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Best Vocal Mic: Everything You Need To Know About Buying A Recording Mic

In a world full of technology and options, picking which microphone to introduce into your collection of tools is an arduous task. Do you prefer a high-end, expensive microphone, or are you working on a smaller budget? Do you value the ergonomic structure of your microphones, or do you place more importance on their versatility when recording in the studio?

This list will review five excellent microphone options, from high-end condenser microphones to budget dynamic vocal mics.

Regardless of what you value and require from your audio equipment, there is something for everyone here. By the end of your read, you will have an excellent grasp and understanding of what the best microphone for recording vocals is, from brand and type of microphone, down to the price point and physicality of the mic.

best microphone for recording vocals

Top 5 Vocal Mic

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS 
Shure PGA48-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone
  • With a solid black finish on the microphone’s body
  • High-rated on Amazon
  • Budget-friendly
  • Additional protection is provided by a zipper pouch
Sennheiser Pro Audio E935 Cardioid Dynamic Handheld Mic
  • Rugged and dependable metal construction
  • The convenient neodymium ferrous magnet ensures secure handling
  • Made entirely of sleek black and silver metal
  • Can be used wirelessly as a handheld microphone
Lewitt LCT 640 Reference-Class Condenser Microphone
  • Superior transient response provided by ultra-thin, gold-layered low-mass diaphragms for ear-catching realism and authentic sound
  • 5 directional characteristics for maximum adaptability
  • Ideal for someone who sings live vocals
  • Excellent at capturing musical instruments
Neumann KMS 104 Handheld Vocal Condenser Microphone
  • Well-rounded microphone suitable for any user
  • Transparency for vocals/speech is exceptional
  • With excellent feedback rejection
  • Bass instruments are captured with the same clarity as vocals
MAONO Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
  • Durable metal construction with a plethora of accessories
  • Ideal for those looking for a high-quality microphone for vocal recording
  • Affordable and accessible to both beginners and experts
  • Comes with Zero-Latency Monitoring and Volume Control

1. Shure PGA48-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone

The first microphone we will be discussing is the Shure PGA48-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone, and as its name says, this mic is dynamic! Firstly, it is one of the most affordable microphones specifically designed for vocals on the market ringings in at a low $34.00.

Don’t let the price fool you, this microphone is rated 4.5 stars on Amazon, and produces beautifully clear vocals without damage to your bank account.

This Shure microphone is sleek in design, with a solid black finish on the body of the microphone, and a classic, silver grille. The PGA48-LC also comes with a convenient, padded carrying case for easy transport, making it a good microphone for musicians who travel to and from venues for singing performances, spoken word poetry verbal presentations, or even karaoke!

Similar to most dynamic microphones, this microphone requires delicate handling if you have the goal of creating seamless sound.

Of course, the PGA48-LC comes with some downsides as well. While it is affordable and accessible, this microphone suffers from some “fuzzy” background noise, as is to be expected with dynamic microphones when being heavily handled, which may be a dealbreaker if you’re in the studio recording a professional piece, but a non-issue if you’re someone using this microphone in a stationary position on a mic stand, which prevents the fuzzy sounds altogether.

Pros

  • With a solid black finish on the microphone’s body
  • High-rated on Amazon
  • Budget-friendly
  • Additional protection is provided by a zipper pouch

Cons

  • background noise is a little fuzzy

2. Sennheiser Pro Audio e935 Cardioid Dynamic Handheld Mic

If recording your lively musical performance is your thing, you will love the Sennheiser Pro Audio e935 Cardioid Dynamic Handheld Mic. At just $200, this mic is still affordable for beginners but has the flawless quality that experienced musicians crave.

In contrast to the Shure PGA48-LC, this microphone is meant to be heavily handled and involved in a performance full of movement. The handy neodymium ferrous magnet ensures stable handling in any environment, ridding you of any background crackling or handling fuzz that you may experience with other dynamic microphones.

Much like the PGA48-LC, the e935 is made completely of sleek black and silver metal, and can be used wirelessly as a handheld mic, or placed on a mic stand, which makes it a versatile option for every kind of vocal performer.

Holding a perfect 5-star rating across Amazon and other vendors, it is hard to imagine this microphone having a downside, however, a small percentage of users report the microphone being “too quiet” during live performances of loud music.

