Ten Most Talked About Dynamic Microphones - 2017

We have consulted our database to find out what our users have been discussing when the subject is dynamic microphones, so here goes the ten most referred to in 2017:


 SM7B

Shure SM7B



Initially developed with broadcast in mind, the SM7 made its way into the music recording circles and gathered immense notoriety after being used by Bruce Swedien to record Michael Jackson’s vocals for the iconic “Thriller” album. Currently on its third iteration (version B), this mic is a very popular choice for capturing loud sound sources, often recommended for recording distorted guitars, rap vocals and it’s considered to be a no-brainer pick if you need to record anything with screaming or growling type of vocals because it will easily take the beating without delivering unwanted distortion - the included detachable windscreen helps a lot in this regard. It’s also worth mentioning is the fact that it asks for good preamplification and it’s a mic that benefits from lots of clean gain, which is also a frequent topic on many discussion threads on Gearslutz, so there’s certainly a lot to talk about it.



 RE20

Electro-Voice RE20

If there’s one mic that rivals the SM7B when it comes to broadcast applications that mic is arguably the Electro-Voice RE20. One of the most easily recognizable mics out there thanks to its distinctive body and sturdy construction, the RE20 is not only good for voice-over work but it’s also a great choice for recording music, most notably vocals and kick drums - there’s even a specific switch on the RE20 which shifts its frequency response to tailor kick drums. It’s also known for its minimum proximity effect, solid build with internal pop-filter, true cardioid pattern with a wide sweet spot and for not breaking up under severe sound pressure levels, so it’s no wonder that the RE20 became an industry-standard. A very trustworthy mic in all aspects and a workhorse for any voice-related tasks.



 SM58

Shure SM58

The world’s most popular microphone and basically a synonym for the word “microphone” itself. It’s not a surprise that the SM58 makes it to our list: reliable, very affordable and effective on basically any kind of human voice, this nifty dynamic microphone is famous its tight cardioid pattern, noticeable proximity effect and for handling close encounters with relative ease. It’s also extremely popular for live performances thanks to ruggedness, modest gain requirements and internal pop-filter that keeps most voice artifacts in check. Certainly a microphone that everyone dwelling with recording and mixing will use and talk about many times.



 M88

Beyerdynamic M88

Beyerdynamic’s M88 is easily one of Gearslutz favourite dynamic mics, it often comes up on our discussion threads and was recently considered by our users as one of the best for recording kick drums and also widely recommended for other applications such as guitar amps and percussion. It features a prominent proximity effect that greatly extends the low end, a detailed high-frequency response and great tolerance for loud sources. This classy hypercardioid mic dates back to 1962 when it was originally conceived, and albeit a few minor changes it remains largely unchanged, which is a testimony to its effectiveness.



 MD 441-U

Sennheiser MD 441-U

The eye-catching MD441-U is known not only for its unique body but most importantly it’s highly regarded for its efficiency. The MD441-U is the latest iteration of this very versatile supercardioid mic first introduced in 1971, remaining largely unaltered since then. This mic is famous for capturing all sources with excellence, showing a balanced frequency response and superb detail across the spectrum. Considered by Gearslutz as one of the best choices for recording snare drums, it handles high SPLs with ease and remains distortion-free even when faced with adversity. Now here comes the bad news: it doesn’t come cheap, so better start saving if you want one.



 SM57

Shure SM57

When one talks about a mic for capturing instruments, the SM57 is more likely than not to pop up that conversation. Versatile like few other, the SM57 is a user-favourite for recording snare drums, percussion, guitar amp cabinets and although Shure made the SM58 specifically for vocals the SM57 also ranks up very well amongst our users for such application, being considered by our users one of the best vocal mics under $300. Needless to say that it has been thoroughly discussed and there’s no indication whatsoever that those conversations are over!



 D12

AKG D12

First introduced in 1953, this cardioid mic was one of the very first models designed for bass drums and bass instruments in general, with a “bass chamber” in the mic’s head that enhances the low end. It’s easily spotted on many pictures from the 1960s/1970s, not only on the aforementioned applications but also on vocals. The D12 has been out of production for a long time, so nowadays it’s a bit elusive and hard to find. A few years ago AKG has released the D12 VR, which draws inspirations from the classic D12 and sounds somewhat similar, but ultimately it’s a very different microphone although it certainly helped to reignite the interest on the original design.



 M201TG

Beyerdynamic M201TG

An elegant mic from Beyerdynamic with a focused hypercardioid polar pattern, very rugged construction and a great sound. Its small footprint allows for easy placement, which combined with the excellent bleed rejection makes it a great pick for recording instruments, most notably the loud ones such as snare drums and percussion. It’s also equipped with a humbucking coil that isolates it from electrical interferences, which is great for cable-crowded stages. Frequently mentioned on this community as a one of the best dynamic microphones, the M201TG was recently considered by our users as one of the best mics for recording drum toms and it will certainly deliver great results on many other situations as well.



 E906

Sennheiser E906

A supercardioid mic from Sennheiser with an interesting shape, the E906 is a very common sight on guitar cabinets, where its slim shape greatly helps on placing it close to the speaker and it’s often used without a mic stand by simply hanging the cord over the speaker - it’s very light in weight so don’t be afraid, the connector will hold up just fine! Besides doing a great job on electric guitars, this mic sound should also work well on anything that asks for a prominent mid range. Lastly, the E906 should not be confused with the similar-looking E609 and E606 microphones from Sennheiser, they all share a similar proposition but ultimately they’re different mics and each has its own sound signature.



 PR40

Heil Sound PR40

Don’t be fooled by the looks - although it looks like the usual condenser the Heil PR-40 is not a condenser, this is a dynamic microphone! However, it does take advantage of the condenser-like format to de-couple the diaphragm from the body to avoid unwanted vibrations, and also to house a robust pop-filter that makes it virtually immune from those pesky pop noises. In this regard, the PR-40 is an excellent choice for vocals but it has also earned a solid reputation amongst our users as a great “all-arounder” kind of mic and a very reliable pick that succeeds on many circumstances.


Honourable mentions goes to the Sennheiser E602, Electro-Voice 635A/B, Shure Beta 58A and 57A.

So what do you make of the list above? Anything worth mentioning that went unnoticed this year? Share your thoughts below!