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33 Best Vocal Microphones for Studio and Stage (2024)

Whether you’re recording vocal takes in your home studio or performing live on the grand stage, a high quality microphone is the key to capturing every nuance of your performance. That’s why I’ve covered all the best vocal microphones for studio and stage in this article. Below are my top 5 choices.

best overall
Slate Digital VMS ML-1

Slate Digital VMS ML-1

The Slate Digital VMS ML-1 Large-Diaphragm Modeling Microphone is simply the best option when it comes to incredible quality and value. It’s going to blow your mind!

best budget
Gauge ECM-87

Gauge ECM-87

The Gauge ECM-87 is such amazing value for money I don’t have the words to say it any clearer – if you’re on a shoe-string budget, get one! You will not be disappointed.

best Live Mic
Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone

Shure SM58

The Shure SM58 is the industry standard live mic. The SM58 is also what the pros use, and it’ll last you for a very long time. Simply put, you can’t go wrong with this workhorse mic.

Alternative Modeling Mic
Universal Audio Sphere LX Modeling Microphone

UA Sphere DLX

The UA team has put togehter an incredible new lineup of modeling mics, and the UA Sphere DLX does not disappoint. It’s another incredible quality offering in this new space.

best Old School
Neumann TLM-103

Neumann TLM-103

I’ve recorded countless sessions with this industry standard mic. It’s simply amazing quality and tone for a relatively low price. Neumann got it right with the TLM-103.

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Best Vocal Microphones for Studio and Stage

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Mic Types Matter: Choose from condenser, dynamic, or ribbon microphones based on your specific needs. Condensers excel in studios, dynamics are robust for live performances, and ribbon mics offer a vintage sound.
  • Modeling Microphones: Modern modeling microphones digitally emulate classic ones, offering versatility and quality at a lower cost. These are a game-changer for studio setups.
  • Essential Accessories: Mic stands, cables, acoustic guards, shock mounts, and pop filters are crucial for enhancing sound quality and protecting your microphone.
  • Importance of Audio Interface: Invest in a high-quality audio interface or preamp to complement your microphone. It’s essential for translating sound waves into digital data accurately.
  • Vocal Warm-Ups: Encourage artists to do vocal warm-ups to improve tone and performance quality before recording or performing.
  • Choosing the Right Mic: The best microphone depends on your unique needs, vocal style, and budget. More expensive doesn’t always mean better; excellent affordable options are available.

Your voice is your instrument, and finding the right microphone that respects and highlights your voice is crucial. We all know that recording vocals is a fine art in itself.

Throughout my career as a producer and an audio engineer, I’ve had my fair share of trial and error when finding the best microphone.

In this blog post, I will go over the best vocal microphones available today, covering various price points to fit everyone’s budget, and options from the old classics to the very latest microphone tech.

Whether you’re a beginner starting your first home studio or a seasoned pro looking to upgrade your gear, there’s a great option out there for everyone.

My goal is to dramatically improve the sound quality you’re producing, regardless of where you’re laying down your tracks.

Best Vocal Microphones: Detailed Reviews

So, you’ve got your home studio set and audio interface ready, and now it’s time to pick the right mic for your situation. Let’s get into it.

1. Slate Digital VMS ML-1 Large-Diaphragm Modeling Microphone

Slate Digital VMS ML-1 Large-Diaphragm Modeling Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Large-Diaphragm Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

The Slate Digital VMS ML-1 is truly a marvel in condenser microphones. Its large diaphragm and impressive sound quality make it an excellent choice for recording vocals in a home studio. 

This microphone stands out due to its modeling capabilities – it allows you to emulate the sound of several popular microphones. Think of it as a chameleon of mics, adapting to the vocal style and bringing out the best in every sound source.

Pros:

  • The wide frequency range that covers all human voice nuances
  • High sensitivity ensures that even the smallest details are captured
  • Excellent choice for studio recordings

Cons:

  • Requires phantom power, which might not be readily available in all setups
  • Might be a bit pricey for beginners

2. Universal Audio Sphere LX Modeling Microphone System

Universal Audio Sphere LX Modeling Microphone System

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Large-Diaphragm Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Omni, Figure-8
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

If you’re a fan of vintage microphones but can’t get your hands on them, the Universal Audio Sphere LX might be your best choice. The Universal Audio Sphere LX is a high-end condenser microphone that perfectly models classic mics. 

