Not all people have the ability to invest large amounts of money into buying a super high quality microphone for their recordings. This applies mostly for musicians or sound engineers that are just starting their careers or for amateurs that want to equip their home studio. The solution is to start searching for affordable microphones.
Fortunately, these days you do not need to have a fortune in order to purchase a decent microphone to start recording. There are many excellent and affordable mics available in the market, and all you have to do is make the right research in order to find them.
We have collected some of the best cheap microphones in the market and we have compiled all their characteristics to give you an idea about what microphone you should be looking for, whether you need it to record your songs, vocals or even your podcasts.
You are going to need a minimum amount of money, between $100 and $200. If that amount of money still sounds too expensive for you, you have to know that they are great prices when it comes to microphones, although you can find even cheaper ones.
Most of them are single mics. If you want, you can find them as bundles too for a bit higher price but we think that it is worth the money. In the bundles there are usually included a shockmount, pop filter cables and a case, although there are a lot different versions of bundles with music software, guides, tutorials etc.
What to have in mind when you search for an affordable microphone
Quality is always the most important thing to look when it comes to sound equipment. You need to be sure that the microphone you are about to purchase is the right one for the job you are going to use it.
For instance, you should know if you are going to need it for home recordings or professional studio recordings, whether you are going to work in a fully soundproof or a semi soundproof studio or whether you are going to record mostly vocals or instruments.
Try to find the microphone that suits you best according to you budget. Do not exceed your limitations so that you can have the overall control over your purchase, but keep in mind to invest as much as possible so that you can get a quality mic that will provide the appropriate results.
Make sure that you always move within an affordable price range, because most of the times you are going to need also an audio interface, studio monitors and other equipment that require decent amounts of money.
Functionality is one of the most important characteristics for condenser microphones. You need to make sure that the microphone you have chosen is applicable to the devices you are about to use it.
Always check about USB or XLR ports both on the microphone and on your other equipment to be certain that you will avoid having connectivity problems between them.
Microphones usually come as bundles too with many extra features. They have carrying cases, shockmounts, cables that are necessary in order to use them properly, pop filter for cleaner recordings and many more.
Make sure that you search about those features before you decide on your purchase, because the prices of the bundles are usually a bargain, and they will help you save some money.
Which is the best affordable microphone for beginners
Best Pick - Blue Yeti
- Tri-capsule array – 3 condenser capsules can record almost any situation Multiple pattern selection – cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo Gain control, mute button, zero-latency headphone output.
- Dimensions (extended in stand) : 4.72 x 4.92 x 11.61 inches Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings, conference calls
- Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8 (including 8.1), Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (Home and Professional), and Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher), and requires a minimum of 64 MB of RAM(remove existing and upload)
The microphone itself offers fascinating flexibility and a wide range of different uses, such as recordings both male and female vocals with excellent results, most types of instruments, especially with the assistance of a well-soundproofed recording environment so that you can improve the acoustics.
You can also use the Blue Yeti USB Microphone for podcasts, interviews or audio for any type of video with extreme ease, even in situations that would sometimes require multiple different types of microphones to capture a better perspective of the sound.
This is what makes this microphone the best logical option for every artist, music producer or sound engineer: you can use it to record sounds at any place any time, and it will provide the high quality studio results you need each time effortlessly.
In order to control every aspect of your recordings, the Blue Yeti offers the ability to control the headphone volume, to select the patterns, mute or add gain instantly using the studio controls provided on the mic.
There are many ways that you can use these features. For instance, you can pause a recording at any time using the mute button, or you can adjust the levels when recording very loud sound sources with the gain level button, in order to avoid distortion or noise.
The Blue Yeti microphone offer the ability to adjust the headphones’ volume levels with control, which is placed at the front part of the mic. In order to use the microphone, simply plug it into the USB port of your personal computer or laptop and your operating system will automatically recognize the device. If not, there are also drivers included in the package to make it even easier.
Affordable microphones for home studios
When it comes to purchasing condenser microphones, you need to choose the right one for the appropriate use, in this instance the home studio use. You can choose among microphones that are best for recording vocals or certain vocal frequencies, or choose the fitting microphone for the instrument you are about to record.
As a home studio owner, you need to focus on the price of the microphone and adjust it to your budget limitations. In our review article, we have include both limited budget microphones, and some more expensive for the people that have a decent amount of money to invest.
For beginners, it is suggested that you search for cheaper microphone solutions for a number of reasons. First of all, you do not need to invest big amounts of money into something that you are not sure that is going to last for a long time, whether that is singing, rapping or recording other artists.
