Best Vocal Mic Under 1000 For Recording
Are you someone wanting to upgrade from your older mic to a better one? Or are you someone who doesn't know how to pick the correct microphone for your recording purpose? Don't worry; this article containing a list of best vocal mics under 1000 will serve you both.
It is not like you pick up a random microphone and use it for your studio purposes. You need to go through many features like the mic's pickup pattern, frequency range, and a lot more. For you to get a clear understanding of all these terms, I have also included a column stating the additional info regarding a vocal microphone before the FAQ section.
Please don't underestimate these microphones' capabilities because they cost than 1000$. I have picked the best affordable ones available in the market that will satisfy all your recording needs. With that said, let me take you through this article.
Table of Contents
- 10 BEST VOCAL MIC UNDER 1000
- 1. SHURE SM7B - BEST VOCAL MIC FOR LIVE PERFORMANCE
- 2. RODE NT1-A - BEST STUDIO VOCAL MIC
- 3. AKG PRO AUDIO C214
- 4. SHURE 55SH SERIES II - BEST VOCAL MIC UNDER 200
- 5. ELECTRO-VOICE RE320 - BEST DYNAMIC VOCAL MIC
- 6. ASTON MICROPHONES
- 7. SENNHEISER XSW 1-825-A MICROPHONE
- 8. SHURE GLXD24 DIGITAL WIRELESS MICROPHONE
- 9. APOGEE HYPE USB MICROPHONE - BEST VOCAL CONDENSER MIC
- 10. SENNHEISER PRO TLM 102 STUDIO SET
- ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING A VOCAL MICROPHONE
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
10 BEST VOCAL MIC UNDER 1000
1. SHURE SM7B - BEST VOCAL MIC FOR LIVE PERFORMANCE
FEATURES: This is the best vocal mic for podcasters because it can handle loud sounds with excellent background noise rejection. Those who wish to get an improved frequency response that a standard mic generally provides can go for this SM7B dynamic microphone. Great for live performances and places prone to background noise!
DESIGN: The SMB7 feels very sturdy and also has a solid weight. It is entirely made of metal and comes with a pop filter to reduce the negative effects of higher frequencies from disrupting your performance.
The best part I liked about this microphone is that it allows you to adjust the microphone's tone using the switches provided at the back of the mic. The controls include a low-cut filter switch and a mid-boost switch.
I didn't find the need to use a shock mount to this microphone as it has an internal air suspension system to handle noise efficiently.
Moving on, the mic's pick up pattern is cardioid. Meaning the mic will pick up sound mainly from it's front. As the microphone has got an off-axis rejection it doesn't pick sound from the sides and the back of the mic.
Lastly, a standard windscreen and an A7WS detachable windscreen are included for close-talk applications.
PERFORMANCE: Sound engineers or recording engineers have considered this SM7B to be the best vocal mic under 1000 because of its ability to boost thin vocals and handling noisy rock singers.
Plus, it can tame loud or sibilant sounds from hi-hats, cymbals, and the human voice. The flat-frequency response improves the midrange and high frequencies associated with a human voice. Electromagnetic hum rejection has been improved, and the shielding against computer monitor broadband interference has been optimized.
You could use the microphone for close-up vocals or narration as well , because the detachable close-talk windscreen removes the need for any additional defense against powerful breath sounds. Impressive!
Overall, this Shure SM7b microphone gives a good broadcast feel, and I'm sure all my podcaster friends will love it. However, I would recommend using a pre-amp or a mic activator as the output level/sensitivity of the mic is low (-59db).
This is the only drawback I felt with the mic; other than that, it works great! I highly recommend you buying one!
2. RODE NT1-A - BEST STUDIO VOCAL MIC
FEATURES: The Rode NT-1 A is the revamped version of RODE's classic NT-1, with a low self-noise level of just 5dBA. It is the best vocal mic under 1000 for voice-overs and vlogging purposes as it has got a wider-frequency response (20hz to 20khz) and better sensitivity (-32db).
DESIGN: If I have to compare the N1-1 and the NT1-A, both feel very solid as they are made of metal. However, the NT-1 is comparatively heavy when compared to the NT1-A version.
