Best Mic for Recording Vocals in 2022

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A good microphone is essential for recording vocals. However, when shopping for a microphone, how do you choose from the many models available? An excellent place to start is by reading reviews, and that’s what this is. This article reviews 7 contenders for the best microphone for recording vocals. So, let’s get started.

Comparison Chart

Shure SM58LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
51lITes2cRL. SL500
Rode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone Package
41DyRFZY7QL. SL500
Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone for Broadcast, Podcast & Recording, XLR Studio Mic for Music & Speech, Wide-Range Frequency, Warm & Smooth Sound, Rugged Construction, Detachable Windscreen – Black
31qm+W3iDJL. SL500
Sennheiser MD 421 II Cardioid Dynamic Mic
41WjmzDasEL. SL500
Neumann TLM 102 Condenser Microphone, Nickel
41PG4mQC +L. SL500
Audio-Technica AT2035 Large Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone (Renewed)
51S2cLiHrhL. SL500
XLR Condenser Microphone, TONOR Professional Cardioid Studio Mic Kit with T20 Boom Arm, Shock Mount, Pop Filter for Recording, Podcasting, Voice Over, Streaming, Home Studio, YouTube (TC20)

Best Mic for Recording Vocals: Reviews

Shure SM58LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

This reasonably priced microphone has a few great features that make it a good investment. It might not be the most expensive model, but it performs pretty well.

Review

This is a cardioid microphone with a great pickup pattern that is very sensitive to the sound in front of it. In addition, it rejects all off-axis sounds very well. This cardioid pattern also allows for great gain before feedback. There’s also a specifically tailored frequency response designed for vocals. It has a frequency range of 50 Hertz to 15 kilohertz for a bright midrange and great proximity control.

In addition, there are wind and pop filters, so your breath doesn’t make popping noises when you record vocals. Finally, the advanced pneumatic shock mount system helps minimize any mechanical noise and vibration from moving the microphone around.

This microphone has a steel mesh grille and enamel-coated metal construction. For the low price, it’s a fantastic option to consider.

Pros

  • Great sound pickup
  • Off-axis sound isolation
  • Steel mesh grille for durability
  • High-quality pop filter
  • Good frequency response for vocals
  • Pneumatic shock mount system

Cons

  • Cable not included
  • Some feedback at max volume

Rode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone

51lITes2cRL. SL500

This is a great condenser mic if you want to pick up really sensitive and quiet vocals. However, it’s not overly cheap, but you get what you pay for, and here you get one great mic.

Review

The large 1-inch condenser diaphragm can pick up even the quietest and faintest vocals. It has incredible sensitivity, and the frequency ranges from 20 Hertz to 20 kilohertz. As a result, it should be able to pick up both the lowest and the highest of vocals without distortion. This is a sensitive and wide-frequency range microphone ideal for all vocal types.

This model features a cardioid pickup pattern to ensure that it only picks up noise from the front but nothing from the side or rear.

In addition, this is an ultra-low noise microphone that features transformerless surface mount circuitry. This microphone has a self-noise level of just five decibels, making it ideal for even the quietest vocals. This is rated as the world’s quietest studio microphone.

It comes with a pop filter, a shock mount, and an internal capsule shock mounting to ensure no interference; this should help eliminate sounds caused by breathing, vocal popping, or microphone movement.

Pros

  • Durable build
  • Almost no self-noise
  • Pop filter
  • Shock mount
  • Great sound pickup with off-axis elimination
  • Very sensitive
  • Great frequency range

Cons

Not inexpensive

Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone

41DyRFZY7QL. SL500

This microphone is ideal for recording vocals, podcasting, etc. This is a high-end microphone with a price tag to match. However, if you need a reliable unit, it is an investment worth making.

Review

One of this microphone’s stand-out features is the very flat, smooth, and wide frequency response range that makes it ideal for various applications, including both speech and music recording.

In addition, it comes with excellent shielding against electromagnetic hum, so it’s not going to pick up the humming from neon lights, electrical devices, nearby computers, etc. There’s a pop filter and various windscreens designed to prevent popping noises created by talking and breathing; it works well for both singing and speaking. Finally, the sturdy bracket holds it in place.

Moreover, this unit has the classic cardioid pattern for uniform capture. As a result, you can speak or sing at a very comfortable angle while the microphone rejects all off-axis audio.

Pros

  • Very durable build
  • Two-year warranty
  • High-quality cardioid pickup
  • Excellent shielding against EM hum
  • Pop and wind filters included
  • Great frequency response range

Cons

  • Requires at least 60dB of gain
  • Very expensive

Sennheiser MD 421 II Cardioid Dynamic Mic

31qm+W3iDJL. SL500

This might be the best microphone on our list. Sennheiser is a well-known brand in this field, and they haven’t failed to deliver quality craftsmanship in this microphone.

Review

This is a genuinely fantastic microphone partly due to the cardioid pickup pattern. It picks up sound from the front and rejects all off-axis sound; it’s not going to pick up anything that it shouldn’t pick up.

In addition, it has a frequency response range of 30 to 17,000 Hertz, a sensitivity of 2mV/Pa +/- 3 dB, and a nominal impedance of 200 ohms. As a result, this microphone can pick up both the highest and lowest vocals and the very quiet ones.

The five-position bass roll-off switch enables you to adjust the bass attenuation, which will allow this microphone to be used in a variety of settings. It also comes with pop and wind filters.

Moreover, this microphone features a composite glass housing with a hardened stainless steel basket. It is one of the toughest and most durable microphones, a microphone you can use in the studio and on stage. There’s a 2-year warranty if something goes wrong.

