The Best Cheap Microphone

Is it possible to get the best cheap microphone in today’s hi-tech world? The answer is ‘Yes’. However, you need to carry out enough research so that you will not end up buying a substandard product. To make the selection process easier for you, we hereby present the most excellent affordable mics you can find on the market today.

 

Types of Microphones and how they work

There are three major types of microphone – dynamic, condenser and ribbon. Let’s take a look at each of them and their modes of operations.

Dynamic Microphones

Dynamic microphones are affordable and come with thin membranes connected to their coils. The coil and membrane are surrounded by a magnet, and when the mic picks up sound, they move to produce an electromagnetic signal which is transmitted to your speaker system.

Apart from being affordable, dynamic mics are durable, and that is why they are popular for recording live shows. The only issue with them is that they are not considered to be as accurate as other mic types.

Pros

●       Does not require an independent power source in most cases.

●       Exceptionally long-lasting because of all-mechanical construction.

●       Usually less expensive when compared to other types.

Cons

●       Requires closeness to the sound source.

●       Usually not responsive or accurate like other types.

Best for: Parties, shows and live performances.

Condenser Microphones

Condenser microphones have a wide frequency range as well as high sensitivity, and that is why they are perfect for studio recording. They produce sound through an electrically charged plate in the capsule, which is placed next to a solid capacitor.

The diaphragm in the mic moves when soundwaves enters while the backplate does not move. The alternating distance between the two plates leads to the creation of an electrical signal, and that is why it recreates the original sound perfectly.

They are durable but not as durable as dynamic mics. They require a separate power source before you can use them so that there will be a strong signal. You can use phantom power or batteries to power them.

Pros

●       Great recording range.

●       Guarantees accurate recording because of its high responsiveness and sensitivity.

●       Wider frequency range.

Cons

●       More costly than dynamic mics.

●       Requires a separate power source.

Best For: Studio work and film production.

Ribbon Microphones

Ribbon mics are usually built by hand since their components are fragile. They are the oldest form of mic and come with a tin foil placed between two magnets. The electrical signal produced passes through a transformer, which magnifies the power to an ideal level for amplification.

Ribbon mics are very delicate, meaning that they can get damaged easily. If you rub the foil that makes a ribbon between your fingers, it can disintegrate. Besides, the application of phantom power to the mic can damage the ribbons.

Pros

●       Wide frequency response range.

●       Produces natural and realistic sound.

Cons

●       It is the most expensive.

●       Fragile because of delicate components.

Best for: Studio work.

 

What To Consider in a quality Microphone

To get the best budget microphone, you need to put so many factors into consideration so that you do not make the wrong choice. Here are some of them.

Audio Quality

It is important to go for a mic that will be perfect for your voice or instrument. The quality of sound produced will have an impact on your recording, hence, you should not compromise quality when looking for an affordable product.

Durability

You should get a durable product so that you will not be making replacements frequently. There are affordable mics that are durable, and carrying out proper research will be helpful in discovering them.

Quality Control

Well-known brands tend to protect the quality of their products. Hence, going for a popular brand may be advantageous when looking for a cheap product. Consistency of a product is a plus because it builds trust over the years.

 

Product 1: AKG D5

Specifications

●       Sound Field: Mono

●       Operating Principle: Pressure Gradient

●       Capsule: Dynamic

●       Polar Pattern: Supercardioid

●       Circuitry: Solid-State

●       Frequency Range: 70 Hz to 20 kHz

●       Maximum SPL: 147 dB SPL

●       Impedance: 600 Ohms

●       Load Impedance: 2000 Ohms

●       Sensitivity: 2.6 mV/Pa

●       Equivalent Noise Level: 18 dB A-Weighted

●       Output Connectors: 1 x XLR 3-Pin

●       Item Weight: 12 ounces

●       Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 2.8 x 5.5 inches

Key Features

●       Patented laminated Varimotion diaphragm for optimum performance.

●       Solidly built for enhanced durability.

●       Supercardioid polar pattern for perfect sound pickup.

●       70 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response and high feedback suppression.

●       Dual-shock capsule mounts with an integrated pop filter.

If you are looking for a good cheap microphonewith rich features, you can check out the AKG D5. It delivers beautiful audio at all times, and that is why you can use it for lead and backup vocals. It comes with a laminated Varimotion diaphragm, which enhances your audio performance.

You will like its dual shock capsule mount, which helps in reducing handling noise that may want to interfere with your recordings. Its rugged construction is a plus, making it perfect for all-season use. With its supercardioid polar pattern, you should expect high-gain sound before any feedback.

