What is a Microphone?
A microphone, also called a mic, is a device that is used to record sounds and convert them into electrical signals. They can be used for different purposes from recording vocals to asking google assistant for “Best condenser microphones”. They are mainly of two types- Dynamic microphones and condenser mics but there is also another type of dynamic microphone known as Ribbon microphones that are very rarely used by expert musicians. So let’s know about them:-
- Condenser microphones– A condenser microphone is a type of mic that generates sound using the electrostatic principle, meaning the diaphragm is connected to a charged metal plate(known as a backplate) and there is some space between the diaphragm and the backplate. When any sound initiates, the diaphragm moves which changes the spacing between the backplate and the diaphragm, and thus electrical signals are produced which are recorded by an output device. (Note, I explained it in very easy to understand language because most of you are here for music knowledge rather than scientific one)
- Dynamic microphones– These microphones generate sound using electromagnetic principle, a thin diaphragm is attached to a metal coil which moves due to the vibration of the diaphragm when sound is initiated. This movement of the metal coil under the magnetic field produces electric signals which ultimately produce sound.
- Ribbon microphones– Ribbon microphones are used by professional musicians as they have the ability to capture high-frequency and extremely minor details of the vocals or any other sound. Unlike dynamic microphones, there is no diaphragm, instead, there is a thin metal ribbon attached to the poles of the magnet. As the sound is initiated, the ribbon vibrates, a voltage is induced at right angles to both the ribbon velocity and magnetic field direction and is picked off by contacts at the ends of the ribbon. They use the principle of electromagnetic induction. These microphones pick up sound equally well from either side of the mic.
|Product name||Extras||Buy or View price|
|Maono AU-A04 Condenser Microphone Kit||built-in pop filtеr||View at amazon|
|BOYA BYM1 Condenser microphone||20 ft integrated cable||View at amazon|
|Shure SM7B||Different frequency responses||View at amazon|
|Rode NT1-A||Detachable pop filter||View at amazon|
|Audio-Technica AT2035||Permanently polarized condenser||View at amazon|
|Rode NT2-A||Pop filter included||View at amazon|
|Shure KSM44A||Multi-pattern capacitor mic||View at amazon|
|Neumann KM 184Neumann KM 184||Great imaging and consistency||View at amazon|
Let’s start our list of the 8 best condenser microphones available in the market considering their price and the value they give in return for that price-
Maono AU-A04 Condenser Microphone Kit
- Comеs along with all accеssoriеs (KIT).
- USB 2.0 connеctivity.
- built-in pop filtеr and foam windscrееn.
- Compatiblе with all typеs of opеrating systеms.
- Can bе usеd with smartphonеs and camеras (Nееd OTG adaptеr) Supеrb audio quality.
- Еxcеllеnt noisе cancеllation.
- 1 yеar warranty
Thе titlе of this microphonе itsеlf is sеlf-еxplanatory as it is a kit (comеs along with all accеssoriеs) so you nееd not purchasе anything sеparatеly. Еvеrything comеs along. Thе main advantagе of this microphonе is USB connеctivity which is considеrеd as bеst for microphonеs. It comеs with a built-in pop filtеr and foam windscrееn which is usеful to filtеr out background and handling noisе.
No fantom powеr supply is nееdеd as it is a USB microphonе. This microphonе is plug and play, so just plug it into your PC and start using it. It can bе usеd with any vеrsion of windows also with MAC and Linux basеd opеrating systеms. Its doublе shiеlding USB cablе rеducеs thе intеrfacе. Its shock mount holds thе microphonе stеady with a damping function.
BOYA BYM1 Condenser microphone
- Spеcially dеsignеd for DSLR, audio rеcordеr, smartphonеs, PC, camcordеrs, еtc.
- Full 360 covеragе.
- Supеr long 20 ft (3 mеtеrs) intеgratеd cablе. 3.5 mm connеctor for smartphonеs and camеras.
- Vеry clеar and loud voicе (bеst for YouTubеrs who usеs thе smartphonеs for rеcording)
- On/Off switch.
- Plug and play.
- 1-yеar warranty.
Nowadays Boya BYM1 is sеlling likе a hot cakе duе to incrеasеd dеmand from the so-called YouTubеrs. Еvеry 3 YouTubеrs out of 5 usе this microphonе. This is onе of thе most trustworthy microphonеs among thе YouTubеrs duе to its grеat built, sound quality and long wirе. It has received an еxcеllеnt usеr rеviеws on major onlinе shopping sitеs. Also, this is onе of thе bеst and cost-еffеctivе microphonе for youtubе bеginnеrs. Boya BYM1 microphonе is also a popular duе to its small and compact sizе. Thе microphonе is an omnidirеctional lavaliеr microphonе so thе sound output is vеry natural crisp and loud.
The microphone can also be used for recording vocals but it’s only for those who want the recordings only for themselves or as a hobby as the sound quality is not that good compared to other high-end microphones considering its extremely low price.
- Equipped with different frequency responses
- Great build quality
- Excellent noise cancellation
- Effective pop filter & windscreen to reduce plosives
- Classic design
Talking about this great cardioid studio microphone, it is manufactured by well-known music equipment manufacturer Shure. You should definitely consider this as it’s incredibly versatile, with its wide, flat frequency response, and cardioid polar pattern. It’s perfect for recording studios and even home recording setup even micing up amplifiers, where off-axis sound rejection is required to gain clarity in a recording take.
Also, with the addition of its different frequency responses like bass roll-off and mid-range emphasis (presence boost) controls, it can also be used for recording youtube videos, podcasting, etc., as it provides a lovely rich, clean tone.
The microphone itself has a cardioid polar pattern, but with the assistance of the bass roll-off and mid-range boost controls, the polar pattern changes accordingly. As informed above you should definitely consider this amazing microphone.
