The price of microphones ranges from pennies to dollars. Each microphone has a different configuration, features, sound quality, frequency, and design. Thus, the cost also differs accordingly. Small consumer mics to condenser mics, vintage mics, and ribbon mics are available in the market at varied price ranges.
Read the article further to know why microphones cost differently?
How does the pricing differ, and what leads to changes in the prices?
Microphone Prices By Type
There are thousands of microphones available in the market. Let us see how the prices of microphones vary.
Moving-coil dynamic microphones
The price at the low-end is $10. And at the higher-end, it costs almost $900. One of the best examples of a dynamic mike is The Sennheiser MD 441-U. Did you know it is one of the most expensive mics available in the market? It is popular in radio stations due to its extraordinary design, outstanding sound quality, and the power to reject the background sound makes it stand out from the other mics.
Active ribbon mic
An active ribbon mic at a low-price end costs $121 and on the higher end costs $5799.AEA A440 costs the highest amongst passive ribbon mics. So you can imagine how the prices of the mics differ from the lower end to the higher end. The sound waves in a ribbon mic are converted into audio signals. It is through electromagnetic induction that the
Passive ribbon dynamic microphones
If you consider the price from the low-end, it costs $65, and from the higher-end, it costs $4999. The AEA KU4 is one such example of an active ribbon mic. A passive ribbon mic is the best for all singers or voice recorders who want their voice to sound very natural. Ribbon mics are highly expensive as they can cost much beyond $1000. For crystal clear voice recording a ribbon, the mic is perfect. Thus it is through the quality of the sound that the mics are priced differently.
Large-diaphragm condenser mics
A primary large-diaphragm condenser mic costs $11, and at a higher-end, it costs around $9,990. The best example of a large-diaphragm condenser mic is the Sony C-800G tube microphone. These mics have an even sound frequency that makes them costly. A large Diaphragm mic has the power to capture small sounds easily with crystal apparent sound effects. These mics capture the depth of low-frequency sounds, and that is the reason these mics are expensive.
Small diaphragm condenser mics
Considering the price at the lower end, it costs somewhere around $27, and at the higher end, it costs $6,200. The best example of a small diaphragm mic is the Neumann M 150 Tube. It is the best mic to capture a single sound and natural sound of any instrument or vocals. Condenser mics are costly because of their lightweight diaphragm: the lighter the diaphragm, the more effective the sound quality.
Electret condenser microphones
The Excel 6050 is one of the best examples of electret mics that cost very low. At high-end levels, the same mic costs $2,340. One of the examples of a high-end electret condenser mic is DPA 4006A. Condenser mics are considered more costly than dynamic mics due to their excellent sound quality. They are more fragile than other dynamic mics. Its capacitor design makes it stand out, and this is the reason the price differs.
Though the shotgun is small in size, it is a much more effective and valuable mic if you want to record natural sound. The lowest price of this mic is $15, and the highest price is around $2200. The best example of a highly-priced shotgun mic is Schoeps CMIT 5U. It is one of the best mics for meetings, seminars, and conferences. The diaphragm and the electronics make these mics expensive.
A lavalier mic can cost anywhere between $6 to $650. These mics are the best for one-to-one interviews though they are both cheap ones available in the market and some costly ones. The best example of high-end mics is DPA CORE 6060. Its compact size makes it more affordable in comparison to dynamic and condenser mics. It is one of the best for podcasting, anchors, YouTubers, and news reporters.
The lowest price of a USB mic is $4, and the highest price is $2200. The best example of the high-priced USB mic is the Antelope Edge Go (modeling system). It is one mic that is popular for its utility and quality. These mics process the sound internally, which means that the USB card produces clear sound despite hardware specs. Thus these mics are more costly than analog mics due to the recording interface. It makes the gear user-friendly and easy to connect with mobile phones and laptops.
What Are the Factors That Determine the Price of a Microphone?
Components of a microphone
Different parts of the microphone determine the cost of any microphone. The active tube mics are more expensive than passive moving-coil dynamics because of two things that are increased complexity and cost of each part.
Reputable microphone producers make mics in small batches, and this requires detailed craftsmanship, which needs money and time. Producing the best quality products is much costlier as it requires different manufacturing techniques. Compared with assembly line manufacturers, they divide the labor per the product manufactured, which is step-by-step.
