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Difference Between Dynamic Microphone and Condenser Microphones

microphoneDynamic vs Condenser Microphones

The only use of a microphone is to capture sound, yet there are many kinds of microphones that operate on different principles. A dynamic microphone is the more common microphone used today. It uses a coil of wire that is attached to a moving diaphragm and a stationary magnet. The diaphragm moves as sound hits it and the motion causes the magnet to induce a current in the coil. This current can then be amplified and stored as an analog sound signal or converted to digital. Condenser microphones are a little bit more complex since it uses the concept of capacitance. The moving diaphragm acts as one plate of the capacitor and the motion causes the capacitance to change. The charge inside the capacitor is kept constant, that’s why the voltage changes as the capacitance changes.

Dynamic microphones are passive devices since they do not require any power to operate. The electrical current that the coil produces is immediately sent to the recording device for processing. Condenser microphones are active because they require an external power source in order to maintain its charge. This power can either come from a battery or as phantom power from the microphone output.

They also differ in the size of the diaphragm that is needed to be moved by the sound. Condenser microphones have a much smaller diaphragm that makes it very sensitive to any sound that applies pressure to it. Dynamic microphones have quite a large diaphragm that requires a greater amount of sound before it starts moving.

The great advantage of dynamic microphones over condenser microphones is its durability. The capacitor assembly in a condenser microphones easily gets damaged, especially when it is dropped. Though dynamic microphones are not totally indestructible, they can take a lot more abuse. You can just watch a rock concert and see how many times it gets slammed, dropped, or even thrown. For this reason, most people use dynamic microphones instead of the very fragile condenser microphones.

Summary:
1. The condenser microphone uses the concepts of a capacitor to capture sound while a dynamic microphone uses the concept of electromagnetic induction
2. Dynamic microphones are more common than condenser microphones
3. Condenser microphones are active devices that require power to operate while dynamic microphones do not need additional power
4. Condenser microphones are more sensitive compared to dynamic microphones
5. Dynamic microphones are more sturdy than condenser microphones
6. Dynamic microphones are the more commonly used of the two


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