When you want to purchase a mic the first question that you ask yourself is which type of mic you would go for. As there are two different types available, each designed to suit different applications. These two types are the dynamic mics and the condenser mics.
If you are looking to get a mic to use it in live performances and on-stage appearances, the dynamic mics are the best. Dynamic mics are also known as the dynamics are really good with keeping out the handling noise that you will experience in a live/stage appearance.
On the other hand, the condenser mics are really good with the quality of sound. In fact, these mics are considered to be the best when it comes to sound quality. These mics are really good with in-house applications such as studio recordings.
Once you make up your mind for a particular type only then you can make the best selection. Let us take the condenser mics in consideration. When you are going to shop around in search of a condenser mic, you will come to know that there are a lot of these mics available out there. Therefore, it just becomes a bit difficult to select the best one out of all the available options. To help you, in this regard, below is the list of some of the very best condenser mics.
Our List of the Best Condenser Mics of 2017
- Our List of the Best Condenser Mics of 2017
- 1. Neewer NW-700 Professional Studio Broadcasting Recording Condenser Microphone
- 2. Audio-Technica AT4060 Cardioid Condenser Tube Microphone
- 3. AUKEY Condenser Microphone, Omnidirectional Condenser Mic with XLR Female to 3.5mm Male Cable
- 4. Neewer NW-800 Professional Studio Broadcasting & Recording Microphone Set
- 5. Floureon BM-800 Condenser Studio Recording Microphone and Shock Mount
- 6. QIBOX BM-800 Pro Condenser Mic for Studio Broadcasting and Recording with Shock Mount, XLR Cable and Pop Filter
- 7. Marantz Professional MPM-1000 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
- 8. Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone, Cardioid
- 9. Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio Microphone
- 10. Audio-Technica AT2035 Large Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone Bundle with Shock Mount, Pop Filter, and XLR Cable
1. Neewer NW-700 Professional Studio Broadcasting Recording Condenser Microphone
This is a multi-purpose mic that has really good sound quality. It is good with almost every application that you can think of. Since it is a condenser mic the sound quality that it has on offer is really good. The polar pattern with which this mic comes along is a cardioid polar pattern.
The Neewer NW-700 Professional Studio Broadcasting Recording Condenser Microphone is an amazing condenser microphone with an amazingly low price point. It has such a low price point that some people find it too good to be true.
+ As it is a condenser mic and then the new and improved circuitry that it comes along gives it an amazing sound quality.
+ It uses a cardioid polar pattern which is really good for just concentrating on the source and eliminating all the other sounds.
+ It comes with a scissor arm stand that is foldable and made up of steel, therefore, you get all the durability and portability from it.
Why We Liked It –At an amazingly low price and such great qualities on offer for its consumers the Neewer NW-700 Professional Studio Broadcasting Recording Condenser Microphone is one of the best condenser microphones.
2. Audio-Technica AT4060 Cardioid Condenser Tube Microphone
As this microphone is a tube microphone so the sound that you can expect out of it is truly vintage. This does not mean that it is not good with the SPL by any chance. When speaking of the wide dynamic range of this microphone, it is nowhere to be found in most of the other tube microphones.
This type of mic is also recommended for recording rap vocals. Check out the full review here.
The Audio-Technica AT4060 Cardioid Condenser Tube Microphone is really good with all the applications that it is put into.
+ Comes in with a wide dynamic range high SPL capability and also low self-noise
+ It also has a dual-diaphragm capsule design which helps in maintaining the perfect polar pattern.
Why We Liked It –Whether you talk about the vocals or the instruments this microphone is good with all. The tubes used in this mic are hand-selected and individually tested giving it the classic sound.
3. AUKEY Condenser Microphone, Omnidirectional Condenser Mic with XLR Female to 3.5mm Male Cable
If you are looking to use a mic with vocals such as narrating, podcasting or simply recording vocals this is the mic to go for. It can easily be adjusted with a standard mic stand. When referring to the look of this microphone, it is a vintage one which is liked by most of the people out there.
