We’ve been taking an in-depth look at vocal recording here at MusicRadar over the past few weeks, covering everything from voice mix and voice processing to the joys of pitch correction.
While modern music software has never been better at improving vocal recordings, the most reliable way to get a solid recording – aside from being a great singer – is to have a decent setup. That means using a quality audio interface, quality cables, and a great vocal mic.
These don’t come cheap, though, and we know a lot of bedroom producers aren’t trying to throw four numbers on a mic — or even three. With that in mind, we’ve put together an overview that covers six of the best budget vocal mics on the market.
If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list, check out our best vocal mics buyer’s guides or best cheap mics.
1. Audio Technica AT2020
For those on a budget, the quality of the vocal recordings you get with Audio Technica’s AT2020 has to be heard to be believed. With its heart-shaped sound pickup area, this cardioid condenser presents an isolated and precise voice. It is excellently balanced and can also serve as an all-rounder in the studio.
IK’s mobile-friendly professional studio microphone is surprisingly robust for its size. Its low-noise, high-resolution preamp, integrated gain control, and large-diaphragm capsule belie its small size, letting you capture your voice anywhere with absolute class. Thanks to its wide range of connection options, it is not limited to a studio setup either.
3. Rode NT1
Available as a bundle pack, complete with pop filter and XLR, the NT1 brings a vintage feel to vocals despite its state-of-the-art interior. The midrange response of the NT1 is particularly remarkable, while the ultra-low handling noise and shockproof mounted capsule guarantee no interruptions in its work to bring clarity and focus to your voice.
4. Lewitt LCT 440 Pure
A true condenser vocal superstar, Lewitt’s 440 Pure has received dizzying acclaim for its ability to handle the human voice – from impactful rap to soaring falsetto. The gold-plated 1-inch capsule and shock mount ensure flawless audio capture, while the gold-plated XLR connector and design underscore the build quality. It’s one of the best budget vocal mics we’ve tested.
5. Aston Mic Ghost
The release of the Spirit marked the moment when the industry suddenly stopped and took due notice of British manufacturer Aston Microphones. With a three-stage switchable polar pattern and a large-diaphragm condenser, the Spirit effortlessly delivers crystal-clear vocals. Its sturdy construction means it’s ready for regular use.
6. Shure SM7B
From the undisputed gods of workhorse microphone design, the Shure SM7B presents an all-round vocal dynamite. Whether you want to speak, rap, sing, or host, the SM7B’s air-sprung shock absorption and internal pop filter eliminate all unwanted interference, leaving only your voice to sparkle as intended. The classic cardioid polar pattern rejects any off-axis audio.