Thanks to its various pickup patterns, it offers fantastic flexibility, making it a popular choice for different recording situations.

Pros:

  • Various pickup patterns provide flexibility
  • Excellent sound quality with great versatility
  • The modeling feature offers a vintage touch to the sound

Cons:

  • High price point may not suit all budgets
  • Requires phantom power

3. Universal Audio Sphere DLX Modeling Microphone System

Universal Audio Sphere DLX Modeling Microphone System

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Dual-Diaphragm Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Multiple patterns
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

Like its sibling the Universal Audio LX, the Universal Audio Sphere DLX Modeling Microphone System offers advanced microphone modeling, simulating iconic microphones to a tee. 

The microphone modeling, paired with its wide dynamic range and multiple polar patterns, makes it a front runner in the industry standard for best vocal microphones.

Pros:

  • Wide dynamic range captures the full spectrum of vocals
  • Multiple polar patterns offer flexibility
  • Advanced microphone modeling capability

Cons:

  • Premium price point
  • Requires phantom power

4. Gauge ECM-87 Condenser Microphone

Gauge ECM-87 Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

Looking for a great mic with a more approachable price point? Enter the Gauge ECM-87. This microphone offers a solid performance that captures your vocal range faithfully. Its cardioid pattern helps reduce background noise, making it an excellent choice for home studios.

Gauge also makes mic modeling software, but the ECM-87 sounds great already on its own.

Pros:

  • Affordable price point for a quality condenser microphone
  • Good frequency response for vocals
  • Effective at reducing background noise

Cons:

  • Requires phantom power
  • May not provide the same detail as high-end models

5. Austrian Audio OC818 Condenser Microphone

Austrian Audio OC818 Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Large-diaphragm Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Multiple patterns
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

The Austrian Audio OC818 is a testament to Austria’s rich history in microphone engineering. Its high sensitivity captures the subtlest nuances of vocal performances, making it an excellent choice for studio recording. Its multiple polar patterns also provide a versatile recording experience.

Pros:

  • High sensitivity perfect for studio recording
  • Multiple polar patterns provide recording versatility
  • Delivers excellent audio quality

Cons:

  • Higher price point
  • Requires phantom power

6. Neumann TLM-103 Condenser Microphone

Neumann TLM-103 Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Large-diaphragm Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

For a good reason, the Neumann TLM-103 has been a fixture in recording studios worldwide. It delivers pristine audio quality, highlighting every element of the human voice. Its wide frequency response captures all vocal frequencies clearly, ensuring a superior recording session every time.

Pros:

  • Renowned for high-quality audio
  • Wide frequency range captures all vocal frequencies
  • Excellent choice for professional studio recording

Cons:

  • Higher price point
  • Requires phantom power

7. AKG C414 XLII Condenser Microphone

AKG C414 XLII Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Large-diaphragm Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Multiple patterns
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

The AKG C414 XLII is a studio legend and one of the most versatile microphones. With its wide dynamic range and multiple polar patterns, it’s prepared to capture any sound source with excellent audio quality. 

It has a great low-end response and can record electric guitar or even bass. Whether you’re recording vocals, an acoustic instrument, or a live performance, this microphone is a solid choice.

Pros:

  • Wide dynamic range and frequency response
  • Multiple polar patterns for versatility
  • Exceptional audio quality

Cons:

  • Premium price range
  • Requires phantom power

8. AKG C214 Condenser Microphone

AKG C214 Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Large-diaphragm Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

The AKG C214 is the younger sibling of the renowned C414, bringing some of its high-quality features to a more affordable price point. 

This mic provides a wide frequency range and is an excellent choice for recording vocals in a home studio. Its high-pass filter and low self-noise stand out, ensuring a clean and clear sound.

Pros:

  • High-quality features at a more affordable price
  • Excellent choice for home studio recording
  • High-pass filter and low self-noise for clean sound

Cons:

  • Not as versatile as its higher-end counterparts
  • Requires phantom power

9. Aston Spirit Condenser Microphone

Aston Spirit Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Large-diaphragm Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Multiple patterns
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

The Aston Spirit Condenser Microphone is designed and built in the UK and reflects high British standards. Thanks to its multiple pickup patterns and wide dynamic range, the Spirit is a versatile microphone. 

Its sound quality makes it an excellent choice for recording vocals or acoustic instruments, offering a natural sound that truly captures the Spirit of the performance.

