The responsibility of buying microphones online or offline can be overwhelming sometimes. To help narrow down the choices and eliminate that decision fatigue, we bring you the best CAD microphone reviews of 2018. In the case that you have a strong reason to choose the brand CAD Audio over others, this buyer guide highlights all the types of microphones you can think of.
Through the end, you’ll be able to identify the exact CAD microphone that is a perfect match for your intended use as well as being affordable within your budget.
In addition to bringing high-quality models from this particular brand, this post features an informative comparison with other brands in the marketplace.
Regardless of the product niche market, the brand distinction often influences purchase decisions. Following the buyer journey that most people go through when shopping, having a particular brand in mind happens for different reasons. First, it could be that the person researching for products have used the brand in question before.
And possibly because of satisfactory product performance, customer service or other factors, the goodwill plays a role when it’s time to click that buy button.
In this case, if you have used CAD brand of microphone before, what you’ll find here could be an upgrade for you.
At other times, it could be a simple factor of affordability. Maybe someone just learned from a colleague or friend that CAD Audio microphones are comparatively affordable with regard to some specific features in mind. The obvious thing is that everyone goes for what is affordable to them.
On the contrary, if you’ve bad product experience from another brand, here you have an opportunity to give this one a try.
Assuming this is not your first time, you can skip this section. But if this is your first time buying a microphone, here are the major microphone buying tips you should take into consideration. Note that they are not in any order neither are these tips intended to be exhaustive. In simple terms, these are the key areas in which one mic differs from each other, even when they are from the same brand.
This is basically the pattern or process that microphones follow to pick up sound from different directions. In this regard, the sensitivity of the mic across different directions is never equal. For instance, when it is more sensitive to sound flowing from the front that sensitivity could be less or absent in other directions. And so from brand to brand or model to model, every microphone usually have defined polar pattern. For microphones, you’ll have this as omnidirectional, cardioid and super cardioid.
All microphones are not the same. There are four different kinds of microphones you need to be aware of:
In reality, this type of microphone usually has higher sensitivity. The thin diaphragm makes it possible to capture tiniest sounds that cannot be heard by humans. This fact applies mostly to the ones with a larger diaphragm. Especially in studio recording which it is best suited for, large diaphragm condensers produce lower noise.
Unlike condensers, that don’t produce volts on their own, sound causes vibration which in turn produces the voltage in the coil that is connected to a membrane in the dynamic microphone. One great thing about dynamic microphones is that it tolerates high sound pressure. This puts it in a position of being one of the best microphones for live stage performance.
Wireless microphones use radio frequency to transmit a signal. Microphones in this category work with internal batteries in order to modulate the radio signal. Great for live stage performance, studio recording, and presentations, wireless microphones have impressive voice clarity. However, they are more prone to signal interference.
Music is never complete without drums and a backbeat. To amplify the clarity of drum sound, there are microphones that are built specifically for micing drum sets. Reading through this review of the best CAD microphones in 2018 you’ll find some of them below.
Microphones in this category are tailored for kick drums, toms, snares, and cymbal.
The other key buying consideration relates to questions like – is this microphone price affordable to me at the moment? Only you can answer this one. And then you have to give thought to – what exactly do I want to do with this mic? Here I’m talking about the use case.
For those who are interested in setting up a home studio for Youtube or podcasting, be informed now that this is the Mac compatible condenser microphone you’ve been looking for. It also works with Windows 8. And for this one, you don’t have to go through a complicated setup protocol.
To enable you to produce a clear and accurate response, the mic features CAD’s PureTone/AD converter and 1-inch diaphragm. For interfering noise reduction, you also get complimentary CAD Audio EPF 5A pop filter. Power requirement is via USB.
One outstanding thing about this mic is the availability of compatible and assorted accessories that work with it. Depending on your preference, these accessories help to extend the value you can get from it on and off stage. Some of these include MH320 Headphone and Accousti Shield 32FLEX.
Also belong to the popular class of condensers is this CAD U37 mic. The cardioid pick up pattern isolates the main sound source and reduces background with its highly sensitive capabilities. Particularly for speech and vocals, the large diaphragm offers a stable low-end response.
People that are deeply engaged in podcasting and voice-over work also find this product to be very versatile. To minimize distortion from sharp and loud sound this U37 features 10db overload protection switch. Unlike most Sennheiser condenser microphones, the body component is mostly plastic.
