Recording voice-overs is a professional job that needs high-quality voice recording equipment including a good voice-over microphone. If you pick the wrong microphone, the voice quality won’t be anywhere near crisp and clear enough, which will make your work sound poor, hence why we’ve researched the best mics for voiceovers!
Often, people shy away from getting a voice-over recording setup because they are under the impression that a good quality voice-over mic is expensive. However, this is not necessarily true. Today, there are loads of choices on the market that allow you to purchase a very decent microphone without breaking the bank.
When buying a voice-over microphone there are some important areas to consider, our guide discusses these and more… We also review the best voice-over mics on the market today…
At A Glance: Top 5 Picks for Voice Over Mics
The Best Microphones for Voice Overs – Our Reviews
The Best Mic for Voice Over: Blue Yeti USB Mic
If you’re looking for a versatile and functional mic for your voice-overs, then the Blue Yeti USB Mic is a great option to consider. The microphone offers multi-pattern selection and you can select from cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional and stereo allowing you to record in multiple ways. The mic is equipped with two buttons, one allows you to select the pattern, while the second is the mute button that allows you to stop speaking or recording if needed.
The tri-capsule array of the mic allows you to record in any type of situation. If you want to use the mic on your desk, you can do it easily without the need for any additional equipment; however, you can also use the mic with a stand if you want. The mic can be connected via USB to any device Windows, Mac, etc.
The Blue Yeti mic comes in a palette of attractive colors – white, blackout, platinum, red, silver and more. The Blue Yeti is perfect for recording musical instruments, vocals, voice-overs, podcasts, field recordings, interviews and conference calls. Combining 3 capsules and 4 varying pattern settings, the Blue Yeti microphone is the most advanced and the ultimate device for creating great voice-over recordings.
Blue Snowball USB Microphone
Next on our list of best microphones for voice-overs is the Blue Snowball microphone, which has excellent sound capturing capabilities enabling you to create great studio-quality recordings. The mics circuit and dual-capsule design produce crisp recordings that are free of any distortion and feedback. The dual-capsule design incorporates cardioid and omnidirectional elements and offers you a choice.
The mic’s pattern switch lets you toggle between 3 settings and offer the flexibility to record podcasts, voice-overs, interviews, instrumental music, vocals, etc. The mic has a plug-and-play design that is compatible with a PC and Mac and the device is ready to start recording straight from the box without the need for any additional drivers.
The USB output allows you to integrate the mic with your laptop or desktop delivering CD-quality voice recording. The -10dB pad helps to eliminate any distortion and noise when you record at high noise levels. The microphone is compact and stylish and provides crystal-clear sound. The best part is that the very reasonable price tag of the Blue Snowball mic and the high-quality recordings it offers, make it an excellent buy.
Rode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone
When it comes to a studio-quality mic for voice-overs, the Rode NT1-A is a firm favorite. The microphone is a large-diaphragm mic with a 1-inch cardioid condenser. This affordable microphone delivers the clarity, warmth, high-SPL capability and extended dynamic range offered by high-end models. The microphone has a self-noise level of just 5 dBA, which makes it among the world’s quietest mics and this also makes it the best mic to record vocal rap, percussion and guitars.
The Rode NT1-A microphone is a complete recording solution and offers all that you need to get a professional voice recording and is also a great option for home recording. Made in Australia, the Rode NT1-A microphone is covered by a 10-year warranty.
Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone
The Cardioid Condenser Microphone from Audio-Technica is a very popular microphone for voice-overs. Featuring a USB output, the microphone can capture music digitally or any other audio source making use of your favorite recording software. The mic offers superb sound with studio-quality intelligibility and articulation, which is perfect for voice-overs, podcasts, music, field events and home studio recordings.
The microphone is equipped with an inbuilt headphone jack that has volume control and lets you monitor the microphone signal without any delay. The mic has mix control that lets you blend pre-recorded audio and the mic signal. The internal headphone amp delivers excellent detail, superior clarity and more overall sound. Manufactured with the state-of-the-art design and manufacturing techniques of Audio Technica, the microphone offers high-quality and reliability.
