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Best Microphone for Recording Vocals: Top Picks for Beginners

As a beginner in the world of music recording, it can be overwhelming to choose the right microphone for your vocals. With so many options available, it’s easy to get lost in technical jargon and end up with a microphone that doesn’t suit your needs. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best microphones for recording vocals for beginners. Whether you’re a singer-songwriter, podcaster, or just starting in the music industry, these top picks will help you achieve professional-quality recordings without breaking the bank.

What Microphone Should a Beginner Use?

What Microphone Should a Beginner Use?
What Microphone Should a Beginner Use?

Before diving into our top picks, it’s important to understand the different types of microphones and their uses. There are two main types of microphones – dynamic and condenser. Dynamic microphones are more rugged and durable, making them ideal for live performances and recording loud instruments like drums and electric guitars. On the other hand, condenser microphones are more sensitive and provide a clearer and more detailed sound, making them perfect for recording vocals and acoustic instruments.

As a beginner, it’s recommended to start with a condenser microphone as it offers better sound quality for vocals. However, if you plan on performing live or recording loud instruments, a dynamic microphone may be a better choice. Now let’s take a look at the best condenser microphones for beginners.

What is the Best Condenser Mic for Beginners?

Condenser microphones come in various shapes, sizes, and price ranges. As a beginner, you don’t need to invest in an expensive microphone right away. Instead, focus on finding a budget-friendly option that still offers good sound quality. Here are our top picks for the best microphone for recording vocals for beginners.

Best Microphone for Beginners Overall: Audio Technica AT2020

Best Microphone for Beginners Overall: Audio Technica AT2020
Best Microphone for Beginners Overall: Audio Technica AT2020

The Audio Technica AT2020 is a popular choice among beginners and professionals alike. It’s a versatile microphone that offers exceptional sound quality at an affordable price. This cardioid condenser microphone has a wide frequency response and a high SPL handling, making it suitable for recording vocals, acoustic instruments, and even loud sources like drums.

The AT2020 also features a low-mass diaphragm and custom-engineered low-noise circuitry, resulting in a warm and natural sound with minimal distortion. It comes with a pivoting, threaded stand mount and a protective pouch, making it easy to set up and transport. Overall, the Audio Technica AT2020 is a reliable and budget-friendly option for beginners looking for a high-quality condenser microphone.

Specifications:

  • Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: -37dB (14.1 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa
  • Max SPL: 144dB
  • Weight: 12.1 oz (345 g)
  • Price: $99

Best Dynamic Microphone for Beginners: Shure SM57

If you’re looking for a dynamic microphone that can handle both live performances and studio recordings, the Shure SM57 is a great choice. This legendary microphone has been used by musicians and engineers for decades and has become a staple in the music industry. Its rugged construction and versatile sound make it a go-to microphone for recording vocals, electric guitars, drums, and more.

The SM57 has a cardioid polar pattern and a tailored frequency response, providing a clear and natural sound with minimal background noise. It also has a built-in pneumatic shock mount system that minimizes handling noise and a durable steel mesh grille that protects the microphone from damage. With its affordable price and reliable performance, the Shure SM57 is a must-have for any beginner’s microphone collection.

Specifications:

  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 40Hz – 15kHz
  • Sensitivity: -56.0 dBV/Pa (1.6 mV)
  • Max SPL: 149dB
  • Weight: 10.5 oz (298 g)
  • Price: $99

The Best Microphone for Recording Vocals Beginner

Now that we’ve covered the best overall and dynamic microphones for beginners, let’s take a look at some other options that are specifically designed for recording vocals.

Best Live Vocal Microphone for Beginners: Shure SM58

Best Live Vocal Microphone for Beginners: Shure SM58
Best Live Vocal Microphone for Beginners: Shure SM58

The Shure SM58 is another popular choice among musicians and live performers. It’s a dynamic microphone with a cardioid polar pattern and a tailored frequency response, making it ideal for capturing clear and crisp vocals on stage. The SM58 also has a built-in spherical wind and pop filter that reduces unwanted background noise and plosives.

