The Definitive Guide to the Best Recording Microphone: Which Microphone to Buy for Recording

The Definitive Guide to Buying Microphones

With microphone prices ranging anywhere from $15 – $1000+ how do you know what you should buy? Is price the biggest determining factor? Can you get a quality microphone without breaking the bank?

Which Microphones Are The Best Recording Microphones?

With tons of people wanting to create careers in podcasting, music, and YouTube there is a rising demand for studio microphone quality on a home studio budget. Here we go through the top 10 highest rated Amazon microphone listings for both dynamic and condenser microphones.

We will go over the microphone prices, key features, and actual reviews to determine if they’re perfect for your studio setup. We will use verifiable reviews from these 20 microphone Amazon listings to give you real-life feedback on the pros and cons of each microphone.

But, before we jump into prices and products let’s discuss what to look for when buying microphones, some average microphone prices, and what you can expect when buying a recording microphone.

The Complete Guide on Buying Microphones for Recording

Before you jump on Amazon and start building your dream microphone Amazon list you have to understand a few things. Here we list our top things to figure out before you start browsing the microphone for sale listings.

Consider Your Purpose

At the end of the day, the microphone you buy is going to depend on what you plan to do with it. Recording your saxophone will require a different microphone than a recording microphone you’d purchase for recording a podcast.

Make sure to do your research on what your recording niche requires from a microphone. Then, purchase a few different types of mics to figure out which works best for your setup and style. Amazon’s return policy makes this simple. Since Amazon offers a full refund return policy you can try as many mics as you like risk-free.

Figure Out Your Space

Before you purchase any equipment, plan out your recording space. Will you have the whole basement to work with or a small corner of your bedroom? Are you going to be able to set up a dedicated home recording studio or will it be in a multi-purpose space?

If you’re building in a place that will be used for other things you’re going to want a different, easy to break-down, setup for your recording equipment. Make sure you have exact measurements of the space you are allotting for recording. Be realistic in your measurements. You are going to need to fit some stuff in here. Leave room for a desk or table, a computer or laptop, a comfortable chair, and any necessary stands and windshields that will be needed. Consider storage for your equipment and your instruments.

What is Microphone Directionality?

This is how a microphone picks up sounds when recording vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and anything else you want to record. Microphone directionality is how the recording changes by where the mic is placed.

These changes are graphed out in charts called polar patterns. Polar patterns graphs show the frequency response of the microphone when the source of the sound is moved.

When you are talking about music production, a microphone for recording vocals, or a microphone for recording large groups of people, you are looking for omnidirectional microphone systems. These have the frequency range and build quality to handle loud sound and soft sounds and accurately pick up the sound source while keeping a low noise level.

You should use a unidirectional cardioid pattern microphone for studio recording in less than ideal conditions. This is why so many of the cardioid microphones rate high for home recording studios. Your studio monitors will be able to pickup these differences so you can compare.

Should You Use A Dynamic Microphone or A Condenser Microphone?

So, you’ve noticed these two words in your tertiary Amazon searches for microphones huh? But, what the heck is the difference between them?

How microphones function all comes down to something called the operating principle used in the microphone you’re researching. The operating principle is what allows the microphone to turn the sound you put in it into an electronic signal and send it through a speaker or recording system.’

Let’s break them down condenser vs dynamic microphones.

When Are Cardioid Dynamic Microphones Used?

Dynamic microphones use a coil, magnet, membrane system that vibrate when sound is heard by the principle. This vibration is what causes the electronic signal of the sound. Dynamic range mics have a simpler construction and can take a beating. They are the workhorses of the microphone world.

If you’re a beginner, are recording with children, or recording especially high (or super loud) levels a dynamic vocal microphone is going to be your best bet. They are incredibly difficult to overload and can withstand bumps, drops, and storage space inconsistencies and still produce great sound quality.

These are a great microphone for vocals in a live setting because they are more able to pickup what’s right in front of them.

When Are Cardioid Condenser Microphones Used?

Condenser microphones also use vibrations to produce electricity, but the vibration is achieved through a diaphragm and backplate as opposed to the coil magnet approach of the dynamic microphone. Historically, the backplate electrical assembly in these types of microphones was called a condenser but, is now known as a capacitor. The historical name stuck to describe this microphone though. These mics run either on a circuit or tube condenser.

Condenser mics are more fragile and need to be handled with more care than their dynamic counterparts. You don’t want to be doing much-mic dropping with a condenser mic. Vocal condenser microphones also need a constant power supply either through batteries or a cable to maintain the charge of the diaphragm.