The AUKEY Condenser Microphone is a really good vocal microphone that is available at a really low price point. Since this microphone has an omnidirectional polar pattern, therefore, it has a capability of picking up sound from all the directions.
+ It comes in with a built-in volume control dial so that the input volume of the mic can be easily adjusted.
+ It is really good with all the vocal applications that you can think of.
+ It also comes in with 3.5mm cable which is compatible with most recording equipment, desktops and laptops.
Why We Liked It –The AUKEY Condenser Microphone is one of the best microphones if put into any vocal application and also comes with a really inexpensive price tag.
4. Neewer NW-800 Professional Studio Broadcasting & Recording Microphone Set
This microphone set is all that you need to start your quality recordings whether of any type. Since the microphone that comes in this set is a condenser, therefore, the sound quality is automatically good. It uses a cardioid pickup pattern in order to eliminate all the other sounds and focus on the source only.
The Neewer NW-800 Professional Studio Broadcasting & Recording Microphone Set is surely one of the best microphone sets out there with a relatively low price point. It also comes in with all the accessories to make your recordings sound more lively and detailed at the same time.
+ Comes in with a cardioid pickup pattern and therefore is really good with eliminating the unwanted sounds while focusing on the source.
+ Also, comes in with a shock mount so that all the handling noise is reduced to the minimum point.
+ The set also includes a ball-type Anti-wind foam cap that provides protection against singers spit and wind interference.
Why We Liked It –At this relatively low price point, the features and the accessories that you are getting with the Neewer NW-800 Professional Studio Broadcasting & Recording Microphone Set, what more could you ask for.
5. Floureon BM-800 Condenser Studio Recording Microphone and Shock Mount
For some of the audiophiles or even the audio professionals out there the sound quality is not the only important factor in a microphone but also the looks should be good. For all such people out there this microphone is the one to go for.
The Floureon BM-800 Condenser microphone is one of the best studio mics available on the market these days. Keeping in view the low price tag that this mic comes along with and then the built-quality is right up to the standards. This is a quite versatile mic that has the ability to perform well in every application that it is put into.
+ When referring to the frequency of this microphone it comes with vocal intelligibility. It also has a neodymium magnet which provides high signal-to-noise ratio.
+ It uses a cardioid pickup pattern to minimize or eliminate all the background noise and concentrate on the source only.
+ The shock mount with which this mic comes along is really good with eliminating all the handling noise.
Why We Liked It –The Floureon BM-800 Condenser microphone may not the perfect mic to use with the MacBook but everything else about it is just perfect. Therefore, it is one of the best condenser mics of today.
6. QIBOX BM-800 Pro Condenser Mic for Studio Broadcasting and Recording with Shock Mount, XLR Cable and Pop Filter
This microphone is capable of providing you with all that things that you need for quality recordings and that too at a pretty nominal price point. No matter how difficult the recording conditions are, it is designed to deliver.
Read Also: Top 9 Best Vocal Microphones for Recording
The QIBOX BM-800 Pro Condenser Mic being a condenser microphone is really good with the quality of sound. It is also really good with almost all the studio applications. When speaking of the polar pattern it uses a cardioid one making it really good with eliminating all the background noise. It also has a really low self-noise which just adds to the sound quality of this mic.
+ It is a pretty versatile mic that is good with every application that it is put into.
+ The ease of use that you get with the plug and play interface of this mic is simply amazing. You can just connect it to your computer or laptop through a 3.5mm audio plug.
+ It comes in with a large diaphragm and because of that has an enhanced sound quality.
Why We Liked It –The QIBOX BM-800 Pro Condenser Mic with all the features and the accessories that it comes equipped with at a relatively low price, it is one of the best condenser mics available.
7. Marantz Professional MPM-1000 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
The professional sound quality that you get with this mic is just outstanding. It comes in with wide frequency response, high sensitivity and great transient response at the same time. All these qualities add up to the great sound that this microphone has on offer.