Pros

  • Superior build quality
  • Excellent sensitivity and frequency range
  • Pop filter
  • High-quality cardioid pickup pattern
  • 2-year warranty
  • Resistant to dust and humidity
  • Fantastic sound reproduction

Cons

  • Expensive
  • The mic clip isn’t great

Neumann TLM 102 Condenser Microphone

41WjmzDasEL. SL500

This condenser mic from Neumann is another high-end and expensive microphone. However, with that said, it comes with excellent quality and functionality in all aspects.

Review

This studio microphone operates with a pressure gradient transducer. It is a cardioid microphone that picks up sound from the front but nothing from the sides or the rear.

In addition, this microphone comes with a frequency range of 20 Hertz to 20 kilohertz. At the same time, it also features a sensitivity of 11mV/Pa. This means it does an excellent job picking up all sorts of vocals, whether loud or quiet or high- or low-pitched. The rated impedance is 50 ohms.

This microphone is designed for voice-over artists, broadcasters, and streamers. However, it could also be used to record music vocals. The transformerless circuitry helps cut down on any humming sounds. The maximum sound pressure level of 144 decibels is very high, so you can use this microphone to record percussion, drums, vocals, and instruments. It also has a great bass range.

The capsule comes with an elastic suspension system that reduces handling and structural noise. A pop screen built into the grille helps suppress plosives when recording speech and vocals. The stand mount is included.

Pros

  • High-quality cardioid pickup pattern
  • Condenser mic ideal for many purposes
  • Fantastic sensitivity
  • Great frequency range
  • Cuts down on humming
  • Eliminates handling noise
  • Durable design
  • High-quality pop filter
  • Compact

Cons

  • The stand mount could be a bit higher quality
  • The price is very high

Audio-Technica AT2035 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

41PG4mQC +L. SL500

This is a much more budget-friendly microphone. It might not be super expensive, but it comes with beneficial features.

Review

This microphone works well for standard voice recording as well as for vocals. It’s also something that can be used in the studio or for live performances.

Moreover, it is a cardioid condenser microphone, so it picks up sound from the front and nothing from the sides or rear.

In addition, this unit comes with a very large diaphragm that results in a very natural and smooth sound and very low noise levels. This sensitive microphone will pick up quiet vocals with ease.

This microphone also features high SPL handling and a wide dynamic range. The frequency response range is 20 to 20,000 Hertz. Also, it can handle a maximum input volume of 148 decibels.

Finally, this mic comes with a custom shock mount for even better noise isolation; it will not pick up any noise caused by microphone movement. In addition, there’s an integrated pop filter and an 80 Hertz high pass filter.

Pros

  • Great price
  • Ideal for various purposes
  • Good frequency range
  • Decent sensitivity
  • Shock mount
  • Pop filter
  • Cardioid pattern

Cons

  • Low-quality paint job
  • Somewhat limited durability

XLR Condenser Microphone Kit

51S2cLiHrhL. SL500

This is the most budget-friendly microphone on our list. Admittedly, it’s not the best microphone, although it still holds its own.

Review

This microphone is designed for studio, vocal, voice recording, streaming, etc. The cardioid pattern features excellent off-axis sound suppression but picks up sound from the front while eliminating background noise.

Also, this microphone features a frequency response of 20 Hertz to 20 kilohertz. The sensitivity of this mic is -45dB±3dB. So, this is a fairly sensitive microphone that can pick up quiet sounds and very high and very low notes.

Moreover, you get a low noise preamplifier with very high SPL handling that allows for a warm, natural, and smooth sound with high-end clarity.

In addition, there’s a shock mount to reduce movement noise and a pop filter to reduce popping sounds from your breath. Finally, it comes with a cable and a suspension stand.

Pros

  • Great price
  • Comes with a pop filter
  • Metal shock mount
  • Good range and sensitivity
  • Good noise isolation
  • Very versatile

Cons

  • Sound quality isn’t quite as good as with some of the higher-end units on our list
  • Somewhat limited durability

Buyer’s Guide

There are a few essential considerations to keep in mind before you buy a microphone for vocals

Diaphragm Type

There are three types of microphone diaphragms: two types of dynamic diaphragms and one condenser diaphragm. Moving coil and ribbon diaphragms are dynamic, and front plate diaphragms are condensers.

As you can tell from our reviews, we more or less covered only condenser microphones because this is the diaphragm of choice for vocals.

Polar Pattern

The polar pattern refers to a microphone’s sensitivity when sound is directed added from various angles. There are a few different polar patterns, although cardioid is the best for recording vocals.

Frequency Response

Frequency response is about how well a microphone can reproduce sounds in various tonal ranges. In other words, this is how well it picks up highs and lows. Generally speaking, a range of 20 Hertz to 20 kilohertz is ideal.

Pop Filter

You need a microphone that has a pop filter as it will help stop the microphone from picking up sounds created by your breath.

Power Source – Phantom Power

Look for a phantom power microphone as it doesn’t require excessive or bulky external power supplies.

FAQ

What’s The Difference Between Dynamic And Condenser?

A condenser microphone can capture delicate sounds and high frequencies, whereas a dynamic microphone is best for loud and robust sounds.

Which Pickup Pattern Do I Need?

A cardioid pickup pattern is generally best for recording vocals.

What Can I Do to Look After My Microphones?

One of the best tips is always to keep your microphone in a plastic bag when not in use. This will prevent foam and dust from getting into the microphone. But, of course, you also want to clean it regularly.

How Can I Control Ambient Noise, Spill, and Crosstalk?

The best way to do this is with a high-quality microphone with various filters that eliminate all ambient noise.

How Can I Find the Best Position For the Mic in Relation to the Sound Source?

The best position is always head-on if you are using a cardioid microphone.

The Bottom Line

The Neumann TLM 102 Condenser Microphone is the best mic for vocals on this list. Although it is expensive, it blows all others out of the water by a long shot.

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