Best Budget Microphones for Home Studio Under 300$ (Buyers Guide)

Budget Microphones for Home Studio Under 300$ (Buyers Guide)

Introduction

How To Select The Proper Condenser Microphone Under $300

Before buying a condenser mic on the upper end of the scale, observing variations and extra options needs to be in your checklist of things to do. And in case you’ve been looking rigorously, you’d discover that almost all mics below $200 do not have the flexibility to modify between polar patterns, not like those below $300.

This is essential because it plays an important function in the way you record sound. However, that is not all there’s to it. To choose a suitable microphone for below $300, you need to first make an evaluation of what your audio tasks look like and what your needs are.

You additionally have to think about expandability since these mics do not come low-cost and investing in one of these mics may imply that you just want to work with it for a few years to come. As we at all times say, there isn’t such factor as the right gear – however, we will try to put together some options that might be a good pick for your home studio.

Who Should Buy a Microphone for Vocals?

Microphones aren’t only for singers recording vocals. One of the best mics for vocals can be utilized for lots of various vocal functions. Well past the music business, you want vocals’ microphones for podcasts, radio exhibits, voiceover work, and all types of recording needs.

Even in case, you’re recording for the music business, a vocals’ mic can be utilized for plenty of different devices, like acoustic guitars or percussions. Every mic is totally different and designed for a variety of uses, so browse this checklist to determine which is the very best match for you.

Microphones for Home Studio

Vital Options to Consider

Not all microphones are made the same. Sadly, lots of people jump in and purchase a mic that appears nice, without understanding the necessity for additional gear to do the job appropriately.

If you’ve owned a mic before, or you’re accustomed to how recording signal chains work, then you’ve got an advantage.

If this is your first mic although, concentrate, because this can be a super vital point.

Many microphones need an exterior audio interface with the intention to record to your computer.

Conventional XLR mics are used alongside a preamp (which boosts the level of the mic) and an analog to digital converter (which converts the signal to a digital type) to connect with a computer.

Modern audio interfaces just like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 pack both of those elements into one box.

Then, along came the USB mic. These useful little guys basically have all the elements of an audio interface contained in the mic body itself, so you’ll be able to actually plug into your laptop and get a recording.

However – they don’t fairly supply the identical high quality or longevity as XLR mics.

We just want to let you know that we will list these microphones in no specific order. They are going to be randomized as we don’t want to sort them from best to worst.

Listed here are our Top 10 Home Studio Microphones Under 300$ for 2021:

1. Rode M3 Condenser Microphone

Though we often advise against on/off switches on handheld mics, the Rode M3 does have an off switch, the identical switch can be used to have interaction a high-pass filter kicking in at 80Hz to scale back the proximity effect for those who prefer to sing with your lips on the mic – and the switch takes effort to maneuver so that you shouldn’t have to worry about unintentionally turning it off.

Rode initially designed the M3 to be an instrument mic, nevertheless, it has also discovered vast use as a vocal mic and that is one of many functions that Rode lists on their website.

It additionally has the choice of being powered by a 9v battery so that you needn’t fear for phantom energy if you do not have it.

The Rode M3 additionally has a foolproof pad change on the within of the mic – it affords a 20 dB cut for utilizing on loud sound sources.

That is fairly a useful versatile microphone, and Rode can even provide you with a prolonged 10-year guarantee if you register it on their website. Many individuals additionally use this as a speech recording mic for podcasts and even outdoors recording. Rode build to an excessive standard so you need to count on years of use in nearly any context you’d wish to use a mic in.

Rode M3 Condenser Microphone

Features:

  • Microphone Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size: 0.5″ (12.5mm)
  • Frequency Response: 40Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 142dB
  • Output Impedance: 200 ohms

2. IK Multimedia iRig Mic Studio

The iRig Mic Studio is a large-diaphragm condenser USB mic that comes with a free software program together with models of the Neumann U-87, Groove Tubes VELO-8, and AKG D20 mics for the VocaLive app. The different bundled software program contains Cubasis LE, T-RackS CS Classic, and 25 credit to be used in AmpliTube, T-RackS, and SampleTank. Extra info on the included software program is offered from IK Multimedia.

