There are two major types of microphones; the condenser e and the dynamic microphone. To differentiate them, a condenser microphone requires powering for it to work, while a dynamic mic does not require any power. Choosing the best condenser microphone is not easy but we will help you do so.
A condenser microphone is a type of a microphone that uses a capacitor to convert sound waves into electric energy. Actually condenser means capacitor. The power for the condenser mic can come from a battery or external source. Once in use, the resulting audio signal is stronger than that of a dynamic microphone. Condenser microphones are more sensitive and responsive. They are, therefore, not good for high-volume tasks as their sensitivity may distort the sound.
Condenser microphones have several advantages;
- Has a lighter diaphragm assembly as compared to the dynamic microphone. It can therefore pick a range of high frequencies.
- With this mic, it is easy to obtain a flat frequency response as well as extended frequency ranges.
- It can come in small designs.
- They are more complex
- They have a limit to the maximum signal level they can handle
There are various brands and types of condenser microphones available in the market. After a thorough market search, we found the top pick for this type of a microphone.
Our Top Pick – Neumann KMS 105 MT
When it comes to excellent recordings, Neumann KMS 105 MT condenser microphone tops the list. It is a super-cardioid mic that is highly detailed.
It comes with a robust metal housing, which is able to reduce handling noise. This microphone picks the sound more vividly and with finer details as well as a wider frequency response.
The microphone is suitable for onstage use. The manufacturer, Neumann, is regarded as the leading manufacturer of studio and stage fine microphones.
|Neumann KMS 105 MT||-Super cardioid directionality|
-Smooth and natural sound
|Shure KSM9HS||-Both subcardioid and hypercardioid patterns|
-Comes with a suspension shock mount
-Dual Mylar diaphragm
|Avantone CV-12||-A tube true condenser microphone |
– 9 switchable polar patterns
-Polished Nickel trim
-Cabernet red body
|Blue Spark Blackout SL XLR||Acoustic operating principle|
-Has a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz
A rated impedance of 50 Ohms
-Noise level of 87db
-Cardioid polar pattern
-A studio-quality USB microphone
-24-bit/192 kHz sampling range
|MXL V67G||-6 micron gold-sputtered diaphragm|
-Cardioid Polar Pattern
-200 ohms impedance
-130 dB max SPL
If you are looking to have great sound on stage, this awesome super-cardioid condenser microphone is all you will need. We have checked out various types of condenser microphones in the market but this one is equal to none. It is a highly detailed microphone that can be used for stage applications.
The microphone is durable and its robust metal housing works well in reducing any handling noise. When you purchase it, it comes with a stand mount as well as a padded nylon bag.
Certain features make this microphone admirable;
- Has super cardioid directionality that enables high feedback resistance
- Produces smooth and natural sound
- Feedback protection is enhanced by an excellent pop protection
- Its headgrilles are made of still thus ensuring maximum protection to the capsule.
Why it was our top pick
Super cardioid directional pattern
This is what makes the microphone optimally suited for loud stage environments. The super cardioid pattern enables the microphone to offset sound from the sides and the rear thus picking sound that is directly in front of it. That is why it is suited for stage application.
Studio quality on stage
Unlike many other stage microphones that use a dynamic capsule, KMS 105 uses a condenser capsule that brings more clarity on stge. It has very low handling noise, thus can be hand held or mounted on a stand. The microphone also has the ruggedness required on stage, therefore no need to worry much about being fragile.
- It produces very clear sound
- Very sensitive
- Relatively expensive
2. Shure KSM9HS
When it comes to making sound products, Shure has been on the frontline. Here is one amazing product from this company. Shure KSM9HS that comes with a dual diaphragm condenser. It is a handheld microphone.
With this microphone, you can switch between hypercardiod and subcardioid patterns giving you excellent vocal detail. The microphone is also available as a wireless handheld transmitter SKU.
Some of the great features that this microphone has include;
- It is exceptionally consistent across all frequencies
- Both subcardioid and hypercardioid patterns
- Comes with a suspension shock mount
- Dual Mylar diaphragm
Why this microphone is on our top pick list:
There are two patterns. The subcardioid and hypercardioid patterns. These two patterns will ensure the microphone is able to attenuate rear sound, which means no unnecessary background noise from this microphone.
