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Achieve the perfect sound with a selection of quality Condenser Mics

Whether you’re in the studio putting down vocals on a new song or chatting it up on your own podcast, a great condenser mic can make all the difference in delivering a quality recording. Condenser mics have the high frequency range and transient response you’ll need to capture your voice or instrument with crystal clarity.

What is a condenser microphone?

Simply put, a condenser microphone features an internal diaphragm that functions like a capacitor—allowing them to capture a much wider range of frequencies than other types of mics such as dynamic microphones. The delicate construction of the lightweight diaphragm is much more sensitive than the relatively bulky coil components of other mics, and therefore condenser mics capture sound with greater accuracy.

Unlike dynamic microphones the electronic components inside condenser mics require external power. The voltage required to operate a condenser mic is typically referred to as “phantom power”.

Best uses for condenser mics

Due to their high-quality design and accurate results, condenser mics are most often found in recording studios. The diaphragm allows a condenser mic to follow sound waves with greater precision, as well as to capture high bursts or energy through better transient response. This makes condenser mics the ideal choice for studio recording, or for capturing quality vocals when podcasting or even live-streaming in closed environments.

Condenser mics can vary based on the size of their diaphragm. Those with a larger diaphragm produce a deeper sound and are ideal for vocals or bass. Using a pop screen when recording vocals will also help cut down on transient noise. Conversely condenser mics with a smaller diaphragm provide the optimal wide frequency and transient response and are therefore better for recording stringed instruments.

Condenser mics vs. dynamic mics

While their intricate components tend to lead to more accurate results, they also make condenser mics more fragile than dynamic microphones. They are also much more sensitive to loud noises. For this reason, condenser mics are less ideal for stage use and live performances than their dynamic counterparts. While condenser mics are certainly capable of producing better results in a more controlled environment, they lack the rugged design that is more suited for the high energy of a live show.

Condenser mics are also generally more expensive than dynamic microphones. This is another reason why they are more suited the studio as opposed to the stage, where their strengths become less relevant.

Powering a condenser microphone

As previously mentioned, the electronic components found in a condenser microphone require external power, most commonly in the form of 48V “phantom power”. Luckily today condenser mics have become such an international standard that nearly any input designed for a microphone will deliver phantom power by default. Some sound boards may even label certain inputs specifically with a “48V” or “P48” designation to indicate phantom power. Other condenser mics manufactured specifically to work in conjunction with PCs will simply be powered via a USB connection.