What is the best blue microphone

Best Condenser Mics for Voice Recording (for Every Budget)

Condenser microphones (also known as condenser microphones) are known for their excellent audio quality and sensitivity. They typically have a wider frequency response and better transient response than dynamic microphones.

They require power to run either from batteries or from phantom power and are preferred for studio recording or other environments where background noise can be controlled.

We'll focus on large diaphragm condenser microphones commonly used in home studios for recording voice, vocals, podcasting, guitar, and more.

Some models have more than one microphone capsule, which means that they can pick up different pickup characteristics compared to the standard cardioid characteristics common with single-capsule models. This tends to add an additional cost - and I'll highlight those options as well.

Costs vary a lot so we organize them by price so you can choose a microphone that fits your budget. You'll mostly find mics that use XLR connectors, but I'll highlight a few USB condenser mics as well.

Here are my top picks for each price point in 2021:

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Best Condenser Mics over $ 1000

As you've probably noticed, a lot of the microphones come on above $ 1,000 on that list from Neumann. They invented the standard for phantom power and have been making world-class microphones since the 1920s.

Neumann U 87 rhodium edition

The Neumann U 87 rhodium edition is a special edition for the 50th anniversary of the classic U 87.

It has a cardioid, omnidirectional pattern and an 8-pick pattern.

I've said that in other posts, but this mic and all of the higher quality microphones in this section are not for beginners and work best with high quality preamps and good room acoustics.

Audio-Technica AT5047

The Audio-Technica AT5047 is a unique design that uses four rectangular diaphragms that form a single element - essentially 4 matched microphones in one - that is twice the area of ​​a 1 ″ diaphragm.

This can process extreme SPLs, has a large dynamic range and very low self-noise.

Comes with a custom damper mount and housing.

Neumann TLM 170 R

Neumann's TLM 170 R is a multi-stage large-diaphragm condenser with 5 different settings: cardioid, hypercardioid, wide-angle cardioid, omnidirectional and 8.

The unique thing about this model is that there is a 6th setting - "R" - with which you can remotely control the pickup patterns via the included power supply.

It also has a high pass filter and -10dB pad switch.

Neumann TLM 67

The Neumann TLM 67 is another multi-pattern capacitor that includes cardioid, omnidirectional and 8-way pickup patterns.

The number "67" means that it is based on the legendary U 67 from the 1960s. It also includes a -10db pad and a high pass filter.

You will also receive the EA 87 shock mount shown above.

Blue kiwi

Blue's flagship is the kiwi. It is a multi-pattern capacitor and has an impressive 9 polar pattern. The main patterns are cardioids, subcardioids, supercardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional. There are 3 different sub-kidney patterns and 3 different super kidney patterns.

Comes with S3 shock mount and cherry wood box.

Neumann TLM 49

The TLM 49 from Neuman is a cardioid capacitor that was developed and tuned for vocal recordings. Like all "TLM" microphones, it is transformerless.

If you want nice warm and rich sound in a high-end microphone, this is an excellent choice.

Sony C-100

Brand new from Sony and just announced at the NAMM Show in January 2018. Not to be confused with the C100 video camera, the Sony C-100 is a high-resolution, multi-pattern condenser microphone for vocals.

It can record omnidirectional, kidney-shaped and bidirectional and has an insane frequency response of 20Hz to 50kHz. Also included are a low-cut filter and a -10dB pad for recording high SPL levels.

The microphone is supplied with a windshield, a hanging bracket and a carrying case.

Neumann TLM 103

The Neumann TLM 103 has been used in many professional recordings as well as in high-quality home studios since its release in 1997.

It is a cardioid condenser tuned for voice recordings of all kinds with an extremely low self-noise of 7dB-A. It was inspired by the U 87.

You can get the set (pictured) for about $ 200 more that comes with a shock mount and aluminum case.

Best Condenser Mics Under $ 1000

Blueberry

Blue is probably better known for their low end microphones these days, but they also have plenty of excellent high-end options.

The Blue Blueberry is your typical large diaphragm cardioid capacitor. It will work equally well for vocals, guitar, strings, and brass instruments.

Comes with a wooden box and S2 damper mount.

AKG C414 XLII

The AKG C414 XLII is a multi-pattern capacitor with a ton of different settings to fine-tune your recordings:

Not only their 9 polar patterns, but you can also choose from a variety of different pads (0, -6dB, -12dB, -18dB) and several low-cut filters (0, 40Hz, 80Hz, 160Hz).

It has a very low 6dB-A noise level and works great for everything from vocals to guitar to brass.

Comes with shock mount, metal carrying case, pop filter and windshield.

Neumann TLM 102

The Neumann TLM 102 is a cardioid LDC that is available in nickel or black and comes in a nice, compact design.

It has an extremely high maximum sound pressure level of 144dB, 132dB dynamic range and was developed to improve vocal recordings with a slight increase in presence above 6kHz.

This is an excellent high-end, pure cardioid microphone that would be a perfect addition to your studio.

Keep in mind that it doesn't have a damper mount, so be sure to combine this with the Neumann EA 4.

Audio-Technica AT4050

The Audio-Technica AT4050 is essentially the multi-pattern version of the AT4040 (see under $ 300).

