When it comes to condenser mics, two main types determine the feature of each one, Large Diaphragm and Small diaphragm microphones. That said we will have a comparison: Small Diaphragm Vs Large Diaphragm microphones in order to clear all the questions and doubts and go through the technical details in depth. We will also try our best to answer the most common question including the difference between each one of them. The best applications and uses! and which one is better. Without further ado, let’s dive in
Small Diaphragm Vs Large Diaphragm Microphone: At the Glance
|Large Diaphragm||Small diaphragm|
|Size||1″ (25.4 mm) or more||1/2″ (12.7 mm) or less|
|Shape||Large/ Side Address||End fired, pencil-sized|
|Sound Quality||Rich and more engaging||Pure and natural|
|Frequency Response||more extended||More colored|
|surrounding noise||Higher to pick up||Less (Better)|
|Transient Response||Less accurate||More accurate|
We attached this table at the beginning so you have a brief and clear idea about the specification of each of them. This table answers a big portion of the question. So let’s go into more detail about each microphone type, first, let’s start with Small diaphragm mics.
What is a Small Diaphragm Condenser Microphone?
A small diaphragm condenser microphone is exactly what it sounds like – a microphone with a small diaphragm that comes in, it’s used to condense sound waves. These microphones are typically used in studio settings, as they are able to pick up even the slightest details and subtle nuances in a person’s voice or performance. That’s why small diaphragm condenser microphones are often the preferred choice of professional recording artists and gamers alike.
How Does a Small Diaphragm Condenser Microphone Work?
A small diaphragm condenser microphone consists of two main parts:
The capsule: It is the part of the microphone that actually captures the sound waves. It is typically made out of metal or plastic and is suspended in between two metal plates.
The body: of the microphone houses the electronics that convert the sound waves into an electrical signal.
Size and Shape
While the large one comes with at least 1″ (25.4 mm) in diameter, the small diaphragm comes with 1/2″ (12.7 mm) or less. This is what differentiates a small diaphragm mic from a large diaphragm one
The build is way different as well, you can easily notice the difference between an LDC and SDC and this is because of the diaphragm direction, SDCs are slim, pencil-shaped, and operate end-fired. Large diaphragm condensers are usually much larger and operate side-addressed.
Self-noise is an important feature that applies to all active microphones (including the large diaphragm and small diaphragm condensers). When live streaming or recording a voiceover, it’s essential to keep the noise floor as low as possible. Choosing mics with low self-noise helps immensely in this purpose. This feature is not exclusive to small diaphragm mics, but they’re good at it.
Small Diagram Condenser Microphones support extended frequency responses since their diaphragms are pencil-shaped. It’s better suited to capture higher frequencies with short wavelengths. The relatively small diameter of the diaphragm is more apt to capture short wavelengths directly, and the mic capsule needs much less tuning to deliver the same high-level response.
Advantages and disadvantages
One advantage of small diaphragm condenser microphones is that they can be used in a variety of different settings. For example, they are often used in studios to record both vocals and instruments. They are also a popular choice for live performances because they can handle high sound pressure levels without distorting the sound. Additionally, small diaphragm microphones are more likely to pick up ambient noise and room sound, so if you’re looking for a clean, isolated sound, they may not be the best choice.
Another advantage of small diaphragm condenser microphones is that they tend to be more affordable than their large diaphragm counterparts. This makes them a great option for budget-conscious recorders and gamers who still want to get great sound quality.
On the other side, Small diaphragm microphones have a number of disadvantages that can make them less than ideal for certain applications. First, because they are small, they tend to be less sensitive than larger microphones, which means they may not be able to pick up faint sounds as well as their larger counterparts.
Pros & Cons
Now we know everything about small diaphragm mics, let’s go through large diaphragm mics in detail!
What is a large diaphragm condenser microphone?
A large diaphragm condenser microphone, as the name indicates, has a much larger diaphragm than other types of microphones. This allows the microphone to capture a wider range of frequencies and produce a more natural sound. The large diaphragm also makes the microphone more sensitive to sound, which means it can pick up even the slightest sounds.
Size and built
Size always matters when it comes to condenser microphone diaphragms. After all, it’s categorized as a large condenser mic for that reason. Moreover, there is a standard size that identifies a large condenser mic over a small one. As a matter of fact, you can even find many large diaphragm mics whose diaphragm’s size is below 1 inch while many manufacturers identify “Large” as the capsule’s diaphragm (or membrane) is 1 inch (25.4 mm) or as more in diameter.
There is a great answer I found to this question on Neumann’s website says:
It’s quite interesting that the diaphragm size is often reflected in the entire construction of the microphone. Small diaphragm condensers usually are slim, pencil-shaped and operate end-fired. Large diaphragm condensers are usually much bigger and operate side addressed.Neumann.com
One of the most important parts of a large diaphragm condenser microphone is the capsule. The capsule is the part of the microphone that actually captures the sound waves and converts them into electrical signals. The size and shape of the capsule are what determine the quality of sound that the microphone will be able to produce.
Another important part of the large diaphragm condenser microphone that identifies from the small one is the preamp. The preamp is responsible for amplifying the signal from the capsule so that it can be sent to a mixer or other device. without being amplified, the signal from the capsule would be too weak to be used.