These microphones are generally more complex and can pick up a larger variety of sound than the dynamic mic. They tend to cost more and can be susceptible to extreme weather conditions or less than ideal storage. However, the smoother, natural, in the room sound you can achieve makes all the fuss worth it. This would be your best bet type of mic for vocals.

Condenser microphones are the better option for a stable setup, that isn’t being broken down frequently, and that has a consistent temperature and ideal storage solutions. These are the mics preferred for podcasting and theatre recordings because they pick up spoken word and vocals much more clearly than their dynamic counterparts.

What’s The Difference Between A Large Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphone and A Small Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphone?

The largediaphragm condenser microphone came first and offers a few different advantages over the small. Large diaphragm cardioid condenser mics offer a fantastic transient response, more high frequency response, and an extremely consistent pickup pattern.

A small diaphragm cardioid will have a pickup pattern that misses some of the higher frequencies. Large also has better noise reduction than their small diaphragm counterparts.

If you’re looking for a studio condenser microphone large would be a better bet unless the studio has better a better than normal acoustic environment and needs less noise reduction. When you start to check price differences you will notice the large diaphragm will be a higher expense than the small diaphragm microphones.

Now that you know about the science and the sound let’s get to the good stuff, the mic reviews.

Your Best Recording Microphone Buying Guide Based On Amazon Reviews

Here we list the top 20 highest rated microphones on Amazon broken up into dynamic and condenser microphones. These will be your best studio mic options when doing studio recordings, recording rap vocals, getting singing vocals recorded, recording musical instruments, and when you’re looking for just a great overall mic for recording anything your heart desires.

The Top 10 Highest Rated Dynamic Microphones on Amazon

While there is only a slight variation in star rating among these top ten dynamic mics there were some notable differences. Sennheiser and Shure show a strong presence but there are some surprises.
Here we give you the top ten highest rated dynamic microphone amazon has to offer listed from highest to lowest rating.

Sennheiser e935 Cardioid Dynamic Handheld Mic

 

Described as “rugged and reliable” in the Amazon product description, this is the microphone for the working musician in your life. The best part about this recommended listing is that it comes with your cord and mic stand. Here are some of the most notable reviews:

Great Quality for Middle Range, High Range Vocalists, Minimal Feedback: I’m a mezzo soprano vocalist in a metal band that features two guitarists and one bassist who likes to play LOUD. I sing clean vocals and have to be heard over all of the guys’ noisyness. Really good sound, very rich quality and it does pick up the high notes well when I have to hit them. After using this at a bunch of different venues, I will say that this mic will pick up the snare and on my drummer’s kit if I am directly in front of him, which can be a little challenging for sound. That’s my only criticism.”

 

Great Mic: Excellent sound quality. Quite directional. Wide range for deep, natural human voice recording. Used for advertisement voiceovers.”

 

Great Vocal Microphone for Project Recording and Live Performance: What I like about the microphone is its ability to transcend the accurate highs and midrange frequencies. I don’t need to tweak them except in settings where large auditoriums are not tuned for those frequencies. The low end lacks but for voice, that was never my issue, it has great presence and the bottom end can be parametrically added when mixing. I tried it on other instruments like acoustic guitar or tube amp, and you would be better off with a condenser on acoustic or SM57 for the tube amp. But for Voice, and on small budget for great vocals, it is the workhorse.”

 

Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone

Shure has been a leader in the microphone industry for years and for good reason. This model is an excellent example of the flexibility of the Shure vocal mics being able to perform well in both live performance and recording situations.

Its built-in filter minimizes breathing noises and other noises around the mic leaving crisp clear vocals in place. Some of the review highlights are:

SM58’s are the all-time standard for vocals, but the noiseless switch makes this mic even better: I bought 2 of these mics for a jazz big band and used one for the band director / MC, and the other for the vocalist, and they worked great. We had used SM58’s with no switches before, but by having these noiseless switches, both of them could turn off their mics with no audible pop, which prevents the sound of the band bleeding into the band when you don’t need any further amplification of the band.”

The industry standard:  I have been into audio engineering as a professional for over 20 years (as well being a musician) and played hundreds of shows, been in dozens of studios, and have home-recorded for a long time. You know what microphone I run into more than any other? The Shure SM57. It has been used in the studio and on stages for decades- to mic up guitar cabs, drums, and pianos among other things.”

Audiobook Recording Home StudioWORKS perfectly in my home audiobook studio. Exactly as advertised. As a dynamic microphone in my home situation, I couldn’t ask for more. A condenser microphone would pick up way too much external noise. BUT, with audiobook recording, an A81 WS windscreen is an absolute MUST! I use this microphone with a DBX286s, a Focusrite 2i2, and a Cloudlifter CL-1 for the perfect environment for audiobook recording in a not-so-perfect setting (my walk-in closet). Great product, Shure!”