The Marantz Professional MPM-1000 Cardioid Condenser Microphone comes in with a cardioid polar pattern. Hence it becomes very good for close-up recordings as well as onstage appearances since the cardioid polar pattern is really good with eliminating the background noise while focusing on the source.
+ The studio-quality sound that you will get with this microphone and that too at this price is nowhere to be found with other models of the same sort.
+ It is a large diaphragm microphone and because of that has great audio characteristics.
+ Since it has a cardioid polar pattern, therefore, it picks up sound only from the front and leaves all the unwanted sounds.
Why We Liked It –When you are getting the studio quality sound with such a cheap price with your Marantz Professional MPM-1000 Cardioid Condenser Microphone, why would you go for anything else?
8. Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone, Cardioid
When you are looking to get a starter microphone, you cannot get a better microphone than this one. It makes recordings so easy that it just becomes fun. The easy to use plug and play interface makes life simpler for a beginner and lets him concentrate on his skills rather than the mic.
The Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone, Cardioid is the ideal choice for a beginner. Having said that it does not mean that the sound quality of this microphone is compromised in any way. It is a versatile mic that can be used with a lot of different applications such as vocal and instrument recordings.
+ It comes in with a custom condenser capsule making it really good for Skype and Face Time.
+ It is really good with for someone who is looking to record YouTube videos with great quality sound.
+ Comes in with an easy plug and play option to directly connect to your PC or Mac, making life easier for you.
Why We Liked It –The easy to use interface and the sound quality that the Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone, Cardioid has on offer makes it one of the best in business.
9. Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio Microphone
This condenser microphone is great with all the in-house applications and especially with studio recordings. It is quite a versatile mic that can record voice and instrument and the quality of the recordings will be the best.
The Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio Microphone offers a professional quality sound at an entry-level price. It is one of the best bids for anyone who is a beginner and wants to have quality recordings.
+ It comes in with a Custom-engineered low-mass diaphragm enabling it to give a superior transient response and extended frequency response at the same time.
+ When referring to the versatility of this microphone it comes in with wide dynamic range and high-SPL handling.
+ The cardioid polar pattern makes sure that it picks sound only from the desired source and eliminates all the unwanted sounds.
Why We Liked It –Everything from the frequency response till the polar pattern about the Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio Microphone is just perfect. Hence it is one of the best condenser mics available out there.
10. Audio-Technica AT2035 Large Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone Bundle with Shock Mount, Pop Filter, and XLR Cable
Audio-Technica is renowned for manufacturing some of the best condenser mics that you will find on the market these days. It has been there for quite some time now and coming up with quality audio solutions to satisfy the needs of audio professionals and audiophiles at the same time.
The Audio-Technica AT2035 Large Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone is one of the best condenser mics with a complete range of accessories. It comes in with a great sound quality and all the accessories in the world to make your recordings sound even better.
+ It comes in with a large diaphragm offering low noise and natural and smooth sound.
+ The polar pattern used by this microphone is a cardioid one and therefore it is really good with eliminating the unwanted sounds.
+ It reduces all the handling noise since it comes with a shock mount.
Why We Liked It –The Audio-Technica AT2035 Large Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone with an amazing sound quality and all the accessories in the world is one of the best bids as far as condenser mics are concerned.
Condenser Mic Buyers Guide
Most of the people out there think that it is the skill level of the vocalist or an instrument player that gives great recordings and rightly so. One thing that can spoil your recordings despite the best skill level is the microphone that you are using to record.
It is rightly said that a mic can either make or break the quality of your recordings; therefore, the right selection of the mic is highly important. We all know that the mics are primarily available in two types, the dynamic and the condenser mics. Let us take the condenser mics under consideration.
The condenser mics are considered to have a better sound quality when compared to the dynamic mics. There are a lot of these mics available out there and each has different characteristics. Therefore, it is highly important that you must be well aware of the necessary things to look for in a condenser mic. As already stated above that the microphone plays a vital role in the quality of your recordings, therefore this subject requires a lot of research. Some of the key considerations that you should always keep in mind while going for a condenser mic are given as under.
