Microphone does a great job of transmitting your voice to the listener, record audios for streams, podcasts, and broadcasts. Although at the beginning we can’t afford for a multi-million-dollar studio. Our dream of owning a high-end microphone is quite realistic for most of our budgets. In this article, we have reviewed some of the best cheap microphone for recording music.
Even if you get one of the pricer microphones will it worth taking them to dive bar tours or basement practice sessions? Here we focus on some of the best cheap microphone for recording songs without any compromise on quality. Often sound guys and recording tech keep a collection of premium quality budget microphones on hand for convenience.
All mic are not created equal so make sure to do your research before buying any microphone. Your microphone much-satisfied with the type of requirement you have and that’s too within your budget. Before exploring some of the best cheap microphone for recording vocals, let’s understand some terms
Type of Microphone:
1. Dynamic Microphone
Dynamic microphones are believed to be the most affordable. They have a thin membrane attached to a coal. These two pieces are guarded by a magnet. The membrane and Koel move together and create an EM signal which is transferred to your sound system. They are also durable too and preferred for live sound. The downside is that they are not considered to be accurate, though typically cheaper than other mics.
2. Condenser Microphone
Condenser microphones at a great choice for studio setup because of their wide frequency range and high sensitivity. They create sound with an electrically charged plate next to a solid capacitor placed inside a microphone capsule. The backplate stays steel and diaphragm moves when sound enters the microphone. The signal is created when plates changed their distance which is the recreation of the original sound source. Condensers are almost durable as dynamic these days but condenser mic need a power source to strengthen the signal.
3. Ribbon Microphone
They are the oldest form of microphone technology which has a very simple construction. They have a piece of corrugated tin foil placed between the two permanent magnets. The electric signal is amplified through a transformer. Overall they have authentic sound and are too delicate. They have a wide range of frequency response and used for recording and studio works.
What to look for in the Best Budget Microphone for Recording Vocals?
1. Sound: Your microphone should work well with your voice or instrument, eliminating all tonal problems. Also care about proximity effect in low priced mics.
2. Durability: For being consistent with your mics and not expect to break down during the performance, spent a bit more to get a durable mic that hold up under normal use and abuse.
3. Consistency: Most mics take up some problems in the future, do a bit of research, and read some review to avoid any inconvenience.
Our Tops Picks Best Budget Microphone for Recording Vocals:
Let’s explore the top 10 best cheap microphone for recording vocals for 2021.
The Shure SM57/58 are dynamic microphones designed for professional vocal use in studio recording. They have very little proximity effect and their tone is precious and accurate. Its tailored vocal response for any sound is of another level. The mics are most famous for its durability, its rugged construction, a proven shock-mount system, and a steel mesh grille help it suffer any rough handling both indoor and outdoor.
Anybody involved in sound recording these days, an SM57/58 is something common. Both the variants have the sample capsule but with different grills. It has a built-in filter that minimizes wind and breath pop noise. Its cardioid polar pattern isolates the main sound source from the noisy background.
The low-frequency roll of on SM58 provides greater control and proximity effect creates warmer and richer bass sound. Its frequency response is 50-15 kHz.
2. AKG D5 – Best Cheap Microphone for Recording YouTube Videos
This microphone is a super-cardioid polar pattern and high feedback suppression, it has patented laminated vari motion diaphragm which produce crisp sound that cuts through mixes. The integrated pop filter eliminates pop noise and dual shock mount eliminates handling noise. It’s one of the best durable mic. With steel wire mesh grille and rugged diecast housing.
This mic has more proximity effect so make sure to keep a distance from the mic. It has a frequency response of 70 Hz to 20 kHz, thus can be used commodiously with a musical instrument like guitar mandolin, etc. Also it is available at a cheap price and can be used for any live vocals. It can be also used to record YouTube videos, and that’s why it is on our list of best cheap microphone for recording youtube videos.
3. MLX 770
The MLX 770 is a great microphone at a reasonable price. It happens to be a perfect choice for seasoned pros or newbie musicians. It is a condenser microphone preferred for its solid bass and upfront high end. The MLX 770 uses a high-quality FET preamp with balanced output for a wide dynamic range of frequencies. It has a 10dB bass roll-off switch and quite sensitive as expected. The microphone has a fair amount of coloration in its tonic brought to you by a 6-micron law distortion diaphragm. There is a little boost and a small boost around low and high and respectively. We find these two suit female voices, which give a warm sound with extra clarity because of that law and boost.
The MLX 770 condenser mic is wired with Mogami for exceptional sound quality, thus requiring a phantom power source. It is not much durable so a rugged storage case is provided in the set. The company promises that the mic will amaze the recording artist with his quality and price/performance ratio.
Audio Technica is a bit overpriced in comparison to the product on our list, but a wonderful mic which costs less than $200. You can not only use it for recording but also for live vocals. This awesome condenser side-address cardioid microphone delivers exceptional details with low noise.
The microphone is equipped with a switchable 80 Hz high pass filter and 10dB pad, which permit it to handle high sound pressure levels. It’s rugged construction and high performance worth its price. It goes without saying it has a shock mount for rough handling. A protective pouch is provided for great readability.
