The Search for the Best Dynamic Microphone for Podcasting

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Dynamic mics boast a number of advantages in a podcasting scenario. Not only are they more durable than a condenser, making them perfect for a traveling podcast setup, but they also have a lower sensitivity, making them the obvious choice for use in the noisier of recording sessions.

These ultra-reliable, robust microphones may be a no-brainer when considering what gear to buy when starting your own podcast. One of the big advantages of a dynamic microphone is that it doesn’t require any external power to function. This plays a part in why their sensitivity is lower than that of a condenser.

By circumventing the need for any external power, the total price to get the most out of a dynamic mic is lower. This is a further advantage as even the top-end dynamic microphones tend to run a lower price point than any high-end condenser. This is thanks to the simpler electronics within the microphone.

The simpler build also works in the dynamic microphone’s favor. By having fewer components and therefore fewer fragile parts, the dynamic microphone is far more durable than a condenser. This allows for greater peace of mind when it is sitting at the bottom of a bag, as it is far less likely to break in transit. Another bonus to the simpler construction is that fewer parts mean that the microphone is less likely to malfunction. If this does happen, however, repairing the device tends to be a much simpler process.

While we could spend forever listing all the reasons you should invest in a dynamic microphone over a condenser (and we did, in our Condenser vs Dynamic Mic for Podcasting: Head to Head) it is safe to assume you are already set on buying a dynamic.

Today, we have sifted through the best dynamic microphones Amazon.com has to offer to present to you our definitive list of best dynamic microphones for podcasting.

Whether you are looking to invest in your first microphone and are unsure where to start, or are a seasoned podcasting pro and are looking to take your setup to the next level, this article covers all your bases. We have collated our own experiences when using some of these mics as well as researching user reviews from all over the web in order to find out the consensus on each microphone on our list and give you a better understanding of each product.

If that isn’t enough for you, each of our picks includes a spec sheet detailing polar pattern, frequency response, sensitivity, and much more. By taking a quick look at what each microphone has to offer, you should be on your way to making a more informed decision on what product is best for you.

Running a tight budget? We have you covered. Along with our best of the best top picks, we have also taken the time to pick out the best the market has to offer at 4 different price points. From $50 up to $500 so we can guarantee this list has what you are after and more.

If you’re in a rush, here are our winners at a glance. Keep reading for more detail on why we chose the winners and to find out a little bit more about each one.

Overall Winner
Best Budget
Runner Up
Shure SM7B Vocal Microphone
Rode PodMic Cardioid Dynamic Podcasting Microphone
Rode Procaster Broadcast Dynamic Vocal Microphone
Model
Shure SM7B Vocal Microphone
Rode PodMic Cardioid Dynamic Podcasting Microphone
Rode Procaster Broadcast Dynamic Vocal Microphone
Why we picked it
Wide and flat frequency range with a lovely natural sounds. In our opinion it's the gold standard in dynamic voice mics
It punches well above its weight with a great frequency range
A broadcast quality mic, the Procaster delivers crisp and full sounding audio
Overall Winner
Shure SM7B Vocal Microphone
Model
Shure SM7B Vocal Microphone
Why we picked it
Wide and flat frequency range with a lovely natural sounds. In our opinion it's the gold standard in dynamic voice mics
Best Budget
Rode PodMic Cardioid Dynamic Podcasting Microphone
Model
Rode PodMic Cardioid Dynamic Podcasting Microphone
Why we picked it
It punches well above its weight with a great frequency range
Runner Up
Rode Procaster Broadcast Dynamic Vocal Microphone
Model
Rode Procaster Broadcast Dynamic Vocal Microphone
Why we picked it
A broadcast quality mic, the Procaster delivers crisp and full sounding audio

Best Overall

Shure SM7B

The Shure SM7B is the gold standard in podcasting microphones. This microphone is the mainstay in any big-name podcast setup and for good reason, it’s remarkably wide and flat frequency range means that there is little to no coloring on the voice when recorded with this mic. When it comes to recording spoken words, some prefer as minimal coloring as possible, and this microphone provides that natural-sounding tone.