The cost of different materials also determines the cost of the microphone. You very well know there is a difference in the primary material of the mic compared to the best material that can automatically increase the mic’s price. Different microphones have different materials like magnets made using neodymium and an iron boron compound. Copper wire is used to make voice coils. For cable insulation, plastic is used; thus, the prices of mics vary.
Research and development
Another thing that increases the cost of the mic is research and development. Products of high-end manufacturers automatically cost more as they have done all the research work much beforehand. High-end manufacturers ensure the quality, and with good quality products, the price automatically increases.
Testing the product also involves cost.
The products are tested before reaching the customers with a final product. It is done primarily by reputable companies. The testing process requires more time and energy, and of course, money. Testing is the best way to ensure the manufacturers’ performance with full potential before launching the product for its customers.
Branding and advertisement
Branding and advertising are other things that increase the price or, should I say, affects the cost of the product. Even if the company is reputed, it needs to go for branding. The motive of advertisement is straightforward: whatever product is advertised more, the sales automatically increase. Thus, branding and advertising go hand-in-hand. Though manufacturing companies do not want to spend more on branding their products, this affects the product’s sales and price.
Best customer service
Do you think customer service and support are given for free? If yes, then you are wrong. Any warranty, repair service consists of a cost that is added much beforehand while finalizing the final cost of the microphone. Customer service costs are also involved in the price fixed for the mic.
Remember, a low overhead will help the manufacturing companies to reduce the final mic price. But a high overhead cost will automatically increase the final price of the mic. The smaller the overhead price, the higher will be the company’s profit margins. The company also has to pay its employees who are working for them; thus, the cost involved in paying salary, rent, electricity also hampers the product’s price to an extent.
Are Expensive Microphones Better?
Are expensive microphones better? It is a very contentious statement because costly does not always need to be better. But, one thing is for sure that expensive microphones “sound”
much better when compared to cheap ones.
When recording a song with expensive microphones, the sound quality is far better than registering on a cheap mic. In simple terms, an expensive mic will be made of quality components that will make a massive difference in the sound quality. The quality of the diaphragm, good quality copper tube, amp, and wires make the difference in the quality of the mic.
Type of Work
Sometimes your work also decides the quality of the mic. For example, if you are a YouTuber, you need to upload a new video every alternate day. Then you need a good audio mic as voice recording needs to be clear and audible to the audience watching you.
Thus, if you go to buy a cheap mic, there are many issues you will face regarding sound, maintenance, and more. On the other hand, if you buy a Rode NT-USB, you will remain worry-free.
The Rode NT-USB has a USB connection and is also a cardioid condenser mic (see what is a cardioid mic). This allows the user to conveniently plug in the mic with the camera or phone, while still delivering the same quality as a normal condenser mic.
One of the most expensive microphones with a dual-diaphragm is the Brauner VM1S.
Neumann u87 is one of the most expensive high-end mics again due to the labor cost and the craftsmanship. The mic is handmade by trained professionals in Germany. You cannot get the same quality and craftsmanship at a lower price.
Thus, it is difficult to say which mic is better, expensive ones or cheap ones. A sony C800G is much better than Shure SM57. Sony C800G is one such mic that has an excellent sound quality, but Shure SM57 is used widely and is very popular.
Thus, the situation and the use of the mic also helps to decide which mic is better. Hence, we can say price does not only determine whether the mic is better or not. Instead, the compression and procession also help to make a regular mic sound great.
Variation Between Price Ranges
If you compare a ten-dollar microphone to a 100 dollar microphone, then things may be different. The more price you pay for a mic, the better will be the sound quality. Quality will be better, and you will surely get an excellent product for the money spent.
Now, if you compare a 100 dollar mic to a three-hundred-dollar mic, the quality is substantial. Yes, it will sound better, but the rate will hardly change when you jump from 100 to 300 dollar mic. You will indeed feel that though the 300 dollar mic sounds better, there is hardly any difference between the two.
Quality Matters, Not Price
If you compare two different microphones according to price, but quality-wise, both are almost the same. You cannot guess which amongst the two is better. Behringer XM 8500 costs $22 to 30, and the Shure SM7B costs $400, which is almost $380 more than the Behringer XM 8500, but the sound quality is not that different.
