Best Microphones for Recording Acoustic Guitars in 2018

If you're looking to record your acoustic guitar sessions, you should know that there are many microphones available for this purpose. These microphones are general condenser microphones and come in a wide price range.

Since acoustic guitars don't have a volume knob to turn the volume up or down, it can be difficult to record every detail. This is where the microphones come in handy and can provide you the best solution for recording acoustic guitars. You can use condenser or ribbon microphones for instruments, too.


If you don't have much time at your disposal, simply browse through our list of the best microphones for recording acoustic guitars. This list will give you some good options so that you can select the best one for your needs.

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

AKG-High-Performance-Dual-Capsule-Condenser

This is a condenser microphone so the sound quality you get is top standard. The AKG P420 High-Performance Dual-Capsule True Condenser Microphone comes with three different polar patterns so you can record even the tiniest of the details.

Pros:
+The bigger diaphragm makes for better sound quality.

+ Has three selectable polar patterns, cardioid, omni and figure-8 to give you the perfect settings.

+ It also comes with a shock mount which eliminates unwanted wind noises.

Why We Liked It - It's really hard to find a flaw in the AKG P420 High-Performance Dual-Capsule True Condenser Microphone. You can pick it up for a fairly low price, making it a real steal.

2. Shure SM81-LC Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone

Shure-SM81-LC-Condenser-Instrument

This microphone is specially designed to record different instruments. With the legendary audio quality that Shure offers, you can be sure this is one of the best mics around.

The Shure SM81-LC Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone is the preferred product of audio professionals the world over. With its design, frequency response, and even the polar pattern, you know you're getting great quality. It gives you more control and depth with your recordings.

Pros:
+ Comes with flat frequency response for accurate sound.

+ Has a cardioid polar pattern so only focuses on the source.

+ Rugged steel construction for increased durability.

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

3. MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

MXL-770-Cardioid-Condenser

MXL is a brand famous for manufacturing state of the art microphones. It is preferred by audiophiles and audio professionals the world over. MXL is also known for making products that have a really good price to performance ratio.
The MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone is another amazing microphone by MXL and comes with the price to performance ratio that MXL is famous for.

Pros:
+ Comes with a multi-purpose small-diaphragm for different applications.

+ Great for recording instruments since it comes with a FET preamp and balanced transformerless output.

+ Wired with Mogami for even higher quality sound.

Why We Liked It - The MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone is one of the best microphones to record acoustic guitars and even the smaller ukulele. The low price of this microphone is also unbeatable.

4. AKG Perception 170 Professional Instrumental Microphone

AKG-Perception-Professional-Instrumental

The AKG Perception 170 Professional Instrumental Microphone is available for under $100 and can record even the most difficult to capture instruments. The low price doesn't mean low quality though! It has excellent durability and performance as well.

Pros:

+ Frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz.

+ Condenser microphone so the sound quality that you can expect from it is first rate.

+ Cardioid polar pattern to eliminate all 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 are just amazing.

5. AKG PERCEPTION 170 Professional Instrumental Microphone

AKG-PERCEPTION-Professional-Instrumental

It doesn't matter what sort of an instrument you decide to record with the AKG PERCEPTION 170 Professional Instrumental Microphone. You'll get quality recordings. As far as recording acoustic guitars goes, this microphone is a cost-effective solution.

Pros:

+ Condenser microphone with a ½ inch condenser transducer diaphragm giving you that clear, crisp transient response.

+ Strong construction, good durability.

+ Good for high SPL applications up to 155 dB SPL since it comes with a switchable attenuation pad.

Why We Liked It - Great price point, durable, with crisp recordings, what more could you want?

6. MXL 990 Condenser Microphone with Shockmount

MXL-990-Condenser

In general, the MXL 990 Condenser Microphone with Shockmount is really good for recording any instrument. But when we get down to specifics, it is one of the best microphones out there for recording acoustic guitars.It comes in with a shock mount to get rid of unwanted noise.

Pros:

+ ¾” gold-sputtered diaphragm for either digital or analog recordings.

+ Attractive, durable vintage body style.

+ Frequency response ranges from 30Hz to 20kHz.

Why We Liked It - The MXL 990 Condenser Microphone with Shockmount is ideal if you're a beginner and on a tight budget.

7. Samson C02 Pencil Condenser Microphones

Samson C02 Pencil

It is always good to have multiple microphones when recording musical instruments, and this pair of microphones offers great quality sound without breaking your bank.

Samson Technologies is renowned for manufacturing top quality wireless microphones. It's one of the industry leaders in quality audio solutions. The Samson C02 Pencil Condenser Microphones are ideal if you're on a small budget.