The Frequency Response
The most important factor to consider while going for a condenser mic is the frequency response. It is the frequency response that lets you hear even the slightest of the details in your recordings. The frequency response of a mic can be flat, wide or tailored.
In order to choose the best frequency response, you must keep in mind the application that you are going to use the mic in. let us take the example of instrument recording for an instance, the frequency response that is best suited for instrument recording is flat. Flat frequency response means what goes into the mic is exactly what comes out of it and what you will hear. Therefore, if you are going for a condenser mic with the aim of instrument recording it is highly advisable that you should opt for the one having flat frequency response.
When you are using a mic for the purpose of vocal recording the one you should go for should have a wide or tailored frequency response. The wide frequency response has the capability of refining the sound that is put into the microphone and therefore, you will hear a much clear sound. So a mic having a wide or a tailored frequency response is ideal for vocal recordings.
When you will go out on the market in search of a condenser mic you will witness that almost all the mics come with a frequency response chart. You must be able to read the chart in order to make the best decision for yourself.
The frequency response is highly dependent upon the application that you are going to use the mic in, but without having the proper knowledge of the frequencies, you cannot make the right selection.
The Polar Patterns
Another important factor to consider while going for a condenser mic is the polar pattern. Different mics have different polar patterns. These polar patterns are Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Figure-8 and multiple-pattern. Here again, you have to be very particular about the application of the mic and thenyou will be able to decide the polar pattern that suits you the best.
When speaking of the cardioid polar or pickup pattern it got its name because it has a shape of a heart. You will find this polar pattern in most of the condenser mics out there. This pattern is considered to be the best when it comes to the elimination of the background noise. The cardioid polar pattern only focuses on the source which is in front of it and rejects all the sounds from the rear. The cardioid polar pattern is really good whether used in-studio or on-stage.
Omnidirectional mics are capable of picking up sound equally from all the directions. If you are someone who prefers to have that true feel in the recordings the omnidirectional mics are the ones for you. Since these mics will not only focus on the source but will also pick up the ambiance of the room. These mics are highly capable of giving you the natural recordings that you always wanted.
The Figure-8 polar pattern is mostly used in studio applications. It actually picks up sound from front and back and rejects all the sounds from the sides. While doing so, this polar pattern creates a figure that resembles the digit 8 and hence this pattern is known as a Figure-8 polar pattern. One thing that you should keep in mind is that these mics are not that effective when used in any on-stage application.
When speaking of the multiple polar patterns, you will find these patterns with most of the professional condenser mics out there. A mic having such a polar pattern gives you all the versatility that you require. It gives you the freedom to switch over to different patterns according to your needs. These different patterns include Cardioid, Omnidirectional, and Figure-8 polar patterns. One thing to be noted here is that the mics having multiple polar patterns are a bit expensive when compared to the mics with a single polar pattern.
Selecting the best polar pattern is although a matter of your personal needs and requirements but without having the proper knowledge you cannot pick the right one for yourself.
Size of the diaphragm
The size of the diaphragm is another important factor to consider when going for a condenser mic. The condenser mics come in two diaphragm sizes the large and the small. It is a common concept that the bigger is the size of the diaphragm the better will be the sound quality of the mic. This concept is true to some extent but not entirely. Keeping this concept in mind you will think that the smaller diaphragm does not exhibit a good sound quality which is actually not true.
When referring to the large diaphragm mics, they are good with almost all the applications. Whether you are looking to record vocals or strings, brass or percussion all you need is a large diaphragm mic to give you the ultimate recordings. Most of the large diaphragm condenser mics come equipped with multiple polar patterns and pads adding up to the versatility of these mics.
On the other hand, if you consider the small diaphragm condenser mics they might be not as good as the large ones with any type of recording but are really good with responsiveness. These small-diaphragm mics are considered to be ultra-responsive and are far better when compared to the large ones in this regard. They get this ultra-responsiveness from the sleek and small design that they have.