Rode Procaster is available at $230, which is cheaper if you compare it with SM7B. Rode pro mic is another mic that is cheap as it is available for $100. Thus, the comparison clearly shows that though there is a price difference between all the four mics, the sound quality is almost similar. Hence, it is a myth that the better the price of the mic, the higher the price.
What Is the Most Expensive Microphone Brand, and What Makes It So Expensive?
There are plenty of expensive mics in the market. Starting from the Brauner VM1S that starts at $10,799, and the Telefunken ELAM 251T, which is available at $9995. Let us see what makes these two mics most costly.
Everyone knows about Brauner VM1S as it is one of the most expensive mics with a dual-diaphragm with a multi-pattern tube condenser. VM1S is a stereo version of the high-end Brauner mics. Two mics have an individual power supply and vacuum tube circuit. VM1S is used in two different modes, which are mono and stereo. Thus it is one of the known microphones in the market today. With sonic sound, the mic helps bring out a more natural sound with the best resolution.
Telefunken ELAM 251T
It is the best mic within the diamond series. A large-diaphragm comes with a multi-pattern tube that together makes this one of the best condenser microphones. This mic is modern with a new design and CK 13 capsule. It is made with strong aluminum alloy that makes it long-lasting and durable. The mic offers clarity and captures sound from all directions with its solid quality amp.
Price Ranges With Microphone Examples
It must be known to you by now that the price of microphones has a vast range. A single piece of microphone can cost you pennies and go well above tens of thousands of dollars. It all depends on how much you are willing to spend and what purpose you need it for.
If you have a specific budget, you must be wondering what sort of microphones can you get under that price point. I have classified microphones depending upon their price and placed them in different price ranges. All the prices are in MSRPs that are their manufacturer specified retail prices. I have classified the microphones into eight different price ranges.
- Price range under $1
- Price range $1 to $50
- Price range $50 to $100
- Price range $100 to $250
- Price range $250 to $500
- Price range $500 to $1000
- Price range $1000 to $5000
- Price range $5000 and above
Price range Under $1
While it is impossible to find a microphone apt for recording high-quality audio, several microphones are available in the market that cost even less than a dollar. Yes, you read it right. You can get microphones at a lesser price than you spend on a meal. You must note that you won’t find any studio microphones at this price range, but you can indeed find some good options for essential functions.
Electret Small-Diaphragm Microphone Capsules
The most common type of microphones in the market are electret small diaphragm microphone capsules. You can find several electret small condenser microphone capsules under the price range of one dollar can be purchased for under $1. All the small electronic devices like cell phones and laptops have these types of microphones.
These are made using a simple JEFT, two signal wires, a back electret capacitor, and a protective case. You can buy multiple microphones in packages for sale since separate pieces are cheap.
Price Range $1 – $50
The price range of $1 doesn’t have many suitable options for microphones. If you can increase your budget slightly, I suggest going for microphones in this price range. There are several consumer-level microphones available in the market under this price range. However, if you wish to find professional microphones used for audio recording, you won’t have much luck. Manufacturers that make consumer-level microphones do not deal with professional-level microphones. However, some well-known brands like Shure have a variety of microphones that are under the price range of $50.
Electret Small-Diaphragm Microphone Capsules
If you want to have a consumer-grade microphone with better quality, some electret diaphragm microphone capsules cost between the $1 to $50 price range. The higher price doesn’t always mean that you will get a high-quality microphone. Sometimes it only means that the labor cost in manufacturing these microphone capsules is high.
These microphone capsules are similar to the microphone mentioned above that you will find in small electronic gadgets like laptops or cellphones.
High-Impedance Consumer-Grade Microphones
Another type of microphone that you can get for under $50 is high impedance consumer-level microphones. There is a variety of unbalanced high-impedance consumer-grade microphones available on the market. You would often find these microphones in karaoke systems or toys. If you look for a high-quality microphone for your karaoke system, only then the price of these unbalanced microphones will go above fifty dollars. Otherwise, most of them remain under this price range.