Along with the exceptional frequency range, this microphone boasts bass roll-off and mid emphasis. By switching on the mid booster, you can achieve a warmer and more present tone to the voice. Alternatively, if you are recording in a location that has noticeable mechanical transmission or audible humming, by rolling off the bass you can negate a lot of this unwanted noise.

Even if you choose not to roll off the bass though, the SM7B is designed to reduce noise passively. The microphone itself is suspended in a shock mount built into the case in order to negate a majority of mechanical transmission without the need for an additional shock mount. There is no need for a pop filter either, as the case has one built-in, helping reduce plosives in vocal recordings.

It is unanimously agreed that this microphone is built like a tank. The casing and shock mounting mean that this microphone can take an absolute beating and come out fine. While not a budget option, in our opinion it’s worth every cent and is our top pick for a dynamic microphone.

Frequency Response Range:50 Hz to 20 kHz
Sensitivity:-59 dBV/Pa
Polar Pattern:Cardioid
Output Impedance:150W
Connectivity:XLR
Weight:764g

Best Budget

Rode Podmic

Our best budget pick is the Rode PodMic. Despite being at a significantly lower price point than something like the SM7B, this mic packs a punch. Its frequency range is huge, and it delivers a warm and present sound that can rival the quality of dynamic microphones at much higher price points.

Much like the SM7B, the PodMic is constructed with an internal shock mount and a built-in pop filter, reducing mechanical transmission noise and plosives. Many podcasters comment on the incredible build quality of this microphone, which is of a high standard despite the price.

The quality of the audio is incredible; however, it is worth noting that as dynamic microphones go, this one is notoriously gain hungry. This is a simple fix however, by utilizing gain control on an audio interface, or attaching a mic activator (see our Cloudlifter alternatives piece for some options) you can get a decent signal level with ease.

The reviews for this microphone tend to stick to a few key points. The praise this microphone gets is for its solid all-metal construction, and also the great warm sound it delivers. Warnings about the PodMic run along the lines of the amount of gain required for a decent signal level. While this is an understandable gripe, this is, unfortunately, a sad reality for all dynamic mics.

Despite its heavier construction and higher gain consumption, this microphone is our bang-for-your-buck pick. If you are looking for high-quality audio at a lower price point, then look no further than the Rode PodMic.

Frequency Response Range:20 Hz to 20 kHz
Sensitivity:-57.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (1.60mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
Polar Pattern:Cardioid
Output Impedance:320Ω
Connectivity:XLR
Weight:937g

Runner up

Rode Procaster

Taking our pick for the best runner up dynamic microphone for podcasting is the Rode Procaster. Purpose-built for use with voice, the Procaster offers a slightly smaller frequency response than the previous two microphones. Despite this, the audio afforded by this microphone is by no means lacking. As you’d expect with a microphone built with vocal work in mind, the sound quality is crisp and full sounding, without much audible coloration.

This microphone does feature an internal pop filter, reducing any vocal plosives. Unlike the other two previously mentioned, however, it has no internal shock mounting making it susceptible to mechanical transmission noise so you may want to use it in conjunction with a dedicated shock mount to mitigate this risk.

That being said, the noise output for this microphone is incredibly low. The general consensus among podcasters and casual users is that there is little to no audible background when using this microphone, even in an untreated room.

Background and ambient noise levels are incredibly important when using a dynamic microphone that requires a gain boost to reach a decent signal level. Any noise produced from preamps or external sources will be amplified upon an increase of gain.

For the price, this microphone does serve as an improvement on the PodMic in terms of signal noise and weight, while not sacrificing on robust construction. If you are in a situation where the noise level is more important than a slight drop off in frequency response and sensitivity, then the Rode Procaster is the way to go.

It’s worth pointing out that it’s a very gain hungry mic. When we tested it with a common podcasting audio interface (Focusrite Scarlett 2i2), we had to turn the gain up to full to get a decent signal from it. To overcome this, a Cloudlifter was used to boost the gain and the combo then worked very well.