What’s more, this device has a frequency response range of between 70 Hz and 20 kHz, making the pickup of clear audio a piece of cake. Its maximum SPL stands at 147 dB at 1% THD so that various types of sound can be effectively captured. It comes with a wire-mesh, spring-steel grille, and there is a storage bag as well as a stand adapter in the package.

 

Cardoid Mic: Shure SM57

Specifications

●       Transducer: (Moving Coil) Dynamic

●       Polar Pattern: Cardioid

●       Frequency Response: 40 Hz – 15 kHz

●       Output Impedance: 150 Ohms (300 Ohms Actual) for Connection to Low Impedance Microphone Inputs

●       Output Connectors: XLR-3M Type

●       Item Weight: 10.1 ounces

●       Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 inches

Key Features

●       Uniform cardioid pickup pattern guarantees maximum pickup of the main sound source and reduces background noise.

●       Professional-quality reproduction for the drums and other musical instruments.

●       Clean contoured frequency response for rich instrumental reproduction and vocal pickup.

●       Frequency response of between 40 and 15,000 Hz for optimum results.

●       Durable even when used heavily.

The Shure SM57 is a budget microphone that you can add to your project studio. It is solidly built, and that is why it is perfect for use on various applications. It comes with a unidirectional dynamic transducer, which helps in enhancing quality sound pickup.

With its carefully contoured presence rise, you can use this device for live sound reinforcement as well as recording. You won’t mind its impressive cardioid pickup pattern, isolating the major sound source and reducing background noise. That is why it is ideal for recording drums, woodwinds, and guitar.

Its contoured frequency response is a plus, enhancing instrumental reproduction as well as vocal pickup. There is a shock mount that ensures the perfect perfection of handling noise. It is dynamically designed in such a way that it requires no power to operate. Also, there is a cotton yarn, which lessens microphonic and electrostatic noise that can mar your production.

 

Product 3: Shure SM58

Specifications

●       Capsule: Dynamic

●       Polar Pattern: Cardioid

●       Frequency Range: 50 Hz to 15 kHz

●       Impedance: 150 Ohms

●       Sensitivity: -57.5 dBV/Pa at 1 kHz

●       Output Connectors: 1 x XLR 3-Pin

●       Item Weight: 1.1 pounds

●       Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 4.9 x 3.3 inches

Key Features

●       Uniform cardioid pickup pattern guarantees maximum pickup of the main sound source and reduces background noise.

●       Pneumatic shock-mount system for cutting down interfering handling noise.

●       First-class built-in spherical wind and pop filter for best performance.

●       Break-resistant stand adapter rotating at 180 degrees.

●       Frequency response perfect for vocals, with brightened midrange as well as bass roll-off.

Another cheap good microphone you can put your money on is the Shure SM58. It offers a custom-fit frequency rise of up to 4,000 Hz so that you can effectively record exceptional vocals. You can use it for sound reinforcement as well as studio recording without compromising high quality.

It comes with a highly effective filter, which reduces wind and breath pop noise during production. You will like its cardioid pickup pattern, isolating the major sound source and minimizing background noise. There is a pneumatic shock-mount system that reduces handling noise perfectly.

Besides, its rugged construction is a plus, making it ideal for every application, including demanding ones. There is a break-resistant stand adapter rotating at 180 degrees for optimum performance. Its low-frequency roll-off gives greater control over the proximity effect. With its die-cast metal case and a mesh grille, this is the product to choose for legendary looks as well as toughness.

 

Product 4: MXL R144

Specifications

●       Operating Principle: Pressure Gradient

●       Capsule: Ribbon

●       Diaphragm: 1.85″ / 47 mm

●       Polar Pattern: Figure-8

●       Circuitry: Solid-State

●       Frequency Range: 20 Hz to 17 kHz

●       Maximum SPL: Figure-8: 130 dB SPL

●       Impedance: Figure-8: 250 Ohms

●       Load Impedance: 1500 Ohms

●       Output Connectors: 1 x XLR 3-Pin

●       Item Weight: 1.54 pounds

●       Product Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 4 inches

Key Features

●       Figure-8 polar pattern for capturing instruments and room sound naturally.

●       High SPL capability perfect for horns and electric guitars.

●       Compactly designed for easy mic placement.

●       Rich midrange and rolled-off top end for melodious sound.

●       Lightweight design for easy maneuver.

The MXL R144 is a ribbon mic with a Figure-8 polar pattern for excellent vocal and instrument recordings. It has a 1.8-micron aluminum ribbon, making it possible for you to engage in broadcast applications. You can also use it on acoustic instruments, horns, and strings, due to its high SPL capability.

