Best Vocal Mic Under 200 (Updated for 2019)
Written By James Quinn
Is your dream to be the next great musician? Or maybe you need to be able to clearly address crowds at different events. At some point in our lives, we all wanted to be something great.
Some achieve it, some only can dream of it. Do you remember the first time someone asked you "what do you want to be when you grow up?"
As a child, this seemed like it was such a simple question with an obvious answer. If your dream was to be a singer or a speaker of sorts, you probably saw yourself conquering stages and filling concert domes and arenas, standing on podiums, or recording in studios.
But you knew you had to start somewhere right? Your bedroom seemed like a good place to start, but you were always interrupted. So the next best thing was to practice in the bathroom.
One of the few places you were truly alone, guaranteed. This is the place where you were introduced to the little phenomenon, called acoustics. Your voice did not quite seem to carry as well in other rooms, but in the bathroom, you seem to sound like the best singer or speaker on the planet.
There are many digital ways to use one's voice these days. The radio and TV commercials you hear, are usually voiced by someone. The GPS you use on your car, the digital assistant on your phone, all voices recorded with a microphone.
But they must cost an arm and a leg right? Wrong!
- Are you looking for a good microphone for vocals on a budget?
- Do you need to start your own home studio with the right equipment?
- Is there someone you want to buy a new microphone for, perhaps to nudge them in the direction of realizing their dream.
In a Hurry? Our Top Pick Is.....
The Shure SM58S Vocal Microphone
When looking for a new microphone under 200, look for a microphone that can deliver quality. You also want to look for a microphone you can easily set up. f you are just starting out then you probably do not have the budget to hire help to set up the studio for you.
So you will need to be able to set up the microphone on your own.
Our favourite one is the Shure SM58S Vocal Microphone - check price here.
It has the incredible ability to handle high sound at high-pressure levels. You get top performances with this gem of a microphone that is also super affordable.
Also, check on the range of the microphones. If you will be taking this microphone to big venues, you want to know how far you can walk around with it.
These are some of the important factors to consider. Long story short, know your voice and know your microphone. Allow the two to work together!
These Are Our 5 Best Vocal Mics For Under $200
#1. OUR OVERALL TOP PICK
1. Shure SM58S Vocal Microphone
Shure is one of the world’s leading microphone brands. That status is backed by a long line of quality products that they have brought to the market over the years.
The Shure SM585 is designed with vocal recording in mind. It has a uniform cardioid pickup pattern that works to focus on the main source and cut off most of the background noises.
There are brightened midrange and bass roll-off that works to control proximity as you capture the recording. In line with keeping the background noises to an absolute minimum, there is pneumatic shock-mount.
This mount allows you to keep the handling noise to a minimum as well. This is more important for those that will be using their mics for live performances.
While we are still on the topic of keeping out background noise, there is a built-in spherical wind and pop filter for this purpose as well. This is not something that you can see unless you open the microphone, which is never the best idea unless you know what you are doing.
This filter makes this microphone less prone to picking up those “pop” sounds that we produce when singing loudly. While you are on stage, you have the option to switch your microphone on and off at will. This will come in handy at minimising feedback from mics when they are not in use.
By virtue of being a unidirectional dynamic microphone, you know that proximity to the source of sound is important. The mic will pick up the sound from the source to which it is directed.
It has a frequency response of 50 to 15000Hz. There is a sensitivity pattern of -54.5dBV/Pa. It has a rated impedance of 150 Ohms. You will not have to worry about the build, it is a solid looking and feeling mic. It weighs 298 grams.
To connect it to other audio equipment, you will need an XLR cable. This is a cable that you can purchase together with the microphone if you would like.
- It delivers clear recordings.
- It is a well-made, durable microphone.
- The on/off option makes a massive difference.
- There is minimal distortion picked up from the background.
- It produces stable quality repeatedly.
- There have been some issues with the volume reported.
