, then you have come to the right place!
First, the most important
- There are several types of microphones: wired or wireless models, condenser, lapel, acoustic microphone, head and table. Each type is suitable for specific uses, that is, there is no better or worse model, but the right type for each situation.
- The condenser microphone is the ideal type if you want to make a recording with clarity and detail, whether it’s a person’s voice or the sound of an instrument. The condenser model is widely found in sound studios and radio stations.
- If you are looking to buy a condenser microphone, know that this model is one of the most recommended for sound quality. The price of this type of microphone varies from R $ 40 to more than R $ 15,000.
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Best Condenser Microphones: Our Recommendations
The microphone is the ideal instrument for capturing voice or musical instruments, for sharpening the sound of videos or even for public speaking. If you want to buy a condenser microphone, we have listed the best ones for you:
- Professional condenser microphone – Blue Microphones
- Studio condenser microphone – MXL
- Condenser studio microphone – MXL
- Condenser microphone recording U7 – Cad
- Microphone C-1U – Behringer
- SF-666 Condenser Microphone
Whatever your need, you can see from the ranking above that there’s a condenser microphone that’s right for you. And this is what we want to help you with: understanding your characteristics and knowing how to make the best choice.
Continue with us and until the end of this Buying Guide you can buy your condenser microphone without fear.
What is a condenser microphone and where to use it?
Before you understand what a condenser microphone is, you need to know how a microphone works: it transforms the sound of your voice into electrical signals, which turn into sound again when they reach the amplifier, speaker or speaker.
There are several types of microphones and each one works best in a certain context (we will explain more in the next topic).
The condenser microphone can be used in a variety of situations and is ideal for capturing the sound of the voice or musical instruments in rich detail and without the influence of other ambient sounds.
The frequency response of the condenser microphones is quite wide, which guarantees more precision and clarity in a recording. Because it has high sensitivity, it must be protected from very loud noises and must not fall on the floor, as this can damage or even break your microphone.
Regarding the operating mode of the microphone, some are very simple to use and can be plugged into the computer via the USB cable, just select the desired settings and it will be ready to be used.
However, some models need a FET preamplifier, which serves to optimize the capture of audio and leave the audio amplifier at the exact power to receive the electrical signals from the voice or instrument.
Other condenser microphone models require phantom power (Phanton Power) to function. This feature can be found on practically all tables and external sound cards (+48 button), but models like this can hardly be used on personal computers.
In general, the condenser microphone can be considered the flagship of most audio studios, as it has a much broader frequency response, which guarantees realism to the recordings.
So that you don’t have any doubts about the condenser microphone, we have prepared a table with the main advantages and disadvantages of this model:
- High quality in capturing audio, sound with clarity and richness in details
- Ideal for differentiating sounds in the same audio recording
- Some models are for portable use, others for table use
- There are several price options, from the cheapest to the most expensive
- They are very sensitive, cannot be exposed to very loud noises and falls
- Some models require the use of a preamp
- Some models require the use of Phanton Power
- Higher price compared to other microphone models
How does a condenser microphone differ from others?
There are different types of microphone, the first characteristic that changes between them is whether or not they have a wire. Wireless versions require a receiver with antennas, that is, a device that receives electrical signals and distributes them to the audio outputs.
The handheld microphone (dynamic) is ideal for presentations, classes and lectures, it can also be attached to a pedestal. The desktop microphone is attached to a low pedestal, ideal for radio shows, recording podcasts and debate between people.
The lapel microphone is attached to the interlocutor’s clothing and captures the sound very close to the person’s mouth, making the audio more closed in the voice, ideal for newscasters or to record videos for the internet.
Finally, the head microphone is attached around the head or temple and are ideal for musical performances, theater or performances where the artist will dance and sing and will not be able to hold the microphone.
There is no microphone better or worse than the other, as you can see there is an ideal model for each situation.
Although there are many options, the main models are the condenser microphone and the dynamic microphone, learn more about them and at the end see a comparative table:
The dynamic microphone is that traditional model, with a cone-shaped body and a ball at the end. This model is simpler, stronger and more versatile than the others.
It is also the most resistant model to knocks and knocks and has a high SPL (Sound Pressure Level), that is, it supports higher sound pressure.
It captures the voice of those who are in contact with it, so it is ideal to be used in any situation where your voice has to overcome the noise of the environment, that is, to speak at lectures, stages, classes, among other situations .
The operation of the dynamic microphone is the opposite of that of a loudspeaker. When the sound reaches the diaphragm of the dynamic microphone, it makes the coil vibrate in contact with the magnet inside the microphone capsule, generating a millivolt power that is the signal that passes through the cables and connectors until reaching the sound box or amplifier.
