Best microphone for vocal

Best Microphones for Recording Vocals

A vocalist’s music kit is not complete without a microphone. With wireless and wired options available, there are plenty of microphones in the market. Choosing the right one is very important to give you the desired recording results and produce original sounds. On a broad level, there are two types of microphones – condenser and dynamic. Dynamic microphones are often sturdier than their condenser counterparts are. At the same time, they are comparatively inexpensive and do not rely on power supplies for operation. However, condenser units are also the more preferred option for recording vocals and instruments most of the time. This does not mean that you cannot use dynamic ones for recording your vocals. You might also want microphones that offer you the flexibility of positioning in different angles. The following are some microphones that you can try checking out for your vocal recording.

Shure SM7B Cardioid Vocal Dynamic Microphone

This microphone has a wide-range flat frequency response that has exceptional clarity and reproduces speech and music naturally. It has separate controls for midrange emphasis and bass roll off, along with a graphical display to indicate the response setting. The unit is capable of rejecting electromagnetic hum and eliminating broadband interference caused by neon lights, computer monitors and other electrical/electronic devices.

The pop filter is very effective in putting off explosive breath sounds and producing warm tones. The cylindrical black microphone has a classic cardioid pattern with axis symmetry, which is capable of offering minimum coloration and maximum rejection of off-axis sound. It has interchangeable frequency response caps for high and mild boosts.

The dynamic microphone comes with a detachable close-talk windscreen, a foam windscreen and a yoke-locking mount with captive stand nut to hold the unit in place during hands-free recording.

Who should buy this?

  • The Shure vocal microphone is apt for those who would love to keep their hands free and do away with wires while recording.
  • If ruggedness and cartridge protection are what you want from your microphone, you must think of giving this recording unit a thought.

Rode NT2A Vocal Condenser Microphone Package

The Rode microphone is a HF1 1-inch gold sputtered dual diaphragm capsule. The condenser unit has separate three-position variable pickup polar pattern, PAD and high-pass filter switches on the front panel. You can control all the three Cardioid, Figure 8 and Omni polar patterns using this microphone. The high-pass filter has values of flat, 40 Hz and 80 Hz, while the values of the PADare 0 dB, -5 dB and -10 dB. The transient and frequency response of the transducer ensures a smooth vocal recording experience.

The microphone package comes with a shock mount, a cable, a dust cover and a tutorial DVD.

Who should buy this?

  • This microphone setup is a good choice for people who want to explore different polar patterns and proximity effects for recording distortion free vintage style tones.

Audio-Technica ATW-2120AI Wireless Handheld Microphone System

The black microphone system includes a dynamic handheld cardioid microphone/transmitter and a suitable receiver. The unit has 10 user-switchable compatible channels in a UHF frequency range. You can use all the channels together without any frequency coordination problem. It also includes switchable antenna power and two frequency bands. The automatic frequency scanning functionality helps to determine the best frequency with just the touch of a button. Other highlights include an easy-to-read LCD display and aTone Lock squelch.

Who should buy this?

  • The Audio-Technica system is a great idea if you want to indulge in some live vocal performances.
  • You must consider this kit if you want a professional wireless system for a price that is easy on the pocket.

AKG C214 Professional Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

The large diaphragm microphone has ultralow noise and excellent dynamic range of 143 dB that allows you to record output sources as high as 156 dB SPL at close quarters. It also consists of a bass-cut filter and a 20 dB attenuator to reduce proximity effect and support close-up recording. The integrated suspension on a one-inch capsule cuts off vibration, resonance and mechanical noise to the maximum extent possible for high sonic accuracy. The black microphone has a dent resistant all metal body, with silver colored double mesh, a gold plated XLR output and a shock- and scratch-resistant finish.

The recording unit comes along with a carrying case, a spider style shock mount and a windscreen.

Who should buy this?

  • The AKG device meets the needs of people who are looking for an affordable and yet rugged microphone for their recording purposes.
  • The microphone is a good choice for those interested in close-up vocal recording or recording loud applications such as guitar amps, high-output bass and drum amps.

GTD Audio G-622H 200 Channel UHF Professional Wireless Microphone System

The microphone system comprises two handheld black wireless microphones with silver meshes on their heads and a receiver with a blue LCD display. The unit can work at UHF of 550 MHz to 590 MHz and at a maximum range of 450 feet. The system also features a frequency scanner and 200 user selectable channels to determine and set the best channel. There is one common 1/4″ mixed output and two individual XLR outputs.

Who should buy this?

  • The GTD Audio System is a good option for people interested in long distance recording.
  • The set is worth considering if you plan to use it with multiple systems at the same place without cross-interference.

