The Best Microphones For Recording Vocals
RØDE NT1-A Cardioid Condenser Microphone
The RØDE NT1-A is one of the most popular microphones in its class, well-known for having an outstanding price to performance ratio. Its extremely low self noise makes it one of the quietest microphones on the market—even when pushed hard through quality preamps. It is a true condenser cardioid microphone with a 1” capsule, a relatively frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz and has a maximum SPL of 137dB.
For years it has been a home studio staple and while it performs exceptionally well on all sound sources it is widely used on vocalist of all ranges; giving a warm, detailed, and complimentary reproduction.
>> Read our review of the RODE NT1-A to stream high quality WAV files of a variety of sound sources.
Shure SM7B Dynamic Microphone
If you ever watch video of a live radio broadcast, you are likely to spot a Shure SM7B. It is used worldwide in a variety of media applications as it is built specifically for vocal recordings. Any major studio will have this high quality, low cost microphone in their mic cabinet and it is certainly getting plenty of use. It is a durable cardioid dynamic microphone with a flat frequency response of 50Hz-20kHz and an effective internal shock isolation system that eliminates the need for a shockmount and removes all mechanical noise transmission.
It is constructed with a pop filter on it and does not require an additional one at all. A rear panel features bass roll-off and presence boost switches displayed as a graphic EQ. The Shure SM7B is a world-class dynamic microphone that is a fraction of the cost of its competitors. If you’re looking to achieve top results but aren’t looking to pay top dollars, this mic is easily one of your best bets in getting there. Want to learn more?
AKG C 214 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
AKG make some of the finest studio products at every price point. The AKG C 214 is a large diaphragm condenser microphone that replicates the performance and sonic accuracy of AKG’s renowned C 414 at a more affordable price. It offers a highly detailed, upfront sound with a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz, an SPL of 156dB, a 20dB pad, and a switchable low pass filter at 160Hz. The AKG C 214 is a home studio multitool that will perform well on not only vocals but drums, horns, percussion and guitars exceptionally well. It is build tough with a dent resistant metal mesh covering the components and is sure to be a key player in your mic cabinet for years to come.
Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
The Audio-Technica AT2020 is easily one of the best general purpose microphones in its price range that has long been pleasing singers of all varieties for its gentle presence boost and wide dynamic range. This affordable, no-frills cardioid condenser microphone has a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz and a SPL of 144 making it a great choice for literally anything you put it in front of—be it percussion, guitars, vocals, or drums. Its impressive bass extension reproduces a surprisingly warm sound free from boominess and hype. If you are on a budget and need a durable multitool microphone, this is it. Want to know more?
Electro-Voice RE20 Dynamic Microphone
The Electro-Voice RE20 is another staple cardioid dynamic microphone that you will find on stage, in the studio, or in any live broadcast setting. It performs exceptionally well on vocals but is often found on guitar cabinets and horns. Its flat frequency response is wide from 45Hz to 18kHz and features a 4.5dB attenuation switch from 400Hz-100Hz to prevent any proximity effect during close miking. An internal pop filter eliminates the need for an external one and it effectively reduces plosives, sibilance, and its internal shockmount reduces external low end noise.
The Electro-VoiceRE20 has been in the game for years and years because it simply just works. It is straight forward, durable, and capable of handling some of the loudest sounds you have to throw at it. It has long been tried, tested and true, pleasing an entire industry of audio professionals.
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AKG P420 Condenser Microphone
If you’re on a budget and are looking to grab something with some features then you’ll be very pleased with the AKG P420. It offers a choice of cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure 8 polar patterns so if you’re looking to record multiple singers at once this will be a great choice. This also makes it useful when tracking ensembles, woodwinds, brass, and more. It has a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz, an SPL of 155dB and a 20dB attenuation pad, and a low-cut filter removing 12dB/octave at 300Hz. If you want some versatility and the option to play with room acoustics and record a variety of sources at the same time then you’ll love the AKG P420.
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MXL V67G Large Capsule Condenser Microphone
The MXL V67 series of condenser microphones are gorgeous, sound great and are super well priced. The V67G emulates old tube performance and is impressively built with high quality circuitry. It is a cardioid condenser microphone with a frequency response of 30Hz-20kHz and has a maximum SPL of 130dB. Be sure to look at the others in the series as they are all great condensers with varying features—all very well priced.
Sennheiser MK4 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
Sennheiser’s MK series are an impressive collection of condenser microphones that offer great warmth and clarity. Here we’re looking at the MK4, a cardioid mic with a relatively flat frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz and a mild boost in presence. It has a maximum SPL of 140 so it will suit vocalists from all styles and at all volumes and works wonders on pianos and guitars. Podcasters and voiceover artists will love it for its transparent response. Wanna learn more?