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Best Vocal Microphone Under $200 Reviews
Can you think of any popular records with terrible sounding vocals? Vocals are the primary focus of most recordings and performances, and poorly recorded vocals will quickly smother an otherwise excellent recording.
Quality vocal microphones are a mainstay of any reputable home studio, musical group, solo artist, or streaming production. Pinching pennies by purchasing a bargain basement microphone is likely to ruin your hard work.
Despite that fact, you can still produce high quality vocal recordings and spend less than $200 for a solid mic.
When shopping for the best vocal mic under $200, it’s important to consider what application you are planning to use it for. While some studio mics are more suited for singing in an isolation booth, others will make excellent mic for streaming or broadcasting.
We are big fans of great performing mics that won’t kill your bank account. There are a lot of affordable options that can save you serious coin, and we want to help you find a top-tier vocal mic that will give you exactly what you need.
Top Vocal Microphone Features To Consider
- Environment – First and foremost, you really need to ask yourself whether you will use your mic onstage or for your home studio recording. Do you need a versatile mic, maybe to record vocal and mic an instrument? The studio environment is vastly different than the noisy setting of the stage. Finding the right mic for your particular application is going to pivot on the environment in which you intend to use it.
- Frequency Response – A full-blown explanation of microphone frequency response would require a post of it’s own. But since we are primarily focusing on vocals, we’ll get right down to brass tax. you want to look for a microphone with a frequency response range of around 80 Hz to 15 kHz would make a good choice for a vocal mic.
- Polar Patterns – A mics polar pattern refers to it’s field of sensitivity and from which direction the mic will accept sound. Unidirectional mics will accept sound from the front while rejecting sound from the sides and back. Bidirectional mics are often called figure-8 mics, as the respond to sounds coming from front and back, while rejecting sounds from the sides. Omnidirectional mics will accept sounds from all directions. Understanding these patters will help you tremendously if you are recording in a noisy setting.
- Dynamic vs Condenser – Dynamic mics with a unidirectional polar patter are the most popular mics for live sound due to their rejection of off axis sound. Most Condenser mics are typically used for recording, but some are used for live sound. In the studio setting, large diaphragm condenser mics provide excellent sensitivity and are the go-to mic for vocals and a variety of other instruments. On the other hand, their high sensitivity makes them unsuitable for recording instruments that produce a lot of vibration, such as drum and percussion.
Top Vocal Mic Under $200 Comparison Chart
Best Vocal Microphone Under $200
The AKG Pro Audio P420 is likely to win the accolade of best vocal microphones under $200. AKG is one of the most well-known microphone brands out there and for good reason. They represent a level of quality that is hard to rival offering some of the best vocal microphones on the market.
AKG is focused on audio gear only which means their products come with a superior standard of build quality and reliability. Mics from AKG have an extremely good reputation within the industry and have a loyal customer following which may give you peace of mind when purchasing one of their microphones.
The most notable feature of the AKG Pro Audio P420 is its ability to toggle between various polar patterns. This allows you to switch between different modes such as multidirectional, cardioid and 8 figure patterns.
Before purchasing this mic you may want to consider the mode you need. The advanced technology gives users the possibility to experiment with any recordings you make in a simple and effective way. It’s also simple to record duets and background vocals making life much easier for the user.
The experimentation doesn’t end there though, the P420 from AKG also allows the user to play with the different microphone positions and setup options. The mic offers a maximum SPL of 155dB which you are able to count, giving you a warm and natural recording sound.
The style of recording you want to create is no challenge for the P420 either. This a great vocal mic for recording, allowing you to record any style of singing or genre in a simple way.
The usability of the P420 is also simple compared to other competing mics allowing you to easily connect to your PC in a matter of seconds with no pesky software issues. Better yet, there is no installation of any additional drivers required when setting up.
The AKG Pro Audio P420 is simply one of the best budget mics for vocals offering superior performance for a great price.
This video is a great overview of the AKG Pro Audio P420:
- One-inch dual-diaphragm microphone with three selectable polar patterns for the perfect setting
- Low noise electronics for high dynamic range
- Switchable attenuation pad for high SPL applications up to 155 dB SPL
- Professional condenser microphones
Rode has produced an excellent large-diaphragm condenser mic, the NT1-A. This has to be one of the clearest large-diaphragm condensers on the market. You will find that the NT1-A is quite sensitive to sound which means it is able to capture a lot more detail in those quiet, intimate recording sessions as well as the loud and exciting ones.
The NT1-A also has one of the largest frequency response of any other type of microphone on the market. The result of which is the ability for the user to easily capture sound that is clear. This is coupled with a bright tone including a bump in the upper mids and top end.
This mic is best suited to those recording at home as unfortunately, the NT1-A is not a multi-pattern mic. You will, however, find that this mic has one of the best pop filters around made with a double layer metal filter. This significantly helps with plosives during recording.
The NT1-A has a clear and bright tone that you will find helps accentuate any instrument in your recordings.
The frequency response is 20-20,000 Hz with a dynamic range of 137 dB and a self-noise of only 5dB. Audio-Technica does it again, providing a high-quality professional mic at an affordable price.
The NT1-A from Rode has a fantastic build quality, is useful to those who want to record with acoustic guitars or pianos and is exceptionally quiet and smooth. Overall, the Rode NT1-A is a high-quality mic for anyone looking to add some extra ‘sheen’ to their recordings.
- Large-diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Mic with Shockmount
- Pop Shield
- Dust Cover
- XLR Cable
Audio-Technica has made a name for themselves providing users with top quality gear at an affordable price. This is the main focus of the company and is evident with all their products.
