Best Microphones for Recording Acoustic Guitars in 2017

There are microphones available on the market to best serve the purpose of recording acoustic guitars. These microphones are in general condenser microphones. You must bear in mind that you should have a handsome amount of money to get your hands on the very best of these microphones. It certainly does not mean that you cannot find good condenser microphones with a nominal price tag, but for this, you will have to do some research.

When referring to the acoustic guitars one thing that you mostly associate with them is the difficulty to record. Since the these guitars do not have a volume knob to turn the volume up or down, therefore, it is a bit difficult to record every detail played on these. This is where the microphones come in handy and can provide you the best solution for recording acoustic guitars.

If you are a person who does not have an ample amount of time at his disposal, you can just browse through our list of best microphones for recording acoustic guitars. This list will surely give you some good options so that you can select the best one amongst them.

1. AKG P420 High-Performance Dual-Capsule True Condenser Microphone

AKG-High-Performance-Dual-Capsule-Condenser

As this microphone is a condenser microphone so the quality of the sound that you will get with it is going to be right up to the standards. It is really difficult to record electric guitars but not with this microphone.

Everything that you can think of relating to a microphone you will definitely find with the AKG P420 High-Performance Dual-Capsule True Condenser Microphone. This microphone is a condenser and comes with three different polar patterns so that you can record even the tiniest of the details with them.

Pros:

+ It is rightly said that the bigger the diaphragm of the microphone the better it is going to be with sound quality and this microphone comes with a 1-inch dual diaphragm.

+ It also has three selectable polar patterns i.e. Cardioid, Omni and figure-8 to give you the perfect setting that you want.

+ It also comes with a shock mount so that all the unwanted wind noise is eliminated.

Why We Liked It –It is really hard to find any real flaw in the AKG P420 High-Performance Dual-Capsule True Condenser Microphone; therefore it is one of the best microphones out there. Also, the price range at which this microphone is available is truly amazing.

2. Shure SM81-LC Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone

Shure-SM81-LC-Condenser-Instrument

You can easily ascertain from the name of this microphone, it is specially designed to record different instruments. When speaking of recording the acoustic guitars in specific this microphone is just outstanding. With the legendary audio that you will find with most of the microphones by Shure, this microphone is certainly one of the best in the business.

The Shure SM81-LC Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone with a renowned brand name of Shure attached to it is preferred by audio professionals the world over. When you talk about the design, the frequency response or even the polar pattern everything about it is just perfect. Giving you more controls and depth with your recordings, this microphone has a solid reason for being the number 2 on our list.

Pros:

+ Comes in with a pretty flat frequency response so that the sound reproduced by it is quite accurate.

+ Has a cardioid polar pattern so only focuses on the source and leaves all the other sounds that you do not want.

+ It comes in with a rugged steel construction to give you all the durability in the world.

Why We Liked It –The Shure SM81-LC Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone may not be the best with vocals but as far as the instrument recording is concerned it is surely a complete package.

3. MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

MXL-770-Cardioid-Condenser

MXL is a brand which is really famous for manufacturing some state of the art microphones. It has been in the business for a long time now, perfect in the art of manufacturing microphones that are preferred by audiophiles and audio professionals the world over. MXL is known for making products that have a really good price to performance ratio.

The MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone is also an amazing microphone by MXL and comes with the same price to performance ratio that the MXL is famous for. When you compare the qualities that this microphone has on offer with its price, you will find it pretty amazing. From the solid built till the sound quality what you get with this microphone is just perfection.

Pros:

+ Comes in with a multipurpose Small-diaphragm so that you can put it into different applications.

+ It is really good at recording instruments since it comes with FET preamp and that too with the balanced transformerless output.

+ Just to make the sound quality a whole lot better this microphone is wired with Mogami.

Why We Liked It – With all the qualities in the world and arguably any shortcoming at all the MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone is one of the best microphones to record acoustic guitars. The low price of this microphone is also unbeatable.

4. AKG Perception 170 Professional Instrumental Microphone

AKG-Perception-Professional-Instrumental

We have already learned above that it is not easy to record acoustic guitars. However, when you have this headphone alongside you, there is nothing to worry about. The quality instrument recording that you will get with this microphone and that too at this price point is simply amazing.

The AKG Perception 170 Professional Instrumental Microphone is an under $100 microphone that can record even the most difficult of instruments. The low price does not mean that the durability of this microphone is compromised; it is right at the top with performance and quality as well. Below are some quick highlights of this product.