Also, this model has introduced a computer-operated assembly line using cutting-edge electronics technology. Unlike several 'leading brands,' all electronic boards are manufactured without human hands, ensuring high quality, tight tolerances, and unmatched performance. Besides, with a new computer-controlled system operation, it's designed to last.
PERFORMANCE: The main criterion to look for while purchasing a microphone is its frequency response chart. Because only with that can you predict how the microphone will respond to the different sound levels.
For vlogging or voice-over functions, almost a neutral frequency response (0 dB) is needed so that the mic maintains its emphasis on the different frequencies.
When we look at the NT-1A's frequency response, it shows a good sensitivity at the low and mid frequencies, which is nice. However, at higher frequencies, the microphone tends to pick up some sibilance (hissing sound while pronouncing the letter 'S'). So, I wouldn't recommend people who have more sibilance in their voice to go for this microphone.
But for vloggers who have a normal tone, this condenser microphone will work great. As per my use, I got the best sound output when maintaining a distance of around 7 inches from the mic.
Overall, for a price point of 230$, this microphone is supreme. If you will be recording music and vocals in a controlled environment like a studio setup, then this mic is the best.
3. AKG PRO AUDIO C214
FEATURES: The AKG C214 is another great microphone for podcasters, YouTubers, and vloggers. It has a wide frequency range of 20hz to 20khz and a good sensitivity level of -34db. I wouldn't say this microphone has the same neutral frequency response as a Rode NT1-A, but it's decent.
DESIGN: I must say this AKG C214 condenser microphone looks very stylish. It comes with a few useful accessories like a shock mount, a windscreen, and a foam-type pop filter in a hard case.
When it comes to the build quality of this mic, hmmm, it feels solid as it is made of metal. However, you have to be a little careful about the metal grilled mesh on the top as it is a little fudgy.
I see this as one of the best vocal mics under 1000 because you don't have to use a pre-amp or a voice activator as the microphone itself shows a good output gain.
Like the NT1-A, this is also a condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern and a phantom power requirement of 12 to 52v.
I found only two switches on the microphone body, and they include a high-pass filter switch to roll off frequencies below 160 Hz. and a -20 dB attenuation switch. When this attenuation switch is turned on, the microphone will resist sound pressure up to 156 dB.
PERFORMANCE: One thing I noticed about this microphone is that although it's advertised as a Cardioid mic, its polar pattern is much more unidirectional than Cardioids over 1,000 Hertz, indicating that sensitivity is active in all directions. Indeed a bonus!
You could actually get too close with a microphone if you wish to hear sounds with that low-end bass effect.
However, at higher frequencies, the microphone does pick up some sibilance. So, this microphone is not suitable for singing, music recording, and game streaming purposes.
4. SHURE 55SH SERIES II - BEST VOCAL MIC UNDER 200
FEATURES: The Shure 55SH Series II is the best vocal mic under 1000 that is ideal for recording sessions, live stage shows, and on-camera use as it has a gentle presence boost peaking about 6.5 kHz. Adding to this, the microphone is compatible with most mixer inputs, microphone preamps, and portable PA systems.
This is a dynamic microphone; it does suffer from low sensitivity (-58.0 dB at 1 kHz). However, when used with a pre-amp, you can hear high sounds.
DESIGN: Most users purchase the lens just for its stylish vintage look. Unlike the above lenses, which had a separate shock mount, here it is in-built in the microphone itself.
The use of a Cardioid polar pattern reduces off-axis noise and ambiance pickup, resulting in higher gain before input and less stage bleed. And for added protection against shock and structure-borne noise, the dynamic capsule is shock placed.
Moreover, the microphone has an on/off switch for easy muting during speeches or performances. While the 5/8"-27 thread swivels mount self-tensioning and can be tilted up to 45 degrees forward and 80 degrees backward. Also, tour-worthy durability is provided by the chrome die-cast metal construction.
So, the microphone qualifies for the build quality test, let's see if it excels in the performance category.
PERFORMANCE: The 55SH Series II is a great microphone for video shoots, and theatre applications, besides being a mic with strong audio characteristics for the studio and stage. I say this because it has a good presence boost of 6.5khz.