Pyle PDMICR74SL Retro Blues Condenser Vocal Microphone & Swing Pivot Stand

The classic retro vintage style silver microphone is equipped with the recent sound processing features and has an XLR 3-pin connector cable. The matching aluminum movable swing stand with a maximum height of 60 inches, allows you to rotate and fix your microphone at an angle of your choice. The stand rests on a black colored heavy cast iron base. 

Who should buy this?

  • The Pyle microphone serves those, who want their hands free when using a microphone.
  • The recording device is for those who want to flaunt a statement of style, with a unit that occupies less space.
  • The height adjustable arm ensures that it is ideal for people of any height.

TC MP-75 Electronic Vocal Dynamic Super-Cardioid Microphone

The black microphone has a Lismer capsule design with a patented neodymium magnet structure that delivers uniform performance and high output. The position of the super-cardioid capsule is such that it renders the best feedback suppression and off-axis noise rejection. The control circuitry of the hands-free microphone, allows you to access all the USB enabled voice processors of the microphone using a single triangular blue button. These include Synth, VoiceLive 2, VoiceTouch Singles, VoiceLive Touch, Create XT and Harmony-G XT.

Who should buy this?

  • This microphone is the right choice for vocalists looking for a recording unit, with just a single control.

Heil PR-22 SUT Dynamic Vocal Microphone with Switch

The Heil black microphone has a linear cardioid pattern, with excellent low noise handling capability and a vast frequency range. The shock-mounting diaphragm of the dynamic microphone features a cardioid pattern. The recording unit also has a switch on its body to turn it off when not in use.           

The microphone comes in a vinyl bag, with an attached stainless steel mesh grill, a microphone clip and a foam windscreen.

Who should buy this?

  • People recording in areas with very high sound pressure levels will find the Heil microphone useful.
  • It is the right choice for people who want their microphones to be rugged, elegant and sleek at the same time.

Sennheiser MD431-II Super-Cardioid Handheld Dynamic Microphone

The Sennheiser microphone is fitted with a shock-mounted capsule that is capable of handling noise rejection very well. The unit also features excellent feedback rejection capabilities. If you want more transparency that the microphone provides as default, you can customize the frequency response according to your preferences. Similarly, a nearly frequency independent polar pattern supports uncolored off-axis response and extremely high gain before feedback.

The rugged black microphone comes with a steel mesh grille, an integrated hum compensation coil and a pop filter, to put vibration at bay. You can keep the microphone permanently on by locking the magnetic noiseless ON/OFF (reed) switch recessed on the handle in the ON position.

Who should buy this?

  • This unit is a good bet for singers interested in vocal recording and giving live performances.

ADK Hamburg MK 8 Class A FET Cardioid Condenser Microphone

The ADK Hamburg microphone produces smooth or mellow natural sounding male and female vocals, with less head-tone and more chest-tone. The condenser unit features a Class A pressure gradient FET with a fixed cardioid polar pattern. It also includes a transformer-balanced low-noise circuitry with a 34 mm gold German style center-connect, vapor-deposit capsule. The microphone comes in a rose gold color with a matching mesh and a frosty finish.

Who should buy this?

  • The ADK microphone serves the desire of people who want a colorful microphone, instead of the traditional black option.
  • The recording device is worth considering by those who are interested in recording folk songs sung by them.
  • The cardioid unit is a great idea for singers interested in recording different music forms like blues, country and ballads or music instruments such as sax and banjos.

Bluebird SL Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

The Bluebird microphone with its pressure gradient condenser transducer and cardioid polar pattern, offers highly versatile sound with utmost clarity that produces lively recordings. The extended upper clarity with rich lows and smooth mid frequencies, make the unit ideal for any instrument or voice. The -20 dB pad and high-pass filter helps in tracking different types of sound sources. The hand-built capsule encases a fine large gold-sputtered Mylar diaphragm that delivers excellent resonance at high frequencies to make vocals stand out. The sculpted backplate behind the microphone produces balanced sound throughout the entire frequency range, while the Class A circuitry enhances the sound accuracy.

The blue and silver microphone comes in a wooden storage box with a custom silver colored shock mount.

Who should buy this?

  • The condenser unit is an ultimate option for those want a stylish and different looking microphone.
  • The microphone is a suitable choice if you want to record your singing performance.
  • The recording accessory is ideal for recording the true tones of musical instruments like guitars and pianos.

CAD M179 Variable Pattern Condenser Microphone

The condenser microphone has a dual large diaphragm gold spluttered capsule with external bias, high SPL capability, a 6 dB high-pass filter and a stainless steel internal pop filter. It also features balanced output circuits without transformers, a 20 dB non-capacitive pad, an infinitely adjustable cardioid polar pattern and a wide frequency response range.

The pattern control knob is located on the body of the microphone in a center dented cardioid position for locking the unit in a hard cardioid pattern. You can turn the knob in the clockwise direction from the center position, to change the polar pattern from cardioid to sub-cardioid to omnidirectional. If you turn in the other direction, the pattern changes from cardioid to hyper-cardioid to bidirectional.