Pros:

+ It comes in with a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz giving you all the details in your recordings.

+ It is a condenser microphone so the sound quality that you can expect from it is quite good.

+ The polar pattern that this microphone comes with is cardioid to eliminate all the unwanted sounds and focus only on the source.

Why We Liked It – The AKG Perception 170 Professional Instrumental Microphone may not be equipped with a lot of features but the sound quality and the instrument recording capability it has is just amazing.

5. AKG PERCEPTION 170 Professional Instrumental Microphone

AKG-PERCEPTION-Professional-Instrumental

AKG will never stop to amaze you with the cost effective solutions that it comes up with relating to microphones. It is arguably one of the industry leaders when speaking of the best microphones for recording instruments and that too at an amazingly low price point.

It does not matter to the AKG PERCEPTION 170 Professional Instrumental Microphone what sort of an instrument you are recording with it. What you will get with this microphone are just quality recordings. Speaking specifically of recording the acoustic guitars, this microphone is a really cost effective solution that will serve this purpose of yours in the right manner.

Pros:

+ It is a condenser microphone with a Inch condenser transducer diaphragm giving you that clear and crisp transient response.

+ The construction of this microphone is pretty rugged and the body is all metal so it gives you the durability that you require.

+ It is really good for high SPL applications up to 155 dB SPL since it comes with switchable attenuation pad.

Why We Liked It –At this price point you may experience some shortcomings with the AKG PERCEPTION 170 Professional Instrumental Microphone but still, it is one of the best for recording acoustic guitars.

6. MXL 990 Condenser Microphone with Shockmount

MXL-990-Condenser

Whether you talk about the low, midrange or even the high reproduction of quality sound this microphone is capable of giving you just that. With the brand name of MXL, one of the leading manufacturers of quality microphones, it is just the mic you require for recording acoustic guitars.

In general, the MXL 990 Condenser Microphone with Shockmount is really good with recording any instrument. When speaking of the recording of the acoustic guitars in specific it is one of the best microphones that you will find on the market these days. It comes in with a shock mount so all the handling and the wind noise is eliminated.

Pros:

+ It comes in with a Diaphragm that is gold-sputtered so it does not matter if you are recording digital or analog, this microphone is just the best.

+ When referring to the design it is attractive and durable at the same time since it has a vintage body style and the champagne to go along with that.

+ When referring to the frequency response it ranges from 30Hz to 20kHz giving you all the details that you require in your recordings.

Why We Liked It –Although the MXL 990 Condenser Microphone with Shockmount may not be a perfect choice for the pros; but if you are a beginner and on a tight budget, it is certainly a good option for you.

7. Samson C02 Pencil Condenser Microphones

Samson C02 Pencil

It is always good to have multiple microphones when recording musical instruments, therefore these microphones are really good ones. It is a pair of microphones that offer great quality sound without breaking your bank.

Samson Technologies has been there since the 1980s and is renowned for manufacturing top quality wireless microphones. In todays world, Samson is one of the industry leaders relating to quality audio solutions. The Samson C02 Pencil Condenser Microphones are just the microphones that you require if you are on a small budget. As Samson is known for reliability and fidelity with its products, the same could be expected from these microphones as well. Here is a bit more about this beautiful microphone.

Pros:

+ It is a condenser microphone that uses a cardioid pickup pattern so that it could eliminate all the unwanted noise.

+ Come with gold-plated XLR-connectors, ensuring the no music is lost.

+ It also comes with shock-mounted clips and a carry case so that you can easily take it anywhere you are going.

Why We Liked It –The Samson C02 Pencil Condenser Microphones are the perfect microphones for you if you are looking to record acoustic guitars in your home-studio.

8. Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Audio-Technica-AT4040-Cardioid-Condenser

This microphone comes from the brand name which is known as Audio-Technica, a company famous for manufacturing top quality audio solutions. It has been there for quite some time now and has impressed it consumers with the state of the art, quality audio products.

The Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone is the perfect combination of artistic inspiration and technical precision. When referring to the versatility of this condenser microphone, it has wide dynamic range, low noise, and high-SPL capability. The circuitry of this microphone is a low noise symmetrical and transformerless circuitry giving the transient response that you always wanted from your microphone.

Pros:

+ It comes with a large diaphragm that is quite technically-advanced so that you always get a pretty crisp and neutral sound.