The AT2035 condenser microphone can be fixed on a stand mount instantly transforming any room of your desire into a mini personal recording studio. The microphone has multiple uses but the best function has to be vocal recording which it does extremely well for a mic for this price.
It’s obvious with this mic to understand how Audio-Technica has become one of the market leaders in microphones in recent years. Everything about it exudes excellence and feels great to handle.
The microphone itself is superior to many of its rival products, designed perfectly and made from metal giving you that real professional feel. You may find that the frequency range is nothing to shout about, however for the price it’s still pretty good.
Expect to get a maximum SPL of 148dB and a -10dB pad. This allows the user to experiment with your vocals while avoiding any distortion or loss of quality. Any fear of external noises are put at ease by the sublime cardioid polar pattern picking up the sound from just one direct source.
If you are looking for a rich detailed recording at an affordable price then this may be the mic for you. There are a few small issues such as the pop filter which doesn’t always match the level of the mic. This is a small drawback to a mic that ultimately gives you a natural but powerful recording quality.
The AT2035 comes with a switchable 80 Hz high-pass filter and 10 dB pad. The frequency response is 20-20,000 Hz with a dynamic range of 136 dB. You also get 1 kHz at Max SPL, 11-52V DC and 3.8 mA typical phantom power.
Audio-Technica does it again, providing an affordable vocal mic of high-quality and great design.
- Large diaphragm for smooth, natural sound and low noise
- High SPL handling and wide dynamic range provide unmatched versatility
- Custom shock mount provides superior isolation
- The circumaural design of the ATH-M20x contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments. Impedance - 120 ohms
- Adjustable studio boom arm provides full 360° rotation and adjustable, spring-stabilized joints with thumbscrews for easy repositioning of the microphone
Those that are familiar with the world of prosumer microphones will already know all about Blue. Blue has a long and succesful track record in creating entry-to mid-level microphones for the increasingly popular world of podcasters.
Hosts and streamers often rave about Blue’s microphones most notably the USB microphones such as the Snowball and the Yeti. The Spark Blackout changes all that offering the best budget microphone for streaming to date.
Their latest offering to the microphone community is the Spark Blackout SL. Blue is hoping to target individuals who want to take their recordings to the next level, and we think they’ve done a great job of it. This is a pro level vocal recording mic from Blue at a very affordable price.
When you first get your hands on the Blue Spark Blackout SL you instantly can feel that it is a professional grade vocal mic. The sound quality is even more convincing. The mic also comes with a high-quality shock mount. This can be attached to a scissor arm stand you currently own.
The design of the Spark Blackout SL is simply stunning. It comes with an all matte black finish that will look fantastic anywhere in the room.
The mic comes with a high pass filter which can be switched on to eliminate any bassy rumbles from the audio source. This also helps with the lower-pitched background noise.
You will be happy to know there is a -20 dB pad too which can cut the recording volume by twenty decibels.
This is a cardioid microphone which means it is designed with direct sound sources in mind. This means that it is not suited for large band recordings. The best application for the Blue Spark Blackout SL is a recording mic for singing.
The sound on the Blue Spark Blackout SL is warm, clear and full allowing it to catch a human voice easily. The mic cost more than an entry-level product but is one of the best performing in its category.
- Custom Blue condenser capsule: The Blackout Spark SL professional condenser microphone delivers Blue’s legendary broadcast vocal and music sound quality with depth and clarity
- Detailed, transparent sound: This broadcast microphone excels in focused, transparent sound with superb detail to elevate your podcasts, gaming streams, YouTube videos, Zoom calls and more
- XLR connection: Easy integration with computer USB audio interfaces and mixers
- High-pass filter: 100Hz high-pass filter and -20dB pad bring professional versatility to your projects, increasing clarity and reducing rumble and distortion from your room, desk or studio
- Precise cardioid pattern: This streaming microphone for gaming, podcasting and more features a large-diaphragm cardioid capsule, ensuring accurate sound for recording and streaming
One of the best offerings to date from MXL. This is a fantastic end-address cardioid dynamic mic that has been specifically designed for voice and broadcasting.
The mic comes with a nifty mount that allows users to position it perfectly whilst in use. The MXL Mics Dynamic Vocal Mic is an “all-in-one” package and for under $200 it’s hard to go wrong.
MXL usually produces mics for the low-cost consumer market but with this one, they are targeting more professional recorders. The design is all-metal which feels modern and sturdy while maintaining a sleek design.
You will find that the mic-body is suspended by a swivel mount offering unique movement most associated with broadcasting microphones. This allows for accurate positioning and complete freedom of movement.
Unlike condenser mics, dynamic mics like this one use a different technique for capturing sound. It requires no power to work and is far less sensitive to sound. When it comes to dynamic mics the less sensitive the better.
The only downside to extra sensitivity is the amount of extra amplification required before giving you the best sound possible. The MXL Mics Dynamic Vocal Mic requires 60-65dB of gain.
This mic is designed to block and isolate as much noise as is possible which is why it has a tuned grill that cancels internal reflections. The cardioid polar pattern is focused on picking up the top end of the mic where you will find the moving coil. The built-in shock mounting mechanism around its cartridge further helps to isolate noise.
This a microphone mostly targeted at broadcasts and podcast applications but is equally as useful for musicians looking to record a solo. It’s the best mic for home studio at a competitive price. Well worth your consideration and money if you’re looking for a mic that feels professional, records beautifully and won’t break the bank.