A winning combo but the gain boost from the Cloudlifter was definitely needed.
Frequency Response Range:75 Hz to 18 kHz
Sensitivity:-56.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (1.60mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
Polar Pattern:Cardioid
Output Impedance:320Ω
Connectivity:XLR
Weight:745g

Best under $50

Shure PGA48

The Shure PGA48 is the first of our low budget microphones. For the price, this microphone has a reasonable frequency response range, however, there is a significant boost in the upper mids region. In order to account for this boost, a pop filter is advised.

The impedance on this microphone is very high, meaning you may experience a drop off of audio quality, however for the price point, this microphone is a cheap way to get your podcast off the ground.

Frequency Response Range:70 Hz to 15 kHz
Sensitivity:-53.5 dBV/Pa¹ (2.10 mV)
Polar Pattern:Cardioid
Output Impedance:600Ω
Connectivity:XLR
Weight:300g

Behringer Ultravoice XM8500

While slightly more expensive than the PGA48, the Ultravoice XM8500 is undoubtedly a quality microphone. Built with a two-stage pop filter and shock mount system, as well as connections with USB or XLR, this microphone is extremely versatile as far as dynamic microphones go.

The mids receive a slight boost and the signal runs a little hotter than other microphones, increasing noise potential. That being said this microphone doesn’t fall far behind the Shure SM57 in terms of audio quality, which is a glowing endorsement, to say the least.

Frequency Response Range:50 Hz to 15 kHz
Sensitivity:-70 dB
Polar Pattern:Cardioid
Output Impedance:150Ω
Connectivity:XLR/USB
Weight:240g

Behringer BA-85A

The BA-85A is the cheapest microphone on our low budget picks. With the widest frequency response in this category and a decent impedance, this microphone audio quality is more than adequate for any beginner podcaster.

The polar pattern is super-cardioid meaning its pickup angle is tighter than regular cardioid microphones. This means that more ambient noise is rejected, lowering the potential for unwanted noise. For the low price point, this microphone boasts surprising specs.

Frequency Response Range:50 Hz to 16 kHz
Sensitivity:-53 ± 2 dBV /Pa
Polar Pattern:Super Cardioid
Output Impedance:300Ω
Connectivity:XLR
Weight:320g

Best under $100

Shure SM57

The SM57, although designed primarily for instrument use, is also great in a podcasting scenario. Its wide frequency response produces bright and natural-sounding audio.

Being designed for the road, the SM57 is incredibly durable. There is a reason this microphone is an industry-standard, and in podcasting scenarios, it holds true to its legendary status. If you are looking to get the most out of this microphone, the addition of a shock mount and pop filter would take the audio quality to the next level.

We’ve had great success with the SM57 as a podcasting mic when used in conjunction with a shock mount and pop filter.
Frequency Response Range:40 Hz to 15 kHz
Sensitivity:-56.0 dBV/Pa (1.6 mV)
Polar Pattern:Cardioid
Output Impedance:310Ω
Connectivity:XLR
Weight:284g

Samson Q2U

Unlike the SM57, which was built for travel, the Q2U has home recording in mind. This shows in its multiple connection options, meaning this microphone can be plugged directly into a laptop (or phone with the right adapters).

This microphone is portable yet sturdy making it perfect for use in a mobile podcasting scenario without needing an additional interface.

This frequency response of the Q2U has a mid-boost to increase vocal presence. Paired with its high output level, this microphone is a great quality for its price.

Frequency Response Range:50 Hz to 15 kHz
Sensitivity:-54dBV/Pa
Polar Pattern:Cardioid
Output Impedance:320Ω
Connectivity:XLR/USB
Weight:317.5g

Shure SM58

The brother of the SM57, the SM58 is designed with vocals in mind. This is apparent in its appearance, as the microphone is constructed with a two-stage pop filter to catch any vocal plosives.

In terms of internal hardware, the SM58 is virtually identical to the SM57. This microphone is another staple for touring vocalists due to its compact, robust design. If you are the sort of person that records on the road, this microphone is sure to withstand everything you put it through.