It is rather good for recording music in addition to podcasting utilizing an iPhone. Its compact measurement lends it properly to any kind of mobile recording.

With its excessive max SPL of 133dB, you possibly can record nearly any supply including electrical guitar amps.

It comes with Lightning, USB, and OTG cables. It additionally has a mic clamp for attaching to mic stands along with a tabletop mic stand.

The iRig Mic Studio can also be the one mic on this guide that formally supports Android.

It comes with a headphone jack and you’ll control each gain and the headphone ranges. Notice that a number of owners have reported that the headphone monitoring is simply out there in case your recording software program supports it (which most Digital Audio Workstations do) nevertheless this means that it’s not offering zero-latency monitoring although we additionally have not seen any experiences that that is inflicting problems for monitoring.

IK Multimedia iRig Mic Studio

Features:

  • Microphone Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size: 25.4mm
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 133dB

3. Rode NT1 Microphone

The Rode NT1 was a complete redesign of their prior model, the NT1-A. The NT1-A is a barely inexpensive condenser microphone from Rode that additionally makes an amazing entry studio mic. The NT1 line dates back all the way in which to 1997, although the microphones have gone via a collection of changes. In 2003, the NT1-A made for an extremely widespread entry-stage studio microphone, and 10 years later, Rode determined to utterly redesign the NT1 model, releasing it in December 2013.

The NT1 includes a capsule codenamed the HF6, which except for the aesthetic shape, leverages the status accent of classic microphones whereas staying true to the fashionable requirements of low-noise condenser microphones. We might be lying if we said we weren’t initially drawn to this microphone by its signature form. The inventive design, while simplistic, offers you that genuine studio feeling, and we are a strong believer in loving what you own.

The one motive we might purchase this microphone is for a house studio. If you’re recording vocals or acoustic instruments, the Rode NT1 is a strong selection. Nevertheless, it may positively be repurposed for each streaming purpose (e.g. a gaming mic) and an instrument microphone when performing live. When doing the latter, it is necessary to experiment and be sure to have the correct gear (like a great preamplifier).

Rode NT1 Microphone

Features:

  • Microphone Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size: 1″
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 132dB SPL
  • Self Noise: 4.5dB (A weighted)

4. Blue Microphones Bluebird SL

The Bluebird, like the other SL fashions, is a Cardioid pattern condenser mic. The capsule is roofed with a gold Mylar sputtered membrane, like their larger priced models. A -20dB pad and a 100Hz hi-pass filter are the adjustable variables, which keeps things easy, but tweakable.

It’s additionally a transformer-less design, which means there’s no further circuit path that may shade the signal, or add any extraneous noise — good for clear vocal takes. With a max SPL of 138db, it may possibly deal with nearly any volume thrown at it. The frequency response is 20Hz-20 KHz, which means a really high-frequency range to seize each excessive and intensely low ends without issue or lack of fidelity.

It has a superb, sharp, and optimistic attack, whatever the sound source. Vocals are particularly good and tight, and acoustic guitars actually have a beautiful richness; there’s nonetheless loads of low end there, but it surely’s not over-coloring or detracting when it’s within the mix. Even with some various mic placements on an acoustic guitar, the midrange and upper highs transfer a bit as anticipated, however, there’s a presence of the low end that appears to shift with it.

General, it makes it a really “tunable” mic, adjusting the sound on the source, however not creating different points within the process. Vocals work perfectly with this, and once more tunable to the kind of approach the singer is using, as putting the capsule in the direction of or away from the top generates completely different responses, not better or worse, muffled or spiky, it’s simple to regulate and see what works finest for the singer.

Blue Microphones Bluebird SL

Features:

  • Microphone Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size: Large
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 138 dB SPL (0.5% THD @ 1kHz)
  • Output Impedance: 50 ohms

5. AKG P220

AKG microphones are identified to be a leading power on the planet of microphone design and manufacture. They’re additionally extensively accepted as the driving force behind many technical enhancements which have transpired.