With its accurate directivity and exceptional side rejection, you can rely on this mic for the most satisfactory sound pickup. Its mid-range and rolled-off top end guarantee the production of melodious sounds at all times. It is compactly designed so that its placement will be as easy as ABC.

You will like its black shock mount, which reduces handling noise for optimum effectiveness. The package comes with a microfiber cleaning cloth so that you can keep your mic clean always. This is certainly the product to get if you want to augment your sound’s tonal palette.

 

Product 5: Samson C02 Pencil Condenser Microphone

Specifications

●       Capsule: Condenser

●       Diaphragm 0.47″ / 12 mm

●       Polar Pattern: Supercardioid

●       Frequency Range: 40 Hz to 20 kHz

●       Maximum SPL: 134 dB SPL

●       Impedance: 200 Ohms

●       Sensitivity: 10 mV/Pa

●       Dynamic Range: 112 dB

●       Equivalent Noise Level: 22 dB A-Weighted

●       Output Connectors: 1 x XLR 3-Pin

●       Operating Voltage: 48 V

●       Operating Current Consumption: 3.5 mA

●       Item Weight: 1.5 pounds

●       Product Dimensions: 11 x 3.2 x 4.8 inches

Key Features

●       Cardioid pickup pattern for the most satisfactory sound pickup.

●       Wide, linear frequency response for detailed pickup without picking up interfering noise.

●       Perfect for both live sound and studio recording applications.

●       Rugged brass case for all-round performance.

●       Gold-plated XLR connectors with carrying case as well as shock-mounted mic clips.

If you are looking for a condenser microphone for high-quality audio performance, you need to consider the Samson C02. This product is sold as a pair, hence, it is perfect for applications that require many mic placements. Also, you can use it for recording percussion and string instruments like cymbals, guitar as well as violin.

It boasts of a low-mass capsule, making it possible for you to record with the highest level of precision. You will like its cardioid pickup pattern, which captures sound perfectly while minimizing surrounding noise. That is why you can use it for both live and studio recordings.

Its solid brass case is a plus, giving you the most outstanding performance in every environment, even in demanding ones.  There is a carrying case for easy transportation, and its compact design guarantees convenient to use.

 

Product 6: Blue Spark Blackout SL XLR

Specifications

●       Operating Principle: Pressure Gradient

●       Capsule: Condenser

●       Polar Pattern: Cardioid

●       Pad: -20 dB

●       High-Pass Filter: 100 Hz, 12 dB/Octave

●       Frequency Range: 20 Hz to 20 kHz

●       Maximum SPL: 136 dB SPL RMS

●       Impedance: 50 Ohms

●       Load Impedance: 1 Kilohm

●       Sensitivity: 34.9 mV/Pa at 1 kHz

●       Dynamic Range: 119.6 dB A-Weighted

●       Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 73 dB A-Weighted

●       Equivalent Noise Level: 16.4 dB A-Weighted

●       Output Connectors: 1 x XLR 3-Pin

●       Operating Voltage: 48 V

●       Item Weight: 11.5 ounces

●       Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 1.8 x 8.7 inches

Key Features

●       Cardioid condenser capsule with a large diaphragm for a high level of effectiveness.

●       XLR connection ensures perfect integration with USB audio interfaces as well as mixers.

●       100Hz low cut filter boosts clarity and reduces background noise.

●       Blue’s Class-A JFET electronics for delivering rich harmonic audio.

●       -20dB pad protects your stream from distortion during intense recording.

The Blue Spark Blackout SL XLR comes with a professional XLR connection as well as flexible switches for solid audio productions. It has a cardioid condenser capsule with a large diaphragm so that you can record with the highest level of precision.

The XLR connection of this device is harmonious with USB audio interfaces as well as mixers. Its Class-A JFET electronics guarantee the delivery of resonant audio. With a 100Hz low-cut filter, you should expect optimum enhancement of sound clarity and reduction of background noise.

Also, there is -20dB pad, which helps in preventing distortions when you are involved in intense applications. Its compactness is a plus, and that is why its convenience use cannot be disputed at all times.

 

Product 7: Behringer C-1

Specifications

●       Operating Principle: Pressure Gradient

●       Capsule: Condenser

●       Diaphragm: 0.63″ / 16.0 mm

●       Polar Pattern: Cardioid

●       Frequency Range: 40 Hz to 20 kHz

●       Maximum SPL: 136 dB SPL

●       Impedance: 100 Ohms

●       Load Impedance: 1000 Ohms

●       Sensitivity: -33 dB

●       Output Connectors: 1 x XLR 3-Pin

●       Operating Voltage: 36 to 52 V

●       Operating Current Consumption: 2.5 µA

●       Item Weight: 14.9 ounces

●       Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 2.1 x 7.1 inches

Key Features

●       Cardioid pickup pattern guarantees maximum sound source separation as well as feedback elimination.