If you are looking to record any instrument with extended overtones and sharp transients such as an acoustic guitar, these mics are just the best.
Hence it is proved that none of the diaphragm sizes has an advantage over the other. It is just the matter of your own needs and requirements. You should be very clear about what you want to record with your condenser mic while going for the size of the diaphragm.
When speaking of the drums the mic placement is the key to success. You will need a combination of the large and small diaphragm mics in order for your drums to sound perfect. When speaking of the hi-hat, a small diaphragm cardioid mic will be just perfect. It is really important that you should use a matched pair of large or small diaphragm mics when it comes to overheads. A condenser mic also delivers quite a sound when positioned with the snare and toms or even with the kick.
The best mic to record the acoustic guitars with is a small diaphragm condenser mic. Even though you can also record these guitars with a large diaphragm mic but the results would be not as perfect as with the small diaphragm ones. The mic positioning here as well plays a very important role and you must try different positions in order to pick the best one out.
When speaking of vocal recording, there is no better mic than a large diaphragm condenser microphone. As we already know that the condenser mics are really good with almost all the studio applications and vocal recording is done in a studio, therefore, the large diaphragm mics are a preferred choice. When you have a number of these mics to choose from the best way is to stick to the rule of the thumb. You should always try your vocals with all these mics and then select the one that best suits your vocals or singing style.
This instrument is usually recorded in the studio; therefore, a combination of large and small diaphragm mics will be just perfect. The large diaphragm is really good with the low strings and the small diaphragm works equally well with the highs. Therefore what you need to get the perfect recording of the acoustic piano is the right combination of the large and small diaphragm condenser microphones.
Speaking of strings, the instruments that strike your mind in an instant are the double bass and the violins. If you want to get the ultimate recordings of these instruments you can go for any high-quality condenser mic. It totally depends upon you whether you want to go for a large or a small diaphragm.
Your microphone application will have a huge impact on the selection of the mic. Therefore, it is highly important that you should be very clear about the application that you are going to put it into before going for a condenser mic.
This factor is also dependent upon your personal needs and requirements. The more features and the accessories that you are going to go for the higher will be the price of the condenser microphone. If you are a beginner it is advisable that you should go for the inexpensive options. There is a high probability that you may not require most of the features and accessories that come with the high-end models as a beginner.
Keeping all these factors in mind will help you in making the right selection of a condenser mic. You cannot just jump into buying anything without the proper research and the same goes for the condenser mics as well. A bit of a research can help you in getting the best condenser mic for you at the most affordable price.
This one of the best condenser mics that you will ever find. The Neewer NW-700 Professional Studio Broadcasting Recording Condenser Microphone has all the things required for quality recordings. It is quite a versatile mic that is good in almost every application that one can think of.
Being a condenser mic, it is really good when speaking of the sound quality. It comes in with a cardioid pickup pattern which makes it really good in eliminating all the background noise. The cardioid polar pattern picks up the sound from the front only and leaves all the unwanted rear sound.
When speaking of the price range that this mic comes in, it is too on a relatively low side. With all the qualities and the features that you will find with some of the very expensive models, the Neewer NW-700 Professional Studio Broadcasting Recording Condenser Microphone is one of the best in business.
If you are a fan of a vintage tube sound, this is the mic for you. It comes with a brand name of one of the very best in the business known as the Audio-Technica. This company has been there for quite some time now and rated quite high when it comes to the manufacturing of some of the very best condenser mics.
The Audio-Technica AT4060 Cardioid Condenser Tube Microphone, being a condenser and a tube mic is capable of displaying great sound characteristics. It uses a cardioid polar pattern which is really good in eliminating most of the background noise. If you are recording in a studio and you do not want the room ambiance to interfere with your recordings this is just the perfect mic for you.
It is a complete blend of the vintage and modern. Since the sound the sound that you get from the tube is complete vintage then it also has high SPL capability giving it that modern touch. It also comes in with a wide dynamic range and low self-noise which makes it really good for recording vocals. Since it is a small diaphragm mic it is really good with instrument recording such as acoustic guitars.