2. Sennheiser E835 Dynamic Cardioid Vocal Microphone
Sennheiser is a titan among music equipment brands. Most of us will be more familiar with them from the audio output devices that they design. More specifically their headphones.
The Sennheiser E835 provides a gentle tonal response that works to ensure that you get a mix of clarity and projection with each recording. Where you would usually find that proximity effects makes it more difficult to control bass.
The E835 has a way around this. Their minimal effect allows you to keep this bass at bay whether you are close or near the microphone when singing. It has a cardioid pick-up pattern that is ideal for focusing on recording from one source while keeping interference from others to a minimum.
The body of the microphone is made out of a metal exterior. It is this exterior and a built-in shock mount system that reduces the picking up of handling noises when in use. There is a frequency response of 40-16000Hz and an impedance of 350Ohms.
You will notice just how much clarity and detail you will be able to capture in your recordings. Using this microphone could not be any easier. It is a plug-and-play model. Most of the technical control will be handled on your mixer or amplifier.
This microphone is part of the Evolution 600/800 series. The set is renowned for delivering specialised mics for both vocals and instruments. It comes with an incredible 10-year warranty.
- The microphone is well-built and sturdy.
- There is wider frequency response.
- It produces great quality on live sets.
- Background noise and interference are kept to a minimum.
- No one can complain about the price range.
- It comes with a 10-year warranty.
- There have been some durability issues reported.
- There seems to be a delay when recording very loud sounds.
3. MXL Mics 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
If you are after condenser microphone that is not going to cost you an arm and a leg, this might be it. It is a multi-purpose microphone. You can use it for recording both vocals and instruments.
The performance on testing with these was impressive. As you would expect, one always approaches cheap microphones with a measured expectation. With that in mind, we can say that the MXL 770 exceeded those expectations.
The first thing that you will notice about it is that it comes with a shock mount. As keeping the cost low goes this ticks yet another box. The build does not seem overall strong, nor is it particularly weak.
MXL Mics wanted to deliver a product that has a balanced bass response that is coupled with high-end clarity. You will note that there is less interference captured that you would find in some microphones of a similar build.
This is due to the low-frequency roll-off. There is not much of a learning curve here. It is a microphone that bridges the gap between professional musicians and zealous beginners.
There is a high-quality FET preamp that is used to deliver a balanced output. The result is a wide dynamic range.
This is a wired microphone. You will need an XLR cable to connect it to audio equipment. There is a frequency range of 30Hz-20kHz. The polar pattern is cardioid. Sensitivity is 15mV/Pa.
Output impedance is 150 ohms. You will need a 48-volt phantom power source to get the best results from this mic. It comes in a beautiful looking, well-insulated carrying case. The overall weight of the product is 2.5 pounds at the time of shipping.
- It comes with a shock mount.
- The price is unbelievable for the quality that you get.
- The sound quality is fairly good.
- It reduces the amount of background noise captured.
- It does not come with a pop filter.
4. Audio-Technica AT2020PK Vocal Microphone Pack
If you are working on vocal recording, you cannot go wrong with Audio-Technica. This is one of the top brands when it comes to delivering good quality products that are bang for the buck.
They are reasonably priced. Whether you are working on bringing your podcast to life or streaming content online this is well worth your attention. It is beginner-friendly for both installation and use.
What you get is a cardioid condenser microphone that picks up great sound from the direction in which it is pointing. There is evidently less noise from the surrounding area. Interference is also kept to a minimum.
This is a complete package that includes more than just the mic. You also get a set of professional monitor headphones and a studio boom arm. That is more than can be said for what most brands have to offer at this price point.
The mic is designed with vocal recording as its core function. So, if you are looking to do some podcasting or spoken word, this is a good set to go with.
It features a low-mass diaphragm that delivers extended frequency response. The transient response that you get is also incredible. Using a mic that has a cardioid polar pattern means that your sound will be more controlled.
It limits the interference that the mic would pick from external sources. Another feature that you will appreciate is the ability to pivot your mic in any direction that you may desire. It also takes the common XLR cable that we all know and love.