 

Fifine Dynamic Microphone

This microphone offers a greater gain and minimizes feedback. Great for use in interview recording settings or live presentations. The amazing affordable price point is surprising for this great little mic. Here are some of the best reviews:

Everything I could dream of in a wireless system:  I gotta be honest, there’s really not much I can complain about with this mic system. I got this after using another mic from Fifine and love it. The quality is consistent with them and these work so well.

PROS: Warm tone – Operating from 50Hz to 18KHz this has a wide range and is great for those wanting something warm and deep in its tone. Long range – It works all the way up to 80 feet! I can get up, walk around, leave the room and it stays connected. Sturdy build quality on everything. Microphones are plastic in body but do not feel cheap. The receiver feels incredible and is very well made. The knobs feel tight and not too loose at all. 2 Microphones included! Cables for every purpose! I love having multiple options of how to connect to things, and this did very well with that. Built in echo control! Do you know how hard it is to find an interface with built in echo that works well? Incredibly. This was a big thing for my wife and I who both love karaoke.

CONS: Sensitive to plosives. This will pick up all the T’s and P’s, so get a pop filter or windscreen for like $2 somewhere. Power switch felt a little off and needed to really be pushed over harder than it should have. Not really much of a con, I just couldn’t find anything else wrong.”

Great bang for your buckYou can’t beat this for the money. Here are the pros and cons:
PRO: very affordable, attractive design, small receiver, decent range, anti-roll edges on mics, echo sounds surprisingly good
CONS: some handling noise, limited freq range, but not bad (EQ helps), plastic mic cases, prone to low freq “pops” (windscreen might help)”

Sennheiser E609 Silver Super Cardioid Instrument Microphone

The best on the list for instruments this microphone doesn’t disappoint. Let’s jump right into the reviews:

Perfect Guitar Mic – and other studio uses tooVery Good for gigging, in ear monitoring, recording.. I use Two Small Amps and Mic Both with these.. hang over the amp / no stand needed
Also work pretty excellent for vocal recording paired next to a large Diaphragm mic and windscreen recording both channels..
Used mine for my main vocal mic a couple months – but I’m a sloppy singer and didn’t want to ruin it,, worked really well with my deeper voice..”

Great sound – Easy setup – AffordableI use the E609 primarily to mic 50W Marshall head with JCM900 4×12 cab in combination with a Shure SM57. I find it to be brighter and more transparent than the darker sound captured by the Shure. If I could only use one, I’d go with the Sennheiser E609 over the Shure SM57 because the tone sounds more natural anywhere on the speaker, requires less EQ tweaking and needs no stand. That said, the two mics work very well together. This mic is an excellent value. I wish I had purchased one years ago!”

Best Buy for Miking Guitar ampsA great deal and perfect for miking any amp. I purchased two of these and its the best mic I’ve used at a great price. Highly recommended for any home studio.”

 

Hotec 25 Channel UHF Wireless Microphone with Mini Portable Receiver 

Great, affordable, plug and play microphone. This is an awesome choice for a beginner who wants to start small. Here are the reviews that say it all:

A good choice for PC recording and DJ applicationsAfter weeks of research I finally purchased this wireless mic system for use with my Samsung S8 Active to do video recording. Setting up the mics and pairing them to the receiver was simple; they pretty much sync themselves. An indicator LED on the receiver lights when the mic(s) are paired. The receiver charges up in one hour, or less, depending on the amount of charge required. Plus note that the LOW BATTERY indicator is also a Power On indicator which turns RED when the battery condition is low. I learned this the hard way.

Why I am giving it four stars – There is no mic gain control on the receiver or mics which I could easily overlook by using a preamp mic mixer. I tested the mics by plugging the receiver with the supplied 1/4″ TR to 3.5mm TRS adapter into the mic input of my PC–the mic worked flawlessly and with ample gain. When I plugged the receiver into the mic/headphone jack on my phone, I got nothing. To get around this I purchased the Tascam iZ2 Mic/guitar interface and plugged the receiver’s 1/4″ phone plug into the combo XLR/phone jack on the Tascam unit and still no signal. As it turned out the amplified mic input on the Tascam only supports mics using XLR connectors. In the end I had to return both units.
If you are going to be using the Hotec 25 for computer-based recording or DJ applications, then this wireless mic system will be an excellent, budget-priced solution for you.”
great tone and voice quality left me speechless: April 21,2018 was the first day I used the Hotec dual wireless microphone system to interview 2 prominent Doctors in NYC. The system worked flawlessly, great tone and voice quality left me speechless. The weight of the mics was not too heavy (just right), overall performance is great and I will recommend this product to anyone.
Pro:Great Price, great voice quality, easy setup
Con: Mono connection (needs to have a stereo connector)

