Best Recording Studio Microphones of 2017 | Buying Guide
The art of recording sounds, whether it’s vocals, instruments, or everyday noises, has been around since the invention of the phonograph during the Industrial Revolution. Since then, recording sounds has gone through four waves: the acoustic era, the electrical era, the magnetic era, and the digital era. Each era brought new innovations and changes to the recording industry. We’re fortunate enough to live in the digital era, which has seen massive growth in the available technology. If you’re looking to record anything at all, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a microphone that can get the job done.
While having all of this technology readily available is wonderful overall, it can be debilitating and overwhelming at times. We have a constant barrage of choices, which makes it difficult to know which microphone is the right one for your purposes. If you already know what you’re planning on using the microphone for, you can easily narrow down the list by eliminating mics that won’t work. This will still leave you with a surprisingly long list of options, however. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten best recording microphones in 2016 to help sift through the countless options.
Best Studio Recording Microphones of 2017
-38 dB sensitivity
155 dB SPL
-55 dB sensitivity
120 dB SPL
137 dB SPL
-33 dB sensitivity
45 dB sensitivity
-37 dB sensitivity
-40 dB sensitivity
-38 dB sensitivity
Choosing a recording microphone is an important decision, especially if you’re planning on purchasing an expensive one. You want a product that will deliver on what it promises and that can handle the jobs you need it to perform. We’ve combed through the available options, taking into count the customer reviews to help you find the right mic for you. These are the five best recording microphones currently available.
1. QIBOX BM-800 Pro - Best Recording Microphone of 2017
The QIBOX BM-800 Pro Studio Broadcasting and Recording Microphone is a large diaphragm condenser microphone, which gives it a warm, smooth sound. The microphone has a flat frequency response ranging from twenty to sixteen thousand hertz, which helps maintain the integrity of the sound. It also has a sensitivity of -38 decibels, so it is great at picking up quiet or distant sounds when necessary.
This studio microphone has a neodymium magnet, which allows for a high sensitivity and less self-noise that causes interference. It is great for radio broadcasting and voice-overs. It can be plugged directly into your computer’s audio jack and doesn’t require any additional software for use. It does require phantom power, however.
The recording mic comes with a shock mount to reduce handling noise and has a locking knob that allows you to angle the mic in whatever way best suits you. It also comes with a pop filter and a foam anti-wind cap to help reduce unwanted noise. An XLR to 3.5 mm mic cable is also included.
2. AKG Perception 220 Professional Studio Microphone
This recording studio microphone from AKG is a condenser microphone that uses a large diaphragm to help create a clear, warm sound over a range of frequencies from twenty to twenty thousand hertz. It uses a cardioid polar pattern and a switchable bass-cut filter to pick up the sounds you want and eliminate background or interference noise.
The Perception 220 is part of AKG’s Project Studio line and is great for recording acoustics, vocals, and brass. It has an attenuation pad that gives it a maximum Sound Pressure Level of one hundred and fifty-five decibels, which makes it suitable for loud sounds as well.
This recording microphone has an all-metal body, which makes it durable and capable of standing up to everyday use. It requires an XLR connection and phantom power. It comes with a spider shock mount and an aluminum carrying case.
3. TONOR Professional Condenser Recording Podcast Microphone
The TONOR Professional Condenser Recording Podcast Microphone is made for podcasts but can be used for any vocals, speech, and instruments. It has a flat response frequency from fifty to sixteen thousand hertz and a sensitivity level of -55 decibels. This makes it excellent at picking up even the quietest sounds. The sensitivity level can be controlled and the mic uses a cardioid pickup pattern to help control which sounds are recorded.
This recording mic has a 3.5 mm Auxiliary Jack and can be used with any PC or capable amplifying device. Unlike most condenser microphones, it does not require a phantom power source. It comes with an adjustable tripod, a six-foot XLR to 3.5 mm jack cable, and a 12-month warranty. The tripod has an anti-slip base so you can feel safe leaving the mic on any surface. The mic can also be used with a USB cable, but this is not included.
4. Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone
The Yeti USB Microphone from Blue Microphones has three condenser capsules, making it highly versatile. It has three pickup patterns to choose from including cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo. This means it is suitable for a plethora of activities from field recordings to voiceovers to conference calls.
The Yeti mic has a flat response frequency range from twenty to twenty thousand hertz and a maximum Sound Pressure Level of one hundred and twenty decibels. It is excellent at picking up on both loud and quiet sounds. It can include external noises or isolate specific noises depending on what you want. This recording mic is durable and capable.
This microphone is built to handle just about any job and can be plugged into any USB capable device without additional software. It comes with studio headphones and a Knox pop filter so you can be sure that you are getting the highest quality sound.
5. MXL 770 Professional Studio Condenser Microphone
The MXL 770 Professional Studio Condenser Microphone is a small diaphragm condenser mic, which means it is excellent recording higher frequencies and maintaining sound quality. It has a flat response for frequencies between thirty and twenty thousand hertz and a maximum Sound Pressure Level of one hundred and thirty-seven decibels.
This studio mic uses a cardioid pickup pattern to help isolate the sounds you want recorded or amplified. It also features a pop filter to help cut back on plosive vocal sounds and filter out background noises. It produces a clean and clear sound for vocals and instruments, though it is mostly intended for vocals.
The MXL 770 comes with a shock mount and a carrying case. It requires an XLR cable and a phantom power supply. This mic can be purchased as a bundle as well, which includes a twenty foot XLR cable, a pop filter, and a tripod mic stand with a fixed length boom.
