Let’s compare the Cloudlifter CL-1 against the DM-1 Dynamite.
These two devices have been making waves in the world of podcasting, music production, and live sound reinforcement, so let’s take a look at how they work and which one you should buy for your home studio.
Quick Answer: The Dynamite DM-1 inline preamp (Mic Booster/Activator) has more clean gain, better form factor, higher quality connector (gold pins), and is available at a lower price than the Cloudlifter CL-1. We recommend the Dynamite DM-1 over the Cloudlifter CL-1 for anyone with a ribbon microphone or dynamic microphone.
What is an inline preamp?
An inline preamp, also known as a mic activator or mic booster, is a preamplifier designed to be in between (inline) a microphone and an audio interface or mixer.
Depending on the model, an inline preamp will boost the microphone’s signal by 20-30dB. By increasing the signal, an inline preamp can improve the signal-to-noise ratio, reduce the noise and hiss in the recording, and provide more headroom for your audio interface or mixer.
An inline preamp can also provide additional features such as impedance matching, high-pass filtering, and gain control. Impedance matching ensures that the microphone and recording device are correctly matched for optimal signal transfer, while high-pass filtering can remove low-frequency noise and rumble.
An inline preamp will also protect ribbon microphones from 48v of phantom power. Phantom power can damage a ribbon microphone, but when you use an inline preamp, the extra voltage is consumed by the preamp, and your ribbon microphone will be safe.
Inline preamps are commonly used in studio recording, live sound reinforcement, and broadcasting. They are available in various form factors, including compact and portable designs that are ideal for use in the field or in studio. When choosing an inline preamp, it is important to consider factors such as compatibility with your microphone and recording device, the required 48v (phantom power), and any additional features that may be useful for your particular application.
Note: You cannot use an inline preamp (mic booster / activator) with a condenser microphone!
Benefits of Inline Preamp
- More clean gain for your dynamic or ribbon microphone.
- Protect your dynamic or ribbon microphone from phantom power.
Cons of Inline Preamp
- Requires 48v phantom power.
- Not compatible with condenser microphones.
Related: Best Inline Microphone Preamp, A Complete Guide
Cloudlifter CL-1 vs Dynamite DM-1 Specs
First, let’s take a look at the specs for the Cloudlifter and Dynamite inline microphone preamps.
|Frequency Response||20khz – 200khz||10 Hz – 120 kHz|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Cloudlifter CL-1 Review
First, let’s talk about the Cloudlifter CL-1. This inline microphone booster is a favorite among podcasters and voice-over artists thanks to its ability to boost the gain of dynamic and ribbon microphones without adding noise or distortion to the signal.
The Cloudlifter CL-1 is manufactured by Cloud Microphones and is easily the most popular mic activator. The term “Cloudlifter” is synonymous with inline preamp, mic booster, and mic activator because of its popularity. Due to its popularity, the Cloudlifter is roughly $50 more expensive than its competition.
The Cloudlifter CL-1 can support a single microphone, but you can get the Cloudlifter CL-2 if you need an inline preamp for two microphones. Each connector uses silver pins that offer a high-quality signal.
The Cloudlifter is very robust and well-constructed. The only downside of the form factor is that it is large and chunky compared to other inline preamps like the Dynamite DM-1.
You will need an XLR cable to connect your microphone (Ribbon or Dynamic) to the Cloudlifter, and another XLR cable to connect the Cloudlifter to your audio mixer or interface.
Once you supply the Cloudlifter with 48v of phantom power from your audio mixer or interface, the Cloudlifter will give you 25dB of clean gain. This will make a HUGE difference in your recording. If you’re using an entry-level audio interface, you will notice that the microphone has less static and seems to come alive.
If you’re using an audio interface like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, you will be able to turn down the preamp on your audio interface by 40% while getting a higher-quality signal in your recording if you have the Cloudlifter CL-1 setup properly.
The CL-1 is also incredibly easy to use and will improve the quality of your recordings when using a dynamic or ribbon microphone.
You can check the current price of the Cloudlifter CL-1 here: https://currentprice.io/cloudlifter
DM-1 Dynamite Review
Now, let’s take a look at the Dynamite DM-1. This preamp from Se Electronics is also designed to provide clean gain to dynamic and ribbon microphones, similar to the Cloudlifter CL-1.
You will notice that the Dynamite has a much smaller, more convenient form factor. The narrow tube-like form factor lets you connect the Dynamite DM-1 directly to your microphone. If you’re using an inline preamp, you will get better results if your preamp is closer to the microphone.
You can still connect the Dynamite inline (like the Cloudlifter), but you can also connect it directly to the microphone or audio interface.
The Dynamite will provide a whopping 28 dB of clean gain for your Dynamic or Ribbon microphone. This is ~10% more clean gain than the Cloudlifter provides for your microphone. This will make a huge difference in your recording.
Along with the extra gain, the Dynamite DM-1 also has gold connectors. Gold connectors offer more corrosion resistance and will give you better quality for a longer period of time than the silver connectors that you find on the Cloudlifter CL-1.
Since price is also an important consideration, you’ll be happy to know that the sE Electronics Dynamite is less expensive than the Cloudlifter while offering better specs in every area that we find relevant.
You can check the current price of the DM-1 Dynamite here: https://currentprice.io/dynamite
Cloudlifter CL-1 vs Dynamite DM-1 Recommendation
After comparing the Cloudlifter CL-1 against the Dynamite DM-1, it’s clear that the Dynamite has better specs, functionality, and price.
For this reason, we recommend the sE Electronics Dynamite over the Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter.
Cloudlifter CL-1 VS DM-1 Dynamite Pricing
- Cloudlifter CL-1: https://currentprice.io/cloudlifter
- DM-1 Dynamite: https://currentprice.io/dynamite
- Shure SM7B: https://currentprice.io/shure_sm7b
- Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro Headphones: https://currentprice.io/beyer_dt_990
- XLR Cable: https://currentprice.io/xlr_cable
- TRS Cable: https://currentprice.io/trs_cable
- Mic Stand: https://currentprice.io/desk_stand
- Rode PSA1+ Boom Arm: http://currentprice.io/psa1_plus
- Quality Acoustic Treatment Panels: http://currentprice.io/soundpanels
Cloudlifter CL-1 VS DM-1 Dynamite Topics
- 0:00 – Introduction
- 0:38 – Gear Used In Video
- 1:09 – Price & Specs
- 1:22 – Why Use An Inline Preamp (Mic Booster)
- 3:48 – Inline Preamp Disadvantages
- 4:24 – Cloudlifter VS Dynamite Comparison
- 8:48 – How To Connect Inline Preamp
- 9:50 – Demo: Cloudlifter CL-1
- 10:43 – Demo: DM-1 Dynamite
- 11:37 – My Recommendation
- 12:28 – Final Thoughts
Cloudlifter vs Dynamite FAQs
The Dynamite DM-1 is better than the Cloudlifter CL-1 because it has a better form factor, more clean gain, gold connectors, and is less expensive than the Cloudlifter CL-1.
The Dynamite DM-1 is smaller than the Cloudlifter CL-1 and can be connected directly to your microphone while providing more clean gain, and better corrosion resistance at a lower price.