Five Types of Microphone

Technology is at its peak. Every day the world comes up with a different innovation that facilitates us in a unique manner. Microphones are one of them.

Choosing a microphone all depends on your personal preferences. There are multiple factors to take into account while purchasing the best microphone. There is no one general rule to apply but there is a range of types that you will find in the market. Each one comes with its own distinct characteristic. Here are some of them listed:

Dynamic microphone

This dynamic microphone turns movement into electricity. The ‘dynamo’ mechanism is incorporated into the device. It produces and electrical signal that does not need to be powered. Offering durability and simplicity, these devices are popular in the market. However, you will have to compromise on the responsiveness feature.

These devices are often used for vocals in live sound. As capacitor microphones are heavy and delicate, dynamic microphones are preferred. However, these are relatively expensive.

Vacuum-tube microphone

This design historically had an internal amplifier which have a vacuum tube as its active element. Now we tend to see large diaphragm in these devices.

Advantage of using vacuum-tube microphone is that the amplifier creates less distortion producing present vocals. It can be a magical effect. These devices are popular and desirable in the market due to the advantages it offers but are comparatively expensive than other types.

Ribbon microphone

This is a special kind of dynamic microphone with a metalized ribbon is a combination of coil and diaphragm. The ribbon is very light which makes it a more responsive device however the tone can be a little darker. It tends to produce darker sounds which makes it an ideal artistic tool to use in the studio.

These devices are fragile however it doesn’t need powering. But bear in mind that the output is generally low.

Electret microphone

It is a special type of capacitor microphone which doesn’t need to be powered due to a polarized diaphragm. However the internal amplifier needs power. This often comes with a small battery but they are less sensitive and have a lower handling capability.

The latest designs have removed the limitation of materials by pre-polarizing the back plate.

Piezo microphone

In a nutshell, this type of microphone has a special mechanism of sound travelling though air. This works with piezo-electric effect where a unique crystal can be bended to create electrical voltage.

These days it is used as a contact mic. However, this device is entirely natural that is why it is only used when the advantages are prominent.


These were five types of microphones in the market. There are several more that you need to familiarize yourself with. Each one of them has a different mechanism and is has a distinct application. Knowing the sound textures of each of them is very important for composers and musician because it can even determine the success of your operations. So consider these relevant factors.