Whether you’re managing an online podcast, making video game reviews, or recording something at a studio, your goal is to make your voice crispy clear. When it comes to delivering an impactful performance, your voice is only as good as the instruments you use to amplify its effect. This is where a great microphone comes in.
Not all microphones are created equal, and choosing the perfect one can be difficult since there are plenty of options to choose from. To make the buying process less stressful, we have put together a list of the best microphones that will work in all situations.
1. Shure SM58
The SM58 is a unidirectional dynamic vocal microphone that has held up amazingly well even in 2020. It comes with a built-in spherical filter that minimizes breath and wind noise. You’ve probably seen it being used on stage by popular musicians. Even the pros rely on the robustness and ergonomic features of the SM58. The funny thing is that it only costs around $100, but delivers unparalleled performance.
Internally, it comes with a pneumatic shock-mount system that reduces handling noise. It will survive the occasional drop, thanks to the steel mesh head construction.
- Timeless (made in 1966)
- Clear sound across the majority of the EQ spectrum
- Lacks tonal quality in the higher range
2. RODE NT1-A
The NT1-A comes with a large diaphragm condenser mic that produces some of the clearest sounds possible from a microphone in this range. The size of the diaphragm makes the NT1 extra sensitive to sound, allowing it to capture those quiet, awkward moments in music performances. And, of course, you’ll have no problems recording the exciting bits either.
It features a shockmount and an efficient pop filter with a double-layered metal filter. The NT1-A isn’t a multi-pattern mic, but that doesn’t mean it will prevent you from recording high-quality music. It’s the cheaper model vs the NT2 but definitely worth the money as some believe the NT2 is slightly over priced.
- Warm, rich, and inviting sound
- Very low noise levels (only detectable if you don’t have a proper studio)
- Highly directional cardioid polar pattern
- State of the art electric circuitry
- Not as durable as some other brands
- Needs an audio interface with preamps to work
3. Sennheiser MD42-II
The MD421-II by Sennheiser is one of the most popular microphones in the world and is used by major studios. It has excellent sound qualities with diverse broadcast applications and recording conditions. The MD421-II boasts a reliable, rugged construction that is a hallmark of Sennheiser products. One of its high points is the 5 position bass control and the highly directional cardioid pickup pattern.
- One of the best drum mics
- Works great for loud male singers of rap, rock and metal music styles
- Very durable
- Doesn’t match certain vocal styles
- Slightly more expensive
4. Earthworks SR40V
If you really want to achieve studio quality vocals, then the SR40V by Earthworks easily makes the cut. It is a handheld condenser mic with state of the art cardioid pickup pattern for a lightning quick transient response. The versatile frequency range of the SR40 allows you to capture subtle details in your performance that most vocal microphones are prone to miss.
- Studio sound quality
- Amazing feedback rejection
- Rugged Construction
- May be too pricey for beginners