If you love to play acoustic guitar, we’re sure you’ll know the familiar feeling of combining different chords with a beat and then creating a melody- it's almost as though it comes naturally… after some practice, of course!
There are lots of reasons why you might want to purchase a mic for your acoustic guitar. Traditional types do not tend to come with any connectivity ports (such as electronic acoustic guitars which feature a USB outlet), so the only way to get the sound into a sound file that you can access via your laptop and use in your production software is with the help of a microphone.
Take it from us, though, we know how tricky it can be to find the right microphone to get the job done. The best mic for your acoustic guitar will be able to not only pick up on the unique sounds of your guitar but enhance them, too.
So, if you’re wondering where on earth to start - don’t fret! We’ve spent some time compiling our top 5 microphones that are best suited to capturing the sound of an acoustic guitar, providing unbiased reviews of each. You’ll also find a buyer’s guide and F.A.Q at the end to answer any questions you might have.
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Why It's Our Top Pick
The Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone is our top pick of the article. Loved by studio engineers and professional artists alike for its exceptional ability to isolate the main source of sound and enhance it, all the while reducing background noise, the Shure SM57 is one of the most widely used microphones for instruments all over the world.
Here are some features that make it great for recording with an acoustic guitar:
- It utilizes a cardioid polar pattern that will be able to ensure excellent gain before feedback
- It is excellent at capturing the sound of virtually any instrument, making it ideal for using to record sound using your acoustic guitar
- The natural presence peak will be able to ensure extra clarity of the acoustic guitar
- It’s extremely durable and can last many years
Offering the highest sound pressure levels without distortion and with a frequency able to pick up the unique sound of an acoustic guitar, the Shure SM57 is a reliable and high-quality option.
It’s also affordable and built to last many years, which makes it excellent value for money, too.
Top 5 Best Microphone for Recording Acoustic Guitar
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Whether at the studio or performing on a stage, the Shure SM57 LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone is able to deliver the sound from your acoustic guitar to the listener with impeccable sound quality, allowing for a visceral experience like no other.
So, what sets this microphone from Shure apart from the rest? Well, besides it being a firm-favorite of celebrities, musicians and even presidents, the dynamic cardioid polar pattern that this guitar utilizes is able to capture acoustics in great detail (while recording or playing to an audience) with a bright, clean, and contoured sound that you’ll love.
The cardioid pickup pattern is able to do this by isolating the main sound source and amplifying it, all the while effectively reducing the presence of background noise.
Additionally, a pneumatic shock mount system helps to provide tone without the distraction of any handling noise, making it a great choice for acoustic instruments in particular.
Plus, to ensure the best value for money, this microphone is made of high-quality and durable materials that will be able to withstand a few knocks, as well as being able to withstand regular use at home, in stage or at the studio!
- It has a contoured frequency response for clear instrumental recording
- Its cardioid polar pattern will ensure isolated sound and reduced background noise
- The pneumatic shock will be able to help minimize any handling noise of the acoustic guitar
- It does not come with a cable
Another great microphone suitable to be used with your acoustic guitar is the Sennheiser E609 Silver Super Cardioid Instrument Microphone, a cardioid microphone that is durable and high performing.
Whether performing to a live audience or spending the day in the studio recording a brand new track, the Sennheiser E609 Silver Super Cardioid Instrument Microphone will do the job and then some. It features a Super-Cardioid polar pattern that is able to provide exceptional isolation from background noise or other on-stage noises in order to deliver crisp and clarified sound.
Plus, thanks to its 3-6,000 Hz midrange peak, you can have faith that this mic will be able to capture the true sonic character of your acoustic guitar for an authentic sound free of distortion.
To ensure no technical difficulties, this fantastic mic from Sennheiser has also been built to feature a hum compensating coil that is able to reduce the chances of electrical interference from occurring, while the neodymium ferrous magnet will help to keep the mic stable and operating correctly regardless of the environment or space you’re performing or playing in.
- Its unique lateral design does not require a clip and therefore it can be easily positioned from a speaker cabinet
- It features a Cardioid polar pattern that is best suited to capturing the sound of an acoustic guitar, as well as other types of instruments
- It consists of a strong and sturdy metal construction for reliability
- It is expensive
If you’re on the lookout for a budget-friendly pick, our recommendation is the GLS Audio Instrument Microphone!
Designed to both sound and look similar to our top pick, the Shure SM57, the GLS ES57 is a professional quality microphone minus the price tag. It utilizes a dynamic Cardioid polar pattern to ensure a contoured frequency that will allow for a clean and clarified acoustic guitar pickup.
It will be able to do so by isolating the main source of the sound and reducing background noise to deliver the power of your playing to the listeners with optimum clarity.
Plus, to ensure that the rich and unique sound of your acoustic guitar is picked up, this microphone features a sensitivity level of 72dB and a frequency response of 50Hz-15,000Hz which will help to deliver an authentic and true sound quality that is free from distortion.
For added convenience, the GLS Audio ES57 Microphone even comes equipped with a mic clip that will allow you to securely fasten it and then position it in the best angle in order to ensure the mic is able to effectively pick-up on your acoustic guitar. GLS has thought of everything!
- It is both high-quality and affordable
- Its Cardioid polar pattern will be able to capture and enhance the sound quality of your acoustic guitar more effectively than other polar pattern types
- Thanks to its frequency response and sensitivity level, this mic will provide an authentic sound quality
- As it is a dynamic microphone, it has a lower frequency response than condenser microphones
If you’re searching for a microphone that is going to record or amplify the sound of your acoustic guitar as well as other instruments, too - you’re in luck with the Shure SM81 LC Cardioid Condenser Microphone!
