Purchasing the best microphone for vocals that your budget can handle can help you get high-quality studio sound right in your home studio. Whether you just want to practice your vocals or begin recording with your microphone, our list below will guide you to choosing the right microphone to fit your singing needs.
Top Microphones for Singing
The best microphones for singers come in a range of types and budgets, we’ve rounded out our list with microphones of different types and budgets so that almost anyone can find a singing microphone for their studio!
The Warm Audio WA-47 microphone has a design that's a modern version of the classic ‘47 mic, one of the most popular large diaphragm condenser microphones in the music world. Its versatility is apparent in its ability to switch between nine polar patterns to work with a range of vocals, environments, and genres.
This microphone includes some of the same design elements as its classic version, including its frequency response capabilities and hole pattern. The cable, capacitors, and transformer, however, have each received an update to modern technology for crisp, accurate sound.
- Studio-quality construction and design
- 140 dB max SPL
- Low-noise tube for optimal smoothness
- Almost mimics the classic ‘47
- Could be pricey for a home recording mic
- No hard case included for storage
The Audio-Technica AT2035 is a large diaphragm mic that can take your home performances and recordings to another level. However, it’s just as capable of providing clear, rich sound for live performances as well.
This mic features a wide dynamic range that allows it to pick up all areas of your voice without distorting it. With a high max SPL, you’ll get clear vocals, little to no noise, and thoroughly polished performance.
- Max SPL of 158 dB
- Includes 10 dB pad
- Custom shock mount for isolation
- Clean recordings for home studio performances
- Very sensitive to sound
- Does not include a storage case or instructions
The dynamic Sennheiser MD 421 II mic is incredibly stylish while providing the crisp, clear sound you want for your vocals.
This particular mic is an outstanding match for louder vocals in gritty rock or metal music, but don’t feel limited to just louder genres. With its cardioid polar pattern and dynamic capsule, this mic effectively picks up versatile vocals with accurate reproduction.
- Crisp recording with or without background instrumentals
- Excellent for loud vocals
- 160 max SPL
- Effective feedback rejection
- May not work well for very subtle vocals
- Mic clip is somewhat weak
- Some high notes sound sharp
The Rode NT2-A package is an anniversary edition of the brand’s popular NT2-A multi-pattern condenser microphone that includes a dust cover, shock mount, and pop filter. The gold hue of this mic has an eye-catching appearance for your home studio or live performances, but the real benefits move deeper than the surface.
You can control the polar pattern of this mic by switching between three different pickups to match your vocals and background noise. The pad also moves between three positions - 0 dB, -5 dB, and -10 dB - to further customize the sound.
- 1-inch precision capsule
- Omni, cardioid, and figure-8 polar patterns
- Internal capsule comes shock-mounted
- 10-year extended warranty with registration
- Doesn’t include a hard case
- Heavier than other similarly-sized mics
Based on the popular Shure SM58, the SM58S offers the same clarity and rich sound but with the addition of an on/off switch that makes it beneficial for stopping sound pick up during live performances.
This mic has a cardioid polar pattern that effectively catches your vocals without absorbing too much background noise from the stage. With its built-in pop filter and shock mount system, the mic avoids picking up more subtle sounds, like floor vibrations or finger movements.
- Quiet on/off switch
- Rugged, durable design
- Excellent sound for live performances
- Built-in pop filter
- The switch feels a bit flimsy
- May sound quiet in home studios
Origin from Aston Microphones is a cardioid condenser mic that’s a surprisingly affordable microphone considering its hardwearing look and feel. You’ll probably notice that this mic looks a bit unrefined compared to others, but its mesh wave-form head protects the inner capsule.
Origin works with a range of voice types, but you may need to remove the low-cut filter to provide the right richness and clarity for some vocals.
- Versatile for most voices
- 127 dB max SPL
- Custom, mountable end caps
- Built-in shock isolation adds a layer of durability
- No shock mount included
- Low-cut filter doesn’t lend to dynamic vocals
The Blue Yeti Pro is a plug-and-play USB microphone with four polar patterns: cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional, and bidirectional. The multi-pattern mic allows you to customize its abilities for live performances, home recordings, and other uses.
With its digital adjustments for volume, headphone control, and more, this mic could be a superb option for tech-focused singers who prefer the digitized aspect of producing music.
- Selectable polar patterns for customized pick-up
- Has digital and analog modes
- Beautiful retro design
- Has threaded mic stand and cable management on its base
- Can be affected by heat and humidity easily
- Larger and heavier than similar mics
How to Choose the Microphone For Your Recording Needs
Not sure how to choose the best microphone for singers? This guide will help you break down the various types of singing microphones and features to look for to inform your choice.
Types of Singing Microphones
First, it’s necessary to understand the difference between common types of singing microphones. You’ll often see singing mics fit into one of the following categories:
Condenser microphones are relatively complicated compared to other mics in terms of their inner components. Inside, you’ll see a diaphragm, backplate, and the capsule that holds the parts in place. These pieces are more intricate than other mics' internal fragments, but they work together to produce some of the most accurate sounds for singers.