Shure SM58-LC Vocal Microphone


Tailored for vocals and built-in wind and pop filters make this a great microphone. Ther reviews are in and people love this mic:

The hammer of microphones. It should be in your toolboxVery durable quality microphone that lasts virtually forever, even as it gets bumped around and reasonably abused, which is why it is THE standard for live sound — the hammer that should be in every live-sound toolbox. There are microphones that sound better for specific uses, but the SM58 marks the point where cheaper microphones are generally junk, and better microphones cost more money (and probably still aren’t as durable). Works well for vocals or as an instrument mic (same as the SM57 except for the windscreen, which does have a *small* impact on the pickup pattern).”

The most versatile dynamic mic at its priceThe most versatile dynamic mic at its price. You can record anything with it and it will sound ok.
If you’re buying your first mic, this is definitely one to consider. If you’re looking for a 2nd mic for a more specific job (guitar, vocals, etc…) you can find something more suitable.”

GLS Audio Instrument Microphone ES-57 

 

This is the unidirectional mic that does its job and does it well. It will record and pick up anything you point it at from acoustic guitars to pianos this one covers it. These reviews give you a good overall picture:

Don’t read another review. Just go ahead and purchase one alreadyI love these mics. Great build quality. Sounds fantastic. Nuf said. 

So, they don’t sound exactly like a Shure. SO WHAT? All mics sound different. Anyone who owns more than one knows this to be true. The REAL question you need to ask is: Can I get usable results from this budget mic? ABSOLUTELY, and for all tasks that you’d use that name-brand mic for.

Obviously, you are considering this mic based on the PRICE. You will not find a better deal, PERIOD. The ones that are cheaper than this have their issues in build quality or sound, to the point where the results are not usable.”
satisfied!: I bought two of these rather than the Shures to help my son equip his home studio. He needed some other microphones, too, a new Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 Professional 20 In/20 Out Firewire Audio Interface with Eight Pre-Amps and some other things and I decided to purchase these rather than the Shures he wanted strictly to save money and because the reviews were good. I could hear the reluctance in his voice when I told him but he didn’t want to seem unappreciative so he said thank you. However, he’s pretty happy with these now that he has things up and running. He says the sound is great for what he was doing and was very glad to have them. He’d probably try the 58s, too, if he winds up needing them. Right now he’s using these and AKG PERCEPTION 170 Professional Instrumental Microphone for whatever he’s doing.”

Rode Procaster Broadcast Dynamic Vocal Microphone

This microphone has an internal pop filter to reduce plosives and is made for broadcasting. This is one of the best mics for podcasting on this list. Here we look at some reviews from actual users:

Fantastic microphone for broadcasting/podcasting at a great priceFantastic microphone for voiceover work, podcasting, and any sort of radio/broadcasting application. It’s extremely well built with a metal exterior. Have a quality mount/stand ready, because this puppy ain’t light. No fancy buttons or alternate functions on the exterior, just a straight forward microphone. It sounds great running through my DBX286s and Behringer UMC404HD.
It’s got plenty of bass, but it’s not muddy. The high end is clear without being shrill. It sounds pretty good straight out of the box, but really comes alive with a little post processing.
It needs a healthy amount of clean gain. I’m running mine through the aforementioned DBX286s, and that provides plenty of gain and sounds great. Another option would be something like a Cloudlifter.
If you’re looking for a great sounding mic for spoken word applications at a great price, the Procaster is worthy of your consideration. It hangs with some of the more expensive big dogs and doesn’t miss a beat.”

Great MicI decided I could not afford a Heil PR-40 and had wanted this microphone for a long time.. think this is my dream mic. I do a weekly Podcast, this mic is very nice. It has a built in pop filter, even thou I recommend an additional windscreen or pop filter. The vocals are fantastic for vocals. Feels really well built. Knowing that Rode offers a 10 year warranty helps too. The price is great for what you need for a great vocal mic. I love this mic.. just sayn’ .”