To get the best recording experience on your Mac or Windows 8 laptop, make sure you download the right software otherwise you’ll have a lot of annoying feedback from the mic. Audacity has been proven to work well with this and it’s free for download.
If you have the need to use it while your laptop webcam is in video mode there shouldn’t be worried about sound quality.
Just right-click on speaker, choose recording devices and select the CAD U37 as default.
Besides stationary recording sessions, you can also use this as a handheld microphone. But because of its high sensitivity, this may not be the best way to make use of it.
From Amazon, you’ll find this mic selling under $60. This price point makes it one of the cheapest studio microphones you can buy in 2018.
Check out our in-depth review of the CAD U37 in this blog post here.
Understandably, noise is one of the key considerable factors that influence microphone purchase decisions. So this buyer guide would not be complete without the addition of the best condenser microphone with low self-noise. That’s one of the main features in this CAD Equitek E100S.
But what exactly is self-noise?
This is the signal that the electronic circuitry of a microphone produces on itself even when no sound source is present. For any number of reasons, if this kind of noise becomes excessive you are bound to experience poor sound quality.
However, the key thing to note is that self-noise specs differ from one mic to the other. Self-noise is usually given in dB-A. In this product, you find it at 3.7dB-A.
On the very first impression, the E100 appears in a rectangular shaped design. As indicated, it is one of the coolest large diaphragm microphones from CAD’s stable. The weight is about 3.75 pounds. One thing I didn’t find impressive is that the warranty wasn’t stated like others. You have to make a request to customer service.
I don’t think this is something that a lot of people will like to spend time doing. However, it is a high-quality super cardioid studio microphone.
If you are looking for one of the best condenser microphones under $400, this is it.
In The Box
Specifically for the large diaphragm feature of their condenser microphones, this brand CAD Audio carved a niche for themselves. Even though a lot of other brands offer this and many similar features, the sound quality you experience especially in terms of studio recording is very much impressive.
Among the many interesting capabilities of the D90 is how it handles a sizable amount of SPL as high as 150dB. Based on this it serves really well in placements.
In comparison, this one is louder than many other models built by CAD.
The stated frequency response on the mic is 50 – 16KHz while sensitivity 51 dB. In my opinion, it really offers great value for money. At a price slightly below $100, you are sure of getting the same satisfactory performance offered in higher priced competing models from other brands.
Based on past user experience, one good area it performs distinctively better is in live vocals.
Portability and convenience make USB microphones really attractive for many people. Based on its compact design, this mic can be moved and used freely without much sound interference. CAD Audio U9 is just of the most affordable contenders in this category.
With this one there is nothing like cumbersome setup protocols. Just plug in as normal USB dongle, do some few settings and you are good to go.
To compliment many other attractive features that this tool has, it brings with it the omnidirectional polar pattern you see in higher priced CAD microphone models.
As for price, this U9 USB mic can be found on Amazon slightly below $40.
If you have a question in your mind about the diaphragm, know that it is not that large in this one. However, you can still get maximum sound performance from it. You also get a 3.5 mm headphone jack for your home studio recording. For those that in for Youtube and podcasting, this will give you that voice clarity for high-quality output.
Working with 180-degree swivel and the cardioids capsule, you can adjust this mic in different directions to get quality you want.
The resolution of this product is 16Bit/44.1kHz. Whether you are using Mac or Windows, this will work compatibly well for you. In my opinion, this is the best on the go mic so far.
A versatile multi-context relevant microphone, the CAD Audio GXL200 is a portable tool for anyone that has both affordability and high performance in mind. It belongs to CAD’s GXL series know for their high sensitivity and low distortion while in use.
The low distortion part means that there won’t be interfering self-generated noise that lowers the sound quality. This is why a lot of past users have confirmed its performance to be satisfactory.
As noted earlier, you can use this for podcasting, Youtube, instruments or studio recording. S
In order to protect it from scratch or damage, especially during transit, there is a carrying case that comes with it. Those that want to use it for DJ work will find it particularly useful. The frequency response on the GXL2200 is 30Hz to 20KHz. For song production and even live radio, the range and clarity you’ll experience will likely end up amazing.
Before you make that purchase, keep in that you’ll need phantom power sources to make it functional.
For people that are still undecided as to the best studio microphone to buy, here is a brief comparison that highlights what makes most of the CAD products review different from models from other brands. And then in the case that you have used other brands, this comparison will make it easier to understand the difference between what you have used and CAD models reviewed here.