If you're asking me what a presence boost is, let me tell you. In simple terms, it means how clearly the vocals can be heard even in dense music. Normally, a presence boost of 3-6 Khz is needed for a microphone, and as this mic has it, I consider it to be another best vocal mic under 1000$.
Next, moving on to the frequency response chart. I noticed that the midrange frequencies are more emphasized when compared to their low-end counterparts. This makes the proximity effect less prevalent. and the vocal resonances remain audible.
So, not only that this microphone has a retro look, but it also is a great performer in terms of audio quality. Therefore, I find the Shure 55SH II worthy of occupying the fourth position on my list.
5. ELECTRO-VOICE RE320 - BEST DYNAMIC VOCAL MIC
FEATURES: Are you an RJ looking for a microphone for your broadcasting purposes? Well, here is a go-to product for you, the RE320 dynamic microphone. The top qualities of this microphone are excellent off-axis sound rejection, sharp voice clarity, and excellent background noise rejection.
DESIGN: The RE320 microphone is designed to last you a while! It has an all-metal body having a metal grill around its sides.
The design is simple; it has a single switch to toggle between the general frequency response mode and the kick-drum mode. Adding to it, you also get a separate shock mount and pop filter along with the package.
PERFORMANCE: As you already know, dynamic microphones have low sensitivity, so make sure you use a mic activator or a preamp to boost the audio output.
I want to thank the presence of the grilled mesh that runs all around the mic. It is this mesh that is responsible for eliminating the proximity issues when you get very close to the microphone.
The microphone gives a frequency output of 45 Hz to 18 kHz in general mode. While in kick-drum mode, it gives a frequency range of 30 Hz to 18 kHz.
As this is a dynamic cardioid microphone, it gives a broadcast tone to the audio output. So, I would recommend only podcasters, newsreaders, and people who want that broadcast feel for their sound outputs to go with this microphone.
6. ASTON MICROPHONES
The mic itself is special to Aston Microphones since the Aston Origin looks nothing like any other microphone. This is an XLR Cardioid broad diaphragm condenser mic with a frequency range of 20Hz to 20 kHz and a sound pressure rating of 127dB.
Also, a 10db pad switch for high-octane singers is included, along with an 80Hz high pass filter to eliminate the low end when you get up close and personal with the mic.
Plus, the first thing you’ll note is its elastic, bendy waveform mesh head covering the 1-inch capsule. Moreover, their retro, modern designs are very eye-catchy as they have a very distinct look and feel to them.
Lastly, a built-in stainless steel mesh knit pop filter is located underneath. And this model shines when it comes to sound because it has subtle upper mids that boost the sounds on vocals and cuts through a mix without sounding harsh. And despite its low price, it produces a sound that is surprisingly warm and precise.
7. SENNHEISER XSW 1-825-A MICROPHONE
Sennheiser XSW 1-825-A Microphone is an all-in-one best vocal mic under 1000 for singers and presenters that are simple to use. It can be used to record audio for applications such as live sound, stage, and theatre.
The package includes a vocal microphone and microphone clamp, as well as an intuitive stationary receiver for fast set-up and hassle-free handling. Also, it has antenna-switching diversity reception, including an automatic frequency control and synchronization over a remote channel. Plus, there are up to ten compatible channels available along with an AC power adapter and two AA batteries.
Besides, the Sennheiser output is delivered by the excellent Live Sound XS Wireless 1 that is a long-lasting device including transmitters and microphones that are sweat-resistant and able to endure even the harshest on-stage situations. Also, the sound is open and forceful, thanks to feedback-protected microphones and high-quality components.
8. SHURE GLXD24 DIGITAL WIRELESS MICROPHONE
The Shure GLXD24 digital wireless microphone includes the GLXD4 tabletop receiver with attached antennas, which is perfect for use in educational environments, conference rooms, places of worship, and other small to medium-sized venues..
A manual transmitter with an integrated Beta 87A condenser capsule is included with this model. Also, the Super cardioid pickup pattern helps to minimize feedback on noisy stages by focusing on the voice. Plus, for vocalists, presenters, clergy, and artists, the mic provides natural vocal reproduction.