Shure BETA 58A Supercardioid Dynamic Microphone


According to the manufacturer, this microphone is great for vocals and offers a brightened midrange and bass roll off. This will help control the proximity effect. Let’s look at some of the reviews on this microphone:

Why I chose this mic: I was looking for a mic that would enhance my vocals. I have a softer more mellow voice and needed a mic that would provide clarity and volume. I tried the sennheiser e935 and also shure sm58. The e935 was warmer and had less proximity effect. However I had to be very close to the mic to pick up my vocals and the PA would have a hissing sound when the gain was turned up. Then I tried to SM58- it was good but more muddy and bassy. So, I tried the Beta 58A. I was blown away by how clear and crisp it sounded and enhanced my tone. Also, when the gain was cranked very high, no hissing sound from PA speakers! This was awesome in comparison to the e935. Also, it picked up my voice pretty well even 1 to 2 inches back. Overall i’m very impressed with this mic and prefer it over the e935 and regular 58.”

Professional MicVERY sturdy with almost no handling noise, the best gain before feedback, and beautiful clear sound. Does NOT come with XLR to 1/4″ cable :)”

Sennheiser e945 Supercardioid Dynamic Handheld Mic


A great lead vocal mic, this microphone reduces other stage noise. In a studio setting, this means that the vocal track lays down cleaner and more vibrant. Here is what some users thought:

Great sounding, more prone to feedback than othersI have not heard a better sounding handheld, dynamic microphone. I have heard several that may sound just as good, some of which are much less expensive, but I can’t say I’ve heard a better sounding one.
The biggest drawback I see with this microphone is it seems to have a stronger tendency to feedback than any other I’ve tried. I evaluated both feedback from the side and back and made a subjective evaluation of this and the polar pattern, and my perception tells me the e945 has a fairly broad pattern for a supercardioid, about the same as what many cardioid mics like the SM58 have. Although the e945 has significantly more gain than a SM58, it still tended to be more likely to produce feedback from the side even when the additional gain was compensated for in comparison.
It could be a great microphone where feedback is not a concern, or very likely, such as for recording or when the mic and monitors are in fixed locations and all precaution has been taken to avoid feedback.”

Greatness!I purchased this mic as an upgrade to my shure 58. Definitely worth the extra $100. I did not realize how muddy my shure was until I sang through this mic.”

The Top 10 Highest Rated Condenser Microphones on Amazon

Doing our research across Amazon has brought us these top 10 condenser microphones. Here they are listed from highest review to number 10. Any of these mics are going to get the job done well.

Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3 Super-Cardioid Shotgun Tube Condenser Microphone

This microphone has enhanced directionality and gives quality output even in less than perfect situations. The shotgun tube makes this a great microphone for YouTube filming or any sort of broadcast vocal recording.

This is the only microphone on our list to get a 100% 5 star rating across all customer reviews. Here are some of our favorite Amazon reviews:

Think it’s out of your budget? Think again…I use this mic exclusively for voice-over work. I purchased this mic with a bit of trepidation. What was I scared of? Quality? No, I was scared of getting a fake. When the mic arrived, the serial numbers were inexplicably covered by little white stickers. I can’t imagine what the purpose would be so, I contacted Sennheiser with the serial number. They not only confirmed the mic was authentic but they confirmed that Amazon was an authorized reseller. They even gave me the date of manufacture and original sale! But I was still nervous. I just spent a thousand bucks!
I already own a Neumann TLM49 and wasn’t sure this mic would offer me any real advantage. In my radio days and after, I heard people rave about this mic for V/O work but frankly, I couldn’t seen the point. There are mics you can get good results with that fall well below the $1K threshold. I’ve owned RODE NTKs, SURE SM7’s & KSM44s, Sennheiser 421s, ElectroVoice RE20 and several others. Even a few below $200… I used to have a home-made V/O booth but when I moved, I destroyed it. I had no room for it at my new place. Silly me. I forgot about room noise, birds chirping, sirens… Large diaphragm condenser mics seem to attract sounds you probably didn’t even know were there.
So I began to research options and the SENNHEISER 416 kept coming back to the surface. I wanted a mic that would be more forgiving of my work area right now. My early tests surprised me. This mic’s excellent but relatively small directional path made getting a good, clean quality recording possible even with minimal sound treatment. I paired it with a RODE swivel mount boom arm and cheesy but effective Eggsnow Universal Shock Mount and attached the whole thing to my desk. Despite my untreated office, there were few reflections from the untreated wall and computer monitor all under 3 feet away, behind the mic. My test produced a fairly room noise free recording. Noise rejection is outstanding. No birds. No chatter from the painting crew just outside banging ladders around and talking as they painted our townhouse.
Gain is ample. I don’t have to drive the 416 hard to get a strong signal. The mic is tiny and light. I don’t need a giant 3 wheeled mic stand and counter-weight system to hold this puppy in place. And it’s double duty! If I decide to do field recordings for video, I now have a durable mic that is up to the task. This mic isn’t going to solve your issue if you live in a cardboard box underneath the expressway but… It just might be the best investment you make before you blow your wad on acoustic treatments. Good voice-overs can be done on a budget. This may not seem like a budget solution but I can get good, reliable, professional results right now. So I can save, budget and plan for my next upgrade (a real V/O booth!) But since I’m already spending less time on edits and re-takes, I consider that money in my pocket.”