Even if these unbalanced high-impedance consumer-level microphones are suitable for having fun with your friends and family, they are not professional-level microphones. Most professional microphone inputs are not compatible with these microphones, and you can not use them for audio recording.
Low-End Moving-Coil Dynamic Microphones
A low-end dynamic moving coil microphone is another type of microphone that you can find if your budget is under 50 dollars. These microphones You can purchase many low-end moving-coil dynamic microphones for under USD 50. If you want a cheap option for using multipurpose systems for public addressing or jam spaces, these microphones are a great option.
These inexpensive dynamic mics work just fine, but they do have certain limitations. While these mics are acceptable for use in a public addressing system, you won’t find them to record professional audio.
Consumer Level Condenser Microphones
Condenser microphones require phantom energy, are highly sensitive to sounds, and respond to a broader frequency range. They have an intricate condenser, making it challenging to have excellent sound quality from a cheap microphone. However, there are several consumer-level condenser microphones available on the market that will work just fine. Read more about what are condenser mics here.
If you want a condenser microphone from a professional level microphone brand, you won’t succeed since they cost way more than 50 dollars.
Consumer Level Wireless Microphones
Fifty dollars is a meager amount. If you wish to have an excellent quality professional wireless system, you won’t find any. That being said, several wireless microphones are under this price range available on the market.
These consumer-level wireless microphones are good enough for use over small distances, but you can not rely on them in professional settings.
Consumer Level Mini/Lavalier Microphones
Another type of microphones that you can find under the $50 price range would be consumer-level mini podium microphones or lavalier microphones. Electret capsules microphones that I have mentioned earlier are used in building these microphones. Mini Or lavalier microphones send unbalanced microphone signals.
These microphones are excellent and often used for video platforms like youTube. However, these microphones are not considered good enough for professional video recordings for TV channels or other platforms.
Price Range $50 – $100
The next price range for microphones is under $100. Before this, all you could find were essential consumer-level microphones and not professional microphones. Under this range, you can discover moving-coil dynamic professional microphones. The reason for these microphones having lower prices is that these are mass-produced and thus generate profits even when sold under the $100 price range. The same reasoning applies to unbalanced miniature microphones like electret lavaliers.
While it is possible to find condenser and ribbon microphones in this price range, you should know that the quality won’t be good. Read more on our guide to ribbon microphones. These microphones need more attention due to their complex designs, but since they are produced in mass, they lack proper testing before launch and sale in the market, which makes the quality subpar. However, there are several different condenser and ribbon microphones available in the under $100 price range.
Moving Coil High-Quality Dynamic Microphones
A type of dynamic microphones that you can find under the $100 price range would be moving-coil microphones. These are made using inexpensive materials and feature a simple design. It is why manufacturers can quickly produce high-quality microphones at a low cost while making profits.
The microphones SM57 and SM58 from Shure are some of the highly popular microphones used in professional recordings. These are moving coil high-quality dynamic microphones that you can purchase under your budget of 100 dollars. Countless recordings have been done through the SM57 over the years. The SM58 has been the standard for microphones in the sound recording industry since the 1960s. Both these microphones work exceptionally well and are a great buy under $100.
Low-End Condenser Microphones
Another type of microphones that you can find under $100 would be low-grade condenser microphones that work fine. If you need a microphone for auxiliary live microphones and project studios, these low-end microphones work great.
One thing is to be expected is that these microphones would be electret and sound harsh and loud compared to other high-end condenser and dynamic microphones. However, they are far better than different low-end microphones and can be a good option for you under $100.
Consumer Level Ribbon Microphones
Ribbon microphones are dynamic microphones with a thin strip of metal instead of the diaphragm that hangs in a magnetic field. The price range of $50 – $100 is the starting price point for ribbon microphones.
While low-end dynamic ribbons microphones are fine and work well, you won’t find the quality you will get in the higher-end dynamic ribbon microphones. This difference between the two is due to the difference between the material quality of the diaphragms and the magnetic field around them.
Entry-Level USB Microphones
If you want a USB microphone, USD 100 is a budget you can start with. You will find low-level USB microphones under this price range.
USB microphones are mainly used to have better sound quality than inbuilt microphones that come with your computer. This price point is considered suitable for USB microphones and offers improved sound quality.