Before we go on and tell you about the qualities of this microphone, we would like to discuss the amazing price of this microphone. The price tag that is attached to this microphone is just a rarity with any condenser mic out there. It comes in with such a low price tag which is absolutely unbeatable.
It comes in with an omnidirectional polar pattern; therefore, is really good with providing the natural sound that you always wanted out of your recordings. The AUKEY Condenser Microphone also has a built-in volume control dial enabling you to easily adjust the microphone input volume. It also comes in with a 3.5mm cable to easily connect with most of the recording equipment, desktops, and laptops.
With such an amazingly low price and all the qualities on offer the AUKEY Condenser Microphone, is one of the very best condenser microphones out there.
Small Mic FAQs and Buyers Guide
What is a condenser mic?
A condenser microphone is the most common type of microphone that you will find in a studio. These mics are also known as studio mics. When speaking of the frequency and the transient response that these mics have it is much higher when compared to all the other types of microphones out there. These mics are capable of giving you the best quality recording whether it is voice or instrument recording. The sound that you get with these microphones is more clear, transient and natural when compared to the other types. These microphones are used in professional studios because of the sensitivity they have. They are extremely good with any type of recordings no matter how difficult the recording conditions are.
What are the benefits of a condenser mic?
As already stated above that the condenser mics are the best type of mics when it comes to studio recording. Therefore, the biggest advantage that you have with the condenser mics is that you can have quality studio recordings from these mics. Since these mics have a high-frequency response, therefore, they become really good with almost any type of recording.
When speaking of instruments that have a high transient response such as guitars, drums, grand piano and brass, the condenser mic is a champion of recording all these instruments. If you are looking for the ultimate studio recordings the condenser mics are certainly the right pick for you. No other mic can give you the quality studio recordings that you will get with a condenser microphone.
Even if you are looking to record the vocals, these mics are really good with recording these as well because of their high-frequency response and sensitivity.
Why should I get a condenser mic?
If your purpose of purchasing a mic is to get quality recordings out of it, you should definitely go for the condenser mics. The quality recordings that you will get with the condenser mics is nowhere to be found with any other type of mic out there. They have a great ability to record most of the instruments in a perfect manner. Even with the vocals, these mics perform really well. Therefore, if your objective is to get the best studio quality recordings out from your microphone, the mic type that you should go for is a condenser mic.
How do I choose the best condenser mic for me?
There are a lot of things to consider while choosing the condenser mic that is perfect for you. These key considerations are given as under.
This factor is mostly dependent upon the skill level that you have. The mics having more features and accessories will have a relatively high price tag attached to them. At a beginner level you will not require a mic with all the features and accessories in the world; therefore, the correct choice is to go for an inexpensive mic.
The frequency response
The different types of frequency response are good for recording different applications. Therefore, you must first consider your recording application and then the best frequency response for it.
The polar pattern
The condenser mics are available with different polar patterns and each designed to suit a special style of recording. Therefore, it is important that you figure out your recording style and then go for the best polar pattern that suits you.
The diaphragm size
Whether you want a large or a small diaphragm size is completely dependent upon you. The large diaphragm size mics are ideal for recording almost anything and when speaking of the sensitivity it is great with the small diaphragm size.
What’s the difference between condenser and dynamic mics?
The primary difference between the condenser and the dynamic mics is the use of both these mics in different applications. The dynamic mics are really good in eliminating the handling noise and are a really sturdy therefore they are used in on-stage applications. When speaking of the condenser micsthe sound quality of these mics is way better than the dynamic mics and these mics are not that sturdy. Therefore, they are used primarily with the in-studio applications.
Best condenser mics on a budget?
A complete list is already given earlier that has mics with extremely low price tags. The best even from our list are given below.
AUKEY Condenser Microphone, Omnidirectional Condenser Mic with XLR Female to 3.5mm Male Cable
Neewer NW-800 Professional Studio Broadcasting & Recording Microphone Set
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