What is more, it is very usual for beginner to have limited budgets available at first. You can purchase a more affordable microphone to begin with, and upgrade to a more expensive later. Most medium or low price microphones that we have tested, are excellent choices and have great functionalities.
Considering studio owners or sound engineers, you should search for the microphone that will be more useful to your current project and customers. For example, if you record more rappers than bands, you need to focus on a microphone with better vocal functionality, whereas if you generally record bands, you can search for a microphone that has the ability to record both vocals and instruments equally well.
One of the most suitable microphones for home studio use
The iRig can connect to every common used device, such as phones, tablets, computers and laptops. The micro USB port, which is placed at the base of the microphone, makes the connection possible. The same port is responsible for the power and the audio signals and when you purchase the mic, you also get three different cable for three different connectivity options: micro USB, USB and Lightning.
What is more, when you purchase the microphone you are supplied with a desktop tripod stand and a carrying bag as additional features. An extra code is included in the package, which makes it available for you to operate the Mic Room, which is IK’s modeling application, and download apps from IK’s online stores.
Furthermore, a minijack headphone output, makes it possible for the user to monitor activity through the built-in audio interface. The input gain is control by two knobs, which also control the headphone output levels. There is also a convenient LED fixed on the mic that makes the visual feedback of the input signal very clear and understandable.
The iRig Digital Condenser Microphone is an excellent choice considering the low price and its capabilities, and can receive and capture vocal sounds in great detail no matter the frequency range. In addition to this, it provides great sound quality for string instruments, making them sound stable and dynamic.
The built-in pre-amplifier of the microphone produces very little noise, which is one of the very impressive characteristics of the mic. The microphone is going to be very suitable for every independent or beginner artist that is going to do home recordings, with an excellent general performance and ability to be portable for those that move to often or work in multiple workplaces.
How to find microphones for recording vocals
When you start building your own home studio mainly for vocals recording sessions, it is absolutely necessary that you find a microphone that can satisfy your needs and meet your requirements considering the sound quality.
There are many affordable options in the market, and we have gathered some of the best microphones suitable for home recordings. The price range is between $50 and $250, and their specifications verify that they are microphones that fit the needs of every home studio.
Whether you are a beginner artist that is just starting out and want to record your demos, or an independent artist that wants to record his vocals over his music in order to distribute his official song to his audience, you have to make sure that you purchase the right microphone for the occasion.
Home studios sometimes tends to be poorly equipped, so you should make sure that you have all the necessary equipment that are essential in order to operate the microphone you are about to purchase correctly.
For instance, you should expand your budget’s limits and acquire an audio interface or a small mixing console. Both these hardware machines have phantom power, which is necessary in order to operate a condenser microphone.
On the other hand, if you do not own an audio interface and you do not have the ability to purchase one right now, you should focus on USB condenser microphones, that use the USB port as their power supplier and do not need other external devices to work properly.
Best affordable microphone for vocals
Studio Projects B1
It comes in a very affordable, which is why it has become one the most famous condenser microphones. It delivers excellent sound quality with its 1 inch large diaphragm which sits in a pressure gradient transducer capsule.
The Studio Projects B1 works great with vocals and instruments equally, which makes the microphone extremely valuable. It offers a characteristic natural and slightly enhanced high end, which is perfect in order to avoid muddiness and flat sound.
It has very thick low ends that help to give the impression of depth, especially when it comes to male vocals that have many lower frequencies. The SP B1 does not have a very wide sweet spot, this is why you have to position it carefully in front of the sound source, in order to get the best recording results possible.
It is easier to use when you are mainly working with vocalists because you can give specific instructions when it comes to positioning. In the case of room recording, or multiple instruments it gets a bit more difficult, as you cannot place it in front of a particular sound source, and the sound may get a little muddy due to the room space.
In order to get maximum sound quality results out of the Studio Projects B1, you can connect it to a decent pre-amplifier, with a flat or dark type of sound. Make sure that you add a nice de-esser to the vocals you are about to record, because the B1 tends to add more than enough character and brightness, especially on female vocals.
Computer microphones for podcasts
In order to start your own podcast, all you need is an average personal computer, an internet connection and a suitable microphone for recording your voice. This way, you can communicate your opinions, interviews, knowledge and information to hundreds or even thousands of people with minimal effort from your side.
Having your own podcast show, is not very different from having your own online radio show. The only thing that is different from classic radio shows of the past decades, is the fact that nowadays you can start it with less equipment than ever, that can be found in extremely affordable prices, making podcasting accessible for everyone.