AKG doesn’t only produce microphones of very high quality, however in addition they produce what you would possibly refer to as affordable microphones. They have a strong place within the condenser microphone range, and the P220 is one of these products. The AKG Perception 220 Professional Studio Microphone has been designed and constructed to permit these on a lower price range to expertise AKG quality.

It’s a large diaphragm microphone. ‘Large’ implies that the membrane or diaphragm is a couple of inch in its diameter. Lower than half an inch is known as a small diaphragm. This description solely applies to condenser microphones.

As you would possibly anticipate from an AKG design, there is some good options built-in. It has an excellent frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz.

Nonetheless, in the event you needed to increase the range to accommodate recording drums, then you definitely might need to come lower. Maybe all the way down to roughly 50Hz. For a bass drum, after all, you’ll want a bottom end even lower. Probably all the way down to 30 and even 20Hz if you’d like a deep resonance. From this, we are able to see that the AKG Perception 220 fits the bill.

AKG P220

Features:

  • Microphone Type: Condenser
  • Mono/Stereo: Mono
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size: 1″ (25.4mm)
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 135dB (155dB w/Pad)
  • Output Impedance: 200 ohms

6. Audio Technica AT2020

This Audio Technica AT2020 Review goes to try a microphone with an enormous status amongst entry-level microphones. It is called a bit of a ‘workhorse’, however, that may be a compliment in recognition of how properly it performs. It has many good options, and on the value level, it looks like a steal.

The Audio-Technica 2021 is a cardioid polar pattern condenser microphone. There’s lots of opinion about whether or not a condenser or a dynamic microphone is best. Dynamic microphones are typically better for stage work, whereas the condenser is commonly better within the studio.

Typically speaking, the dynamic mic works better in recording loud sounds, whereas the condenser mic is best for the higher frequencies and extra light sounds. Condenser microphones want exterior power, which was a problem. However, since Neumann invented phantom power not anymore.

Microphones need a great SPL degree to work effectively. Having a better SPL means the mic is much less prone to distort when the pressure increases. A really mandatory attribute when recording louder sources corresponding to screaming vocals, drums, or distorted guitars. The SPL of 2021 is 144dB. That, together with the large dynamic range, means it could possibly document louder signals with a minimal level of distortion.

Audio Technica AT2020

Features:

  • Microphone Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size: 0.63″ (16mm)
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 144dB
  • Output Impedance: 100 ohms

7. Sennheiser e906

The Sennheiser e906 is a reasonably priced, super-cardioid dynamic microphone tracing its ancestry back to the well-regarded, and now expensive, MD409. Whereas it may not match its predecessor on every side, it comes with very helpful added options and loads of sonic potential – to not point out a slimmer price tag.

Different Sennheiser mics aside, the e906 has loads of competitors among the many crowded instrument mic market. Right this moment, we’re taking a better look at the e906 to see simply how a lot of value and quality Sennheiser managed to pack on this little mic.

The e906 boasts an ultra-tight super-cardioid polar pattern that works nicely for eliminating bleed, though the disadvantage to that is that it makes the mic significantly delicate to small movements. In an effort to negate this drawback, be sure you listen to the mic after any change in placement because even minor actions may end up in a noticeable distinction to the sound capture.

Apart from that, the e906 is pretty simple to use. However, by far, probably the most helpful characteristic of the e906 is its three-position switch. With this setting, you possibly can have an effect on the mic’s total presence – both cut, boosted, or left neutral. The e906 additionally handles transients and SPL without a problem.

Sennheiser e906

Features:

  • Microphone Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Supercardioid
  • Frequency Response: 40Hz-18kHz
  • Output Impedance: 350 ohms

8. Shure SM7B

Shure SM7B is a legendary high-end dynamic microphone, usually used on radio stations, for podcasting, voiceovers, and studio recording as well. Many individuals imagine that to get the very best sound it’s considerably obligatory to make use of only the costly condensers like Neumann and related. This microphone can simply show them wrong.