One best thing about these microphones are that they have a simple plug-and-play mechanism, which is pretty convenient to use.
Multi-Channel Consumer Grade Microphone Systems
You can buy multi-channel microphone systems that are consumer-grade under $100. If you wish to use the microphones in multipurpose rooms, karaoke bars, or home use, these are fine, but these won’t work for professional settings.
You can find several podiums, Lavalier, and mini microphones under the price range of $50 – $100. These mics have good quality and are best considering the price point. You can use them when you don’t need a microphone with professional audio quality, like for a film.
Price Range $100 – $250
Even though the under $100 range has many great microphones to offer, you can not expect a better sound quality for recording professional audio. To buy an okay quality microphone for professional use, you need to increase your budget above $100. Under the $100- $250, you can find several good quality lavalier, USB, and dynamic microphones. Read more in our write up What is a Dynamic microphone?
Ribbons and condenser microphones under this price range do not offer the excellent quality, consistency, or clarity that the expensive ones offer.
The range of $100 – $250 is where you will find the best quality USB microphones. The USB microphones are condensers with a large diaphragm.
This price range is reasonable for a microphone with an audio interface. An audio interface is a converter built inside the microphone which converts an analog signal to digital.
The main problem with this interface in mic design is that you can connect a single microphone with the computer at once. It is one of the reasons why USB microphones come relatively cheap, and you can find a good quality one under your budget. You can not multi-track for professional audio recordings.
Low-End Condenser Microphones
The price range of $100 and $250 is where you will find the low-end condenser microphones. Shotgun and measurement microphones that are condenser microphones are also under the same price range.
Professional microphones have better specifications, have better materials in their build, and sound much better than the cheaper microphones. However, you will find some of the condenser microphones that are consumer-grade in this same price range.
Low-End Ribbon Microphones
Another type of microphone that you will find under this price range would be the professional ribbon microphone. You cannot expect to see a ribbon microphone of excellent quality under this price range. All you can get would be the low-end microphones.
If you move towards the higher price limit of this range, you will find some decent quality ribbons microphones made using good magnet and ribbon materials. With that being said, you cannot expect to see a microphone that matches up to the quality of the high-end microphones.
High-Quality Dynamic Moving-Coil Microphones
One of the high-quality microphones that you can find in the price range of $100 – $250 would be a dynamic moving coil microphone. Many dynamic moving coil microphones are application-specific under the price range of $250.
These microphones are of high quality and have several characteristics complete for innovation and design. The design of the transducer in this microphone is straightforward, which makes them very profitable even at such affordable prices.
The price range of $100 – $250 is where you will find many podiums, Lavalier, and several other mini microphones.
For most of the jobs, these microphones are ideal and would handle the work aptly. You can use them in news broadcasting, film, and professional theatre too.
Price Range $250 – $500
It is the price range where you are going to find most of the excellent quality microphones. You can get high-end dynamic microphones under this range. Several ribbon and condenser microphones are also available in some excellent quality.
Most of the high-quality lavalier mics and expensive USB mics are covered under this price range.
Moving Coil High-Quality Dynamic Microphones
Under the range of $250 – $500 would be where you will find the high-quality broadcast-specific microphones with large-diaphragm condensers.
This price range is more than enough for getting high-quality magnets, coil elements, diaphragm, and the design of the microphones.
You can get some good quality ribbon microphones under the price range of $250 – $500, but note that they are still subpar compared to the best ribbon microphones available on the market.
The manufacturers of ribbon mics under this price range are some of the well-known brands of microphones. These mics have no comparison to the high-end microphones, but they still sound great and have excellent quality without a higher price tag.
FET High-Quality Condenser Microphones
Some of the high-quality condenser microphones have their presence under the $500 range. FET electret microphones used in studio audio recordings are also available under this price range. However, you won’t find a tube condenser or true condenser under $500.
Shotgun and measurement microphones are also under this range, and they are condenser microphones.
Several electret condensers used in studios like the Rode NT1-1 can have an excellent performance to cost ratio.
High-quality USB Microphones
Few high-end USB microphones are in a higher price range of $250- $500. The extra cost makes up for the higher audio interface quality, and the mic and capsule design becomes better.
