What Are The Four Types of Microphones?

Your microphone can make or break your on-air sound, so it’s essential that you know how to select the right one for your application. There are actually four main types of microphones, each with its own properties and advantages. 

Let’s look at them now, along with some recommendations on which microphones will work best in which situations.

Dynamic Microphones

The Dynamic microphone is a good studio microphone for recording instruments and vocals. Dynamics mics pick up more detail than other types of microphones, so you don’t have to worry about being too close or far away from the mic.

In addition, these mics are perfect for live performances because they have excellent feedback rejection. These mics accurately capture all frequencies, making them excellent for many applications. 

They’re also pretty sensitive, meaning you can use less gain when recording – this results in better dynamic range and a cleaner signal! 

A downside to this type of microphone is that it often picks up background noise because it has such a wide response range. It’s best for low-frequency sounds like bass drums. 

Related: Do Noise Cancelling Headphones Work In An Office? 

Ribbon Microphones

Ribbon microphones were invented at the beginning of the twentieth century when microphone technology was still primitive by today’s standards. The Ribbon mic was originally designed to be used as an oscillator in radios and televisions.  But this delicate creature yields beautiful sounds; Ribbon microphones create a warmer tone than any other type of mic, which is perfect for intimate vocals. 

When used with the correct amplifier, they produce an accurate reproduction of frequencies over an extended range at both high and low levels. They are commonly used as overhead microphones on snare drums and tom-toms in live performances due to their smooth tonal quality when reproducing cymbals at higher volumes. They are best suited for solo artists who need something quick, easy, and portable.

One problem with ribbon microphones is that they require a more complicated setup than other types of microphones. This is because they have large diaphragms that move when sound waves come in contact with them. Ribbon microphones are typically placed on a large diaphragm condenser-type microphone stand and use an external power source such as an electric cord or battery pack. 

Matched to their age, ribbon microphones are fragile and require extra care – so make sure not to drop or mishandle your ribbon mic! 

Related: How Do I Choose A Microphone For My Computer?

Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphones 

The most common type of microphone is the Large-Diaphragm Condenser microphone. This type is used for instruments as well as vocals. They have a large diaphragm which helps them to produce a great sound that can be tailored with an EQ. They are used in recording studios due to their versatility and high-quality sound. They offer excellent fidelity and accuracy in capturing frequencies from around 20Hz to 20kHz, which is useful for many things like close-mic’ing drum kits or acoustic guitars. These mics typically need an external power supply because they require 48 volts to operate (48 volts goes into 16 ohms). 

Some of these mics come pre-built with batteries, so you can take them on the go without needing access to power sources nearby.

Large-Diaphragm Condenser microphones are the most expensive but last the longest, making them worth the investment if you use them often. 

Small-Diaphragm Condenser Microphones

The Small-Diaphragm Condenser microphone has been around since the 1930s. These microphones are commonly placed on lecterns or in front of the audience to capture both the sound of the speaker and the audience. 

The small-diaphragm condenser microphone will be the most popular in the future due to its compact design and ability to stay in tune. It is perfect for podcasts. These microphones are perfect for podcasting because they are “big on performance and small on size.” 

These microphones are designed with a cardioid pattern so that you won’t suffer from feedback. Podcasting becomes even more enjoyable when you have a good microphone. 

Related: What Are The Best Home Office Microphone Brands?


The four types of microphones are dynamic, large-diaphragm condenser, ribbon, and small-diaphragm condenser. Each type has its own benefits and limitations. Dynamic microphones are the most popular for the stage because they are durable and tough enough to withstand rough treatment. Condenser microphones are better for recording because they can pick up sounds from a larger area than a dynamic microphone. Ribbon microphones have a different sound quality than other types because of their unique design. 

Donald Felix

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