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5 Best Mic for Recording Vocals: How to Choose the Perfect One

Are you a singer, podcaster, or voice-over artist looking for the best mic for recording vocals? With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect one. The right microphone can make all the difference in the quality of your recordings, whether you are working in a professional studio or at home. In this blog post, we will discuss the top 5 best mics for recording vocals and provide tips on how to choose the perfect one for your needs.

How to Choose the Best Mic for Recording Vocals?

How to Choose the Best Mic for Recording Vocals?
How to Choose the Best Mic for Recording Vocals?

Before we dive into our list of the best mics for recording vocals, let’s first understand what factors you should consider when choosing the perfect one for your needs.

Types of Microphones

There are three main types of microphones used for recording vocals: dynamic, condenser, and ribbon. Each type has its unique characteristics and is suitable for different recording situations.

  • Dynamic microphones are rugged and versatile, making them ideal for live performances and recording loud sources such as drums and electric guitars. They have a limited frequency response but can handle high sound pressure levels (SPL) without distortion.
  • Condenser microphones are more sensitive and have a wider frequency response compared to dynamic microphones. They are commonly used in studios for recording vocals, acoustic instruments, and delicate sounds. However, they are more fragile and require an external power source.
  • Ribbon microphones are known for their warm and smooth sound, making them popular for recording vocals and string instruments. They are also very sensitive and require careful handling.

Polar Patterns

Polar patterns refer to the direction from which a microphone picks up sound. There are three main polar patterns: cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-8.

  • Cardioid microphones pick up sound from the front and reject sound from the sides and rear. They are ideal for recording vocals as they focus on the source in front of them and minimize background noise.
  • Omnidirectional microphones pick up sound from all directions, making them suitable for recording group vocals or ambient sounds.
  • Figure-8 microphones pick up sound from the front and back while rejecting sound from the sides. They are commonly used for recording duets or interviews.

Frequency Response

Frequency response refers to the range of frequencies that a microphone can accurately capture. A wider frequency response means that the microphone can capture a broader range of sounds. For recording vocals, a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz is ideal.

Sensitivity and SPL Handling

Microphone sensitivity refers to how well a microphone converts sound into an electrical signal. A higher sensitivity means the microphone can pick up quieter sounds, making it suitable for recording softer vocals. SPL handling refers to the maximum sound pressure level that a microphone can handle without distorting the sound. If you plan on recording loud vocals or instruments, make sure to choose a microphone with a high SPL handling capability.

Budget

Last but not least, consider your budget when choosing a microphone. While there are many affordable options available, keep in mind that a higher price usually means better quality and more features. It’s essential to find a balance between your budget and your recording needs.

Now that we have covered the important factors to consider let’s take a look at our top 5 picks for the best mic for recording vocals.

The best mic for recording vocals

AKG C414

The AKG C414 is a legendary microphone that has been used in professional studios for decades
The AKG C414 is a legendary microphone that has been used in professional studios for decades

The AKG C414 is a legendary microphone that has been used in professional studios for decades. It is a large diaphragm condenser microphone with nine selectable polar patterns, making it incredibly versatile for recording vocals and various instruments. The C414 has a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz and a maximum SPL handling of 140dB, making it suitable for recording loud vocals without distortion.

Features:

  • Nine selectable polar patterns
  • Frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz
  • Maximum SPL handling of 140dB
  • Three switchable bass cut filters and three pre-attenuation levels
  • Comes with a shock mount, pop filter, and carrying case

Pros:

  • Versatile for recording various instruments and vocals
  • High-quality sound with a wide frequency response
  • Durable and well-built
  • It comes with useful accessories

Cons:

  • It is expensive compared to other options on this list
  • Requires an external power source
  • Can be too sensitive for some recording situations

Shure SM57

The Shure SM57 is a dynamic microphone that has been a staple in the music industry for over 50 years. It is known for its durability and versatility, making it suitable for both live performances and studio recordings. The SM57 has a cardioid polar pattern, a frequency response of 40Hz to 15kHz, and a maximum SPL handling of 149dB.