MXL Mics 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly mic for voice-overs, then nothing can beat the MXL 770. The cardioid condenser microphone with its high-quality small diaphragm offers excellent versatility and performance. The MXL 770’s solid bass is loved by singers and vocalists and it is excellent for recording stringed instruments, pianos and percussion instruments. The mic offers a great combination of balanced bass response along with high-end clarity.
The MXL 770 makes use of a high-quality FET preamp with balanced output to deliver a wide dynamic range and the low-frequency roll-off helps to reduce any undesirable rumble. Overall, the MXL 770 is a versatile microphone that is excellent for voice-overs, podcasting and streaming and is favored by both newbies, as well as pros looking for a high-quality mic that is affordable too.
With this, we come to an end of our guide and reviews of the best microphones for voice-overs and these are some of the best mics on the market that are sure to offer high and professional quality results. We hope that you are able to find a good microphone that will allow you to record high-quality voice-overs.
How To Choose The Best Microphone for Voice Overs (Buyers Guide)
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Voice-Over Microphone
Connection Type: XLR or USB
The first factor to consider when purchasing a voice-over microphone is the connectivity. A USB connectivity is more compact and a better option for entry-level voice-over professionals, while the analog XLR is more professional and versatile; however, it is more complex to use.
USB mics are ready-to-use plug-and-play voice recording solutions. They are compact and also include an audio unit and are quite affordable to buy. These are ideal for entry-level voice-over professionals. However, USB mics have their limitations. They are limited in terms of the design and each part cannot be upgraded individually. Each mic works with only a single computer and if there is a problem, then identifying the problem and troubleshooting can be difficult. USB mics are good for recording at home or office, for use with a laptop while traveling or for non-commercial podcasts, lectures, etc.
These are more versatile and can be easily upgraded; however, they require additional accessories such as an XLR cable and audio interface. XLR mics are available in various ranges in terms of the quality–from cheap and simple to hi-end, expensive mics. You can use two or more microphones simultaneously and they can be used along with other devices such as portable recorders, camcorders, etc. XLR mics are ideal for professional and home studios, for on-stage use, events, expos, etc. and for outdoor recordings with a portable recorder, camera, etc. The drawbacks of XLR mics are that they need extra gear such as cables, audio interface unit, stand, etc., which make them more expensive.
Voice-Over Microphone Type: Dynamic or Condenser
Dynamic Mics: These are the most commonly used mics. They can be as big or very small in size and can be used in several applications. Dynamic mics are very sturdy and durable. They smoothen any voice imperfections and do not require phantom power. These mics can work in noisy rooms and isolate your voice. Dynamic microphones are ideal for audiobooks, long narrations, etc., outdoor recordings, interviews, home studios, broadcasts, live events, streams, etc. However, dynamic mics are less sensitive, they have a much narrower dynamic range and proximity effect.
Condenser Mics:These are designed specifically for use in professional studios and are more suited for voice-over recording. They have a better diaphragm and are more sensitive, helping you achieve a richer voice. Condenser microphones are ideal for professional studios, podcasts, voice-overs, audiobooks, etc. However, the limitations of condenser mics are that you need to be more careful about the acoustics of your room, you must take care of all background noises like air conditioners, fans, kids, dogs, etc. These mics are better-suited for indoor use and are difficult to use without practice. They are quite fragile and can get damaged by exposure to dust and moisture.
Diaphragm Size: Large or Small
Similar to the human ear, the microphone is equipped with a diaphragm that helps to capture the sound waves. Usually, voice-over professionals prefer microphones with larger diaphragms because they produce a richer and warmer sound.
Large Diaphragm: These capture all types of sound frequencies that are audible and even without any post-processing, produce a deep and warm sound. Larger diaphragms have a wider dynamic range and better sensitivity, which is why they are used frequently for voice-overs, podcasts, audiobooks and in studios. However, larger diaphragms also mean a larger microphone. They are more fragile than their smaller counterparts and if the sounds are very loud or you speak very closely, they can distort the sound.