●       Large-diaphragm condenser for optimum performance.

●       Pressure-gradient transducer with a shock-mounted capsule for reducing handling noise.

●       Transformerless FET input prevents low-frequency distortion.

●       Perfect for both studio and live applications.

The Behringer C-1 is an affordable option when you want to record sounds of high quality. It is an exceptional product with a cardioid pickup pattern, picking only the source signal and neglecting interfering sounds.

You will like its first-class transducer as well as gold-plated XLR output, making studio recording quality a reality. Its die-cast body makes it possible to use it in almost all recording situations, including demanding ones.

It is easy to move from one place to another, thanks to its foam-padded carrying case. Also, there is a swivel stand mount included in the package so that you can easily connect it to your stand. It comes with a superior flat frequency response as well as high sound resolution so that you can record acoustic instruments, piano, overhead, and so on, with ease.

 

Product 8: Sennheiser e906

Specifications

●       Capsule: Dynamic

●       Polar Pattern: Supercardioid

●       Frequency Range: 40 Hz to 18 kHz

●       Impedance: 350 Ohms at 1 kHz

●       Sensitivity: 2.2 mV/Pa at 1 kHz

●       Output Connectors: 1 x XLR 3-Pin

●       Item Weight: 5 ounces

●       Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 4.5 x 3 inches

Key Features

●       Flat-shape design for guitar amps.

●       Extra-resistant reinforced metal body for additional durability.

●       Three-position switchable sound character for flawless performance.

●       Compactly designed for ease of use.

●       Lightweight for convenient manipulation.

The Sennheiser e906 comes with a supercardioid pickup pattern, and that is why it is perfect for recording guitar amps, snares, percussion instruments, and so on. You can use it for stage performance because of its supercardioid pickup pattern, which isolates your choice sound from other on-stage signals.

Also, you can use it with drums because of its flat design, you can actually place it in cramped space conditions, such as below the cymbals.

Accompanying the mic is an MZQ 100 clamp, pouch and user manual. Its extra-resistant metal body is a plus, and that is why its durability cannot be disputed. It comes with a 3-position switchable sound character – bright, moderate and dark.

 

Product 9: CAD M179

Specifications

●       Capsule: Condenser

●       Polar Pattern: Figure-8, Omnidirectional

●       Pattern Selection: Continuously Variable

●       Pad: -20 dB

●       High-Pass Filter: 100 Hz, 6 dB/Octave

●       Frequency Range: 20 Hz to 20 kHz

●       Maximum SPL: 123 dB SPL

●       Impedance: 200 Ohms

●       Sensitivity: -36 dB

●       Equivalent Noise Level: 11 dB A-Weighted

●       Output Connectors: 1 x XLR 3-Pin

●       Operating Voltage: 24 V

●       Operating Current Consumption: 8.0 µA

●       Item Weight: 5 pounds

●       Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 9.4 x 9.7 inches

Key Features

●       Side address design with multiple pickup patterns for flawless effectiveness.

●       Elastic shock mount reduces handling noise.

●       Operates through phantom power.

●       Comes with a 6-inch pop filter on a 14-inch gooseneck.

●       Includes 25 ft. XLR universal cable and a carrying case.

The CAD M179 is a cheap omnidirectional microphonewith a figure 8 polar pattern as well as a distinct Omni polar pattern. You can use it for various applications such as choir, orchestra, studio vocals, voice-over, acoustic instrument, bass cabinets, strings, piano, guitar cabinets, and so on.

It has a capsule with a large diaphragm, making it possible to achieve a perfect acoustical window. There is a high-pass filter, which reduces the influence of background noise that can ruin your production. Also, the package includes an elastic shock mount, a swivel mount, and a carrying case.

What’s more, this device requires an operating phantom power of 24V or 48V for the most satisfactory result. You will love its 6-inch nylon mesh screen with a slim gooseneck and swivel mount. It comes with a 25-feet Shielded 3-pin XLR cable so that you can be flexible when using it.

 

In Conlusion

It is possible to get the best cheap microphone if you carry out your research properly. There are various products in the market, and if you want to make the right choice, you can select from the products listed above. They have been properly analyzed so that you will have great value for your money.