Features:

  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Frequency response of 40Hz to 15kHz
  • Maximum SPL handling of 149dB
  • Durable and rugged design
  • Comes with a mic clip and carrying pouch

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Versatile for recording vocals and instruments
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Easy to use and set up

Cons:

  • Limited frequency response compared to other options on this list
  • May not capture subtle nuances in vocals
  • Not as sensitive as condenser microphones

Behringer TM1 Condenser Microphone

The Behringer TM1 is a budget-friendly large diaphragm condenser microphone that offers excellent value for money. It has a cardioid polar pattern, a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz, and a maximum SPL handling of 132dB. The TM1 also comes with a shock mount, pop filter, and carrying case.

Features:

  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz
  • Maximum SPL handling of 132dB
  • Comes with a shock mount, pop filter, and carrying case
  • Affordable price

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Suitable for recording vocals and instruments
  • It comes with useful accessories
  • Easy to use and set up

Cons:

  • May not have the same quality as higher-end options
  • Requires an external power source
  • Not as durable as other options on this list

AKG P120 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

The AKG P120 is another budget-friendly option for those looking for a large diaphragm condenser microphone
The AKG P120 is another budget-friendly option for those looking for a large diaphragm condenser microphone

The AKG P120 is another budget-friendly option for those looking for a large diaphragm condenser microphone. It has a cardioid polar pattern, a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz, and a maximum SPL handling of 135dB. The P120 also comes with a shock mount and carrying case.

Features:

  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz
  • Maximum SPL handling of 135dB
  • Comes with a shock mount and carrying case
  • Affordable price

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Suitable for recording vocals and instruments
  • It comes with useful accessories
  • Easy to use and set up

Cons:

  • May not have the same quality as higher-end options
  • Requires an external power source
  • Not as durable as other options on this list

MXL 990

The MXL 990 is a popular choice among home studio owners due to its affordable price and high-quality sound. It is a large diaphragm condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern, a frequency response of 30Hz to 20kHz, and a maximum SPL handling of 130dB. The MXL 990 also comes with a shock mount and carrying case.

Features:

  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Frequency response of 30Hz to 20kHz
  • Maximum SPL handling of 130dB
  • Comes with a shock mount and carrying case
  • Affordable price

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Suitable for recording vocals and instruments
  • It comes with useful accessories
  • Easy to use and set up

Cons:

  • May not have the same quality as higher-end options
  • Requires an external power source
  • Not as durable as other options on this list

Aston Spirit

The Aston Spirit is a high-quality large diaphragm condenser microphone that offers exceptional sound and versatility
The Aston Spirit is a high-quality large diaphragm condenser microphone that offers exceptional sound and versatility

The Aston Spirit is a high-quality large diaphragm condenser microphone that offers exceptional sound and versatility. It has a switchable polar pattern (cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-8), a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz, and a maximum SPL handling of 138dB. The Spirit also comes with a shock mount and pop filter.

Features:

  • Switchable polar pattern (cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-8)
  • Frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz
  • Maximum SPL handling of 138dB
  • Comes with a shock mount and pop filter
  • Durable and well-built

Pros:

  • Versatile for recording various instruments and vocals
  • High-quality sound with a wide frequency response
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • It comes with useful accessories

Cons:

  • It is expensive compared to other options on this list
  • Requires an external power source
  • Can be too sensitive for some recording situations

Conclusion

Choosing the best mic for recording vocals can be a daunting task, but it’s essential to consider your recording needs and budget before making a decision. The AKG C414, Shure SM57, Behringer TM1, AKG P120, MXL 990, and Aston Spirit are all excellent options for recording vocals, each with its own unique features and price points. Remember to consider the microphone’s type, polar pattern, frequency response, sensitivity, and SPL handling when making your decision. With the right microphone, you can elevate the quality of your vocal recordings and take your music or podcast to the next level.

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