One of the main advantages of the SM58 is its durability. It’s built to withstand rough handling and can handle high sound pressure levels without distortion. It also comes with a break-resistant stand adapter and a zippered storage bag for easy transport. If you’re a beginner looking for a reliable live vocal microphone, the Shure SM58 is worth considering.

Specifications:

  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz – 15kHz
  • Sensitivity: -54.5 dBV/Pa (1.85 mV)
  • Max SPL: 149dB
  • Weight: 10.5 oz (298 g)
  • Price: $99

Best Bass Microphone for Beginners: AKG D112 MKII

If you’re planning on recording bass-heavy instruments like kick drums or bass guitars, the AKG D112 MKII is the perfect microphone for the job. This dynamic microphone has a large diaphragm and a cardioid polar pattern, allowing it to capture low frequencies with precision and clarity. It also has a built-in presence boost switch that adds extra punch to your recordings.

The D112 MKII has a rugged construction and can handle high sound pressure levels without distortion. It also has an integrated hum-compensation coil that reduces electromagnetic interference, making it suitable for use in live performances as well. With its affordable price and exceptional performance, the AKG D112 MKII is a great addition to any beginner’s microphone collection.

Specifications:

  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 17kHz
  • Sensitivity: -55 dBV/Pa (1.8 mV)
  • Max SPL: 160dB
  • Weight: 11.6 oz (330 g)
  • Price: $199

Best Multi-Pattern Microphone for Beginners: Audio Technica AT2050

Best Multi-Pattern Microphone for Beginners: Audio Technica AT2050
Best Multi-Pattern Microphone for Beginners: Audio Technica AT2050

For beginners looking for a versatile microphone that can handle various recording situations, the Audio Technica AT2050 is a top choice. This multi-pattern condenser microphone offers three polar patterns – cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-eight, allowing you to capture different types of sound sources with ease. It also has a switchable 80 Hz high-pass filter and a 10 dB pad for added flexibility.

The AT2050 has a wide frequency response and a high SPL handling, making it suitable for recording vocals, acoustic instruments, and even loud sources like drums. It also features a low-mass diaphragm and custom-engineered low-noise circuitry, resulting in a warm and natural sound with minimal distortion. With its multiple features and affordable price, the Audio Technica AT2050 is a great investment for any beginner.

Specifications:

  • Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Figure-eight
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: -42 dB (7.9 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa
  • Max SPL: 149dB
  • Weight: 14.5 oz (412 g)
  • Price: $229

Best Small-Diaphragm Condenser for Beginners: sE Electronics sE8

Small-diaphragm condenser microphones are known for their detailed and accurate sound reproduction, making them ideal for recording acoustic instruments and vocals. The SE Electronics sE8 is a budget-friendly option that offers exceptional sound quality and versatility. It has a cardioid polar pattern and a wide frequency response, allowing it to capture every nuance of your vocals.

The sE8 also features a low-noise transformerless circuitry and a gold-sputtered diaphragm, resulting in a clear and natural sound with minimal distortion. It comes with a mic clip, a windscreen, and a protective pouch, making it easy to set up and transport. If you’re a beginner looking for a high-quality small-diaphragm condenser microphone, the SE Electronics sE8 is worth considering.

Specifications:

  • Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: -33 dBV/Pa (22.4 mV)
  • Max SPL: 139dB
  • Weight: 6.3 oz (178 g)
  • Price: $199

Conclusion

Choosing the right microphone for recording vocals as a beginner can be a daunting task. However, with our top picks for the best microphone for recording vocals, you can’t go wrong. Whether you’re looking for an overall great microphone, a dynamic option, or something specific for live performances or bass-heavy instruments, there’s something on this list for everyone.

Remember to consider your budget, the type of microphone (condenser or dynamic), and the specific features you need before making a purchase. With any of these top picks, you’ll be well on your way to achieving professional-quality recordings as a beginner in the music industry.

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