Small Diaphragm:Smaller diaphragms help to capture lower and medium to higher frequencies and can withstand higher sound pressure. They are portable, pick up less room noise and you can speak close to the mic without any sound distortion. Small diaphragms are ideal for voice-overs in untreated rooms, live events, presentations and interviews. The only drawback of mics with smaller diaphragms is that they are less sensitive.
The microphone polar pattern is essentially the sensitivity map that is depicted by a circular diagram and is the view of the recording space with the microphone at the center facing the 12 o’clock position.
This is a regular 1-directional mic, which is most suitable for voice-overs. They can record direct and side sounds but do not record back sounds.
These mics pick up more environmental sounds and record direct sounds, wider side sounds and reduced back sounds.
These mics record sounds uniformly from all directions. They record all sounds from everywhere uniformly and are not a great option for voice-overs. See what is an omnidirectional microphone here.
These are perfect for dialogs or chats with people sitting face to face. These record direct sounds and also back sounds but do not record side sounds.
These are mainly used in film production to record dialogs from a distance. These shotgun mics offer excellent clarity and noise cancellation, which makes them a great option for voice-overs, especially when recording in an untreated room with external noises and echoes. However, shotgun mics are quite expensive. Shotgun mics can record both close, as well as far away, direct sounds and also back sounds but they cannot record more than a single person.
This is a very important factor to consider when buying a voice-over microphone. However, you must keep in mind that a high-quality voice-over mic can go a long way, especially if you’re doing voice-overs as a profession and are looking to do it as a long-term career. Saving a few dollars and buying a cheap mic may not give you the sound quality and durability that you’re looking for in the long run.
Best Microphone for Voice Overs – Final Thoughts
Before you go out and make a final decision of the best mic for your voice-overs, it is a good idea to test the microphone in your recording environment for a day or two to see if it works well for your requirement. A great voice-over microphone is one that will make your voice sound great. Do not get swayed by the bells and whistles that come with the mic and forget the single most important thing, i.e. voice quality. Don’t hold back any more with your voice-over ambitions, get that mic you’ve always wanted and start pushing towards the goal you’ve been aiming for!
Frequently Asked Questions
Which microphone is best for voice-over?
The following mics are the best for voice-overs, as per our reviews:
1. Blue Yeti USB Mic
2. Blue Snowball USB Microphone
3. Rode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone Package
4. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone
5. MXL Mics 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
What mic is used for voice acting?
The Blue Yeti mic is perfect for voice acting. It is a very versatile mic with a multi-pattern selection, wherein you can choose from stereo, cardioid, omi, and bidirectional recordings. It can record whether you are standing in a studio or recording from your desk in almost any situation.
Can you use a dynamic mic for a voice-over?
Perhaps the most important thing in a voice-over is to pick up the right tonality and speed of the actor. To get every fine aspect of your voice through, you need a good condenser mic. However, if you are doing a voice-over for a live audience or in a place where there is a lot of noise, dynamic mics are a better bet.
What mic does Cdawgva recommend?
Cdawgva recommends the Sennheiser MKE 600. It is a mic that is particularly sensitive in one focused area, which ensures that all other noises are shunted out immediately. It is excellent at picking up base tones.
What makes a voice high or low?
First off, men have larger vocal cords, so their voice is deeper.
Typically men’s voice frequency is about 125 Hz, whereas women’s is 210 Hz (children have higher). The higher the frequency, the higher is the pitch.
Secondly, puberty causes our vocal cords to stretch and become thicker, which leads to deeper frequency and pitch. That’s why children’s voices are shriller and louder.
Your genes also have a lot to say about (pun intended) your voice. For example, the anatomy of your larynx is hereditary, so the size and thickness of vocal cords are somewhat decided at birth.
Emotions also impact voice because they cause the larynx to stretch or relax, depending on the situation.
Nasal speech happens when there is a lack of flow of air in your nose. Nasal intonation could be both because of allergies or inflamed sinuses, or it could be something more serious like a deviated septum.
Best Studio Mics was started by a husband and wife team who love the sound and the technicals behind recording it. Both are professional theatre artists, one with a stage management background and one more on stage. One also has experience in film and television work and the different audio requirements of that arena.