Frequency Response Range:50 Hz to 15 kHz
Sensitivity:-54dBV/Pa
Polar Pattern:Cardioid
Output Impedance:320Ω
Connectivity:XLR
Weight:330g

Best under $200

Shure 55SH

The Shure 55SH is our first pick for the best microphones under $200. Despite its vintage appearance, this microphone features modern upgrades such as a shock-mounted cartridge encased in an all-metal casing.

The 55SH is tailor-made to get the best out of vocal recordings. The frequency response features a slight dip in the low mids, and a significant boost in the high end, giving a crisp, punchy characteristic to your vocals. If you are looking for a modern solution to a vintage microphone, the 55SH is for you.

Frequency Response Range:50 Hz to 15 kHz
Sensitivity:-58.0 dBV/Pa
Polar Pattern:Cardioid
Output Impedance:150Ω
Connectivity:XLR
Weight:624g

Sennheiser e935

The e935 is a handheld dynamic microphone that packs a punch. While it looks similar to industry standards such as the SM58, this microphone features seriously impressive hardware. One of the main selling points is the ferrous magnets that ensure the microphone retains its incredible sound quality in any climate.

The sound quality is an upgrade in comparison to the SM58, which has 10 Hz less low end and 3 kHz less high end. If you are looking to upgrade your quality without sacrificing build then the e935 is a solid choice.

Frequency Response Range:40 Hz to 18 kHz
Sensitivity:2.8 mV/Pa
Polar Pattern:Cardioid
Output Impedance:350Ω
Connectivity:XLR
Weight:355g

sE Electronics V7

While similar looking to the e935, the V7 comes in at a slightly lower price point. This microphone boasts a super-cardioid polar pattern that rejects more ambient noise than the standard cardioid. This noise isolation is incredibly useful when recording on the road and the tried and tested casing shape ensures the durability of the product.

The V7 offers 1 kHz more high-end than the e935, and with a natural response curve, high-quality recordings are guaranteed.

Frequency Response Range:40 Hz to 19 kHz
Sensitivity:2.0 mV/Pa -54 dBV
Polar Pattern:Super Cardioid
Output Impedance:300Ω
Connectivity:XLR
Weight:305g

Best under $500

HEiL Sound PR-40

Kicking off our best under $500 picks is the HEiL Sound PR-40. Packaged with a custom made padded carrying case, this microphone is top of the line when it comes to dynamic studio microphones.

Many users of this mic agree that the frequency curve is sculpted to bring the most out of the voice. With a scoop in the mids reducing nasal tones and an extended low end, this mic is almost broadcast-ready out of the box.

Frequency Response Range:28 Hz to 18 kHz
Sensitivity:-53.9 dB
Polar Pattern:Cardioid
Output Impedance:600Ω
Connectivity:XLR
Weight:383g

Audio-Technica BP40

The Audio-Technica BP40 is known as having the brightness of a condenser microphone with none of the background noise. As it has a very tight pickup angle, along with the sensitivity you’d expect of a dynamic microphone, the level of noise on this microphone is extremely low.

Another reason this microphone is incredibly quiet is that it isn’t as gain hungry as other dynamic mics on this list. By not needing as much gain to achieve a decent signal level, you can keep the noise floor relatively inaudible.

Frequency Response Range:50 Hz to 16 kHz
Sensitivity:-48 dB (3.9 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa
Polar Pattern:Hyper Cardioid
Output Impedance:450Ω
Connectivity:XLR
Weight:632g

Sennheiser MD 421 II

The MD 421 II is a jack of all trades and excels in recording everything you could possibly want. Unlike other microphones on this list, this product has a 5-position bass roll-off which could help in potential make or break situations when podcasting on the go.

Known as being ‘crisp and articulate’ which is great for presence in your vocal recordings but it is a safe bet to invest in a pop filter in order to negate any plosives that may arise with an increased presence.

Frequency Response Range:30 Hz to 17 kHz
Sensitivity:2 mV/Pa ± 3 dB
Polar Pattern:Cardioid
Output Impedance:200Ω
Connectivity:XLR
Weight:385g

Conclusion

No matter what your budget or needs, this list should have you covered. As you should be well aware by now, the dynamic microphone market is incredibly diverse and even if we missed your dream microphone, there will be something out there that suits you!