The downside of the high quality of condenser mics is that they can also be less durable than others. Dropping a condenser mic or using it beyond its max SPL can damage it quickly, whereas others, like dynamic microphones, might be able to handle a little more wear and tear.
USB microphones can work well for mobile recording setups because they power on with a simple USB cable connected to your computer or laptop. Podcasters often use USB microphones for a convenient solution to produce podcast shows, but singers can also take advantage of their easy setup and controls.USB microphones are usually condenser microphones, offering many of the same benefits you’d expect from regular condenser microphones. However, most USB microphones also include recording software that works seamlessly with modern operating systems to allow you to have straightforward access to volume adjustments, voice controls, and more.
Dynamic microphones are standard for singers to use because they tend to be both versatile and durable. An inner coil moves inside the diaphragm of dynamic microphones to create smooth, flowing, and clear sound, even with high-range notes and loud noises.
Dynamic microphones are usually on the more affordable end of the price range for mics, even in the professional sector. Still, they’re some of the best performers if you’re looking for an all-around microphone for home studio singing or recording or live performances.
Multi-pattern microphones let you choose between different polar patterns, which I’ll get into more in-depth below. This type of microphone is a popular option for singers who crave versatility with recording abilities, have a highly unique singing style or voice type, or those who might be sharing a mic with other singers in a studio.
Multi-pattern microphones commonly switch between the most-used types of polar patterns, such as cardioid, figure-8, and omnidirectional, but shotgun, hyper-cardioid, and other patterns might also be included.
Features to Consider When Choosing a Microphone for Recording Vocals
There are many features to consider when choosing the top microphone choice for singing. The below features are a few of the most crucial:
The frequency response of a microphone refers to its ability to pick up specific frequencies from low to high. The better the frequency response, the more range the microphone will have to absorb sounds of different frequencies. Flat and shaped response microphones are common types, although some can switch between different frequency responses.
A flat response microphone responds equally at most frequencies, while a shaped response microphone has a sensitivity to specific frequencies. Shaped response microphones usually are the best choice for singers, as they can capture a broader range of vocal sounds.
The diaphragm of a microphone is what helps produce the sound that you hear. Diaphragms come in small, medium, or large sizes, with small and large diaphragm microphones being the most common.
Large diaphragm microphones tend to capture more sounds than small diaphragm microphones. They can usually produce a more polished replica of the original sound going into the mic because they capture more sound.
That doesn’t mean that small diaphragm microphones are inferior. With less space to pick up noise, they can usually draw in a singer’s voice precisely and consistently. They’re also beneficial when singing with some instruments, like acoustic guitars or woodwinds.
Maximum Sound Pressure Level (SPL)
The maximum sound pressure level (SPL) of a microphone refers to how much sound pressure you can exert on a microphone. Moving beyond this SPL can cause the microphone to distort the sound of your singing voice or cause damage to the microphone.
Many of today’s microphones can handle sounds of 100 dB or higher, which is much higher than most vocal recordings. However, vocals mixed with instruments could present a problem for microphones with a lower SPL, as louder instruments, like drums or a trombone, can reach high decibels.
A polar pattern of a microphone affects its sensitivity to sounds coming from various angles. If it’s just you singing with your microphone, you probably won’t notice much of a difference in sound with any microphone. However, if you want to pick up instrumentals or other background vocals, your microphone’s polar pattern matters.For solo singers, a cardiod polar pattern is often the best. This pattern focuses on what’s in front of it rather than what’s behind it, producing a targeted ability to clearly pick up your vocals.
Your vocal microphone is likely to be a significant purchase for you, so I’m sure you want it to last for many years to come. This is when you’ll need to consider pricing and how it relates to the durability of a microphone.
While a higher price tag doesn’t directly correlate to reliability and durability, it does play a role. Budget microphones under $50 may work just fine, but you may not get years of life out of them like you would a higher-priced microphone with a design and construction to match the quality of your voice.
Final Thoughts For The Top Recording Mics Today
The best microphone for your singing will depend much on your personal preference, but we love the Warm Audio WA-47 microphone as an all-around winner for most singers. When it comes to the bright, precise sound that mimics your voice's integrity, this mic is virtually unmatched.
Thanks to its design inspiration from the original, classic ‘47 mic, the WA-47 has a similar retro design but with upgraded materials to meet the needs of the current generation of singers. Its large diaphragm and high-frequency response lend well to singing voices, and its high SPL of 140 dB is perfect for capturing multiple ranges.
James is an ex-writer for Music Grotto who focused the majority of his writing on the musical skill development content on the publication. His 20+ year career as a singing and vocal coach provided insightful content for the website, and his continued thirst for development in guitar and piano playing helped create some excellent skill development content for the publication.