There's a huge difference between microphones for on stage use and the studio. So today, we're looking at the best microphones for recording vocals to help you get the best vocal sound when you're laying down your tracks!
Getting the right microphone is essential if you want your recordings to accurately represent the feeling, emotion and nuances of your voice or vocal performance. Whether you're recording music, podcasting or providing a voice over for a cartoon (you lucky thing!) you need a reliable and sturdy microphone - preferably a cardioid pattern mic that's designed to reduce unwanted ambience. So today, we're going to look at the best microphones cardioid pattern condenser mics for recording vocals. Although these are all cardioid pattern mics, some have the ability to switch between different patterns which can be extremely useful if you want a versatile mic.
Here's our 7 Best Microphones For Recording Vocals
1. Marantz MPM-2000 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
The Marantz MPM2000 is a professional level condenser microphone perfect for studio owners, home recording enthusiasts and those in need of a budget friendly condenser mic that sounds great no matter what you're recording. The low noise, phantom powered 34mm capsule diaphragm provides you with a sensitive, high frequency response making it a great all rounder for your studio and for accurately capturing all the nuances of your vocal performance. The cardioid pattern makes it great for front on recording, whether vocals or acoustic guitar and ensures a greater isolation from any of that unwanted ambient sound. The addition of a pop filter, shock mount and handy aluminium carry case means you can record efficiently and transport it - perfect for travelling musicians who want to record vocals in hotel rooms or producers with a mobile studio.
2. Shure SM7B Dynamic Studio Microphone
The Shure SM7B Dynamic Studio Microphone is an industry standard vocal microphone that can also be used for voice-over work, radio broadcasting and of course studio lead vocals thanks to the flat, wide-range frequency response. The Shure SM7B is the perfect studio vocal mic thanks to the fact it has been designed to shield against the electromagnetic hum which can sometimes occur from studio monitors and speakers - ideal when you're recording! This means you get a noise free signal at all times and the recording you end up with is exactly what you expect it to be. The fitted pop filter ensures those annoying explosive breaths and sounds are eliminated so recording close-up is never a problem. For those recording spoken word, podcasts or voice overs, you'll be pleased to know that the SM7B now comes with a A7WS detachable windscreen which provides a warmer tone overall and reduces plosive sounds even more.
3. SE Electronics X1 Studio Bundle With RF-X Filter and Accessories
If you need a full studio set up at home without having to ACTUALLY fork out for a full studio, then the SE Electronics X1 Studio Bundle With RF-X Filter and Accessories is the ideal package for you. In the box you get everything you need to record professional level recordings at home or in your studio including an X1 condenser microphone, microphone mounts, 3m cable, pop shield and extremely useful SE reflexion filter. All you have to supply is a sturdy boom stand, your DAW, a voice and you're good to go.
The hand-built large diaphragm, gold sputtered capsule within the SE X1, has been hand-tuned by the technicians at SE before it reaches you - a great touch that shows the brands dedication to producing quality gear and just another reason why producers and artists trust sE so much - they do it right. The fixed cardioid pattern coupled with the SE reflexion filter in practice ensures any unwanted ambient noise is almost completely eradicated. This means you can get vocal booth quality recordings without the actual vocal booth - ideal for those with a mobile studio or for recording artists that want to be able to record professional level recordings anytime inspiration strikes.
4. Aston Spirit Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphone
The Aston Spirit Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphone is an extremely innovative microphone aimed at studio owners in need of a versatile, reliable and extremely hard wearing mic. Developed by some of the worlds leading audio engineers, the Aston Spirit is a rare breed of microphone owing to it's almost indestructible design, born out of the need for a mic that can withstand constant use and transport between studios. The unique wave-form mesh head has been specifically crafted to add a great deal of protection against damage from accidental knocks. The capsule itself is protected within a shock resistant chassis, carefully placed behind a mesh pop filter, thus providing a safer atmosphere and removing the need for an external pop filter.
The Aston Spirit is also a multi-pattern condenser microphone with a polar pickup pattern switch. This means you can enjoy the recording capabilities of omni, cardioid and figure of eight pattern recording. To say this mic is versatile is an understatement. You can also switch between -20, -10 and 0dB padding, making it an ideal microphone for recording brass, drums and anyone with a particularly loud voice! The Aston Spirit could be the last mic you ever need, for vocals, guitars and whatever you want to (literally) throw at it! Perfectly coupled with the Aston Halo Pro Reflexion Filter & Portable Vocal Booth for the ultimate isolation.
5. Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone
The Shure SM58 may be the worlds most widely used live vocal mic, but it's also an excellent microphone for recording vocals in the studio too! Although it's not a condenser microphone, it's used frequently for live recordings. The dynamic capsule and cardioid polar pickup pattern makes it an effective vocal mic by removing unwanted noise and ambience whilst producing accurate and pronounced vocals. In fact, this microphone has been relied upon by some of the worlds leading artists and almost every stage in the world for over 50 years.
The Shure SM58 comes with built in pop filter, 50 to 15,000 Hz frequency response and uniform cardioid pickup pattern, finished in a hard wearing case that is designed to withstand years of touring. Hook this thing up to your system and see why your favourite artists rely on this awesome piece of kit that is perfect for studio recordings as well as live performance.
Want more detail? We also recommend the Shure Beta 58A, which features increased sensitivity, high frequency response as well as a Supercardioid pickup pattern making it ideal for recording not only vocals, but acoustic instruments in beautiful detail, too!
6. SE Electronics Z5600a II Condenser Microphone
A versatile mic is a recording partner for life, and the sE Electronics Z5600a II Condenser Microphone will happily join you on your journey from studio to studio, song to song. This large diaphragm condenser provides you with the ability to switch between a selection of polar patterns including cardioid, omni, figure 8 as well as 6 intermediate stages which is accessed via the AC power unit. The SE Electronics Z5600a II is fitted with a dual triode ECC83 tube to provide warmth, response and clarity in your recordings. As any guitarists and studio professionals out there will understand, there's simply nothing better than the sound a warm tube can produce.
Every nuance and subtlety in your vocal recordings will be captured beautifully, especially considering the 20Hz ~ 20kHz frequency response. All vocal styles will be captured beautifully as will any other instrument you decide to record. The microphone comes in a wooden presentation case along with a large shock mount and brushed aluminium power supply all presented in a full aluminium flight case for easy transportation.
7. Rode NT1-A Condenser Microphone Package
Another fantastic option for the home studio enthusiast, vocalist or podcaster is the Rode NT1-A Condenser Microphone Package. You have everything you need to make studio quality vocal recordings anytime, anywhere. The NT1A cardioid polar pattern microphone contains a large 1" capsule with gold plated diaphragm for ultimate sensitivity, effectively picking up all the nuances of your recording - an essential quality for recording artists.
The cardioid pickup pattern ensures you don't pick up that unwanted ambience, whilst the wide dynamic frequency makes it a fantastic tool for a wide variety of different vocal styles. Whatever your singing style, the Rode NT1-A Condenser mic can handle it. The 10 year extended warranty ensures you're in safe hands too!
In the box you get a suspension mount, pop filter and dust cover to keep your mic safe in transit or when it's not being used. A great budget friendly option and one of the best microphones for recording vocals available.