You can read more about condenser microphones in this in-depth article: Everything to know about condenser microphones
Large Diaphragm condenser microphone features
1. Clear and Detailed Recordings
One of the main benefits of using a large diaphragm condenser microphone is that it’s able to record a clear and detailed sound. This is due to the fact that these microphones have a much higher frequency response than other types of microphones. This means that they’re able to capture low frequencies much better, which results in a recording that sounds much fuller and richer. Additionally, the increased frequency response also allows for greater detail in the recordings.
2. Increased Versatility
large diaphragm condenser microphones are extremely versatile and can be used for a variety of different applications. For example, these mics are often used in studios for recording vocals and instruments. However, they can also be used for live sound applications such as speeches or conferences. Additionally, they can even be used for Streaming and gaming. In fact, it’s the best option for pro gamers.
3. Ability to Handle High Sound Levels
Another benefit of using a large diaphragm condenser microphone is that they’re able to handle high sound levels without distortion. This is because those microphones have a higher sensitivity than other types. This means that they’re able to reproduce sound at higher levels without distorting the signal. This feature makes them ideal for capturing loud sounds such as amplified instruments or vocals.
4. Better Pop Filtering
Finally, large diaphragm condenser microphones often come with built-in pop filters. Pop filters are designed to reduce or eliminate plosives, which are bursts of air that can distort recordings. By having a pop filter built into the microphone, you can ensure that your recordings remain clear and free from distortion caused by plosives.
Advantages and disadvantages
large diaphragm condenser microphones are popular choices for recording studios and live sound reinforcement, due to their wide frequency response and large dynamic range. However, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider before investing in one of these microphones. First, large diaphragm condenser microphones tend to be more expensive than their smaller counterparts. Additionally, they are more sensitive to airflow and can pick up unwanted room noise more easily. Furthermore, they are often delicate and require careful handling.
Despite these potential difficulties, large diaphragm condenser microphones offer many benefits that make them well worth the investment for serious audio professionals.
Pros & Cons
Types of large diaphragm condenser microphones
There are many different types of large diaphragm condenser microphones available on the market, each with its own unique set of features. Some of the most popular large diaphragm condenser microphones include the Neumann U87, the AKG C414, and the Audio-Technica AT4050. The microphones mentioned are more dedicated to sound engineers and professionals.
For streamers and gamers, I would cite the Blue yeti, HyperX QuadCast Gaming Microphone, Boya PM700, and the Razer Seiren X to name a few. Each of these microphones has its own distinct sound that can be tailored to specific recording applications. In general, a large diaphragm condenser microphone is an excellent choice for capturing high-quality audio recordings.
Large-diaphragm Vs Small Diaphragm Microphone
There is no better or worse, both large and small diaphragm condenser microphones are great recording devices. It’s all about choosing the right application and setup for your microphone to use the best out of it.
From a gamer’s perspective, it’s important to know the difference between those two types, there is no better feeling than browsing through the technical specification of a microphone and knowing everything about it. While we have a separate article about small diaphragm condenser microphones, it’s good to add a comparison section about the two types to make sure we cover everything.
Large-diaphragm condenser microphones are often used for vocals, as they tend to produce a rich, full sound. They are also great for recording acoustic instruments, as they capture all the subtle nuances of the performance. However, large diaphragm mics can be more expensive than small diaphragm mics, and they are also more susceptible to handling noise.
Small diaphragm condenser microphones are often used for percussion and other high-energy sounds, as they can handle large dynamic ranges without distorting. They are also less likely to pick up unwanted ambient noise. It’s the best choice for those who want to capture pure and natural sound. However, they can sometimes sound thinner and less detailed than large diaphragm mics.
What type of microphone you should choose?
It really depends on what you’re looking for in terms of sound quality and price. If you need a versatile mic that can handle a variety of different sounds, a large diaphragm condenser mic is probably your best bet. If you’re on a budget or you need a mic that can capture a very delicate and natural sound, a small diaphragm condenser mic may be the better choice. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which type of mic will work best for your particular needs.
Do you want to know more about Condenser microphones? browse This article: Everything you need to know about condenser microphones
A Large diaphragm condenser microphone is the most popular microphone type in the market. They are often used in recording studios and live settings, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. While large diaphragm condenser microphones have many advantages, there are also a few drawbacks to keep in mind.
In this blog post, we’ll dig deep into how this microphone works and what makes it so special. We’ll also take a look at the benefits that come with this type of microphone and what makes them the best option for streamers and gamers alike.
What is a large diaphragm condenser microphone good for?
You can use a large diaphragm condenser mic with capturing almost anything, they’re good at amplifying the sound and making it appear more engaging, detailed, accurate, and beautiful which makes them perfect for recording voiceover and vocals, drums, acoustic guitars, and a good choice for streamers and gamers.
What are the 4 types of microphones?
Well, there are more types than that, but to name the most common microphone types, we should mention Dynamic Microphones. Large Diaphram Condensor Microphones. Small Diaphram Condensor Microphones. Ribbon Microphones.
There are quite a few benefits that make a large diaphragm condenser microphone the ideal option for many users. If you’re looking for a versatile and high-quality microphone, then this is definitely the type of microphone that you should consider investing in. Moreover, Small diaphragm condenser microphones are a popular choice for those who want great sound quality without breaking the bank. These microphones are known for their clarity, accuracy, and wide frequency response. They can be used in a variety of different settings, making them a versatile option for recorders and gamers alike.
In the end, we hope we covered all the related queries about condenser mics in this article, and that we left no further questions.