This double membrane capacitor can be used in 3 different directional characteristics: omnidirectional, cardioid and Figure 8. It has a frequency response of 20Hz - 18kHz, rolls off at 80Hz and has a -10dB pad.

Comes with the AT8449 shock mount, dust cover and case.

Best Condenser Mics Under $ 500

Rode NT2-A

If you want a multi-pattern microphone under $ 500, the Rode NT2-A is what you want to get. As the picture shows, this is a kit that includes the microphone, damper mount, pop filter, XLR cable and bag.

There are many options to configure the microphone for your recording environment as well:

  • Pickup patterns include omni, cardioid, and figure 8
  • High pass filter of 0dB, 40Hz and 80Hz
  • Pad with 0dB, -5dB and -10dB

Note that this mic is quite heavy (860 grams - or almost 2 lbs) so you'll need a good quality mic stand.

This could easily be one of the best values ​​per dollar on this site.

AKG C214

The AKG C214 has some impressive specs:

It's a cardioid-only version of the C414 (you can find this in the "under $ 1000" section) and has a maximum SPL of 156dB (that's loud!), A low noise level, a -20dB pad, and a 160Hz low-cut slope .

Whether you're recording amplified guitars or vocals, the C214 can handle it.

Comes with the case, spider mount and windshield shown.

Blue baby bottle SL

The blue baby bottle SL is an upgrade of the original baby bottle (not SL version), which is well suited for recording piano, strings and vocals.

It's a cardioid capacitor with a neutral bottom, rich mid-tones, and a smooth top.

Onboard switches contain a -20dB pad and a 100Hz high pass filter.

Comes with the illustrated damper bracket and wooden box.

Best Condenser Mics Under $ 300

Bluethroat singer SL

Similar to the baby bottle above, the Blaukehlhüttensänger SL is a cardioid microphone with 100Hz HPF and a -20dB pad.

It works great for home studios when plugged directly into a USB audio interface.

Also delivered with shock mount and wooden box.

Audio-Technica AT4040

The Audio-Technica AT4040 is a side addressable cardioid with low noise level, high maximum sound pressure and a wide dynamic range.

A -10dB pad and an 80Hz high-pass filter are both switchable on the microphone, and you get a shock absorber mount, a dust cover and a carrying case in the box.

This is a great mid-range microphone for recording a wide variety of uses.

Rode NT1

The Rode NT1 is an updated version of the NT1-A. It has a 1 ″ condenser capsule with a kidney-shaped radiation pattern.

The intrinsic noise level is extremely low at 4.5dBA, this is easily one of the best microphones under $ 300 - and probably one of the best under $ 500 if you don't need additional pickup samples.

You can also buy the microphone individually, but for just $ 20 more you can get the RodeNT1 KIT, which includes the SMR shock mount with a custom made Rycote lyre suspension system and a two-layer stainless steel windshield.

If you also need a USB audio interface, the Complete Studio Kit recently launched, which includes the NT1 kit plus their brand new AI-1 one-channel interface and premium XLR cable for $ 349. As of January 2018, you can no longer even get this interface alone.

Best Condenser Mics Under $ 200

Blue spark SL

Lately, Blue has had the Blackout Spark SL as a great gaming and streaming microphone, as well as a perfect podcasting, voice-over and YouTube microphone.

It's a solid choice for an entry-level cardioid capacitor that doesn't require a preamp. It has a 100Hz low pass filter and a -20dB pad.

There is both an XLR version and a USB / Lightning version.

Audio-Technica AT2035

The Audio-Technica AT20 series is a fixture in the recording industry. The AT2020 can be found a little further down the page, but the AT2035 would be my pick under $ 200.

It's perfect for podcasting, streaming or singing with a nice, smooth and natural sound.

It comes with a Shockmount & Pouch, has an 80Hz high pass filter and a -10dB pad.

Blue Yeti

We have the Blue Yeti pretty much here on other sites because of its popularity and excellent price point.

It's a multi-pattern USB microphone that costs a little over $ 100 but can often be found for less on Black Friday and Prime Day.

It has a headphone jack with volume control, gain control, mute button and directional characteristic selector switch, all on board.

You should check out our recommended Blue Yeti accessories to get the most out of this microphone.

Best Condenser Mics Under $ 100

Audio-Technica AT2020

A workhorse in the voiceover industry, the Audio-Technica AT2020 is a formidable cardioid microphone for under $ 100.

It has a high 144dB SPL, is solidly built, and won't break the bank - perfect to get started with podcasting, streaming, and singing.

MXL 770

The MXL 770 is the cheapest XLR condenser microphone on this list, but that doesn't mean you can't get a decent recording out of it.

Sure, there are cheaper microphones out there, but mostly from lesser known brands or cheap imitation brands - avoid these!

It has a -10dB pad switch, 150Hz HPF, case, and shock mount - quite an impressive offering from MXL if you're looking for an inexpensive cardioid capacitor.

Don't forget to grab a cantilever arm to assemble it.

Samson Go Mic

Not exactly designed for serious recording, but the Samson Go Mic is perfect for throwing your laptop's built-in microphone in your pocket on the go.

It is a USB microphone that has a headphone jack for listening and can be folded up small. It also has 2 pickup patterns: cardioid and omnidirectional.

Filed under: Microphones