Lastly, the GLXD24 blends digital audio clarity with dependable wireless efficiency, automatic frequency control, and intelligent battery recharge ability in a device that's easy to transport, run and get going at the touch of a button. Moreover, one of the distinctive features that make it the best vocal mic in most cases is that you can even use up to four microphones at once, and up to eight microphones under regulated Wi-Fi conditions.
9. APOGEE HYPE USB MICROPHONE - BEST VOCAL CONDENSER MIC
The analog compression on the Hype Mic improves vocals like no other microphone. Hype Mic’s three compression settings produce a fully balanced and "mixed" recording, eliminating the need for comprehensive processing and mixing.
The Hype Mic adds a new level of smoothness and comfort to acoustic instrument recording. Furthermore, the variable compression levels allow you to capture the full tone of your instrument without compromising efficiency. Hype Mic, which is designed for high SPL levels, also offers more clarity and detail when capturing noisy acoustic instruments such as drums, horns, and choirs.
Finally, hype Mic blends audio textures for greater clarity, resulting in clearer ‘broadcast ready' recordings. Also, it's ideal for live streaming, podcasts, and broadcasts. And works with any Mac/PC or IOS software that lets you choose your audio unit.
10. SENNHEISER PRO TLM 102 STUDIO SET
The Sennheiser Pro is a compact microphone that features genuine Neumann's large-diaphragm capsule which has a nickel finish that can withstand extremely high sound pressure levels.
Also, the high SPL rating of the capsule allows it to record percussion, drums, amplifiers, and other noisy sound sources. And due to its quick transient response, the microphone is equally capable when capturing lower volume sounds. However, the majority of its implementations are in the realms of vocals and expression.
Besides, the frequency response is highly linear and below 6 kHz for minimal coloration and a well-specified bass range, with a marginal increase above 6 kHz providing greater vocal presence. Furthermore, the capsule features an elastic suspension to reduce the noise created by the structure, as well as a built-in pop screen in the grille that helps eliminate plosives in vocal and speech recordings.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING A VOCAL MICROPHONE
You can also consider these factors as a guide to purchasing the best vocal mic under 1000, because I've mentioned in simple terms about the most important technical aspects of a microphone.
We know that microphones are a type of transducers. What does a transducer actually do? It will convert one form of signal to another. In the microphone's aspect, it will convert the analog acoustic signals into electrical output.
Now, how much is the ability of the microphone to convert this acoustic pressure into an electrical signal is what is called a microphone's sensitivity. So, the higher the sensitivity, the higher the output level (sound volume), and less-pre amplification is required. In contrast, lower the sensitivity, higher pre-amplification of sound will be needed.
NOTE: Smaller the microphone's diaphragm, the higher the sensitivity.
2. TYPE OF MICROPHONES
Based on the sensitivity and structure of the microphone design, we have basically two types of microphones: Dynamic and condenser microphones.
I) CONDENSER MICROPHONES: These are otherwise called capacitor microphones and have a delicate design structure. If you want the output levels (sound) to be very high, you have to use a condenser microphone because they have an increased sensitivity factor.
APPLICATIONS: Where do I use them? Is that your question? I'll tell you. Remember that condenser microphones are not concerned about background noises. So, they are good only for acoustically treated rooms like studios. Great for recording vocals!
- Wider frequency response
- High sensitivity
- Captures even the finest details
- Accurate sound reproduction
- Delicate design so have to handle them carefully
- Requires power to operate (Phantom power)
- The mic's internal circuitry produces a small amount of noise
II) DYNAMIC MICROPHONES: You must have seen podcasters and RJ's using this type of microphone because is great for broadcasting purposes. They have low sensitivity, so using a pre-amplifier is a must to boost the mic's output signal.
APPLICATION: Dynamic microphones become handy in situations where you are really concerned about the background noise. For example, if you're a singer performing in a live show, the background noise mustn't sound in the mic. That is why you need to use a dynamic microphone. I say this because dynamic mics are capable of excellent background noise rejection, and they don't need any external power to work. Great for rock music, metal, drums!
- Simple construction
- Produce loud volumes when paired with a mic activator or a pre-amp
- Excellent background noise rejection
- Can be used for broadcast applications like radio
- They don't provide crystal clear outputs.