One of the Most Used for a ReasonI have been working in audio for nearly a decade now and the 416 has been the industry standard long before I even started. Whether it’s a sporting event and used as a ‘shotgun mic’ or a film set and used as a boom mic, the 416 is the most popular, most widely used microphone for production. It sounds fantastic, seems to last forever, and just does a rockin’ job at capturing the best audio. It may be a bit pricey, but if you are looking for something that will sound fantastic and last you for years, this is definitely the microphone to invest in.”

AKG P220 High-Performance Vocal Condenser Microphone

This large diaphragm condenser delivers quality sound every time. It’s recommended for any recording situation at home or in studio. Some of our favorite reviews are:

BEST OVERALL MIC FOR RECORDINGS!!! (Recordings and even YOUTUBE!)As a home recording artist, this mic definitely met my needs. For the longest time, I’ve owned the AKG Perception 120 (the old model), and I’ve never had a problem with this mic. The main reason to why I bought the P220 was so I can change my setup to have one mic for recording vocals (the P220) and the other mic for recording YouTube videos (Perception 120). The shock mount for the P220 is being used for the Perception 120, and it fits the mic perfectly. Both mics are basically the same size, so I figured that it would work. The build quality on the P220 is rugged and tough, and the functions are very simple. You have 2 main settings: the bass roll off, which is great if you want to record without having to deal with any unnecessary low end frequency that the mic picks up. The other setting cuts off the signal by 20db. From my experience, it’s best use is if you have a noisy background, and you don’t want that to bleed into the mic. It basically isolates the signal to only be heard right in front of the mic as opposed to everything in the environment. I would be lying if I said that were some things I don’t like about it (because I simply LOVE AKG products) but for other people, this might be too simple of a mic compared to other more expensive mics. The sound of this mic is warmer and more direct than the AKG Perception 120, so I felt that it was better for recording vocals. However, the Perception 120 still crushes it in the studio. Some people might consider a different taste in sound compared to other mics, but for me, this mic suits my needs perfectly.
The AKG Perception 120: AKG Perception P120 Professional Studio Microphone, Sliver
So, here are my pros and cons:
PROS:
– inexpensive
– simple settings
– versatile (vocals, guitar, etc.)
– rugged
CONS (possible opinions of others):
– too cheap
– too simple (not enough settings)
– not preferred taste of sound
– too heavy”

Clear Audio Quality and Great Price!This is Crazy for the price you get an amazing mic!!! I was referred to this buy a EDM producer that worked at Guitar Center and I bought for more than it is right now, Grrr. But this is great. Very sensitive mic and it has a great all around audio capture. You get the lows and also the crisp highs and everything in between. I’m using it for my youtube videos, raps, and singing. Just of course make sure you have an acoustically dead room/ studio like with all mics because it will pick up all artifacts, but that’s because the mic is awesome and your studio isn’t the best. I love the shock mount, goes good with my all black stand. I’ve bumped it a few times while recording and didn’t hear a thing… it WORKS! But I did buy a pop screen filter as you would with any other. Get this mic to start off with and you won’t be disappointed… and your wallet won’t hurt either!!!”

Audio-Technica AT875R Line/Gradient Shotgun Condenser Microphone

Specifically designed for video production and long distance sound pickup this microphone gives you quite the bang for your buck. A great option for at home YouTube production or any other video recording application. Here’s the reviews:

High quality audio at a great valueThis is my first “true” shotgun microphone. For those of you that may be wondering if there is really a difference between this mic and some of the less expensive alternatives (Vidpro, Boya, Neewer), there is a DRAMATIC difference. This is not to say that you cannot shoot good video/decent audio with the less expensive alternatives – you can. For me – I discovered that my interviews and talking head videos did not have that rich vocal sound, and I had to do a lot of post processing to remove hiss & noise. This mic SOLVED that. This is the mic for frugal filmmakers & videographers who were stuck in the world of sub $100 microphones, and are looking to level up. Caution – this mic is NOT an alternative to the infamous Sennheiser MKH 416 although many people are attempted to compare – the 416 is in a class all by itself.
This microphone is a short XLR with no extras – no low cut or db boost, no normal/tele mode. The mic is also not battery operated so you will need a good preamp to provide phantom power – either through a field recorder such as a zoom, or what I chose, a Saramonic PAX1 preamp connected directly to my primary camera.
I use this primarily as a boom mic. Hanging this mic just out of camera over my subject creates for a nice rich sound. The microphone does an OK job of rejecting higher side noises, but it is not so precise that I have to toil with aiming the mic. The mic is a line+gradient polar pattern, but it seems similar to a cardioid pattern.
This is a recommend. Know what you are getting into though – you will need more “supporting” equipment around this mic – preamps, XLR cables, a good shock mount.”