Other Noteworthy Recording Microphones
6. Audio-Technica AT2035 Studio Condenser Microphone
7. Floureon BM-800 Condenser Sound Studio Recording Broadcasting Microphone
8. Audio-Technica AT2020 Condenser Studio Microphone
9. CAD U37 USB Studio Condenser Recording Microphone
10. Neewer NW-800 Professional Studio Broadcasting & Recording Microphone
Recording Microphone Buying Guide
Types Of Recording Microphones
If you’re looking to purchase a microphone, it’s important to know that there are different types. While any of these types of microphones can potentially be used to record, some are generally better than others. The type you choose will ultimately depend on what you’re planning to record. It may also depend on how much versatility you want and how much you’re willing to spend. Here are some of the most common types of microphones available.
Dynamic microphones are traditionally used more for amplification than recording, but they can certainly be used for both purposes. They have very few moving parts, which makes them good for handling and everyday use. They also have a high gain before feedback, which means they provide a louder sound with less interference from outside sources. This also makes them great for recording louder and more powerful sounds, such as drums. Dynamic microphones are generally less expensive than other types of microphones and do not require a power source of any kind.
Condenser microphones are probably the most common type of recording studio microphones. They contain either a small or large diaphragm that gives them a pristine quality of sound that is hard to beat. These mics are able to maintain a flat frequency response over a wide range and provide a sound that is truer to the original sound than what is found in other types of microphones. Condenser mics tend to be on the more expensive side, but it’s certainly possible to find a quality one for a decent price. They also generally require an outside power source, known as phantom power.
Ribbon microphones are similar to dynamic microphones regarding the components used to make them, but they have some distinct differences. They aren’t used as often as they used to be, but are definitely a viable option for broadcasting and recording. These mics use a vibrating ribbon to capture sound, which gives them a flat response rate at high frequencies. They typically have a bidirectional pickup pattern, which makes them great for interviews or other situations where you want to record sounds on both sides of the mic. It is possible to find a ribbon mic with a different type of pick up pattern, as well, though this is rare. Though they were once delicate, these studio microphones are much more durable now. They are also less expensive than they used to be.
Different Recording Microphone Brands
The recording and audio industries are chalk full of different microphone brands. Some of these are more easily recognized than others, but they are certainly not the only ones that exist. Some brands offer excellent products, while others offer cheaply made, low quality items. Purchasing a microphone can be intimidating enough as it is without having to also be worried if you’re getting a decent product. These are a few trustworthy and reputable recording microphone brands.
Established in 2014, TONOR is still pretty new to the recording microphone scene. It specializes in microphones and microphone accessories, which means it is solely dedicated to creating the best recording products. Its microphones are designed in California and manufactured in China.
TONOR seeks to create microphones that provide clear, authentic sounds while eliminating interference and static. It works hard to ensure quality control prior to sending out any products to consumers. It is also willing to replace any defective products without charge, showing how dedicated it is to delivering high quality products.
Neewer is another relatively new company that was founded in 2010. It is dedicated to continued development of products in the music industry, as well as the film and photography industries. It also focuses on research in all three of these fields. It offers a range of products for amateurs, professionals, and everyone in between.
“Pro Quality, Amateur Prices,” is the motto of Neewer. The company follows this motto by consciously taking into account what its customers are looking for in entertainment industry products. It is committed to creating affordable products without compromising quality. This company is unique and truly cares about the consumer’s opinions and needs.
This company has become a top seller within its industry. It has a strong, positive reputation among its customers and others in the industry, because of its continued dedication to creating the best possible products for the lowest possible prices. It will continue to listen to the consumers and make products that suit their needs.
Floureon was founded in 2011 and is an offshoot of ShenZhen Global Egrow E-Commerce Company Limited. It offers excellent products overall, and its microphones are no exception. It is certified by the International Organization for Standardization, so there is no doubt this company creates high quality products.
This company has a global marketing presence and is dedicated to continuing its pattern of innovation and improvement. It is committed to meeting and exceeding its customer’s expectations. Floureon has only begun to dabble in the microphone industry, but it continues to pursue the most up-to-date technologies and will grow over time.
Features Any Recording Microphone Should Have
When you’re shopping for a recording microphone, there are some important features to look for. These features can make or break the overall performance of your microphone, so they’re well worth taking into account prior to making any purchases.
- Frequency Response: A great microphone will not simply have a wide range of detectable frequencies. While this is important, it is also good to know how responsive the microphone is to different frequencies. The frequencies the mic is good at picking up will directly impact what you are recording. A studio microphone should be responsive over a large range of frequencies.
- Versatility: Ideally, a recording microphone will be able to record in a multitude of environments and situations. It should be able to be used for many different instruments and purposes, so you don’t have to buy a new mic each time a new project comes up.
- Durability: Many condenser mics are known to be on the more fragile and expensive side, which can make it painful if you accidentally damage one. As technology advances, however, more durable and affordable mics are becoming available. Buying a durable mic can end up saving you headaches and money in the long run.
Recording microphones are no small investment. They play a huge part in the quality and success of the end result of recording. This is why it’s so important to take your time when deciding to make a microphone purchase. You should be able to find an affordable option without losing any of the quality you desire. This guide takes into consideration what other microphone customers had to say about different products and will hopefully help you find the recording microphone you’re looking for.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com