Pros:

  • Multiple pickup patterns offer versatility
  • Wide dynamic range and frequency response
  • Natural sound makes it great for vocals and acoustic instruments

Cons:

  • Higher price point
  • Requires phantom power

10. Neumann TLM-102 Condenser Microphone

Neumann TLM-102 Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Large-diaphragm Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

The Neumann TLM 102 Condenser Microphone is a testament to Neumann’s commitment to audio excellence. This compact powerhouse offers impressive sound quality, efficiently handling high sound pressure levels. 

Its cardioid pattern and comprehensive frequency response make it an excellent choice for capturing vocals, from powerful rock to subtle jazz.

Pros:

  • Compact yet powerful, offering high-quality audio
  • Handles high sound pressure levels
  • Excellent choice for versatile vocal recording

Cons:

  • Premium price range
  • Requires phantom power

11. Rode NT1-A Condenser Microphone

Rode NT1-A Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Large-diaphragm Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

Thanks to its clarity and warmth, the Rode NT1-A is often regarded as one of the best microphones for recording vocals. It offers a high-pass filter, helping to reduce unwanted low-end noise from your recordings. 

Whether for home studio use or professional recording sessions, the Rode NT1-A is a popular choice among audio engineers and musicians.

Pros:

  • Renowned for its clarity and warmth
  • High-pass filter for cleaner recording
  • Great for both home and professional use

Cons:

  • Requires phantom power
  • May not be as versatile as other options

12. Shure SM7B Dynamic Microphone

Shure SM7b Dynamic Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: No

No list of best microphones would be complete without the Shure SM 7B. This dynamic microphone is an industry standard, known for its rich, full sound quality and excellent response to higher frequencies. 

Perfect for both studio recordings and live performances, it’s particularly loved by rock vocalists and podcasters alike.

Pros:

  • Robust and full sound quality
  • Excels with higher frequencies
  • Doesn’t require phantom power

Cons:

  • May not capture finer details like a condenser microphone
  • Higher price point for a dynamic microphone

13. Audio-Technica AT4040 Condenser Microphone

Audio-Technica AT4040 Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Large-diaphragm Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

The Audio-Technica AT 4040 Condenser Microphone is dependable and offers robust sound quality. Its wide frequency response ensures it captures every nuance of your vocal performance. 

It’s designed to resist high sound pressure levels, making it an excellent choice for studio vocal recordings and even live settings.

Pros:

  • Wide frequency range
  • Handles high sound pressure levels
  • Versatile and dependable

Cons:

  • Requires phantom power
  • May not be ideal for louder sound sources

14. Rode NTK Tube Condenser Microphone

Rode NTK Tube Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Tube Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

The Rode NTK Tube Condenser Microphone is renowned for its warmth, adding a vintage character to your vocal recordings. This mic is an excellent option for those who want to add a touch of classic tonal color to their sound. 

It’s also gentle on higher frequencies, making it an ideal choice for softer vocal styles and acoustic instruments.

Pros:

  • Delivers warm, vintage sound
  • Great for softer vocal styles and acoustic instruments
  • High sensitivity

Cons:

  • Requires careful handling and maintenance due to tube construction
  • Requires phantom power

15. Warm Audio WA-47 Tube Condenser Microphone

Warm Audio WA-47 Tube Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Multiple patterns
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

The Warm Audio WA-47 Tube Condenser Microphone is a recreation of the vintage Neumann U47 but at a more affordable price. It adds a rich, warm tonality to your vocal recordings and can handle a wide dynamic range. 

This mic is excellent for professionals and home studio owners seeking that classic sound.

Pros:

  • Warm, vintage sound
  • Wide dynamic range
  • More affordable than the original

Cons:

  • Requires careful handling due to tube construction
  • Requires phantom power

16. Neumann U87Ai Condenser Microphone

Neumann U87Ai Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Large-diaphragm Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Multiple patterns
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

The Neumann U87Ai is a legendary studio microphone known for its precision, detail, and warmth. This mic has been used by countless professionals in the recording industry, even recording the likes of Michael Jackson. 

Its wide frequency response and versatility make it valuable to any recording studio.