High-Quality Lavalier/Mini Microphones
You will also find many podia, gooseneck, miniature, and lavalier microphones under this price range. You will find many professional standard microphones in this price range that are worth what you pay for.
Price Range $500 – $1,000
You would find good-quality broadcast, live sound, or studio microphones at the price range. You can find anything from a condenser(vacuum tube or transistor) or a dynamic (ribbon or moving coil) good quality microphones under the price range of $500- $1000.
Ribbon High-Quality Microphones
You can find several ribbon microphones of high quality under the $1000 price point. This much price ensures that the quality of materials, production, research and development, and testing would be top-notch and precise.
Ribbon microphones are highly sensitive, and thus, having a high-end microphone is much better as it will have better quality, will last longer, and be consistent. You can find several ribbon mics of high quality that have all these features under $1,000.
Condenser High-Quality Microphones
You are going to find several proper condenser microphones and electret condensers microphones of high quality. In this price range, you can discover condenser microphones from very well-known manufacturers. You can use the microphones for professional audio recordings in studios.
This price range also consists of other condenser microphones like shotgun and measurement microphones.
Any condenser microphones having a small or large diaphragm with non-electret or electret capsules under this price range would be of excellent quality and sound fantastic.
Condenser Tube Microphones
Under this price range, you are going to find cheap condenser tube microphones. The manufacturers of these tube microphones are often known as boutique manufacturers. They make copies of classic vintage microphones, or their designs are based on them. However, if you wish to find original classic vintage microphones under this range, you won’t find any.
With that being said, there are several tube microphones that you can find in this range. Tube microphones build and design costs a lot and require power supplies to work. The unique sound of the tube microphones is also the reason why tube microphones are expensive.
Moving Coil High-End Dynamic Microphones
You will find the high-end dynamic moving coil microphones under the price range of $500 – $1,000. These microphones are ideal for broadcast and studio use. They reduce the pitfalls of dynamic microphones like a slow response of transient, electromagnetic interference, and low output levels.
Most of these moving-coil high-end dynamic mics feature humbucking coils specially designed for them and alleviate some problems. They have lightweight diaphragms.
Mini/Lavalier High-End Microphones
Several high-end miniature microphones like a podium, Lavalier, and others fall under the price range of $500 – $1,000.
These microphones have three features- they offer water resistance to some extent, have a small size that you can conceal easily. They provide excellent sound quality over the total frequency spectrum. All these qualities make them worth the price that you pay.
Price Range $1,000 – $5,000
Some of the most reputed brands and boutique microphones are what you will find between this price range of $1000- $5000. You can also find some of the famous discontinued microphones under this price range.
Microphones under this range are backed with intense research and development and have high innovative technology. These are produced in a small batch or one mic at once. This process allows the microphone to be precise and have better quality.
The microphones go through severe testing before being sent to market. It results in high-quality microphones and the same quality among all the microphones of the same model.
Another thing you will get is excellent consumer support and a warranty.
Moving Coil High-End Dynamic Microphones
A few high-end dynamic microphones cost over $1000. There are not many dynamic microphones in this price range as even high-end dynamic microphones cost less than $1000.
Ribbon High-Quality Microphones
You can find some of the professional quality ribbon microphones under this price range. These microphones are developed after research and produced in small quantities and go through extreme testing before being available for sale. It allows the microphone to be of premium quality.
Tube Condenser High-Quality Microphones
Under this price range, you can find many new tube condensers and vintage microphones of premium quality. These microphones have great design and go through rigorous testing. All the microphones are from reputable companies, and that ensures better quality and support.
FET High-End Condenser Microphones
You can also find some FET high-end condenser microphones in this price range. Some other microphones that you can get are shotgun and measurement microphones that are highly professional microphones for studio use.
Modelling High-End Microphone Systems
These are new types of microphones that are used in digital recordings. You can use them along with computer applications. You can emulate multiple microphones and alter their specifications in the application.
Price Range $5,000 And Above
You can find premium quality microphones over the price range of $5000. The most common microphones that you can see are vintage and historic microphones that were famous for some reason and if a customer liked them.
This budget can offer you premium quality condenser tube microphones, ribbon microphones, and other specialty mics.