+ The true condenser design which is externally polarized is what you get with this microphone.

+ It also comes with a transformerless circuitry and because of this, it has a great capability of eliminating low-frequency distortion.

Why We Liked It –The Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone may not be exceptional with vocals but as far as instruments and specifically acoustic guitar recording is concerned; it is arguably the best and probably the most pocket-friendly solution.

9. AKG Pro Audio C214 Condenser Microphone, Cardioid

AKG-Pro-Audio-C214

It is almost impossible to keep out AKG when speaking of the best microphones and yet again it has come up with another exceptional microphone. This microphone is one of the best microphones for instrument recording and also comes in at a pretty low price point.

The AKG Pro Audio C214 Condenser is one of the best microphones for just about any application and use. Whether you talk about the in-house studio recordings or the on-stage performances this microphone is just too good. Similarly, if you talk about the voice recording or even the instruments recording this microphone maintains the highest standards.

Pros:

+ Comes in with a large-diaphragm so the sound quality that you get out of it is just the best.

+ Also, comes in with a wide dynamic range and ultra low noise so that it becomes really good when recording high output sources and that is close-up recording.

+ It also comes in equipped with integrated suspension so that all the vibration from the stage and the mechanical noise is reduced.

Why We Liked It – It is rightly said that you cannot satisfy every living soul on the planet but when you compare the audio features that the AKG Pro Audio C214 Condenser Microphone, Cardioid has on offer with its price tag, it is surely one of the best available.

Microphones for Acoustic Guitars Buyers Guide

As we all know that an acoustic guitar is capable of playing all the music styles in the world that one can think of. So what you need is a really good microphone to record these hard to record musical instruments. The condenser microphones are the best to serve this purpose of yours.

When recording the acoustic guitars you will be quite focused on getting all the details in your recordings. The condenser type microphones are specially designed to give you just that and make your recordings more magical than ever before.

When you will hit the market in search of quality condenser microphones you will soon find out that these come in at a pretty high price point. It does not mean that you cannot get a condenser microphone at a nominal price range having good sonic characteristics. In order to get the best condenser microphone within a budget, you will have to search a bit and keep some important considerations in mind. The key factors to consider while going for a condenser microphone that is really good at recording acoustic guitars are as under.

  • Your Budget

Since you are looking for a microphone under a budget this is the most important factor that you should consider. The condenser microphones can be as cheap as under $100 and can go up to thousands of dollars. Therefore, you must be aware of all these different price ranges and only then you can make the best selection.

Some of these mics will require specific stands to hold them upright. Click here to find out which mic stand would best suit your needs.

The more you spend the better you are going to get in relation to condenser microphones. Having said that, it doesnt mean you cannot find a good condenser microphone at an affordable price. Obviously, the high-end microphones will be equipped with all the options and the accessories in the world, but the sound quality with the inexpensive models might be exactly what you need. Therefore, if you are on a small budget, it is really important to consider what is more important to you and what you are willing to sacrifice. If you have a clear understanding of this fact only then you can manage to select the best available option for you.

  • The Diaphragm Size

There are condenser microphones available on the market with a small diaphragm size and also large diaphragm size. It is hard to say whether one is better than the other as it completely depends upon the way that you want to use them.

The small diaphragm condenser mics are really good at up-close recordings. When you place the microphone very close to the instrument you want to record, it gives you even the tiniest details in your recordings. When the small diaphragm mics are placed in close contact with the instrument they also eliminate the effect caused by the studios acoustics.

On the other hand, the large diaphragm mics are also good when speaking of up-close recording but you can also get quality recordings from them when placed at a short distance. If you are looking for more depth and natural feel in your recordings the large diaphragm mics are just perfect for you.

Therefore, it is really important that you should consider the size of the diaphragm before going for a condenser microphone good for recording acoustic guitars.

  • The Purpose

The purpose for which you are going to use the microphone for recording or performing is also somewhat important. It is highly dependent upon the polar pattern used in the microphone. The microphones come in with different polar patterns to suit different styles and applications.

When you are using a microphone in a performance the omnidirectional polar pattern is what you should be looking for. The omnidirectional polar pattern is good in picking up the sound from all directions and that is why it is considered to be a god one with performances.

Looking to record rap vocals? Click here to read our full review.

Similarly, if you are looking for a microphone to record, the best option for you is to go for a cardioid pickup pattern. The cardioid pattern is really good with eliminating the unwanted sound by focusing on the source only, and therefore, we think that these are the best for recording purpose.