Pros:

  • Precision, detail, and warmth
  • Versatile with multiple polar patterns
  • Wide frequency response

Cons:

  • Premium price point
  • Requires phantom power

17. Neumann U67 Reissue Tube Condenser Microphone

Neumann U67 Reissue Tube Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Tube Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Multiple patterns
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

The Neumann U 67 Reissue Tube Condenser Microphone is a faithful recreation of the classic Neumann U67, one of the most revered microphones in the recording industry. 

This mic brings back the rich, warm, and detailed sound that the U67 is known for, making it an excellent choice for vocals, acoustic guitars, and other instruments.

Pros:

  • Rich, warm, and detailed sound
  • Versatile with multiple polar patterns
  • Faithful reissue of a classic

Cons:

  • Premium price point
  • Requires phantom power

18. Neumann M49 V Tube Condenser Microphone

Neumann M49 V Tube Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Tube Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Multiple patterns
  • Frequency Response: 40Hz – 16kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

The Neumann M49 V Tube Condenser Microphone is another legendary microphone from Neumann that’s been used in countless hit records. 

It provides a natural and open sound with a slightly warmer tone, making it an excellent choice for vocals. This microphone is particularly appreciated for its ability to capture the human voice in all its nuances.

Pros:

  • Natural and open sound with a warm tone
  • Excellent for capturing the human voice
  • Versatile with multiple polar patterns

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Requires phantom power

19. Universal Audio Bock 251 Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone

Universal Audio Bock 251 Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Multiple patterns
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

Universal Audio’s Bock 251 takes inspiration from one of the most famous studio microphones in history, the Telefunken ELA M 251. 

This mic combines the warmth of vintage tube designs with modern technical precision. It captures the nuances of vocals with high sensitivity. Its wide dynamic range makes it a top pick for recording vocals in any studio setting.

Pros:

  • Vintage warmth with modern precision
  • High sensitivity and wide dynamic range
  • Excellent choice for vocal recording

Cons:

  • Premium price point
  • Requires phantom power

20. MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Cardioid Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 30Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

The MXL 770 is a popular choice for home studio owners, offering professional sound quality at an affordable price. 

This microphone delivers a solid low-frequency response and clear highs, making it versatile for various sound sources, from vocals to acoustic guitars and even electric guitars.

Pros:

  • Affordable yet offers professional sound quality
  • Versatile for various sound sources
  • Solid low-frequency response and clear highs

Cons:

  • Requires phantom power
  • Might not withstand heavy usage over time

21. SE Electronics SE2200 Condenser Microphone

SE Electronics SE2200 Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Large-diaphragm Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

SE Electronics SE 2200 is a compact, portable condenser microphone designed for digital recording. 

This mic provides studio-grade sound quality at an affordable price point. Its high-pass filter and wide frequency range allows it to record vocals, instruments, and even podcasting with impressive clarity.

Pros:

  • Affordable and portable
  • High-pass filter and wide frequency range
  • Suitable for recording vocals, instruments, and podcasting

Cons:

  • Requires phantom power
  • May not withstand heavy usage over time

22. Shure KSM9 Condenser Microphone

Shure KSM9 Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Supercardioid (Switchable)
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz – 22kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

The Shure KSM 9 is a premier choice for professional vocalists, known for its high fidelity and versatility. This condenser microphone delivers exceptional clarity and precision, capturing the full nuances of the vocalist’s performance. 

Its dual diaphragm design and switchable polar patterns (cardioid and supercardioid) allow various applications, from intimate studio recording sessions to loud, bustling live performances. 

Its durability and robust construction make it a trusted companion on tour.

Pros:

  • Excellent sound clarity and precision
  • Versatile with switchable polar patterns
  • Robust build, suitable for touring

Cons:

  • Requires phantom power, which might limit its use in some situations
  • Higher price point compared to entry-level microphones
  • May capture too much detail for some applications or vocal styles

23. AKG C636 Condenser Microphone

AKG C636 Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

The AKG C 636 is a reimagined version of the legendary AKG C535, delivering a balance of modern features with classic sound quality. 

Its innovative design effectively eliminates handling noise, while the uniform cardioid polar pattern reduces feedback. Its high-pass filter makes it a versatile choice for stage performance and studio recording.

Pros:

  • Balance of modern features with classic sound quality
  • Eliminates handling noise
  • Versatile for both stage and studio use

Cons:

  • Premium price point
  • Requires phantom power

24. AKG C7 Supercardioid Condenser Microphone

AKG C7 Supercardioid Condenser Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Supercardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: Yes

The AKG C7 Supercardioid Condenser Microphone is a workhorse that combines studio-quality sound with live performance durability. 

