Last Updated on May 27, 2023 by Robert Mejia
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.
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 microphone.
Neumann KMS 105 MT
When it comes to excellent recordings, Neumann’s KMS 105 MT condenser microphone tops the list. It is a super-cardioid mic that is highly detailed.
It comes with 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
Blue Spark Blackout SL XLR
MXL V67G – Elegant Look
1. Neumann KMS 105 MT
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.
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 stage. It has very low handling noise and thus can be hand-held or mounted on a stand. The microphone also has the ruggedness required on stage, therefore is no need to worry much about being fragile.
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 comes with a dual diaphragm condenser. It is a handheld microphone.
With this microphone, you can switch between hyper-cardioid and subcardioid patterns giving you excellent vocal detail. The microphone is also available as a wireless handheld transmitter SKU.
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 a 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 work 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 the axis and also about 90 degrees off-axis. Therefore, the pattern is suitable where there is not much surrounding noise or in the case of a number of vocalists. The hyper-cardioid pattern, on the other hand, produces good audio quality from the on-axis to around 45 degrees off-axis. However, on both patterns, the frequency response was consistent.
3. Avantone CV-12
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 a 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.
Why it is a top pick
As said earlier, this microphone rivals many higher-priced microphones in the market. This mic can be used in any studio as a primary vocal mic. With the 9-polar patterns, you are able to handle a variety of sound sources such as the human voice, acoustic guitars, strings, and drum overheads, among others. It has dual 32mm gold-sputtered Mylar capsules. The capsules are 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 the 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, a PS-12 multi-pattern power supply as well as a travel case.
4. Blue Spark Blackout SL XLR
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 up 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 enable it to achieve such quality sound.
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 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 of 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 include a Class-A discrete amplifier circuit. This particular component enables the mic to offer consistent and reliable performance.
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 realistic sound. This is a plug-and-play type of mic so it is very easy to use.
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 compared with other USB microphones. It is highly sensitive while at the same time ensuring low noise. You are therefore guaranteed a studio-quality sound for your home studio session or gaming.
Apart from the microphone, you will also get a 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 about where to place it while doing the recordings. The arm is also very flexible and you can twist it to fit the desired position.
6. MXL V67G – Elegant Look
This is one of the most popular microphones due to its affordability. It’s gold plate and sleek look makes it look premium.
Its condenser capsule is measured at 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 a 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 are 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 premium microphones having better details and functions. However, for beginner studios and good home recordings, the MXL will do just fine.
Best Condenser Microphone Buyer’s Guide
When it comes to online buying, everyone is prone to be 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 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 advise 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 fake products.
- While using Amazon, buy only from Amazon.com and should be labeled ‘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 will be guaranteed 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.