Professional Dynamic USB Microphone
High-quality microphone audio is one of the most important elements of a livestream and is critical for clear communication in the heat of a game – whether it’s with teammates or opponents. It can certainly be an overwhelming task choosing the right microphone for the job, but we’ll try to make it a little less intimidating by demystifying one of your key decisions: should you choose a dynamic or condenser microphone?
Dynamic and condenser mics (like the XCM-50, pictured) are the two most common microphone types you’ll encounter.
This article will take a look at dynamic vs condenser mics: how they work, the differences between them, and which one is the best for your gaming or streaming setup.
To get an idea of the advantages of a dynamic mic, it’s useful to understand how they work. Dynamic microphones contain a thin diaphragm that is attached to a coil of wire suspended in a magnetic field. As sound waves hit the diaphragm, it vibrates the attached coil, which then interacts with the magnetic field to create an electrical current.
The XDM-100 is a professional dynamic USB microphone designed specifically for gaming and streaming.
Dynamic mics are less sensitive than condenser mics by design, so will usually require you to be right up close to the mic to get the best possible sound (around 5-15cm or 2-6 inches from the diaphragm), and they generally need more gain to reach similar levels to their condenser counterparts. This lower sensitivity means they are excellent at isolating your voice while rejecting background noise such as air conditioners, keyboard noises and mouse clicks.
Condenser microphones feature a capsule that contains a diaphragm placed very close to an electrically charged backplate. Sound waves hitting the diaphragm cause it to vibrate, creating changes in capacitance between it and the plate, resulting in an electrical signal that is then amplified by an internal preamp. The preamp and (sometimes) the backplate require power to operate, which is provided either by batteries, phantom power from a mixer, external preamp, audio interface, or a computer’s USB port.
The XCM-50 is a professional condenser USB microphone designed specifically for gaming and streaming.
Condenser mics are more sensitive than their dynamic counterparts. This means they’re not quite as particular about where they’re positioned compared with dynamic microphones and can be placed further from the mouth (10-20cm, or 4-8 inches). However, this increased sensitivity also means they’re more likely to pick up background noise if you’re in an environment that is not well soundproofed.
One microphone type isn’t necessarily better than the other for gaming and streaming. They can both sound great in different setups and it really depends on your personal preference – here’s what you should consider.
Most significantly, a condenser mic like the XCM-50 is ideal if your streaming or gaming space has minimal background noise and few reflective hard surfaces like tiles or wooden floorboards. Condensers are also great if noise isn’t too much of a concern for you more generally – if you mostly use your mic for chatting in-game with friends, for instance – and their increased sensitivity means you can keep them out of your shot more easily when streaming.
On the other hand, if your space isn’t soundproofed, or if you are looking for a microphone that will help you curb as much background noise as possible, then a dynamic mic like the XDM-100 is an excellent choice.
Being a condenser microphone, the XCM-50 has a full frequency response and will pick up your voice with loads of detail, clarity and presence. The XDM-100, on the other hand, will give you a tighter, more focused sound, whilst still being rich and detailed. The latter also has the added benefit of our ultra-low-noise Revolution Preamp™ and high-resolution, 24-bit/48kHz analog-to-digital conversion for pristine audio quality. Both sound great, and it’s always a good idea to try different styles of mic to see which best suits your voice.
For a complete audio solution for streaming and gaming, check out the XDM-100 or XCM-50 and UNIFY.
Professional Dynamic USB Microphone
Professional Condenser USB Microphone