The very first thing to notice is that both of these are condenser microphones making use of cardioids polar pattern. To provide for great digital recording output, Audio Technica AT2020 comes with a pop filter. This is one of the things you won’t get with U37. Among other interesting features, you get to experience extended frequency and transient response while using the AT2020. This follows the low mass diaphragm in the product.
On the other hand, the competitor – U37 has large diaphragm like most other models from CAD. In this product, there is a switchable 10db pad which helps to reduce distortions.
Moreover, you’ll get switchable Bass reduction capability which helps to eliminate low-frequency rumbles during your recording engagements.
As for price, U37 comes cheaper at a price below $50 while the other one sells just around $100.
Interestingly, the reviews and testimonials I have seen points to Audio Technica AT2020 selling more than the competitor here. Its popularity in the market isn’t just for nothing.
Especially for people that are beginning to do recording, there are instances when you feel that every unique context requires a different mic on its own. However, by reading best microphone reviews like this one you’ll be able to see how to save money in some areas.
For example, the Blue Yeti mic compared here features four different pattern settings for vocal, instrumental, podcast or interview recording.
The implication is that you don’t have to buy a USB condenser microphone for each of these unique recording contexts. The adjustable stand makes it classic for me.
One outstanding thing about the Shure MV51 is the ShurePlus MOTIV iOS app that makes provision for easy recording, editing, and sharing of your output. For people that care a lot about product origin, Shure is made in the USA, while the Yeti is from China. In terms of recording patterns, the Shure is just cardioids while the Yeti operates in cardioids, stereo, bidirectional and omnidirectional patterns.
With the MV51 you get 1 year but Yeti offers your 2 good years.
The Blue Snowball iCE is the only Skype certified mic in this entire list. So there is no guess around the high audio quality output you are likely to get from this product. On many different comparative levels, these two microphones do pretty much the same thing.
But there are a few ways in which each one differs practically from the other.
On the minimum frequency response, you get 20 Hz from Samson Meteo and 40 Hz from Snowball iCE respectively. To a very large extent, this frequency response affects the quality of audio out recording you can do with each of these products.
Worthy of note the noise cancellation capabilities of these compared products. Based on past user experiences and testimonials, the noise cancellation feature in Snowball iCE is far superior to what you get from Samson.
Like many others reviewed so far, both of these are cardioids microphones. So no additional patterns setting are available for you. Expect 1-year warranty from Samson Meteo and 2 years from Blue.
Specifically, from Amazon, you’ll find these two as part of the best condenser microphones under $100. And they are all compatible with Mac and PC.
Assuming you have used Samson mic before, the C01U Pro is an upgrade from the older model which is C01U. Within the series, the things that changed are improved signal-to-noise ratio and a better headphone output for zero-latency monitoring. Practically, these are some of the things that made this condenser a bit superior to the Blue Yeti reviewed here.
However, the thing that makes Blue Yeti really attractive for many is the four pattern setting options. That means you won’t be stuck with the cardioid polar pattern only.
Who doesn’t like to have more options?
The weight on Samson is about 1.06lbs while it stands at 3.4lbs with Blue. For those that have a preference for a large diaphragm, here you’ll get it from the Samson C01U Pro. The solid metal design ensures you get the value for money while the microphone lasts and serves you when in need. You are also likely to experience wide frequency response while recording.
Certainly, at this point, you know have some great options to choose from. But, which one to pick? Decisions…decisions. In reality, it all comes down to the individual. The best recording microphone for you and what you do with it will be different than others in your neighborhood.
Now that you have a full look at your best recording microphone options 2018 has to offer, we hope your decision will be easier.
Whether you are looking for affordable microphones for your home studio, music recording, podcasting, your Youtube channel, your church choir, or even DJ work, most of the products highlighted here are very likely to fall within your budget and fit your needs. The great news? You don’t have to shop around for where to buy the best condenser microphones; Amazon has got you covered.
It is also interesting to know that free shipping and warranties are available for almost all of the products mentioned in this review.
Finally, make sure to test immediately after purchase so that you’ll have the opportunity to return within the time it will be acceptable. This will also ensure that you make the necessary replacement if needed. With Amazon’s stellar return policy it’s really a no-risk purchase. So, our best advice is to try a few different options and figure out what works best for you.