- Low sensitivity
3. FREQUENCY RESPONSE
This is a critical factor to consider while purchasing the best vocal mic. Frequency response is generally represented by a response curve that gives information regarding the range of sounds the mic can reproduce and how it responds to the different frequencies within that range.
a) For recording vocals, a flat/neutral response curve ( 0 dB) is the best because it will follow the ideal pattern without over-emphasizing and less emphasizing the output sounds, giving accurate vocals recordings.
b) Presence boost: Presence in microphone terms refers to the mic's sensitivity in a bandwidth. For recording clear vocals, a presence boost of 3 to 6 kHz is required. Only then will the vocals be heard clearly, even in dense/hard music.
c) Sibilance: Have you noticed a hissing sound ('S' sound) while recording vocals. This is nothing but sibilance. Females generally have this sibilance issue because they speak/sing in a high-frequency note.
All mic's produce at least some amount of sibilance while recording vocals. But, I urge you to look for the one that gives only a minimum amount of sibilance in the range of 5 to 10khz. If the sibilance goes beyond this range, indeed, the recordings will become disruptive.
d) If you want to eliminate the low bass sound in your vocals recording, go for a microphone that has a low-end cut-off/high-pass filter switch on it. This will roll out the bass frequencies that are below 250 Hz.
4. PICK UP PATTERN
If you understand how the mic's pickup pattern is, you will sit and also position the instruments in the right direction. Pick up pattern of a mic is nothing but a factor that will tell you how the mic will pick up the sounds from different directions.
The most common and favorite pickup patterns are cardioid and omni-directional pickups.
CARDIOID/UNI-DIRECTIONAL: If your mic has a cardioid pickup, it means it will be more sensitive to sounds that hit the front of the microphone. For live performances, these types of uni-directional mics are the best.
OMNI-DIRECTIONAL: If you want your mic to be positioned overhead, you can go for Omni-directional mics because they will be sensitive to sounds that come from all directions. If a group of singers is going to sing with a single mic, this is the best.
There may be people who want to possess a mic that will pick up sound from only the mic's front and back and not from the sides; for such category people, the mics that have a bi-directional pickup pattern will serve best.
4. proximity effect
Say you're sitting at 3 inches from the mic. It is certain that the low bass sound will be heard more predominant while you get close to the mic, isn't it? This is what is a proximity effect in simple terms.
This can be an advantage for people who want a low bass boost effect in their vocals. But if your speech should be heard clearly without any air puff sounds, the mic should be able to tackle this proximity sensitivity factor.
5. TRANSIENT RESPONSE
This tells you how accurately and fast the microphone responds to high-peak sounds like handclaps, whistles, etc. For pop, classical, and rap singers, faster transient response is a must; otherwise, you will be able to hear crisp and clear vocals.
For rock and jazz and hard metal singers, slower transient response is enough.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What type of microphones do professionals singers use?
This again depends on the room space where they record their vocals and music. If the recording takes place in a studio setup, professionals prefer using a condenser microphone. However, say they are performing in a live show along with a music band. In that case, professional singers and vocalists prefer a dynamic microphone because it helps to get rid of the background noises.
2. How do I purchase a mic as per my genre?
I'll help you with some examples.
- If you're a rock/hard metal singer, a dynamic unidirectional/omnidirectional mic is the best because these genre of singers and musicians require high background noise isolation.
- A cardioid mic will be suitable for melody/pop/classical singers because they will mostly be singing in a controlled environment and need a high-sensitivity mic.
- A ribbon microphone is great for energetic/vibey singers belonging to the folk/jazz/blues category. I say so because these microphones have an 8-polar pattern, low-end pick-up, and high-frequency roll-off. But they are expensive when compared to the dynamic/cardioid mics.
3. Suggest the best microphone under 500 for YouTubers?
In my opinion, the Apogee Hype Mic will serve best for YouTubers because it is a USB microphone that can be used for singing, podcasting, and also game vlogging. Not only that, it comes with a headphone jack, allows three selectable analog compression modes and is also iOS compatible.
So, these were my list of the ten best vocal mic under 1000. I hope that this guide will assist you in selecting the right budget microphone.
If you found this article useful, give a thumbs up in the comment section. Also, feel free to ask me doubts regarding these mics if you have any. I hope to see you in my next article. Thank you for reading!