With its supercardioid pattern, it excels in minimizing background noise and focusing on the sound source, be it a passionate vocal performance or a strumming acoustic guitar.

Pros:

  • Excellent at isolating sound source
  • Durable build for live use
  • Provides studio-quality sound

Cons:

  • Might be too focused for some recording situations
  • Requires phantom power

25. Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone

Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz – 15kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: No

Shure’s SM58 is the industry standard for live vocal performance. Known for its rugged durability and consistent performance, this dynamic microphone delivers clear, warm vocals without distortion, even at high volume levels. 

It’s designed with a built-in spherical filter to minimize wind and breath noises, making it an excellent choice for live use.

Pros:

  • Rugged and durable
  • Excellent for live vocals
  • Built-in spherical filter to minimize wind and breath noises

Cons:

  • May not capture the finer details like a condenser microphone
  • Not the best for studio recording

26. Shure Super 55 Dynamic Microphone

Shure Super 55 Dynamic Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Supercardioid
  • Frequency Response: 60Hz – 17kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: No

The Shure Super 55 presents a vintage aesthetic with modern sound engineering. This dynamic microphone exhibits a supercardioid polar pattern, helping it focus on your voice while minimizing background noise. 

It’s an excellent mic for live performance, and its stage-worthy look makes it an attractive choice for performers with an eye for style.

Pros:

  • Vintage aesthetic with modern sound
  • Supercardioid pattern minimizes background noise
  • Perfect for live performance

Cons:

  • Not designed for studio recording
  • Limited low-frequency response

27. Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Microphone

Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 45Hz – 18kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: No

The Electro-voice RE 20 is a classic microphone often seen in broadcasting studios. This dynamic mic is known for its low proximity effect, which means the bass response doesn’t increase as you get closer to the mic. 

It’s an excellent choice for vocals, especially for singers who like to work close to the mic or for broadcasting and podcasting.

Pros:

  • Ideal for broadcasting and vocal work
  • Low proximity effect for consistent sound
  • Doesn’t require phantom power

Cons:

  • Less suitable for acoustic instruments
  • May not be ideal for all vocal styles

28. Shure Beta 58A Dynamic Microphone

Shure Beta 58A Dynamic Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Supercardioid
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz – 16Hz
  • Phantom Power Required: No

The Shure Beta 58A is a step up from its legendary predecessor, the SM58, with enhanced design and sound properties for professional vocal use in live performances. 

This microphone exhibits a crisp, clear sound quality with a slightly boosted presence for greater vocal articulation. Its supercardioid polar pattern significantly minimizes background noise and feedback, even in loud stage environments. 

The hardened steel mesh grille and pneumatic shock mount system ensure durability and reduce handling noise, which makes it a great choice for capturing detailed live vocals.

Pros:

  • Excellent sound clarity with boosted presence
  • Supercardioid pattern reduces background noise and feedback
  • Highly durable with minimal handling noise

Cons:

  • Not as neutral as some other mics, due to its presence boost
  • There are better options for studio recording
  • Higher price point compared to some other dynamic microphones

29. SE Electronics V7 Dynamic Microphone

SE Electronics V7 Dynamic Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Supercardioid
  • Frequency Response: 40Hz – 19kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: No

The SE Electronics V7 is a dynamic microphone designed for the rigors of stage performance. It offers a wide dynamic range and high-frequency detail, rivaling the performance of some condenser mics. 

Its supercardioid pattern ensures your voice is heard above the background noise, making it a good mic for live performances.

Pros:

  • Wide dynamic range and high-frequency detail
  • Excellent for live performance
  • Supercardioid pattern minimizes background noise

Cons:

  • Not the best choice for studio recording
  • May not be the best for softer vocal styles

30. Beyerdynamic M160 Double-Ribbon Microphone

Beyerdynamic M160 Double-Ribbon Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Double-Ribbon
  • Polar Pattern: Hypercardioid
  • Frequency Response: 40Hz – 18kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: No

The Beyerdynamic M160 is part of the new M Series that replaced the original Beyerdynamic TG V90r ribbon microphone. It is unique in the world of vocal microphones. 

A double-ribbon microphone designed for stage performance combines the silky smoothness of a ribbon mic with the durability and feedback resistance of a dynamic microphone. 

