As a basic studio equipment, the microphone is probably the center of your recording system because of their function. In general there are two types of microphone such as the Shure SM7B Vs Condenser Mic. They are going to deliver the same functionalities but are often thought to have different qualities and ideal applications or environments based on the mechanism and how the microphone’s work. If you are also considering these options, see below about the difference and let’s decide which of the two will be your better choice.
In this comparison, we are going to talk about:
- What are Dynamic and Condenser Microphone
- What are Shure SM7B and Condenser Mic
- How are the Built Quality of Shure SM7B and Condenser Mic
- How to Setup the Shure SM7B and Condenser Mic
- How are the Sound Quality of Shure SM7B and Condenser Mic
- What else Shure SM7B and Condenser Mic can offer
- Are Shure SM7B and Condenser Mic Convenient
- Shure SM7B Vs Condenser Mic
Dynamic or Condenser Microphone
Audio work is very complicated because there are so many factors that affect the audio quality, from the source itself, microphone, any connector or interface, and the final destination of the device where the audio is stored and delivered. All of them are playing a part in deciding the overall quality and how the final result will sound, but we can start from the microphone first to help catch the level of audio quality, as good as you want it to be.
As most people already know, a microphone is a tool or converter that converts audio to electrical signals so it can be read by electrical equipment. But, there are two types of way microphones work that decide what type of transducer they are; dynamic and condenser. Just like with everything, it is usually the right tool for the right job and not everyone will be satisfied or best paired with a single microphone. They are versatile but also have different types of ideal functionalities.
The first type is condenser microphone or also known as capacitor microphones which is known to be best used in capturing the vocals in high frequencies and most often chosen for studio application for the detail and accuracy. This result is achieved due to the construction that utilizes a lightweight diaphragm suspended by a fixed plate. When the sound wave hits the diaphragm, it will move and create an electricity signal. Because this layer is very thin, hence the sensitivity for capturing delicate sounds.
Dynamic microphones on the other hand are often found on the live situation or setup such as on stage or where people are watching live performances. This is because they are better at handling loud sounds as the sensitivity is decreased due to the design hence, the most common application is in a loud environment. Instead of using a diaphragm only, the dynamic microphone is using a wire coil to amplify the signal picked up by the layer so this way the output of a dynamic mic will be lower than a condenser in general.
If your type of application requires handling the microphone often and is used in a pretty lively environment, then a dynamic microphone can prevent capturing too much undesired noise from your surroundings, as it is also robust, we don’t have to be extra careful when handling them too. Condenser is used in a fairly fixed situation with a treated room, and unless the microphone comes with a 9V battery, then we will need a dedicated power source to make it work called a phantom power.
|Shure SM7B||Condenser Mic|
|Product Dimensions||7.47 x 3.78 x 5.81 inches||11.77 x 7.28 x 3.5 inches
|Shipping Weight||2.03 pounds||1.54 pounds
|Shop now at Amazon||click here||click here|
About Shure SM7B and Condenser Mic
Not all of us have the same type of application and opinion on how they want the audio quality to turn out so it is always best to follow your own preference. Microphones are basic studio equipment so chances are you don’t have to invest a lot just to get a decent sounding microphone. Depending on the setup as well, nowadays you can rely on USB microphones as well such as Shure MV5 Vs Rode NT USB Mini for the simplest and compact setup.
If you are confused about which microphones to get, it is probably faster to decide it based on what the other people with the same application are going with since they have a higher chance to fit or satisfy yours as well. Overall there is no single microphone that can be the best choice for everyone but usually microphones are versatile, in case you are not looking for the best performance in all aspects, our type of application may fit with either condenser or dynamic microphone better.
Popular microphones such as Shure SM7B surely can be a great choice in your studio setup, just like a condenser microphone. Today, we are going to talk about this famous option from the brand and another favorite from the other side of type or condenser mic from MXL, specifically the 990 variant. Both of them are the favorite of many so we do think you will like at least one of the two, and while they are differentiated by the mechanism, the popular application of these mics is for recording vocals and broadcasting.
They are also quite different on the price point and if usually we thought that condenser microphones are the more expensive, it is not always the case because the company can design and decide the build quality or manufacturing cost to be as effective as they are able to. For starters, the SM7B has been around for quite some time, and not only does it sound really good, it is also built to last. On the other hand, MXL is one of the best alternatives if you can’t spend a lot.
Shure SM7B and Condenser Mic Built Quality
This may suggest that the MXL condenser is not as robust and while there is some truth to it, the microphone is not flimsy either. The body is constructed from metal and the grill is all metal too with some weight to it, making the microphone feels sturdy and reliable. It also comes with a mount but we have no adapter here so it is required your own adapter when mounting on a boom or mic stand of your choice.
Shure SM7B is another microphone that you think will last for years because of how well built it is with the all-metal construction. The mic has the mounting and adapter attached already and if you flip the unit, there are some switches at the bottom of the microphone for some functions we will talk about later. The connector to XLR is also located at the mount and the unit itself is swiveling from both left and right.
Shure SM7B and Condenser Mic Setup
Now let’s move to the setup first and unlike USB mics we often see today, what you will need when using these Shure SM7B or Condenser Mic like MXL 990 is an audio interface. We assume that the microphone is used with a computer setup for recording or broadcasting function and the two are using XLR connector hence we need something to bridge the analog to digital device such as mixer or audio interface with USB connectivity. Additionally, we will need a phantom power to make the condenser work.
Shure SM7B and Condenser Mic Sound Quality
Next for the most important point, let’s hear these Shure SM7B and Condenser Mic sound quality but, for the price point, you will definitely get a different impression from the two. Side by side we can say that you can hear more presence from the SM7B, in comparison to the more affordable alternatives MXL 990 but this is objective to the mic’s model and not an overall image of the condenser itself. The SM7B also has a more natural sound reproduction while the latter sounded more dampened.
What’s similar between the two is they seem to have a narrow pick up so even though the MXL 990 is condenser, it doesn’t pick up much noise from the surrounding, making it a good option if your type of application requires some type of movement, such as typing, etc.
Shure SM7B and Condenser Mic Features
Sadly, being about three times more affordable also means that the MXL 990 can’t offer any interesting features on board yet, we can’t really complain either. Some condenser microphones such as Rode NT2A do have several selections on the unit and are about the same price as SM7B. In Shure, you will get two settings; one for mid-boost, and another one for low cut filter. There is no headphone jack here so we can’t get that zero latency monitoring directly from the mic but from the mixer or interface.
Shure SM7B and Condenser Mic Convenience
Lastly on the ease of use, both Shure SM7B and Condenser Mic in general are very similar when you need to hook them up with the computer because we will need another device in between. They are pretty straightforward if you already have an interface before but for a dynamic mic like SM7B, the drawback is probably on the interface itself because you need to drive this very high as the mic is very quiet. In comparison it requires twice the amount of gain than MXL 990.
Shure SM7B vs Condenser Mic
Both dynamic and condenser are equally good just based on the overall quality of your chosen mic itself, some can be better and worse. In this case between Shure SM7B and Condenser Mic MXL 990, the former is very quiet, it also has a more presence and better highs for vocals and instruments along with low cut filter as well as the mid-boost, to match with your own preference or application. Since it is dynamic, the gain setting can be much higher than typical condenser and the two are XLR means we have to use the interface in between the mic and computer.
All in all there is no bad option, it is more of a subjective decision but, if you can spend the budget, Shure SM7B is the choice of many and we do think it is versatile as well for podcast or music recording at home.