  • The Accessories

You will find some condenser mics available on the market that comes equipped with all the accessories in the world. One thing to bear in mind over here is the more accessories that you are going to go for the higher will be the price of the microphone.

The accessories that the microphones come equipped with include mic stands, shock mounts, popper stopper etc. But you have to decide which accessories are really important and what are not especially if you are on a small budget. It is advisable that you should not go for the one having a lot of accessories is youre a beginner level musician.

Keeping all these key factors in mind while you are going for a microphone that is good for recording acoustic guitars will help you make the right decision


Top Pick

AKG P420AKG P420 is one of the best condenser microphones that you will ever find on the market for recording acoustic guitars. Everything bout AKG P420 is just perfect and using this microphone for acoustic guitars can give a whole lot details and depth in your recordings.

When referring to the diaphragm size of the AKG P420 High-Performance Dual-Capsule True Condenser Microphone it is a large one-inch dual diaphragm. It comes in with low noise electronics and output that is transformerless to give you a wide dynamic range. When speaking of high SPL applications, it comes with switchable attenuation pad that can go up to 155 dB SPL.

The AKG P420 High-Performance Dual-Capsule True Condenser Microphone is arguably the best microphone when it comes to the recording of acoustic guitars at a pretty low price.


Premium Choice

Shure SM81-LC Cardioid CondenserShure is a brand that is really well known for manufacturing audio solutions for everyone regardless of their skill levels. Shure has been there for quite some time now and because of its quality audio products, it has become a preferred choice of audio professionals the world over.

The Shure SM81-LC Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone uses a cardioid polar pattern which is uniform with frequency and symmetric about the axis to provide you with minimum coloration and maximum rejection of off-axis sounds. It also has a wide frequency response ranging from 20Hz to 20kHz giving you the tiniest of the details in your recordings. Low noise and high output clipping levers arealso what you get with this microphone.

Whether you talk about the durability or the sound quality, the frequency response or the polar pattern everything about the Shure SM81-LC Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone is just perfect. This is the reason why it is one of the best in the business and a premium choice for our readers.


Great Value

MXL 770 When referring tothe MXL as a company or a brand, it has been there for ages now and is renowned for price to performance ratio with all its products. The MXL has been manufacturing quality audio solutions for both the beginners and the professionals without being too heavy on the pocket. It is the reason why this brand is preferred by many people all around the globe.

The MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone is one of the best microphones that you will find on the market to record acoustic guitars if you are on a budget. It comes in with a multi-purpose small diaphragm, therefore, it is really good with close-up recordings. It also has a wide dynamic range since it comes with a FET preamp giving transformerless output. This microphone is wired with Mogami to give it the exceptional sound quality that it has.

All in all the MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone is the best solution for you when you are looking to record acoustic guitars and being on a tight budget.

 

FAQs

How to choose the most suitable microphone to use with an acoustic guitar?

There are some important factors to consider before you go on and choose the best microphone to use with an acoustic guitar. These actors have already been discussed in detail earlier but let us have a look at them again just in case if you missed any.

  • The Type

Condenser microphones are used with the acoustic guitars commonly and these are the best when it comes to instrument recording.

  • The Diaphragm Size

The size of the diaphragm is really important when going for a microphone that is good for instrument recording and it is highly dependent upon your personal way of use.

  • The Budget

This is another important factor that will help you determine the best microphone available out there for you to record acoustic guitars. Mostly these microphones are a bit expensive.

  • The Accessories

Although it is completely dependent upon your personal taste and likings but this factor is of great value. Since the more accessories that you are going to go for, the higher will be the price of the microphone.

How do I Determine the Best Microphone to use with an Acoustic Guitar?

The microphones that you want to record your acoustic guitars with should be condenser mics and it is a must. The common difficulty that most of the people face while searching for these microphones is that they come at a relatively high price. Therefore it is important that you do your proper research if you are looking for a cost effective solution.

Best Microphones for Acoustic Guitar on a Budget?

There is a complete list of microphones given earlier that are really good when it comes to the recording of acoustic guitars and that too at a pretty nominal price range. One thing that you should always remember is that if you are going for an inexpensive condenser microphone you will not be having all the accessories in the world.

It is something that you will find with the high-end models. The key factor here is to get a condenser mic that can best serve the purpose of recording acoustic guitar.

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