In recent years, microphones have seen a significant increase in popularity, primarily due to the rise of streaming and online content creation. As a result of this trend, a new class of microphones known as active dynamic microphones has become increasingly popular.
Let’s look at what an active microphone is, how it works, and some of the benefits of using one.
Quick Answer: An active dynamic microphone is a dynamic microphone that requires external power (48v of phantom power) to activate an internal microphone preamp.
What Is An Active Dynamic Microphone?
An active dynamic microphone is a type of microphone that uses an internal amplifier to boost the signal it produces. This is in contrast to a passive dynamic microphone, which does not have an internal amplifier and relies on a microphone preamp exclusively to power the audio signal from a microphone.
The internal amplifier will boost the signal of an active dynamic microphone by 20-30dB compared to a passive dynamic microphone.
Active dynamic microphones are known for their high output level compared to traditional dynamic microphones.
How Does An Active Dynamic Microphone Work?
An active dynamic microphone is a dynamic microphone that contains an internal microphone preamp.
The internal preamp requires 48v of phantom power in exchange for the 25-30dB of clean gain it will provide.
What Are The Benefits of An Active Dynamic Microphone?
A dynamic microphone, while versatile and durable, can have a few downsides compared to condenser microphones. One of these downsides is the amount of gain required from a preamp for the microphone to sound its best. Many audio interfaces and mixers don’t have enough gain to power passive dynamic microphones properly.
An active dynamic microphone solves this problem by reducing the gain required from your preamp (audio interface or audio mixer) as long as it’s supplied with 48v of phantom power from the audio interface or audio mixer.
It’s a great all-in-one solution, especially for new podcasters or gamers who don’t want to invest much money or effort into optimizing their audio equipment.
Let’s look at an example: The Shure SM7B is a notoriously gain-hungry microphone. Depending on your audio interface (or mixer), most people will need an in-line preamp (Cloudlifter, Dynamite, Fethead, etc.) to get enough audio signal for their recording. This adds extra cost and complexity to the signal chain. Wouldn’t it be more convenient if the in-line preamp was built into the Shure SM7B from the factory? That’s essentially what an active dynamic microphone is.
Best Active Dynamic Microphones
Below is a list of the three best active dynamic microphones.
- Aston Stealth – https://currentprice.io/aston_stealth
- Logitech Blue Sona – https://currentprice.io/blue_sona
- seElectroncis Dynacaster – https://currentprice.io/dynacaster
Active Dynamic Microphone FAQ
An active dynamic microphone is a dynamic microphone that requires external power (48v of phantom power) to activate an internal microphone preamp.
Active dynamic microphones are a great solution for anyone using budget equipment (audio mixer, interface) who wants to use a high-quality dynamic microphone.
An active dynamic microphone is a perfect solution for those who want an all-in-one dynamic microphone that doesn’t require an in-line preamp.
The downside of an active dynamic microphone is that it requires an external 48v of phantom power from an audio interface or audio mixer to active the internal preamp.