Best indoor dialogue mic for under 200Hard to beat, especially under 200 dollars for a dependable, good to great sounding indoor mic for dialogue. Even with a Rode NTG2, I still use this indoors for interviews and such. Light and discreet, but built very solid. Plug this into my Zoom H4n Pro and I get some impressive raw sound, even better if you give it a little tweak in post. Gotta have your phantom power and no bells or whistles, but you can use the filters in your recorder (like the Zoom). Hang onto your NTG2 for outdoor work, but I’ll likely buy another of these in the future for backup and pairing.”

Shure BETA 87A Supercardioid Condenser Microphone

This one is a workhorse of a supercardioid condenser. Let’s read some reviews shall we:

this is my favorite vocal microphone for many applicationsI’ve seen the Pope using this mic, how could you go wrong with the same mic that the Pope uses?
Seriously though, after much testing and listening, this is my favorite vocal microphone for many applications. My favorite application is the ability to get very high quality recordings from less than desireable recording environments. Take note podcasters and independent voice actors”

Awesome Mic for Home RecordingI got one of these a few years back so that I could use it for singing and my wife could use it to produce commercials. Although (I’m told) these are generally used as live performance mics, they also do an excellent job for home recording on a relatively low budget. Also, because it’s a supercardioid, it does a great job at minimizing extraneous noise.”

AKG P420 High-performance Dual-capsule True Condenser Microphone

This mic features great sound quality and a dual-element design. This allows it to capture a larger variety of sounds. Here are some reviews on what actual users thought:

Great with recording Taylor acoustic guitars and vocalsI have never used AKG microphones before. I decided to take a chance on this from all the great reviews. They were right! I used this to record a Taylor 914CE, the sound was crisp, great mid and just enough low to not overpower the sound. I totally recommend this for vocals and acoustic guitar recording!”

In love with the sound of this MicEveryone said how awesome this mic is. I definitely agree. The only downside for me is that it doesn’t come with detailed instructions for someone who’s a first time user of a studio microphone.
Overall, the sound is pretty awesome and I would definitely recommend it to a future buyer, who wants the quality for a very decent price.”

Marantz Professional MPM-2000U | Studio Condenser USB Microphone

What?! A USB microphone? Yep! This is the perfect solution for digital home recordings and awesome for plug and play recordings. It comes with a shock mount and carrying case as well. The users had some great things to say as well:

Great entry level condenser microphone for recording and streamingReally looks and feels and like a pro microphone. As described by seller, it was recognized by Windows (10 64 bits in my case) upon connecting it (on a USB 2.0 port in my case). Volume of recording is not too high, since mic is not connected through a sound card, but directly to an USB Port, which means you, or at least I in my setting, there isn’t how to adjust mic gain like it can be done with a mic connected through the sound card (Raltek HD Sound integrated on my motherboard). However, if you use Audacity, OBS or other similar recording software you can adjust mic gain as I did and you will get better volume results. This I have already tested. So far I’m very happy with my purchase and I consider this a great entry level condenser microphone for recording and streaming audio, without the need for additional hardware (like preamps) and cables to my desk.”

Best decision everFor half of the price of a Blue Yeti, this is beyond my expectation.
Good:
– People can hear me very clearly on Discord
– Good for singing.
– Works when I whisper.
Con:
– Picks up my typing quite a bit (old keyboard)
– Should get a shock mount for the mic. (I put it on my desk with a regular stand. When I tap on the desk, it will pick up that sound)
– Don’t move it around. The mic is very sensitive if you drop it, it’s over.
Overall: I am very satisfied with this. After 2 years, it continued to work fine.”

Dayton Audio EMM-6 Electret Measurement Microphone

This gives the ability to give you an extremely flat frequency response for those super critical recordings. It offers an omnidirectional polar pattern which means its very accurate. Heres some purchasers’ thoughts about it:

Great value- perfect for room and speaker calibration!

Pros:
-Includes stand mount and miniature tripod
-Includes great case
-Appears to have very flat frequency response
-Appears to have great pickup spread
-Seems great for vocal recording as well
Cons:
-Honestly, this thing is pretty perfect, especially for automatically equalizing my amateur home theater setup in conjunction with Room EQ Wizard, Equalizer APO, and the Peace GUI for Equalizer APO.
-Serial number could be etched or printed in a more permanent manner
-Case could be a little smaller?”