Manufactured by industry leaders, Shure, the SM81-LC Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone is the preferred choice of professional musicians and guitar players across the world.
It has a 0Hz to 20Hz frequency response that will help to ensure a clear and accurate sound quality, while its Cardioid polar pattern will provide maximum noise rejection while optimizing the sound of your guitar.
Offering maximum versatility, you have the option of using this mic in a studio, your home or on stage as it is built to withstand regular use, while its low noise characteristics, wide frequency response, and low RF susceptibility make it a great choice for acoustic instruments in particular.
Plus, thanks to its steel design, you can have confidence that this Shure microphone will be able to withstand the rigors of consistent stage or studio use, while also being able to handle the occasional knock or fall.
- It has a rugged and resilient steel design that will ensure it can withstand a few bumps and knocks
- It follows a Cardioid polar pattern to ensure that it only focuses on the guitar
- It has a flat frequency response to ensure an authentic and accurate sound
- It does not come with a cable
For a more full-bodied sound, you might be interested in considering the Rode M5-MP Matched Pair Cardioid Condenser Microphones. Carefully crafted by Rode M5 Sound Engineers, they have been created to have less than one-decibel sensitivity between the two mics for a smooth and clear sound.
Offering low noise and a full frequency response, these microphones are ideal for capturing acoustics in all types of space including your home, at the studio, or on stage. They both feature a Cardioid polar pattern that will reduce the sound background noise while amplifying the sound of your acoustic guitar.
As well as this, these microphones come complete with Rode’s proprietary ceramic coating for a sleek matt black finish, as well as offering a layer of protection to guarantee their durability.
Plus, ensuring excellent value for money, these microphones also come with WS5 windshields, as well as handy stand mounts that will allow you to easily set-up and secure them. Whether you’re a beginner or professional, these Cardioid Condenser Microphones offer both high-quality and affordability.
- They feature a full frequency response and low noise
- They are particularly suited to capturing acoustic instruments thanks to its Cardioid polar pattern
- They come with stand mounts, windshields, and a helpful booklet to get you up and running quickly
- They don’t come with a dust bag or protective case
Best Mic For Acoustic Guitar Buying Guide
Here are some important considerations that you should keep in mind when choosing a mic for your acoustic guitar:
No matter what your budget is, there’s plenty of great mics available that will be able to help capture the unique and rustic sound of the acoustic guitar. Though you might be led to think that the ‘best’ microphone for an acoustic guitar needs to contain all the latest features or be expensive, this is far from the case!
We recommend keeping an eye out for mics that are able to offer a good deal of noise reduction, as well as being able to isolate the main sound source in order to deliver a high-quality sound.
An acoustic guitar is able to produce similar frequencies to that of a singing voice, therefore, large condenser microphones work really well with them. These tend to be one of the most common types of mics which in turn makes them one of the most affordable types, as well as being a great pick for beginners.
On the other hand, small diaphragm condenser mics are also suitable to be used with an acoustic guitar because they have a high frequency which helps to enhance the treble of the guitar. For this reason, this type of mic is most commonly used by professionals and sound-engineers.
When it comes to recording with an acoustic guitar, a Cardioid polar pattern is going to be the most effective. This is because they are most suited to capturing a single sound source (as opposed to capturing a variety of instruments or vocals all at once) and are able to effectively isolate the single sound source and reduce background noise.
Nowadays, most microphones are built with tough metal exteriors that are able to last for many years! However, it’s always worth double-checking what materials the mic is made of, and if it has been built with any features to provide extra resilience to bumps and scratches like a metal base.
Though microphones that feature a more rugged design (such as steel coating) may be more expensive, they tend to last longer, which makes them a great investment.
Some microphones come equipped with different accessories like a mic stand or shock mount. When considering which microphone to choose for your acoustic guitar, it’s worth considering whether you are willing to spend more money on a mic that comes with additional accessories or not.
If you’re a beginner or don’t plan on using the mic too often, you might want to consider purchasing a microphone that doesn’t come with extras in order not to waste money. However, if you don’t have a budget or you plan on regularly recording or performing with a microphone, you might find additional accessories helpful.
For example, a shock mount is able to lower any handling noise, which is particularly suited to an acoustic guitar as handling noise is common.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you record an acoustic guitar with a mic?
Before you even start to play, you should first consider the room or studio space you plan on recording in. The shape and sound of the room will affect the sound of the recording, so it’s important to choose the right spot.
For example, a bathroom tends to have better acoustics than a bedroom because it has more hard surfaces and reflections, which allows for a spacious and full sound.
On the other hand, a bedroom tends to provide a more flat sound due to there being a lot of furniture. We recommend placing the mic close to the guitar and positioning yourself in front of the mic (especially as it is likely you will be using a Cardioid condenser microphone). You can also use a tripod or mic clip to secure your microphone.
What Mic is Best for an Acoustic guitar?
The most common types of microphones used for an acoustic guitar are condenser or dynamic microphones as they can easily be secured to a stand, allowing you to position yourself in front of it and begin to play your guitar.
Additionally, some people even prefer to use a pickup mic that goes inside of the guitar - however, these are less common and harder to come by.
Generally speaking, the best mic for an acoustic guitar will be any that contains a Cardioid polar pattern as this type of pattern is most suited to capturing acoustics as it focuses on just one sound (as opposed to being able to pick up a variety of sounds or instruments) while rejecting background noise.