The headphones included in this set are no slouches either. They are evidently well engineered. The cable runs on one side, which reduces the limitation that often comes with using cables.
Your ears are well covered by the over-ear pieces to ensure that sound is isolated when you are in a loud environment. Just to curb the irony, there is not much bleed from them as well.
The boom arm that comes with is clamps onto your desk as well as other surfaces. It can rotate a full 360-degrees. There is a lot more versatility that comes with that. Imagine all of the places that you could mount it. It takes away the need for carrying a mic stand with you.
- Delivers incredible quality akin to high-end mics.
- The customer service is exception if anything goes wrong.
- It is very sensitive to pick up audio
- Comes with a great boom arm.
- The headphones are fantastic.
- Not all sellers provide an XLR cable.
- Can’t be used straight out of the box. You need extra bits.
5. Blue Yeti USB Microphone
Perhaps you would prefer a USB mic? Well, you need not look further. The Blue Yeti is arguably one of the most commonly used microphones around today.
At least in the streaming and podcasting world. There is something that just sets it apart from others. The manufacturer markets it as the world’s number 1 premium USB mic.
Who can argue with that? It brings a tri-capsule system to a non-professional setting. You do not need to pull out those XLRs or a mixer to get the best out of this one.
It was manufactured to fit seamlessly into our day to day use. It is ready to get involved in your podcasting, Twitch streaming, Skype calls and so on. Of all of the ones that we have tested, this is probably the easiest one to use. It is a simple plug-and-play microphone.
No additional equipment or drivers are required. There is a range of controls at your disposal. You can control the volume output to your headphones, and mute them when necessary.
The four patterns that you can configure your microphone to are cardioid mode, omnidirectional mode, bidirectional mode and stereo mode. The cardioid mode is the best suited for recording vocals from one source. If you are working on your podcast or streaming, this is a good option.
The omnidirectional mode picks up audio from various sources at the same time. If you are recording a roundtable sort of format, this might be the one to go with. The bidirectional mode records from the frontend and the back of the microphone.
If you are involved in a dialogue, this is the one to use. The stereo mode uses two channels of recording. You get both left and right channels engaged.
There are an incredible 11 colours that you can choose from. With other brands, you would be impressed to have any choice at all. You can get these as either the mic + game bundle or the mic only.
- It could not be any easier to set up and use.
- There are lots of colours to choose from.
- It is beginner-friendly.
- It produces great sound quality.
- There are 4 capsules to choose from.
- It records directly onto your computer.
- Comes with a shock mount.
- Required your computer to be used at all times.
- Some durability issues have been noted.
- Customer support could be better.
Why Vocal Singers Need A Good Microphone
Singers have not always used microphones. In times past, singers had to rely on projecting their voices. With the help of room acoustics, a good singer had to know how to manipulate his or her surroundings, to be heard. It was not just about being able to sing, but also about being able to project. Today, the situation has not changed that much. A singer can not rely on just being able to sing, she or he also has to know how to handle a microphone, to get optimal amplification.
The best microphones on the market offer different features that help give the user the best experience. When you are just setting up your new home studio, a lot of money is spent on getting the basics that you will need. This means that in as much as you would like to get a prime microphone, your pocket may not necessarily allow it. Or you may not be too sure which microphone will work for you, and as such, you do not want to be spending too much.
There are several microphones that you can get, that are under 200.
Good microphones that will do the job effectively for you. The great thing about the equipment on the market today is that you can set up a basic home studio for under 1 000, and still get better sound than in the 60s. With just 200, you can get a studio microphone that will do a splendid job for you.
What you will need to do is scour the different available options. If you are not quite sure what to take in and what to ignore when it comes to the microphones available to you on a budget? We don't blame you. There are several options, and each manufacturer tries to put their best foot forward so that you get attached to that brand. Yes, brand loyalty is a thing! So you don't get too confused, we have narrowed down the search for you.
