Join 30,000 Audio Issues Subscribers and Get Your FREE 10-Step Cheatsheet That Make Your Mixes Sound Awesome Next to Your Favorite Albums, Using the Plug-ins You Already Have

The World's Best Vocal Recording Microphones You Can Actually Afford

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 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.

Please note, these microphones are not ranked in any way.


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. Aston Microphones Spirit

The Aston Microphones brand is fast becoming my favorite microphone company. Full disclaimer: I do know the owners personally. However, their reviews don’t lie and I keep coming back to them over and over again, whether it’s for acoustic guitar, vocals, other acoustic instruments or even room microphones.

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?


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 judgment based on price, reviews, brand and most importantly, your gut feeling.

However, if you’re looking for something a little cheaper, check out the 5 Cheap-Ass Microphones Under $100 for the Frugal Engineer.

Image by:  M. Keefe


Get Your FREE 10-Step Cheatsheet and Make Your Home Studio Mixes Sound Great Next to Your Favorite Albums, Using the Gear You Already Have

*Spam sucks and I will not share your email with anyone.

About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

Read more


  • Advanced Audio mics are really good mics too

  • Prepboymusik

    What would be ur opinion about Sterling audio mics?

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

  • Pravesh Mangray

    What do you think of the Shure PG27?

    • 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?

  • Pingback: 5 Best Quality Pieces of Recording Equipment for the Least Amount of Money()

  • 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.

  • Iqbal

    Hi Bjorgvin, what do you think about nt1a and focusrite 2i2 for vocal recording thanks