It has a match consistency, the thing ever user mentions of it. You can try using it in-studio and live gigs, pretty sure you will like this product. Since it is a condenser one, you have to invest in a phantom power supply.
5. MXL R144 – Best Cheap Microphone for Recording Acoustic Guitar
The MLX R144 is a budget ribbon microphone that delivers sound on par with other costlier mic. You can use this mic ideally for recording vocals and acoustic instruments. The sound is accurate and warm. The downside is that it is not durable like dynamic and condenser mics.
Ribbon microphones are traditionally figured eight pattern which captures sound from all directions. Not recommended for live vocal stage performance, they might get damaged if handled roughly or by mistake you applied Phantom power to them. Moreover, they are easy to modify, if you have time.
The product has classics rich smooth midrange sound and high SPL capability for horns and electric guitars. Being compact this mic placement is easy. It’s a great combination of affordability and quality, and that’s exactly why it’s one of the best cheap microphone for recording acoustic guitar.
6. Rode NT1-A
This microphone is the cardioid condenser one, delivers warmth and extended dynamic range and clarity of somewhat industry standard. It has high SPL capability which can be seen in top-priced mics. This microphone is known for its ultra-low noise and self-noise of only 5dB. This feature makes it ideal for recording vocals and guitars.
It has a large 1” capsule with gold plated diaphragm and pop shield with shock mount. A 20′ microphone cable and dust cover comes along with the pack. The NT1-A is the anniversary version of classic NT1, n award-winning microphone.
Moreover, the company gives a 10 year extended warranty on registering the microphone.
7. Blue Spark
This Blue Spark mic has amazing looks and reminds us of the old 1950’s style. This versatile Blue Spark microphone has a cardioid solid-state condenser capsule specially designed to achieve professional studio quality recordings in any surrounding. There is a focus control on the mic, as this mic provides two recording modes. One of them is low-frequency sensitivity which allows users to record a wide range of acoustic instruments. The focus control switch helps to switch between normal mode and focus mode. Normal mode with focus control records robust timbre from a large landscape. Focus mode with focus control records great detail and clarity. Focus mode is for lead vocals which suits well in a mix.
The cardioid pattern with pop filter and shock mount eliminates unwanted noise. Being robust it can withstand variations, bumps, and low-frequency noises without compromise in clarity. It has a wooden storage case in the set which keeps it safe during transit. High efficiency and rapid response with cool focus feature makes it a best selling mic. However, there’s still no doubt that the Blue Spark deserves its lofty spot on the best cheap microphone for recording 2021 list.
8. Samson C01 – Best Cheap Microphone for Recording
The Samsung C01 is a simple, versatile, and extremely durable condenser mic. Being quite affordable it makes its path to our list. It is a great mic for recording vocals and aquatic instruments. It has a large 19-millimeter capsule with a 3-micron diaphragm, which gives a smooth flat frequency response. The large-diaphragm makes it accurate and detailed with warm bass and extended top end. Moreover this mic is a hyper-cardioid polar pattern that is ideal for usage in any noisy environment.
The mic is sturdily built with a heavy gauge mesh grill screen and gold plated XLR connector. There is a blue LED which indicates 48 V Phantom power. Moreover, the set has a swivel stand mount and optional SP01 shock mount for further isolation.
9. Behringer C1
The Behringer C1 is a studio condenser microphone having a medium diaphragm, which is probably one of the best values in the list of condenser mics. This mic record all-around studio and is ideal for recording vocals and studio instruments. It also excels in live applications, since it has a cardioid pickup pattern along with feedback rejection. The mic has a pressure gradient transducer with a shock-mounted capsule that produces smooth and flat frequency response.
The body is a rugged die-cast metal made and the XLR cable is gold plated. There is a survival stand mount and foam-padded carrying case in the set. Being condenser requires a 48-volt Phantom power for working. There is also a LED indicator which indicates Phantom Power operation.
We are ending our list of best cheap microphone for recording with Sennheiser product, the company dominating the audio market and working for 70 years. The E631 is an instrument series of mics, tailored to capture each detail and clear sound with low handling noise and high feedback rejection. It is capable to withstand High SPL’s without distorting. Its structure is a flat profile capsule with a super-cardioid polar pattern. The cardioid helps in improving isolation and its wider frequency response increases its performance.
Its rugged construction is made from refined steel, a unique silver address side. The Hum compensating coil reduces electrical interference. The Neodynamo ferrous magnet keeps mic stable regardless of climatic conditions.
With frequency response ranging from 40Hz to 18kHz, the company designated it for capturing guitar and drum makings. The E 609 silver has high sound pressure handling capability and excellent transient response. Moreover, there is a 10 years warranty on this mic.
There are lots of good set of mics for an affordable price. You can get a dynamic, condenser, and ribbon microphone for less than $200. But before you try to invest in mics, make sure you have an idea for what purpose you need to get that mic. Take care to consider tone, durability, and consistency.
Our list helps you to take a step towards your dream of getting a mic. There might be any trial and error involved before you get the best cheap microphone for recording 2021 for your needs.
Also Read: Best Microphone for Live Performance