Best Vocal Mic Under 200 - Buyer Guide
If you are looking for a microphone that will do your vocals justice, or perhaps you want to start off your career and you want to make sure you are adequately prepared. Maybe you just need to replace your current one that just is not cutting it. Most professional singers and vocalists will tell you that a microphone can be a pretty personal thing. It is what you use to reach out to your audience. Some superstars have been known to carry their own microphone onto the stage and patent it. Ever wondered why? Maybe it is because they are now accustomed to the way it handles and the way their voice sounds with it.
What will you use it for?
The vocal purpose varies widely. What do you want to use the microphone for? Perhaps you want to record in the studio, or you want to address a crowd. You may want to sing at a concert or in an open space. All these are factors you need to consider when you are going shopping for a new microphone. It determines what type of sound you want to pick up and from which directions.
What does your voice sound like?
Your singing style and your sound have to be compatible. You do not want to get a microphone that will distort your voice. The microphone is meant to amplify and enhance your voice and deliver a clean crisp version to your audience. A microphone can make or break that. When you understand your singing style, you will also have a clear idea as to what you need in a microphone. If you a rapper,
Ask about the microphone's polar pattern.
Microphones are designed with different polar patterns, and these dictate what type of sound you pick up. Simply put, polar patterns refer to the directionality of the microphone. It speaks of the reaction and sensitivity of the microphone to sound. There are a couple of variations when it comes to polar patterns
- Cardioid. This is the most common polar pattern. It derives its name from the heart shape that its range resembles when drawn on paper. This is the best microphone to use when you want to capture or focus on one sound source, like a singer. At the same time, it reduces the amount of noise from the sides and the back. As a singer, this microphone would do you justice. A cardioid polar pattern microphone would capture your voice and block out the instruments or any other business being done on stage. It is possible to also get a stereo effect. When 2 cardioid microphones are held together at a 90-degree angle, they create a popular technique called the X/Y. It captures sound separately, so you can capture sound from the left and from the right. You can find various microphones under 200 that have this feature.
- Hyper-cardioid and supercardioid patterns. These are variations of the classic shape. However, the directionality is tighter at the front. They pick up smaller levels of sound, if near other sounds. The most extreme type of directional microphone is the shotgun microphone. It has a narrow pick up from the front. All sounds from the sides are generally not picked up. The longer the line of the tube will be, the tighter the pattern will be. These are more commonly used in film production where you want to pick up specific sounds from a distance.
- Figure-eight polar pattern. These are also known as bi-directional microphones. They pick up an equal amount of sound from the front and from the back. When drawn on paper, the polar pattern resembles the number 8, hence the name. These microphones include ambient noise, which makes your recording more natural sounding.
- Omnidirectional patterns pick up sound from all directions in what resembles a perfect sphere. Most omnidirectional patterns are found in microphones that usually come as headsets. They allow the singer or speaker to move about freely. If you are looking for a microphone that allows you to have free hands and move around, look for an omnidirectional microphone. You can do all this without altering how you are sounding.
Is a condenser microphone ideal for singing?
Condenser Microphones are probably the most commonly used in studios. They have an amazing ability to reproduce sound at the speed of the source. they also tend to have a larger output., however, they are more sensitive to louder sounds. In terms of price, they are high up there. If you find a cheaper one, it is probably cheaper quality too. They are best suited for choral sounds. Large-diaphragm microphones are usually the obvious choice for studio vocals and any instrument recording where a deeper sound is needed.
Are dynamic microphones ideal for vocals?
Dynamic microphones, on the other hand, are much more rugged and resistant to moisture and other forms of abuse, which makes them perfect for stage use. They have great sound quality. Unlike condenser microphones, they do not require their own power supply. They, however, have a limited frequency response, which makes them great for live vocal performances.
When looking for a good microphone under 200, consider which makes degrade with a price drop. Those you know to stay away from until your budget allows. Look for a microphone that will deliver quality sound and convenience (especially if it is your first time setting it up).
Take time to look at the specifications that come with the product. They will give you an indication as to what patterns the microphone has.