As it needs a stronger vibration to generate the signal, this type of microphone has a less sensitive pickup, which brings several advantages such as less feedback on stage and greater resistance to an environment with very high volume, such as concerts and festivals.
But the sensitivity factor can also become a disadvantage, as the dynamic microphone is not a good model for capturing details.
As he has less feedback, he is not as sensitive to the instruments or people around him, he only captures what is in front of him.
The condenser microphone is a light and smaller model, has a thinner diaphragm, for this reason it is ultra sensitive to the sounds that are around it (loud feedback). This microphone has the cleanest and most detailed sound than the dynamic model.
This model is ideal for use in closed environments and / or with noise isolation, such as radio and / or TV studios, plays, lectures and recordings of pocket shows. This microphone can also be used in home studio or professional studios.
It has variable SPL (Sound Pressure Level), some models support less and others more sound pressure (but in general, this type of microphone supports little sound pressure).
You need Phanton Power, that is, a phantom power supply (the +48 button on the table or sound card) or a preamplifier to adjust the power of the sound signals.
It also needs a good construction of sound conductors, that is, the cables that transfer energy and the sound signals from the microphone to the amplifiers. The construction must be well done to avoid interference.
You should also be aware of the microphone connectors, buy good quality options.
A negative aspect of the condenser microphone is that because it is a more complex type it is also more sensitive to drops and bumps, in addition they are more expensive, so it is good to preserve them. A good way to avoid accidents with your microphone is to use stands or pedestals.
Check now a table comparing the main characteristics of the condenser and dynamic microphones:
If you are still wondering which of the two models is better, know that it depends on the location and type of recording.
The condenser can be better if you have a studio with the treated acoustics and without the influence of noise (internal or external), while the dynamic is better if you are going to use it outdoors.
The value of a condenser microphone varies widely. There are from very simple and inexpensive models that cost from R $ 40, models for professional use and with more resources that cost around R $ 500 to R $ 1,500 and very sophisticated models, which can reach R $ 15,000.
Where to buy?
It is easier to buy a condenser microphone over the internet, it is sold in e-commerces and Amazon. On Amazon’s website you will find a multitude of models, brands and prices, as well as thousands of reviews from customers you.
If you prefer to buy in person, you should look for a music store.
Purchasing criteria: Factors to compare condenser microphones
As you can already see, choosing a microphone model is not such a simple task, as several criteria must be taken into account, such as what is the style of sound reception, diaphragm size, whether or not you need a preamp, among other details.
You also need to define what use you will make of your microphone and where the recordings will be made. So we selected the main criteria to be taken into account when buying a condenser microphone, check out:
- Sound reception
- Diaphragm size
We will explain item by item so you don’t have any doubts about what to take into account when buying a condenser microphone.
Each type of condenser microphone receives the sound differently, depending on the direction of the diaphragm: the Omnidirectional models capture the sound coming from any direction and the Bidirectional models capture the sound coming from the front and the rear, but do not capture sound coming from the sides.
The models with Unidirectional reception, as the name says receives the sound coming from a single direction, they can be of two types: cardioids and supercardioids. Cardioids receive the sound from the front and supercardioids receive from the front and, partially, from the back as well.
The diaphragm is a thin and sensitive material that moves when it comes in contact with the vibration of the voice or musical instruments. When the diaphragm moves, it changes the vibration of the timbre into kinetic energy and then into electrical energy, producing the sound.
The diaphragm of the condenser microphone can be small or large. The size defines the microphone’s ability to deal with sound pressure, changing its sensitivity, internal noise level and frequency range.
The small diaphragm, contrary to what one would imagine, withstands high sound pressures and delivers a wider frequency range. It is small, light and cylindrical in shape, can be easily positioned.
The large diaphragm captures more details, because the larger the diaphragm, the more sensitive it is to air vibrations. It moves easily to capture small variations in the sound pressure of a source and thereby produces more natural sounds.
The condenser microphone needs a preamp to be able to transmit maximum power and sound quality to the amplifier. Without this feature, the amplifier may not receive signals strong enough to function properly.
The preamplifier increases the intensity and tension of the source’s sound signals to transmit them at the appropriate frequency to the amplifier, facilitating energy transfer and excitation and improving sound quality.
Observing microphone accounting is essential. Have you ever thought that you can’t connect to certain devices? So you must be aware if the chosen model is compatible with all your equipment.
Not all of them are able to connect a phone, for example. Some only have their own microphone connection, such as p2 or p10. One way to avoid this problem is to rely on the help of an adapter of this type of port.
Another alternative is to opt for a microphone with USB input. This is a good
type of solution especially for those who record videos in front of a
Therefore, understanding your needs is directly linked to the connections that your microphone can make.
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