Active Ribbon High-End Microphones
Some of the highest quality ribbon microphones retail for over $5000. They are highly innovative and have an unmatched quality.
Tube Condenser High-End Microphones
You can find vintage and new types of tube condenser high-end microphones over the price range of $5000.
A new tube condenser high-end microphone is the best microphone your money can buy. Vacuum tube microphones have old technology, but still, the quality of their sound is loved by musicians, listeners, and sound engineers.
Vintage microphones are discontinued but still great for collectors, engineers, studio owners, musicians, and audiophiles. They are willing to pay more than $5000 for a high-quality vintage microphone. You can earn a statement for yourself in the audio industry if you own a vintage microphone.
Digital High-End Microphone Systems
These are a new addition to the family of microphones. They work similarly to USB microphones. The only difference is that they come with an inbuilt analog to digital converter with them, and they can directly output audio in digital form.
The audio produced is of exceptionally high quality, and these microphones are the future of digital audio recording.
Laser Microphones Professional-Grade
It is the last microphone on our list. You can find laser microphones in this price range that have a professional level of quality.
They use live sound systems, studios, and broadcasts but people mainly use them in spying. They are overly sensitive and can capture even minute sounds and thus have a great application in espionage.
They are still considered microphones, and I wanted to cover every type of microphone that you can find with any price limit.
Price Ranges Of Microphone Accessories
Microphone accessories add up to the price of microphones and are often needed to use the microphone properly. The type of accessories that you purchase with the microphone will determine how much more it will cost.
The price of the accessories will depend on several factors- their quality, the brand, and its compatibility with different microphones.
Some of the standard microphone accessories that we see on the market are:
Windscreens ($1- Several Hundred USD)
There are some cheap windscreens made of foam that are about $1 per piece. While some windscreens are explicitly made for certain mics will cost around $10 – $30. Some windscreens also have costs above $100, and they have mic stands and shock mounts combined with them.
Grilles ($5 – Several Hundred USD)
Grilles for microphones start from $5 and can go up to several hundred dollars. Grills that are interchangeable are pretty standard for lavalier microphones.
Clips ($2 – About 150 USD)
Clips for microphones that are without shock mounting are of universal size. They are used to hold dynamic mics in place. These clips come cheap, and you can find a good quality one under the price range of $20.
There are different types of clips that are used for lavalier microphones. They also have the same price range of under $20. Several high-end microphones require special clips that can cost above $100 but not more than $150.
Stands (5 dollars to over 1,000 USD)
Microphone stands can range between tiny stands for desk use or long stands with counterweights and multiple extensions. The stands for microphones came in different sizes, shapes, and qualities, and that is why their price range varies and can be anywhere between $5 to more than $1000.
Shock Mounts ($5 – Several Hundred USD)
Shock mounts for microphones have a universal design and are cheap. However, some shock mounts are specialized for high-end microphones that can get quite pricey. Shock mounts come in different sizes and shapes to suit different types of microphones.
Pop Filters ($15-Slightly Above 100 USD)
One of the most simple forms of microphone accessories would be a pop filter. They are available in two types, namely metal mesh and nylon mesh. The price range for a pop filter is not very expensive. You can easily find a pop filter under $25 and that too of good quality.
However, some pop filters come with shock mounts, and that increases its price significantly. This combination may cost you above $100 in retail price.
Boom Arms/Poles ($10 – To Nearly 1,000 USD)
Boom arms and poles vary significantly in weight, length, quality, price, and weight capacity. You will get a good-quality boom arm and pole for under $150. However, several options in boom arms and poles can range around $1000. It is incredible that boom arms and poles need only a thread adapter and are universal and work fine with any microphone, shock mount, or microphone clips.
Cases/Bags ($5 – Over 1,000 USD)
You can get a fundamental zipper bag that is fine for carrying a dynamic microphone. Or you can go for waterproof hardshell military-grade locking cases for your more expensive pieces of microphones. You should choose the type of microphone cases depending upon the type of microphone, how you would transfer it and how you will be using it in the field. The variety of the cases and bags and how much protection it offers would be the main factor in its price. A good quality bag can range anywhere between $5 to $1000.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the two basic types of microphones, and on what basis must you choose one for yourself?