The TG V90r reproduces the natural sound of the human voice, lending an intimate warmth to vocal performances. It works great for vocals, but it’s ideal for guitar amps and drums.

Pros:

  • The silky smoothness of a double-ribbon mic
  • Award-winning ribbon microphone
  • Ideal for guitar amps and drums

Cons:

  • Requires careful handling as ribbon mics can be delicate

31. Shure QLXD24/B87A Dynamic Wireless Microphone

Shure QLXD24/B87A Dynamic Wireless Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Supercardioid
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz – 20kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: No

The Shure QLXD24/B87A provides wireless convenience without compromising on sound quality. It offers an extended high frequency response and a supercardioid polar pattern, ensuring your voice cuts through even in noisy environments. 

The wireless system provides a wide range and a reliable connection, making it an excellent choice for live use.

Pros:

  • Wireless convenience with excellent sound quality
  • Extended high frequency response
  • Reliable wireless connection

Cons:

  • Not ideal for studio recording
  • Premium price point

32. Sennheiser EW 500-935 G4 Dynamic Wireless Microphone

Sennheiser EW 500-935 G4 Dynamic Wireless Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 80Hz – 18kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: No

The Sennheiser E W 500-935 G4 is a wireless microphone system that delivers exceptional audio quality. Its dynamic capsule captures vocals with a high level of detail, and the system provides reliable connectivity for live performance. 

The EW 500-935 G4 also features a rugged metal construction, ready to withstand the rigors of stage use.

Pros:

  • Exceptional audio quality
  • Reliable wireless connectivity
  • Rugged construction for live use

Cons:

  • Not the best choice for studio recording
  • Premium price point

33. Audio-Technica ATW-2120b Dynamic Wireless Microphone

Audio-Technica ATW-2120b Dynamic Wireless Microphone

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz – 15kHz
  • Phantom Power Required: No

The Audio Technica AT W-2120b is a wireless dynamic microphone system that’s an excellent choice for live vocals. Its clear, natural sound and stable wireless performance make it a popular choice for performers. 

Its wide frequency range captures the full spectrum of vocal tones, ensuring every note is heard clearly.

Pros:

  • Clear, natural sound
  • Stable wireless performance
  • Wide frequency range for capturing full vocal tones

Cons:

  • Not ideal for studio recording
  • Some might prefer a condenser mic for a more detailed sound

The Blueprint of a Quality Sound Recording

Your microphone is one of the key pieces of gear in your studio. After acoustic treatment, quality monitoring, audio interface, and other studio gear, your microphone is the next most important link in the chain to the best results. 

The best vocal mics capture the intricacies of the human voice or the strums of an acoustic guitar. Your microphone sets the stage for the level of quality you can deliver, and making the best choice here is a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

There are three top mic types; condenser, dynamic, and ribbon microphones. Each type has its place in the audio world. 

Condenser Microphones

For recording vocals in the studio, condenser microphones are the go-to choice. A good condenser mic’s high sensitivity and wide frequency range is exceptional in capturing the dynamics and nuances of vocal recordings. 

They require phantom power, and it’s worth noting their high-pass filter and low self-noise make them an excellent choice for home studios.

Dynamic Microphones

That’s not to undermine dynamic mics, though. Their robust build, proximity effect, and capacity to handle higher volume levels make them perfect for a live setting. 

Ribbon Microphones

Ribbon mics are making a comeback, particularly for recording acoustic instruments due to their natural sound production and wide dynamic range.

Remember that each mic type can serve you well if you focus on its strengths. The first thing you need to determine is what your purposed use is.

Modeling Microphones

One of the most exciting latest developments in audio technology is the arrival of high quality modeling microphones. They are giving traditional mics a run for their money by digitally emulating the characteristics of classic microphones that were used to record the biggest stars of the 60s and 70s.

It’s incredible how far the modeling technology has come. The Top Pick of this article is my go-to microphone in my studio. The quality of the microphone models and the mic itself are incredible.

If you want to have a mic locker of all the best microphones in the world without spending $100k+ then the modeling mics is the way to go. They’ll give you versatility and options for any voice and genre of music without breaking the bank.

This Slate Digital VMS ML-1 vs U87 shootout video gives you a good idea how impressive this virtual microphone modeling system is:

Required Accessories

But choosing the best vocal microphone is just the start. Accessories such as a mic stand, a mic cable, an acoustic guard, a shock mount, and a pop filter are equally crucial. 