First, the microphone is not too heavy making it efficient as a handheld mic. Has a well-built grille assembly protecting the mic capsule. Also, the well-market switch enables one to switch between the two polar patterns. The microphone uses the gold-layered, dual-diaphragm that is ¾ inches. This design is what creates the two polar patterns. It uses the 48v phantom power, though it can go down to 11v.
The two polar patterns works very well depending on the environment in which you are using the microphone. The subcardioid pattern has a wider polar pattern. With this pattern, you are able to speak into the microphone on axis and also about 90 degrees off-axis. Therefore, the pattern is suitable where there is no much surrounding noise or in case of a number of vocalists. The hypercardioid pattern, on the other hand, produces good audio quality from on-axis to around 45 degrees off-axis. However, on both patterns, the frequency response was consistent.
- Ability to switch between two polar patterns
- Exceptional consistency in all frequencies
- Relatively expensive
The first thing you are likely to note with this microphone is its gorgeous look. The microphone gives you an elegant Cabernet wine-red appearance. Everyone loves anything that looks good.
Avantone CV-12 is a tube condenser microphone. It is also multi-pattern large capsule mic. This means you can switch between multiple polar patterns to suit your preferred sound setting.
We found that you can surpass the performance and specifications of higher priced mics with the CV-12. Purchasing this mic guarantees you pure professional sound and it will not make you feel a pinch on your budget.
Here are the amazing features;
- It is a tube true condenser microphone
- Has 9 switchable polar patterns
- Has a polished Nickel trim Cabernet red body.
Why it is a top pick
As said earlier, this microphone rivals much higher-priced microphones in the market. This mic can be used in any studio as a primary vocal mic. With the 9 polar pattern you are able to handle a variety of sound sources such as the human voice, acoustic guitars, strings, drum overheads, among others. It has a dual 32mm gold-sputtered Mylar capsules. The capsules is able to respond quickly and capture the real sound of any instrument or voice.
Once you purchase this gadget, there are a number of accessories it comes with. First, is a custom retro shock mount. This one helps in precise positioning of the microphone while reducing any transfer of unwanted vibrations to the microphone. Other accessories that come with the microphone include a padded wooden mic box, PS-12 multi-pattern power supply as well as a travel case.
- Attains more superior sound quality than more-priced mics in the market
- Worth the price
- Awesome sound quality
- Pretty heavy
This is a cardioid condenser microphone that uses the acoustic operating principle. Since it is cardioid it means it is uses a directional pattern. In other words, it cannot pick sound from the rear. Its design gives it the name Baby Bottle as it resembles a baby’s bottle.
The Blue microphone is ideal for recording vocals, electric guitars, drums, saxophones and even horns. The recorded sound on this mic is able to attain superior detail and clarity. The large diaphragm capsule and a Class-A discrete circuit enables it to achieve such quality sound.
- Acoustic operating principle
- Has a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz
- A rated impedance of 50 Ohms and noise level of 87db
- It uses directional pattern or cardioid
- Comes with a shock mount and a storage case.
Why it is our top pick
The vintage design
The microphone has been designed to fit some of the world’s finest vintage microphones. At the same time, it has maintained a high quality audio, without compromise as you would expect from a Blue microphone. Its features have featured well with the quality of sound. The mic’s diaphragm capsule is hand-tuned and tested and includes a transformerless output design. All this ensures the microphone delivers accurate sound-source reproduction.
The distinct sonic signature
The distinct sonic signature means that while using this mic, you are able to record vocals or do room mixing for drums as well as electric guitar amps. This is made possible by the mic’s midrange response together with a smooth top-end and neutral bottom-end capsule design. The design enables the mic to handle even more difficult sound sources like flutes and brass instruments.
Discrete Electronic Components
The high-quality electronic components includes a Class-A discrete amplifier circuit. This particular component enables the mic to offer consistent and reliable performance.