Every musician has to deal with this gear at some or other point in time. The confusing part is which microphone must one use and why? There are two basic types of mics: dynamic mics that use coils and condenser mics, commonly known as passive microphones. Dynamic mics are more rugged, are easy to use, and are affordable. These are perfect for loud audio sounds like drums, piercing guitar sounds, and horns.
On the contrary, condenser mics are great for vocals but are expensive when compared to dynamic mics. The mic is popular amongst singers as it captures fine details. It requires phantom power that is 48 v. condenser mics are made for low sound instruments and vocals.
Are microphones transducers? How?
A transducer converts energy in the form of sound waves then converts them into electrical energy. Every mic works in different ways, but one common thing that all have is the diaphragm. It is a thin piece of material that offers clarity in the sound. In the case of condenser mics, it can be gold plated also.
The sound hits the grill and windscreen and then reaches the diaphragm. It then vibrates and reaches the coils, and further in the form of electrical current, the sound is captured by the interface in the form of play-back sound.
Did you know the smaller the diaphragm, the more sensitive and helps react faster than larger diaphragms? The larger the diaphragm, the better is the mic for voice recordings as it does not respond to other sounds while recording.
Each microphone has a polar pattern; the mics with a smaller diaphragm are known as front addresses. Large-diaphragm mics are bidirectional. The preamp helps to record the voice more accurately.
There are some basic steps you need to follow when using the mic for the first time:-
– Choose the right mic according to your work, the one that suits you the best and fits your budget.
– Keep the face of the mic in the right direction.
– For better sound quality, plug it into a preamp.
– For vocals, a large-diaphragm condenser mic is the best.
– Using two mics placed at a 90-degree angle is better to record acoustic guitar sounds that help bring out the best stereo sound.
Buy mics with a minimal level of self-noise; thus, investing in a good mic with excellent sound quality is always better.
What is an audio signal chain?
Before understanding the usage of microphones, it is essential to understand the term audio signal chain. An audio signal helps the sound from a source reach the ears through electrical waves. The voice transfers from different stages and then reaches your ears, and each step is essential to enhance the sound quality of the singer or the speaker.
The preamp, the diaphragm, the mic quality all play a vital role in improving or degrading the voice quality. One needs to figure out the budget and then find the suitable gear required for the job.
Is A Wireless Microphone great?
A wireless microphone sends radio waves to send audio signals wirelessly from a microphone to a wireless network. Did you know all wireless networks use Radio waves to transfer signals? Radio waves are measured with frequency. The lower the frequency of a wave, the farther it will travel.
On the contrary, the wave with a higher frequency travels the shortest. But, when talking about microphones, it operates through ultra-high frequency within a range of 300 to 1000 MHz.
The federal communication commission governs the frequency and its range. Further, the FCC selects the ultra-high frequency sub-ranges and provides a certain amount of MHz bands for the unlicensed use of wireless microphones.
How to set up a wireless network?
When buying a wireless microphone, there are several options available in the market. You can go for handheld microphones that already have a built transmitter and are very popular today as there are no wires to worry about.
Then there are the headset microphones connected to a head through a head frame and prevalent in seminars.
Another standard microphone is the Lavalier. It resembles computer headsets. It is attached to the shirt and allows you to give a speech to a smaller audience, and is famous for one-to-one interview sessions.
Choose the one that is the best and solves your purpose.
There are many options to select from, but Shure and Sennheiser EW135 are the two best wireless microphones that are convenient to use and have a good reception strength.
What is the most expensive microphone brand?
Several microphone brands offer very expensive professional microphones. Some of them are:
Which microphone brand has the best value?
The best value of a microphone depends upon what the customer is looking for. However, some of the brands that offer the best price to performance ratio, Sennheiser, Shure, and Rode, are the best in the market.
Mic types, polar patterns, frequency responses, noise levels, and miking techniques all affect the price of a microphone. It is better to buy a decent mic with decent amps and other cords. Do not go for purchasing a $5000 mic with cheap cords and cables.
A good mic will always help to enhance the sound quality. As mentioned earlier, all the mics are almost the same; the only difference is how the audio is converted into electric signals. Thus, to enhance the voice quality, use a good microphone.
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