If you are someone performing a louder genre of music to a live audience such a heavy metal or rock, you may be disappointed with what the e935 has to offer. But if you are someone willing to sacrifice the intensity of your music for the delicate quality, you will be anything but disappointed with the e935.

Pros

  • Rugged and dependable metal construction
  • The convenient neodymium ferrous magnet ensures secure handling
  • Made entirely of sleek black and silver metal
  • Can be used wirelessly as a handheld microphone

Cons

  • Some users complain that the microphone is too quiet during live performances of loud music

3. Lewitt LCT 640 Reference-Class Condenser Microphone

Do you like versatility in your microphone? Then this Lewitt 640 one is for you! The Lewitt LCT 640 is a condenser microphone that does it all. Although its main design is to capture lead and background vocals, this mic also does a flawless job capturing musical instruments such as bass, percussion, and piano, making it perfect for someone who performs live vocals, or a musician who records vocals in the privacy of the studio.

Why buy multiple microphones with different purposes if the Lewitt mic can do it all in one?

Of course, this impressive microphone has a price tag to match, coming to a total of $899. making it the most expensive microphone on this list. Unlike the Sennheiser and Shure dynamic mics, the Lewitt is a condenser microphone, which explains the intimidating price tag.

Lewitt more than makes up for the price in quality, making it no wonder that the team that designed the Lewitt LCT was comprised of musical producers, musicians, and sound engineers who know exactly what the customer wants.

This microphone is set apart from its competitors due to its sleek design and rich, incomparable, and nuanced sound. Every penny you spend on the Lewitt LCT 640 will be well spent. No regrets here!

Pros

  • Superior transient response provided by ultra-thin, gold-layered low-mass diaphragms for ear-catching realism and authentic sound
  • 5 directional characteristics for maximum adaptability
  • Ideal for someone who sings live vocals
  • Excellent at capturing musical instruments

Cons

  • Expensive

4. Neumann KMS 104 Handheld Vocal Condenser Microphone

The second and last condenser microphone on this list is the Neumann KMS 104 Handheld Vocal Condenser Microphone. Ringing in cheaper than the Lewitt at just $698, the Neumann is an excellent choice for an intermediate musician who is looking for experience with more expensive audio equipment.

An interesting component of the 104 is that it was specially formulated to work optimally with female vocalists! Men do not fret – the 104 is diverse in ability and offers smooth, crispy sound to musicians of any gender.

This microphone is especially appealing to live performers and studio recording, and captures the sound of bass instruments with the same clarity as vocals, making it a well-rounded microphone for any user.

Are you someone who needs a microphone primarily for full-band audio recording? Are you ready to invest in your musical equipment without dropping over $1,000? The Neumann is the one for you.

Pros

  • Well-rounded microphone suitable for any user
  • Transparency for vocals/speech is exceptional
  • With excellent feedback rejection
  • Bass instruments are captured with the same clarity as vocals

Cons

  • A little expensive

5. MAONO Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

The last microphone on this list is the Maono Cardioid Dynamic Microphone. At $65, the Maono is more affordable than higher-end microphones such as the Lewitt 640 and Neumann 104, but more advanced in quality than the less expensive than Shure PGA48.

This mic’s purpose is to capture beautiful audio – a task it takes seriously! With a 4.5 star rating, it is undeniable that the Maono microphone is not only effective but affordable and accessible for beginners and experts alike.

This microphone is ideal for users looking for a high-quality microphone for recording vocals in the privacy of a studio or home studio. Although it is not designed for live performances, the Maono holds its own during live performances, providing musicians with the presence boost they need to demand the audience’s attention and give a lovely performance.

If you want the best microphone for recording vocals on a modest budget, the Maono is for you.

Pros

  • Durable metal construction with a plethora of accessories
  • Ideal for those looking for a high-quality microphone for vocal recording
  • Affordable and accessible to both beginners and experts
  • Comes with Zero-Latency Monitoring and Volume Control

Cons

  • A few users reported hearing a hum from this mic via the USB port

Buyer’s Guide – how do I find the microphone that is perfect for me?

Options, options, options! The more options the merrier, right? It may seem like having an array of possibilities would help us choose the microphone that is perfect for us and our needs – but sometimes it is just more daunting!

