The World’s Best Vocal Recording Microphones You Can Actually Afford!

vocal recording microphones

Great vocal mics are a necessary part of your studio, regardless of its size.

But the home studio might have a smaller budget than the big commercial facility. And therefore, a home studio doesn’t have the luxury to splurge on microphones like their wealthier counterparts.

However, re-mortgaging your house is unnecessary with the following microphones.

A budget of around than $500 is easily enough money for some great vocal microphones, and some of the options below cost even less. Alternatively, if you’re really strapped for cash you might be interested in these 4 Cheap-Ass Condensers for the Frugal Engineer.

Rode NT-2A Recording microphone1. Rode NT2A Vocal Condenser

When you have a noisy home studio you want a quiet microphone. This one is extremely quiet, has multiple patterns to choose from and a high-pass filter to cut all that rumbling traffic noise.

2. Audio Technica AT2050

Like I’ve said before, The AT2020 is an absolutely stellar budget microphone. The 2050 is more of the same great sound but with a few extra switches.

3. AKG Perception 420

The Perfection series include a plethora of great budget mics. The 420 is the most expensive of their budget mics but it offers the most amount of features such as multiple polar patterns.

4. Neumann TLM 102

This one is a bit pricier than the aforementioned $500, but you can’t go wrong with a Neumann condenser microphone.

5. AKG C214

The little brother of the AKG C-414, the 214 is the perfect substitute for the home recording studio. Buy a microphone but also pay rent. That’s the best of both worlds in the home recording industry.

6. SE Electronics 2200A

The vocals to this song were recorded with the 2200A and they sound pretty good to me. What do you think?

Conclusion

Don’t get infected with a case of analysis paralysis. Choosing a microphone when you’re starting out can be overwhelming. It’s probably not the only microphone you’re going to buy, so you don’t need to worry about buyer’s remorse.

Make a judgement based on price, reviews, brand and most importantly, your gut feeling.

Image by:  M. Keefe

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  • http://twitter.com/ukuleledoc Dr. Mike Okouchi

    Advanced Audio mics are really good mics too

  • Prepboymusik

    What would be ur opinion about Sterling audio mics?

    • http://audio-issues.com Björgvin Benediktsson

      I haven’t had any personal experience with them, but they’re supposed to be pretty good. Check out their fact sheet over at recordinghacks.com

  • Pravesh Mangray

    What do you think of the Shure PG27?

    • http://audio-issues.com Björgvin Benediktsson

      Get something else. I’m not a big fan of the Pg series, and there are other options out there.

  • Mixy

    I use shure sm58, and my friends think it is prety cool.

  • Aren Bailey

    Akg c214 or the audio technica 4050?

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  • http://www.spacewalkmusic.com Spacewalk

    Hi Björgvin! Thanks for this article. I’ve read tons of user and professional reviews on a large-diagram condenser mic suitable for both Vocals and acoustic guitar. I’ve come to the conclusion that for my budget, I should go for whether TLM 102 or Rode NT2A. I should add that I’m an on-the-go musician and change my place very frequently. So portability is a factor but not as important as the sound quality. I’m wondering which one you recommend.

    • Björgvin Benediktsson

      I think the Neumann TLM 102 would probably win, hands down. I’ve used the 103 and it sounds amazing. The Rode is pretty good as well but the TLM is a bit higher class.

  • BBT

    Can you advise any sound card/ interface to use with those mics mentioned above? I have Roland V-studio 20 interface. Some said good microphone, interface and full acoustic room can creat professional studio quality, is it possible to do that? thanks.

    • Björgvin Benediktsson

      Not really. There’s no one interface that’s better for a particular mic. You’re better off getting an overall good interface and not worry about matching the mic.

      • BBT

        The interface I’m currently using is designed for both instruments & vocal with 3 inputs. Should I better use seperate interface only designed for vocal mic ? Thanks again.

        • Björgvin Benediktsson

          There are not interfaces specifically designed for vocals mics really. Just make sure you get a decent interface that has a microphone input. Checking the reviews on Amazon is usually a good way to gauge how good something is.