If you are one of those people that have their own opinion on certain niches or more general topics, podcasting is an extremely essential tool that you can use in order to share it with other people that might have the same interests as you.
The equipment you are going to need in order to start your own podcast show, are very easy to acquire if you do not already own them. You are going to need a personal computer or a laptop, and internet connection, and a decent microphone to record your voice.
If you are looking for even better sound quality, or a way to have control over the volume level, mute buttons or voice effects and filtering, you should look for an audio interface. If it is within your budget’s limits, you can purchase a small mixing console that will give you the ability to control every aspect of your sound signal.
Furthermore, you may want to purchase a desk tripod or a small stand in order to position and stabilize your microphone in front of you on your desk. A set of headphones would be also useful, so that you can hear clearly the sounds you are recording, and avoid recording sounds from your speakers to your microphone.
The best affordable microphone for podcasts
It is an all-purpose microphone, that makes every recording happen within seconds due to its very easy USB connectivity. This fact, makes it a great microphone for external recordings or remote situations, and this particular microphone is going to last under rough occasions, as it has a solid structure for a computer mic.
The Shure MV5 has headphones mini-jack built-in, volume controls and you can also find some DSP settings on the mic as well to adjust. The structure of the microphone is solid, and there were not used any cheap materials, as it is a level higher than the rest of the microphones of similar price range.
Although it is not near the level of a professional condenser microphone when it comes to recording vocals or instruments, this microphone is an excellent choice for starting your own podcast or online radio shows.
The MV5 is also recommended for beginner artists or amateurs that want to record the demo versions of their songs for practice. You can also purchase this mic if you are on a very tight budget, but if you want better sound quality as an independent artist, you should look for a professional studio condenser microphone with more sound detail and character.
The portability of the microphone is one of its main advantages. It has a detachable stand but it does not come with a case, so you have to think of ways to protect it if you need to travel a lot and work with the Shure MV5, such as buying a carrying case separately.
If you are looking for affordable desktop microphones
When you are starting your career as an independent artist, it is more than certain that you are going to be on a very tight budget, like the majority of beginner artists and musicians. This is why you will need a cheap microphone in order to record the demo versions of your songs.
In our list, we have gathered five different microphones that have one thing in common, the lower prices available in the market. The price range of the desktop microphones we suggest is between $5 and $30, a price range convenient for most of the people that need an affordable microphone for their voice recordings.
What is more, such microphones work great if you are a games or a podcaster, since they can be placed on your desk, and they are very convenient for online radio shows and podcasts. Radio show producers and podcasters usually have less requirements from the sound quality of their microphones, this is why these cheap mics are ideal for such occasions.
If you want to equip your studio and want to improve the over sound quality of your voice or instrument recordings, it is advised that you start looking for more expensive solutions, such as professional condenser microphones, that record sound in great detail.
The same principles apply for independent artists, that want to make official recording for their songs, with the intention of distribution through social media and music platforms. If you are one of those, make sure that you acquire the appropriate equipment, to get the best results possible for your individual songs and albums.
These particular microphone models are intended for amateurs or beginners, that want to spend the minimum amount of money in order to start recording their projects in an effective and inexpensive way.
Top affordable desktop microphone that we suggest
Fifine Plug & Play
This makes it a suitable option for vocal recordings, as it boosts the presence and adds a very subtle character that makes the vocals crispier. The microphone captures all kinds of sounds, but it eliminates up to a level the background noises and the hiss.
The Fifine Plug & Play is a great option for beginner artists, singers and musicians that want to record their vocals using this microphone in their home studios. The microphone works surprisingly well, and delivers decent quality sound that will satisfy the users.
The mic comes with a tripod that helps it stand and stay stable, even on slippery surfaces. This way, various vibrations or bassy sound reflections can be reduced, and you can get even cleaner sound without any unwanted noises.
You can use the Fifine Plug & Play microphone for conference or skype calls. It has the ability to capture multiple voices clearly, without adding too much room noise into the call. It has an extremely directional sound, this is why it is very convenient for podcasts. You can turn it towards the main sound source within a logical distance of two to three feet, and it will record the voice clearly.
Overall, it is a great microphone that can deliver maximum sound results when positioned properly, especially if you use it in a soundproofed environment to eliminate sound reflections and external noises that may reduce the quality.
There are a lot of options when it comes to purchasing affordable microphones. There are a lot of high quality mics even for under $100, which are suitable for beginner audio engineers that want to setup their own home studios.
What you should do is estimate your budget and look for microphones in the appropriate price ranges. It can take some time to find the most suitable microphone for you at a convenient price point, but it is worth every minute as it is a great investment long term.