Before choosing a microphone it is important to examine our own needs; what purpose do we want the microphone to serve? What is my budget? What I DON’T want in my microphone?

A black condenser microphone for podcasting.
A black condenser microphone for podcasting.

If your intention is to find a microphone with excellent vocal quality rather than instrumental or live performance quality, you are in the right place! So what are the important aspects of a microphone designed for vocals…?

Type of Microphones

The first, and potentially most important question you need to ask yourself is what type of microphone you want to buy. You should pick a microphone designed for your specific needs. Not all microphones are designed for best-capturing vocals, and not all vocal microphones are designed for the same TYPE of vocals, such as the difference between a live performance vocal microphone a podcasting microphone, or a microphone ideal for recording music in a studio.

The most common types of microphones used for vocals are condenser, dynamic, and ribbon microphones.

Type Of Microphones

Dynamic Microphone

Have you ever been to a live concert? The likelihood that a live performer is using a dynamic microphone is high. The composition of the microphone makes it perfect for live settings; they are rough and tough, able to handle the movement and energy level of the loudest rock concert, or the powerful vocals of a classical opera singer.

Like most microphones, dynamic microphones produce sound through the connection of a coil acting as an inductor into a diaphragm, bringing it into the magnetic field. Subsequently, the diaphragm moves, causing the coil to also move and create voltage, which shapes the output of the microphone.

Dynamic mics tend to be more affordable than condenser microphones, but that is well deserved considering they do not deliver as detailed of audio, especially in a live setting.

Condenser Microphone

Unlike the dynamic mic, condenser microphones do not utilize the magnet and coil setup, but rather a capacitator plate that is fueled via electric charge from a battery or cable. The mic’s electronic signal is created by the vibration of the diaphragm, which causes the distance between the diaphragm and backplate to change, which alters the voltage and therefore generates the electronic signal.

Because the plate is so easy to move, requiring much less energy than a dynamic microphone, it captures more detailed sound, producing a beautiful translation of even the smallest note.

Most studio recordings you hear on albums or on your favorite musical streaming service were recorded using a condenser mic, so undoubtedly you have had the privilege of hearing the lovely audio they create. Condensers are more expensive than dynamic microphones, but appropriately so considering they produce higher quality sound.

Ribbon Microphone

Technically, ribbon microphones are a subset kind of dynamic microphones. What sets the ribbon microphone apart is the aluminum ribbon that takes place of the diaphragm in traditional dynamic microphones. This type of microphone is traditionally used in the studio setting to record vocals as well as instrumental music.

The ribbon microphone has the ability to create warm, rich sound, increasing the quality of the recording. If you are the type of person who wants a tough microphone like a normal dynamic microphone, the ribbon may be disappointing, as they are incredibly fragile, and tend to be more expensive than a dynamic or condenser mic.

This type of microphone is especially useful for in-studio recording artists who have a distinct, notable style of sound.

Microphones Explained in Detail.

Now that you understand the different types of microphones, you can choose the one that is best for your particular needs. If you are looking for a live performance microphone that has lesser quality when recording in the studio BUT is incredibly affordable with many options under $100. you may be in the market for a dynamic microphone.

If you are willing to shell out more cash for a beautiful quality recording, the condenser microphone will be your best pal. For experienced musicians looking for warm, flowery sound quality at a higher price point, the ribbon may be your preference. No matter what your needs are. there is a type of microphone for you.

Conclusion

These five microphones may be the cream of the crop for their price and ability, but they are not the only microphones on the vast microphone market. Troubleshooting with different microphones is the only way to ensure you find the microphone of your dreams – one that captures every little sound in crisp, vivid detail (or doesn’t if that’s what you’re looking for!).

Remember: The sound quality of a microphone does not matter if you cannot afford it.

This list intentionally captured a look at microphones from ALL budgets and price points, from novice dynamic mics, to expensive condenser microphones for people interested in professional, studio recording. You may not find the microphone that fulfills your every audio dream right away, but with this list and buyer’s guide you will have a solid jumping off point in your search for musical bliss!

About Maggie Holding

Hello! My name is Maggie and I am a proud Editor/Author for PlayTheTunes. Coming From South Carolina, USA, my whole life I've sang and played the guitar and flute! I love music with a passion, and am ecstatic to help others in their own music journey!