Pros:

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

+ Come with gold-plated XLR connectors.

+ Has shock-mounted clips and a carrying case so you can easily take them on the go.

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

8. Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Audio-Technica-AT4040-Cardioid-Condenser

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

Pros:

+ It comes with a large diaphragm for crisp, neutral sound.

+ True condenser design which is externally polarized.

+ Transformerless circuitry for 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 recording instruments and specifically acoustic guitar is concerned, it's a great solution.

9. AKG Pro Audio C214 Condenser Microphone, Cardioid

AKG-Pro-Audio-C214

The AKG Pro Audio C214 Condenser is one of the best microphones for just about any application you can think of. In-house studio recordings or on-stage performances, it doesn't matter; this microphone has the best sound quality you can get.

Pros:

+ Large-diaphragm for excellent sound quality. If you're looking to add to the quality - click here for pop shields and filters.

+ Wide dynamic range and ultra-low noise for recording high output sources and close-up recordings.
+ Integrated suspension so all stage vibration mechanical noise is reduced.

Why We Liked It - The AKG Pro Audio C214 Condenser Microphone, Cardioid is hands down one of the best mics around.

Microphones for Acoustic Guitars Buyers' Guide

As we all know, an acoustic guitar is capable of playing all sort of music styles. They are hard to record musical instruments, so you need a high-quality microphone to capture results. Condenser microphones are the best to do the job.

When recording acoustic guitars you'll be 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 hit the market in search of quality condenser microphones, you'll soon see that they're sold at a pretty high price point. This doesn't mean you can't get a condenser microphone for a reasonable price range that has good sonic characteristics. Do a little shopping around before committing to a microphone and make sure you compare features, specs, and prices.

  • Your Budget

Condenser microphones can be as cheap as under $100 and can go up to thousands of dollars. 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're going to get. Having said that, it doesn’t mean you can't find a good condenser microphone at an affordable price. Obviously, high-end microphones will be equipped with more features, but the sound quality you get on the inexpensive models might be exactly what you need. If you are on a small budget, it's important to consider what is more important to you and what you are willing to sacrifice.

  • The Diaphragm Size

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

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 picks up the tiniest details in your recordings. When small diaphragm mics are placed in close contact with the instrument. they also eliminate the effect caused by the studio’s acoustics.

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

The Purpose

The purpose for which you are going to use the microphone is also important. The microphones come with different polar patterns to suit different styles and applications.

When you are using a microphone in a performance, an omnidirectional polar pattern is what you should be looking for. The omnidirectional polar pattern is good in picking up the sound from all directions which is why it's considered to be good for performances.

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

If you're 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 at eliminating unwanted sound by focusing on the source only.

The Accessories

Some condenser mics come equipped loads of accessories. One thing to bear in mind is the more accessories you go for, the higher the price of the microphone.

The accessories that the microphone comes equipped with can include mic stands, shock mounts, popper stopper, etc. But you have to decide which accessories are really important and what you can get by without having if you are on a small budget. Don't go for a mic with a lot of accessories if you’re a beginner level musician.


Top Pick

AKG P420The AKG P420 is one of the best condenser microphones that you will ever find on the market for recording acoustic guitars. Everything about AKG P420 is perfect for recording acoustic guitars.

It has a large one-inch dual diaphragm. It comes with low noise electronics and output that is transformerless to give you a wide dynamic range. It also 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 recording acoustic guitars at a pretty low price.


Premium Choice

Shure SM81-LC Cardioid CondenserThe Shure SM81-LC Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone uses a cardioid polar pattern 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 maximum detail in your recordings. Low noise and high output clipping levers also come 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 make it the perfect premium choice for our readers.


Great Value

MXL 770 The MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone is one of the best microphones you'll find for recording acoustic guitars if you're on a budget. It comes with a multi-purpose small diaphragm, making it really good for 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.

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

 

FAQs

How to Choose the Most Suitable Microphone for 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.

  • The Type

Condenser microphones are commonly used with the acoustic guitars and 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 use.

  • The Budget

This is another important factor that will help you determine the best microphone. Mostly, these microphones are a bit expensive.

  • The Accessories

Although it is completely dependent upon your personal taste, this factor is something to consider. More accessories mean a more expensive microphone.

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

The best microphones for recording your acoustic guitars are condenser mics. They come at a relatively high price. So do your proper research if you are looking for a cost-effective solution.

If you liked this review, please leave a positive rating:

  • 4.9/5
  • 21 ratings
21 ratingsX
Very bad!BadHmmmOkeGood!
0%4.8%0%0%33.3%