- With SM6 shock mount
- Equipped with detachable pop filter, 20′ XLR cable, and a microphone dust cover
- Large 1.00″ capsule with gold plated diaphragm
- Cardioid Polar Pattern
The Rode NT1A has a great dynamic range. The dynamic range of a microphone refers to the range of the lowest level and the highest level that a microphone can handle. This is a very important aspect that the Rode NT1A and these microphones work very well in home recording setup as well. The microphone has a Cardioid Polar Pattern which means it picks up sound only from the front and sides, It rejects sound from the back.
Overall presence boosts are not dramatic in this microphone, this is the reason why it can be used for instruments as well as singing. Its amazing sound quality, dynamic range, versatility, and value make it an amazing microphone that you must have in your home recording studio.
- Low-frequency roll-off: 80Hz, 12dB/octave
- The frequency range of 20hz-20khz
- Large-diaphragm for clear and natural sound
- Equipped with fixed-charge back plate, permanently polarized condenser
- Cardioid polar pattern
Audio-Technica AT2035 is one of the best mid-ranged microphones in the market. It comes up with loads of features, cardioid polar pattern, large diaphragm which gives musical, gently flattering sound, custom shock mount, made of high-strength plastic, and an elastic suspension, and a fantastic frequency range of 20hz-20khz.
This is the perfect mid-ranged microphone for a home recording setup that can be used for vocals as well as recording instruments like acoustic or electric guitars. If you want a low budget good condenser microphone for this purpose, you can definitely go for it.
- Cardioid & Figure 8 polar pattern
- Flat, 80Hz, or 40Hz highpass filter
- Pop filter included
- The frequency range of 20hz-20khz
Rode NT2-A is another great condenser microphone offered by RODE. It comes with a cardioid polar pattern, filter, and pad switches, there’s also a choice of 5 dB and 10 dB pads, moreover, the mic is supplied in a simple zip-up pouch with a mic stand adaptor.
Talking about the technical aspects, the frequency response of the mic can go down to below 20Hz and up to 20kHz, with a moderate presence rise above around 3kHz rolling off again above 15-16kHz. The mic is also pretty sensitive, yielding -36dB, and the dynamic range is an incredible 140dB with a maximum output level before clipping of some +16dBu. But this does not mean that the mic should have an acoustic environment to record, with its mechanical body built by engineers, the mic copes up with this problem.
Overall its a great microphone under this budget
- multi‑pattern capacitor microphone
- Have solid shock mount
- The kit also includes a mic stand adaptor and soft protective pouch for the mic
- Great bass extension
- The frequency range of 20hz-20khz
The next great microphone is offered by Shure. It offers great, clear sound quality because of its transparent internal circuitry, moreover, it has multiple polar patterns which makes it a premium studio microphone, includes ShureLock Suspension Shock Mount, ShureLock Stand Mount, Carrying Case, and Velveteen Pouch along with its kit. The case is made from aluminum with a custom-cut foam interior, it is carried by a handle on the top of the case.
The microphone is equipped with a 3-position switchable low-frequency filter, Advanced Preamplifier Technology, three-stage “pop” protection grille, and gold-plated internal and external connectors for a classy look.
This is one of the best microphones especially for professionals or advanced musicians for stage performances. If your budget is high then this can be a good deal for you.
Neumann KM 184
- Cardioid polar pattern
- Great imaging and consistency
- Frequency range- 20hz-20khz
- Weight- 82 grams
Need a microphone for recording vocals, percussion, cymbals, or any musical instrument? then this is the microphone for you, the KM 184 is capable of handling high sound pressure levels with ease – as high as 138dB before overloading. But it’s also extremely quiet, making it an excellent choice for capturing the subtle sounds of acoustic guitars and orchestral instruments. And you get that classic Neumann sound.
The design unlike the other mics helps eliminate off-axis coloration for more consistent frequency response. Neumann refers to the mic as “universal” because of the high max SPL which allows usage with loud sound sources.
Although the KM 184 has the same capsule as the KM 84(other model offered by Neumann), the microphone differs slightly on the 0-degree frequency response: The KM 184 has a gentle rise at about 9 kHz, a characteristic that was introduced very successfully with the KM 140. The result is a tonal balance that is fresher and livelier as compared to the KM 84 with its flat frequency response in that band.
This is a great microphone with minimal compromises and you should definitely give it a shot if you have this budget.
The mics on this list are among the finest and most trending that is currently being made. The list has 8 amazing microphones made and checked by recording engineers. Choose according to your budget and needs, whether you want a mic for recording vocals, youtube videos, podcasts, or recording musical instruments. Order your desired microphone and start your recording journey before it’s too late.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ans. A condenser microphone is highly sensitive due to its smaller diaphragm as compared to the dynamic one, this is the reason they work better in high frequencies and have wider dynamic range. They also produce less self noise than dynamic microphones. So if you want to record vocals, acoustic guitars or light musical instruments in your home recording setup or recording studios then you should go for condenser mics. These microphones are not suitable for live performances.
Ans. Dynamic microphones are not as sensitive as condenser microphones so either you have to be close to the mic or sing really loud. They work great in low to mid frequencies so you can easily record musical instruments like drums or bass guitars. If you want a microphone for live performances then you should definitely buy a dynamic mic instead of a condenser one.
Ans. Youtubers, vloggers, or interviewers usually use USB microphones. USB microphones are microphones that can be used anywhere without any external power source, you just have to plug the mic into your mobile phone, PC, or laptop. They are also used for gaming, skype calls, etc. They are usually used by people who just need a decent audio quality that is better than the built-in mics in mobile phones or laptops and want a portable low budget microphone.