A pleasant voice is a blessing and you need a perfect microphone to preserve such a voice. There are a lot of microphones in the market and an average user gets stunned by the choices. Starting from a mere ten dollars, you can get a microphone as pricey as ten thousand dollars but are they worth the price you would pay? Now, that thing really depends on what you want to do with them. If you have a passion for singing and want something which will be robust then there might not be a need for spending that much amount. On the other hand, if you are a trained professional and you are seeking perfection, then yes, you should definitely look upon some of the best microphones no matter what their price is.
As for this article is concerned, we have focused our attention on the best-valued microphones which will provide you with great features at a minimal price. There are two types of microphones: dynamic microphones and condenser microphones. Both of these have their own uses and for vocals, both of these can be used which is why we will discuss the most attractive microphones of both types in this article.
1. RODE NT1-A
- Comes in complete package saving you money for accessories
- Incredibly low noise
- Serves as a multi-purpose microphone
- Microphone is quite sensitive
- The build quality is not satisfactory
Type: Condenser | Frequency Range: 20 Hz - 20 kHz | Maximum SPL: 137 dBSPL | Maximum Output Level: 13.7 mV | Output Impedance: 100 Ω | Output: XLR | Weight: 326 g | Dimensions (W x H x D): 50 mm x 190 mm x 50 mm
Rode is among the most well-known brands when it comes to microphones. Rode NT1-A is a high-end condenser microphone which means that it is superb if you are planning to do studio recordings. The microphone offers a beautiful silver body with a rectangular protection grid on the top. It comes with a lot of accessories, where the pop shield and the shock mount are particularly useful.
The large-diaphragm condenser is a high-end one and captures very clear sounds. It has a large frequency response and the mic provides a bright tone with a slight bump in the upper mids. Also, this microphone is a cardioid microphone which means that it can record from the front of the microphone and not from the back. The included pop filter is a double-layered metal filter and we found it to be of extreme quality.
The recording quality of the microphone is very professional and there was very low noise in the recordings. This microphone is an excellent product for those people who want to go into high-end sound recording and is still not as expensive as other manufacturers like Neumann etc.
2. SHURE SM58-LC
- Provides surprising results at such a low price
- Offers immense durability
- Costs much lower than similar priced products
- Negligible amount of accessories
- Looks are rather too old
Type: Dynamic | Frequency Range: 50 Hz - 15 kHz | Maximum SPL: 190 dBSPL | Maximum Output Level: N/A | Output Impedance: 150 Ω | Output: XLR | Weight: 298 g | Dimensions (W x H x D): 51 mm x 162 mm x 51 mm
Shure SM58-LC is like the Nokia-3310 of the microphones, however, the sound quality of this microphone is still pretty impressive. It is a dynamic microphone which means that it is much preferable for stage performances and the looks of the microphone are pretty basic, with a black shaft and spherical protection grid. This microphone is insanely durable and one can last several years before you would see any kind of wear and tear.
Shure SM58 has a standard cardioid polar pattern which works well for the stage scenarios. The frequency response is focused on vocals and has a bright midrange and bass roll-off. This microphone, being world-famous, has a lot of copies so make sure that you check the characteristics of the microphone before buying one.
The microphone comes in three variants, without cable, with an On/Off switch on the microphone, and with an XLR cable. A highly effective filter is embedded inside the protection grid so that it serves as a pop filter. This microphone might be considered as a budget microphone but you cannot get anything better in this price range and the quality is still good enough for it to be considered in high-end microphones.
3. NEUMANN TLM-102
- Provides studio grade sound quality
- The build quality of the microphone is exceptionally solid
- Comes in a very compact size
- Quite a lightweight microphone
- Pricey for the average consumer
Type: Condenser | Frequency Range: 20 Hz - 20 kHz | Maximum SPL: 144 dBSPL | Maximum Output Level: 13 mV | Output Impedance: 50 Ω | Output: XLR | Weight: 210 g | Dimensions (W x H x D): 52 mm x 116 mm x 52 mm
Neumann is among the top companies when it comes to microphones and Neumann TLM-102 is one of the most prominent products in the series. TLM-102 is a condenser microphone with a beautiful-looking design and is available in silver and black color. It provides a big protection grid on the top and comes with SG 2 stand-mount.
Neuman TLM-102 offers a recently arrived large-diaphragm capsule that supports up to a maximum SPL of 144dBSPL. There is a slight presence lift above 6 kHz in the frequency response which indicates that despite supporting such high SPL, the microphone is dedicated to vocals. The polar pattern of the microphone is also a fixed cardioid pattern, which should avoid noises from other directions in the background.
This microphone provides such an awesome experience that one could barely tell the difference between this and live performance. The microphone offers a slight presence that does not feel hyped and provides just the needed perfection. This microphone should be on top of your list if you can afford the price and are ready to enter extreme professionalism.
4. SHURE SM7B
- Deep sounding with bottom end
- Does not require phantom power
- The build quality matches the legendary Shure SM58
- Provides a low output
- Not that great for female singers
Type: Dynamic| Frequency Range: 50 Hz - 20 kHz | Maximum SPL: N/A | Maximum Output Level: 1.12 mV | Output Impedance: 150 Ω | Output: XLR | Weight: 765 g | Dimensions (W x H x D): 64 mm x 190 mm x 96 mm
Shure SM7B is a dynamic microphone with improved performance over the SM58. Unlike SM58, this microphone provides modern looks and can be fitted with the included shock mount. The foam cover on the top of the microphone serves as a pop filter so that you won’t have to use an external one.
Shure SM7B offers a flat, wide-range frequency response which is useful for both vocals and music. Like the SM58, this microphone also has a presence boost in the mid-range and offers bass roll-off. The microphone has a classic cardioid polar pattern which is symmetrical about the axis providing great rejection from other directions.
The output of this microphone is a bit on the low-end side which is why you need to use a high-end preamplifier for the sound to be loud enough. The microphone provides a rich sound with a balanced bass which is why many people love it just after the first recording.
5. AUDIO TECHNICA AT2035
- Neutral and balanced sound
- Can handle high vocals without distortion
- Can be used in various scenarios
- The included pop filter is of mediocre quality
- The switches feel a bit hard to turn on/off
Type: Condenser | Frequency Range: 20 Hz - 20 kHz | Maximum SPL: 148 dBSPL | Maximum Output Level: N/A | Output Impedance: 120 Ω | Output: XLR | Weight: 403 g | Dimensions (W x H x D): 170.00 mm x 52.00 mm x 52.00 mm
Audio Technica AT2035 is a budget condenser microphone and is praised for its performance in mid-range microphones. The microphone has a fairly big capsule and the overall looks seem professional. The frame of the microphone covers the capsule up to the top which is a nice addition while the black color suits it very well.
The frequency response of the microphone is pretty flat on the low and midrange but there is a slight boost in the high-end which adds a subtle feeling of brightness. This boost starts from 2 kHz and goes steadily up to 13 kHz and the transition is impressively smooth. The microphone features a standard cardioid polar pattern and a large diaphragm which feels excellent for both vocals and instruments.
The recording quality of this microphone is pretty good for amateurs and that is why if you are not considering a microphone professionally, this can be an attractive product with pretty much similar features, although providing a slightly lower-end quality.