3 times cheaper than TLM 103 and eight times cheaper than U37, it’s able to produce simply pretty much as good, and in some events, even better outcomes! Having its personal pros and cons, it resurrects the old subject of dynamics vs condensers, however, in a nutshell, the sound quality of SM7B is outstanding.

Shure SM7B has an inner shock mount that gives more than sufficient absorption, and it substitutes for these bulky exterior shock mounts you’ll often see around other condensers microphones. So regardless that the mic initially appears large, it’s truly a lot smaller than a large membrane mic + shock mount combo.

Furthermore, there may be additionally a built-in pop filter, which together with the mic’s foam cover eliminates the necessity for external pop filters. Simply think about how the Neumann + shock mount + large pop filter on top of that. This can utterly obstruct your vision and make it not possible for eye contact between the host and the visitor, except for different limitations.

Shure SM7B

Features:

  • Microphone Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz-20kHz
  • Output Impedance: 150 ohms
  • Low Cut Filter: Bass Roll off

9. SE Electronics X1 S

So let’s talk about the features. The condenser microphone is certainly one thing you’d wish to get your hands on. It options a big diaphragm and is great for recording acoustic instruments and vocals. Another superb option of the product embodies:

Metal capsule: With its sturdy body, you don’t have to worry about this mic feeling light-weight or low-cost. The high-grade materials additionally consist of long-term reliability which ensures the microphone will proceed to work for years.

Large-diaphragm: Experience the very best recording. We are an enormous fan of large-diaphragm condenser mics and we’re pleased so as to add this one to our assortment.

Fixed cardioid polar pattern:  This offers optima tonal consistency making certain the sound output is top of the range.

Two positions, switchable highpass filter cuts: Because of this characteristic, you now do not have to worry about low-frequency rumbles because it efficiently reduces the proximity effect. This helps you obtain better sound in a home recording atmosphere.

Once more, we are a fairly big fan of budget-friendly mics since they help you do extra on restricted finances. Although that is primarily a vocal mic, you are able to do a pretty respectable job recording instruments. We additionally favored how the mic is in a position to pick particulars so precisely. We recorded a few of our instruments and the sound was moderately well, we might say that we might hear somewhat high-end sparkle.

SE Electronics X1 S

Features:

  • Microphone Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size: 1″
  • Max SPL: 160dB SPL (with pads)
  • Output Impedance: 125 ohms

10. Audio-Technica At4040

Audio-Technica appears to actually excel at making high-quality condenser mics. They have already got plenty of low-end models that carry out fairly well, so a costlier AT4040 set our expectations high. After conducting a few checks, the outcomes got us impressed: the distinction was fairly apparent!

This mic has a wonderful sensitivity in addition to noise characteristics; the sound response can also be crystal clear. As it’s a giant diaphragm microphone, it naturally will get warmer in direction of the bottom end. In fact, it’s not Neumann however the sound quality remains to be very good!

AT4040 microphone is pretty large, measuring 6.7 inches in size and 2.1 inches in diameter. It comes with its personal shock mount and overall it’s a strong construct. We particularly preferred this shock mount, though putting in it may be slightly a bit difficult.

With this model, you get a 5-year manufacturer guarantee from Audio-Technica, so it’s actually meant to serve for a very long time. Like many different condenser microphones, it comes with two standard controls: a minus dB pad to cut back sensitivity, and a low-frequency roll-off. Although as it handles the loud sounds naturally, you’ll hardly ever be utilizing that pad.

Audio-Technica At4040

Features:

  • Microphone Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size: 0.8″ (20.4mm)
  • Frequency Response:n20Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL:n145dB (155dB w/10dB Pad)
  • Output Impedance: 100 ohms

Conclusion

So here we are at the end of our summary of the best home microphones you can get on a budget below or around 300$. In case you are having any other suggestions for great low-cost mics, please share your thoughts with us in the comment section so we can create another compilation for you!

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