They help enhance sound quality by minimizing background noise, handling shock, and managing sound source direction, all while keeping your precious mic safe.

Audio Interface of Preamp

The importance of a high quality audio interface or preamp in your recording chain cannot be overstated. The right microphone’s performance will be inhibited without it to faithfully translate sound waves into digital data.

Additional Tips

As a producer your goal is to get the best possible performance by the artist recorded with the best possible quality. The right mic takes care of the recording quality. But one other important aspect that actually doesn’t relate to microphones is worth bringing up.

Vocal Warm-ups

Make sure the artist you’re working iwth performs their vocal exercises. Once their voice is warmed up, the quality of their tone and performance will improve. It’s also important for warm-ups to be a part of every singer’s routine before performing so it’s good to remind them of that.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between condenser microphones, dynamic microphones, and ribbon microphones?

Condenser microphones are typically the best choice for recording vocals in a studio setting due to their high sensitivity and wide frequency response. 

Dynamic mics are generally more durable. They can handle higher sound pressure levels, making them ideal for live performance. 

Ribbon mics are known for their smooth, vintage sound, and while they’re typically more delicate, some modern ribbon mics have been designed for live use.

What is a polar pattern, and why is it important?

The polar pattern of a microphone refers to how it picks up sound from different directions. 

Some mics pick up sound equally from all directions (omnidirectional), while others pick up sound primarily from the front of the mic (cardioid, supercardioid). 

The polar pattern is important because it affects how much background noise and feedback the microphone picks up.

Supercardioid mics have a tighter pickup angle than cardioid mics, but unlike the cardioid, they offer more side rejection. When positioned in the right direction, they can perfectly capture vocals with minimal background noise.

What are the benefits of using a high-pass filter in a microphone?

A high-pass filter allows high frequencies to pass through while cutting off lower frequencies. This can help reduce unwanted low-frequency noise like handling noise, wind noise, or the proximity effect, making your vocals sound overly bassy when singing close to the microphone.

Why is frequency response critical in a microphone?

The frequency response of a microphone determines what tones it can capture. A mic with a wide frequency response can capture a wider range of tones, from low bass notes to high treble notes. This can make your vocals sound more natural and detailed.

Why do some microphones require phantom power?

Phantom power is needed to power the internal electronics of condenser microphones. Dynamic and ribbon mics do not require phantom power.

Are USB microphones good for professional recording?

Yes, USB microphones like Blue Yeti and Blue Snowball offer fairly good audio quality. 

However, you will get better results with a dedicated large diaphragm condenser mic and a quality audio interface than with a USB microphone that includes the analog to digital conversion. 

All the industry standard best mics use a separate audio interface or a preamp.

What accessories do I need for my microphone in a studio setting?

In a studio setting, you’ll likely need a microphone stand, a mic cable, an acoustic guard, and a pop shield. You’ll also need an audio interface or quality preamp with mic inputs.

What factors should I consider when choosing a microphone for a live performance?

For live performance, it’s essential to consider the microphone’s durability, feedback resistance, handling noise, and whether it requires phantom power. 

A dynamic microphone with a cardioid or supercardioid polar pattern is often a good choice.

How do I know if a microphone is best option for my vocal style?

The best way to find out if a microphone matches your voice is to try it out in person. Listen to how it captures the nuances of your voice, and consider whether it complements your vocal range and style.

What does the term “industry standard” mean when it comes to microphones?

A: “Industry standard” refers to widely used and respected microphones in the recording industry. These mics have proven their reliability and quality over time. 

Examples include the Shure SM58 for live vocals and the Neumann U87Ai for studio recording.

Conclusion

The world of microphones is vast and varied, with a mic to suit every vocal style, performance situation, and price point. Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned pro, the most important thing is choosing a mic that makes the artist’s voice shine. 

Be it a condenser microphone like the Neumann U87Ai or TLM-102 for their high sensitivity and detailed audio quality or dynamic mics like the Shure SM58 or its durability and stage performance reliability; your choice should ultimately serve your unique needs.

Each microphone brings something unique to the table. Keep in mind, the most expensive mic is not necessarily the better choice, though; many great mics are out there for an affordable price that deliver professional results.

Remember, your voice is uniquely yours; the microphone is just the conduit to deliver it to your audience.

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