- Comes with a pop filter, shockmount and a case
- Durable in design
It is also known as UHURU Professional PC Streaming cardioid microphone kit. It is a USB podcast condenser microphone. It uses the most advanced chipset that enables it to provide a clearer, smoother and flatter voice. While other microphones have a sampling rate of 48 kHz/24bit, this microphone samples at 192 KHz/24bit.
The cardioid polar pattern design enables the mic to cancel noise from the surroundings, thus giving out a clearer and more real sound. This is a plug-and-play type of a mic so it is very easy to use.
- It is a plug-and-play
- Comes with extra accessories like a pop filter, windscreen, shock mounts, and a mic stand
- Cardioid polar pattern
- A studio-quality USB microphone.
- 24-bit/192 kHz sampling range
Why it is a top pick
Pro Sound Chipset
Considering it uses the most advanced chipset, it means the sound quality is on another level comparing with other USB microphones. It is highly sensitive while at the same time ensuring low noise. You are therefore guaranteed of a studio quality sound to you home studio session, or gaming.
Apart from the microphone, you will also get suspension scissor arm, metal shock mount, double layer pop filter as well as a windscreen. All these come at a price of $49.99 which is highly affordable and worth the budget. It is ideal for starters and even professionals. The suspension scissor arm enables the microphone to be well mounted, thus you do not have to worry where to place it while doing the recordings. The arm is also very flexible and you can twist it to fit the desired position.
- It has a very fair price
- Produces high quality sound
- Easy to use
- Sometimes people tend to speak from the wrong side since this is a cardioid microphone.
6. MXL V67G – Elegant Look
This is one of the most popular microphones due to its affordability. Its gold plate and sleek look makes it look premium.
Its condenser capsule is measured 32mm which ensures it has a wide pickup pattern to capture all frequencies with failure. The MXL also has a solid inbuilt preamp. However, it requires an audio interface for it to be used effectively.
Its design is well suited for vocals and the sound quality produced can be described as mellow tone. I have come across several professional sound engineers using this mic due to the crisp sound quality. Its features are very close to those of the U87.
Generally, MXL microphones are usually a great choice when one wants a mic below 100 dollars. The MXL V67G is a good example of performance and elegance on a budget. Its frequency response is fairly good.
It has its fair share of shortcomings. The sound quality and crispness is not as good as Neumann microphones such as the KMS 105 MT but for a lower price, a good alternative is the MXL V67G.
If you want to build the next big studio, you would be better off with the premium microphones having better details and functions. However, for beginner studios and good home recordings, the MXL will do just fine.
- Good for vocals
- Very affordable and value for money
- Great frequency response
- Elegant gold look
- Nice sound detail
- Not ideal for drums apart from overheads
- Does not come with a shock mount
Best Condenser Microphone Buyer’s Guide
When it comes to online buying, everyone is prone to being conned or personal information being stolen. There have been countless cases of online fraud and everyone is a potential victim. While we may provide a buyer’s guide, it does not give assurance of online safety. However, one can minimize such cases.
Our listed products are from among the top rated on amazon.com. This means most of the purchases might be made online through amazon. There are dangers as well as conveniences that come with online shopping.
First, online shopping is easy and convenient. On the other hand, there are a lot of fraudsters online. Also one is not able to verify the products before they are delivered. Therefore, we always advice that one takes the necessary precaution while purchasing items online.
There are various precautions you can take before making any purchase online.
- First, you must ensure you are buying genuine products. Some of the products put online for sale may not be original.
- Ensures the sellers on amazon are authorized sellers. This will prevent buying of fake products.
- While using amazon, buy only from Amazon.com and should be labelled ‘shipped and sold by amazon.com’).
- Some of the sellers will have ‘fulfilled by Amazon’ under the price. These are not authorized resellers and may end up dealing with unauthorized products.
- You can also check the seller’s feedback to see what other people say.
- Always make payments via Amazon Marketplace.
- Personal information should not be shared online.
- Protect your passwords as well as your system.
Lastly, based on our listing, any microphone you purchase you will be guaranteed of quality services and value for your budget. All the products are prone to breakage if mishandled. Therefore, ensure your items are well taken care of so that you can fully make use of them.