The variable pattern metallic gray microphone comes with a custom black shock mount.

Who should buy this?

  • The microphone is a suitable option for those who want the features otherwise found in an expensive unit, at an affordable price.
  • The recording unit meets the requirements of people who want to adjust the polar pattern based on the situation.
  • The condenser microphone is a great choice for vocal and voiceover performances.
  • The unit is ideal for people who use any wind, acoustic or amplified instrument.

Apogee MiC96k Professional Quality Microphone

The cardioid condenser microphone offers studio quality recordings. The digital unit integrates with an A/D converter and a microphone preamp. It has a rotating knob on the side for you to adjust the gain according to your preference. The PureDIGITAL connection ensures clear sounds with very high quality signal and low noise.

You do not have to do any configuration to use this device. With optimization for even the most recent Apple devices, the black and silver unit works by connecting it to an iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad and Mac. There is no need for an external power source or batteries. The microphone comes with a Mac lightning cable and a Mac USB cable.

Who should buy this?

  • The Apogee microphone is a good option for those who want a compact microphone that fits into the pocket easily.
  • It is the right choice for people interested in recording vocals and acoustic instruments like drums, pianos and guitars.
  • The unit is also helpful for recording voiceovers, podcasts and audio for DSLR videos.

Studio Series SL150 USB Condenser Microphone

The broadcast grade microphone offers excellent quality recording capability. The USB condenser device features built-in drivers and does not require any installation disc. It is very easy to use and all you have to do is to plug it on to your computer. The unit features two large 34 mm internal shock mounted gold diaphragms and an inbuilt studio light.

The condenser microphone is compatible with Windows and Mac based computers. It also works seamlessly with digital audio workstation software like Logic, After Effects, Cubase, Premiere, Sonar, Avid, Reason, Final Cut and Serato for audio and video editing. The silver colored unit comes along with a high-grade USB 2.0 cable, heavy-duty case and a shock mount.

Who should buy this?

  • The Studio Series is just right for people who want to pursue their passions for singing and recording vocals.
  • It is also worth considering by people who are into podcasting, rapping and recording instruments.

Neumann TLM 102 Condenser Microphone, Cardioid

The Neumann condenser microphone has large-diaphragm capsule with a cardioid directional pressure gradient transducer, transformer-less circuitry and a XLR 3F connector. The compact design unit features a very fast transient response, slight presence boost of over 6 kHz that help in rendering excellent vocals and a very high sound pressure level of a maximum limit of 144 dB.

The compact nickel colored microphone comes with a matching stand mount that has a knob type adjusting mechanism, allowing you to position the unit at any angle.

Who should buy this?

  • The condenser microphone is the right choice for voiceover artists and broadcasters looking for an affordable unit.
  • The above 6 kHz boost makes it ideal for those interested in recording vocals with excellent quality.
  • The unit is worth trying out by people who want to record acoustic instruments, percussion, amps, drums and similar loud sources.
  • The recording device is a good option for those who want to do some recording with instruments that are not as loud as above in their home studio.

Rode NTK Tube Condenser Microphone

The Rode NTK microphone is a large 1” externally polarized capsule with a gold plated diaphragm. The tube condenser unit also has Class A valve circuitry and a graded hand-selected 6922 twin-triode valve. It features extremely low noise because of the 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response range, wide dynamic range, excellent tube warmth and high RF rejection levels. The device renders natural and rich sounds with classic vibes. 

The microphone has a mesh head made of high strength heat-treated steel and a durable satin nickel finish. It comes with a dedicated power supply, internal capsule shock mount, a stand adapter, a 30-foot cable and a case.

Who should buy this?

  • The gentle presence boost makes this microphone a good selection for people interested in recording vocals.
  • The recording device is also suitable for those who are interested in recording pianos, guitar amps, drum overheads and acoustic instruments because of the rich sounds rendition.

Conclusion

There is no dearth of microphones in today’s market. Manufacturers like Shure and Rode offer various models that suit different requirements and are popular almost all over the world. Before you buy a microphone for your vocal recording needs, you must consider various factors such as place of recording, budget, connectivity and pickup pattern. Although not as important, the accessories that you might need are also worth considering. Often, large diaphragm condenser microphones with cardioid pickup pattern are the best choice for recording vocals, especially lead ones.

This is because such units have proven to deliver clearer results than the other types. These devices capture each nuance of the recording in detail, which plays a key role in contributing to the overall effectiveness. Another option is microphones that have pop filters to avoid muffled sounds in your recordings. Remember, expensive microphones do not always yield best results. Sometimes, even the affordable or reasonably priced ones are capable of rendering the same high quality performance that you are looking for.

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