Transform Your Rough Recordings Into Released Records, Even If You Only Have a Home Studio

5 Cheap Microphones Under $100 for the Frugal Engineer


Expensive microphones are overrated. Cheap microphones can go a long way to getting the sound you want, and all without shelling out a fortune.

Now you may not want to buy a $1000 condenser microphone to start out, because you can get a great recording microphone for under $100.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t upgrade when the time is right and you’ve outgrown your microphone, but don’t think that you can’t get a good sound with a low budget microphone.

Try out some of these options when you’re looking to start recording.

I’ve used the gear-purchasing methodology I outline in this article to get a clear idea of what’s popular and respected while staying within budget.

Here are five condenser microphones that I’ve found that are under $100, but there are certainly more to choose from on Amazon.

AKG Perception 120

I’ve used the Perception 220 microphone a lot and if this mic is anything like it’s older brother then I can definitely recommend it to anyone wanting a cheap, but dependable condenser microphone. It has a bass roll-off which is good to have in your home studio.

Samson CO2 Pencil Condensers

If you’re looking for something different than a large diaphragm condenser, then this pair of pencil condensers might be a great bet for you. Should work great for acoustic instruments and overheads.

Audio Technica AT2020

This microphone blows everything else in this price range out of the water. It’s amazing how cheap it is but still sounds this good.

Simple and easy to use and sounds amazing. The only drawback I see is that it doesn’t have a pad switch nor a bass roll-off which could pose a problem in a home studio session.

MXL 770

This recording microphone is frequently mentioned whenever beginning home studio enthusiasts are looking for cheap microphones. They’re supposed to sound great out of the box, and they’re a favorite choice on Amazon, with hundreds of 5-star reviews.

Shure Beta 57

You can’t got wrong with a Shure Sm57, and the Beta57 is just as good of an option. I loved using these during my live sound days on electric guitars and amp. Although they might not be the best choice on this list for full-frequency vocal recording, it’s a workhorse mic that belongs in any studio.

Buying Cheap Microphones, Or Saving Up?

Noted, these are cheap microphones.

They might not hold their own against the  However, they certainly have their uses and for some applications and instruments might even win a microphone shoot-out with the big guns.

These are all viable and affordable options for the budget studio engineer starting out. You can also find other alternatives on eBay where there is a constant stream of microphones going around for much less than the listed price.

The idea that you need to invest a small fortune in expensive microphones to achieve quality recordings is a common misconception.

As you’ve seen above, there are plenty of cheap microphones available out there that are great options for getting started. If you love recording and can’t get enough of it, you can always upgrade later, but don’t let the high-sticker price of fancy mics stop you from making the music you love. From the AKG Perception 120 to the Shure Beta 57, each of these options has its strengths and applications, making them valuable assets for the budding studio engineer.

So, whether you decide to start with a cost-effective microphone or save up for a high-end one, remember that excellent sound can be achieved on a budget, opening up endless possibilities for your music production endeavors.

Happy recording!

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About Audio Issues and Björgvin Benediktsson

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