8 Best Condenser Microphones For Recording Vocals Reviewed [2020]

best condenser mics for recording vocals

So you want an excellent condenser mic to record crystal clear vocals? This guide will help you in your quest to pick the best condenser microphone for you. 

In this article, we’re going to explore 8 of the best bang-for-your-buck vocal condenser mics currently available on the market – and pick a winner for every budget.

Ready? Let’s jump right in…

8 Best Condenser Microphones For Recording Vocals Reviewed [2020]

Best Condenser Microphones Buyer’s Guide

What to look for when choosing a condenser microphone.

Sound Character

Every mic has its own sonic character, so there’s no best pick for everyone. As usual, the right mic for you is going to depend on your needs. Are you dead-set on getting an authentic vintage sound, or are you a cash-strapped bedroom musician? Your particular needs and situation are going to determine which mic is right for you.

Additional Accessories

If you’ve never owned a condenser mic, it’s important to note that you need a preamp and phantom power to use it. It will most definitely need a pop filter as well. It’s essential to keep all this in mind before buying, especially when you’re on a budget. Sure, a pop filter can be cheap, but an interface may cost you an extra $100. 

Application

If you’re thinking of buying a condenser microphone to use as an all-around studio mic, always check its SPL tolerance before trying it out in front of a loud source. Mics with a higher SPL tolerance can be used on a variety of sources.

If you want to know more about SPL check out this awesome short article here: https://www.eminence.com/understanding-spl/.

Budget

A condenser microphone is an essential item for any studio. Make sure not to cut corners when setting it up. 

In most home studios, you’ll use the same mic on multiple sources – so your new microphone is your only microphone. You’ll want your primary method of live sound recording to last a long time and meet all of your recording needs.

So if you have a little more to give towards your condenser microphone, or can hold out a little longer to raise the budget, it’s definitely worth it.

If you’re not sure on how to budget for your home studio setup, check out this nice article on how to set up a home studio on a budget: https://www.dittomusic.com/blog/how-to-set-up-a-home-recording-studio-on-a-budget.

Noise Levels

Some condenser mics sensitive and pick up self-noise sounds from themselves, as well as ambient noise. This is something else to consider when buying a condenser mic. 

If your home studio isn’t soundproof and you can hear a lot of background noise from outside, chances are the mic will, too. So unless you’re going for the “noisy city room” vibe, you’ll need to soundproof your recording environment and pick a microphone with low self-noise.

More Accessories

We’ve already talked about the need for a pop filter, but we haven’t discussed the need for a heavy-duty mic stand. 

Large-diaphragm condenser microphones are rarely lightweight, which means that you will most likely need a heavy-duty mic stand to go with it. We’re not talking about a $200 stand, but definitely something that can withstand the mic’s weight.

You will also need a shock mount. A shock mount cradles your microphone and absorbs a lot of the vibrations that occur during recording. This will make your mic produce much less noise.

Conclusion

Let’s recap. These condenser microphones are among the best and most popular mics in their class. Whatever your budget, you can’t go wrong with any from our list. 

Our picks:

  • If you’re on a budget, we highly recommend picking up the Audio-Technica AT2020.
  • If you’ve got the cash to spare, definitely get yourself an AKG C214 or Neumann TLM 102
  • If you’re looking for something with a special character, then the MXL V67i Tube will color your signal well. 

Leave a Comment