Great “Room Mic” IMHOI was so happy with the first one, that I bought a second one. 😉
This thing picks up quite a bit, and is perfect for my application (room mic)”

MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

We can’t leave this one out! The standard everyone thinks of when thinking of recording mics is the old MXL 77o. We even did an in-depth review here. Let’s look at why this remains one of the most popular recording microphones:

There is no way the price is rightI’m confused here. Why is this mic such a low price but fantastic quality. This is quite the most literal plug and play mic there. I am a musician who has recorded with the u87s and top end blue mics and the list goes on. I’ve been in studios frustrated with the way my vocals sound. Not enough air, not enough bass, not full enough, not powerful enough. The list goes on. I spent under 5 minutes getting the mic to cut through the mix all while grabbing the bass in my voice without the boom. I feel like I’m cheating using this mic. Honestly trying to find something wrong with it and can’t. I would fit into the audiophile group I believe and there are many cases where price won’t always line up with sound quality. Other times, you’ve got to bite the bullet. This mic is a great mic. I’ve seen a lot of reviews from non musicians using this mic and I hope to address concerns of people saying they need a Neumann to sound good. Just not the case. I would advise using a great interface and pre amp and ADA and so forth. But as for the professional aspect of this mic, there’s no compromising quality for price. My biggest worry was the frequency response chart having a lot of high end. You can’t hear it. It just adds air to the vocals. Probably wouldn’t use it on overheads for cymbals, but I’m just focused on the vocals. I’ve heard a lot of mxl mics that have high problems with sybelence. This one doesn’t surprisingly. Wish I saw more professional reviews of this mic. PLUS not that this matters at al. But it looks beautiful. The gold and black is classy and doesn’t look cheaply built.”

Best mic in the price rangeBest mic you can get for under 200. Sound is clean and crisp but make sure to get a pop filter.”

MXL V67G Large Capsule Condenser Microphone

This condenser microphone gives you a mellow, open, and pure sound. Users are loving this microphone. Our favorite reviews are as follows:

Fantastic mic for V.O. work!: I use this microphone for professional voice over narration, and it performs just as well as more expensive mics. I have had no issues with it, whether recording character voices or audio book narration. While this isn’t likely to be the go-to mic for a studio, it wouldn’t be out of place there either, and will serve wonderfully for a home studio environment. It is a sensitive cardioid patterned microphone, so if there are large sources of background noise (furnace, fans, T.V., etc…) in a nearby room, it WILL be picked up in your recording.

The V67G has a clear, rich tone, and requires little to no EQ for my voice. When getting up close, the proximity effect adds a great depth to the voice without distorting the tone, and without needing too large of a reduction on the gain. Overall, this microphone is well worth the money and then some!
The MXL V67G is a condenser microphone, and requires an XLR cable hookup and a phantom power supply. Getting a good interface is just as important as having a good microphone, so be sure to research the interface that will work best for you. I would recommend a Focusrite Scarlet series interface to start with, but do your own research to find what will work best for your use.”
Excellent Value: This is a very good vocal mic, especially at this price point. So far I have not used it for any instrument recordings, but others have commented on its ability to nicely capture guitars and other instruments. The look and finish are impressive and the build solid. I have several MXL microphones in my collection and all have provided excellent results without any issues.”

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone

Last but not least is this lovely little USB microphone. It delivers incredible output for digital recordings and comes with a headphone jack with a volume control. Super clear and detailed recordings come from this mic. Heres some purchaser reviews:

Great USB Microphone – Super Easy Set-up!Great microphone! People used to have so much trouble hearing me on Skype/video calls using my webcam. This mic have changed it completely – also sounds so much better in videos.
I paired it with the AT8458 shockmount and Rode PSA1 stand, and the whole set-up works wonderfully. Also using the WindTech PopGard which works well, though in hindsight, could have just gone for a clip on filter.”

This mic can make anyone sound good. The low tones are deep and resonantThis mic can make anyone sound good. The low tones are deep and resonant, the highs sharp and crisp. Overall, I would rate this near the top. I’ve used many mics over the years and this one is clearly tops!!”

We Hope You’ve Learned Something About The Best Recording Microphones

That sums up this monster of a post on recording mics. We hope you have some more insight on what’s best for your studio and home recording spaces.

Looking for more insight on which mics may be best for you? Check out some more in-depth reviews here.

You can also learn more about microphones for recording rap vocals here.