We're looking at the 8 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 8 Best Microphones For Recording Vocals
1.sE Electronics SE2200 Condenser Microphone
The sE Electronics SE2200 is the latest version of SE's award-winning studio condenser microphone. It comes complete with sE’s Isolation Pack, consisting of a custom-made shock mount, integrated pop filter, and a thread adapter to fit with any standard microphone boom or desktop stand.
Courtesy of a 1" cardioid condenser capsule and Class-A Electronic circuitry, the 2200 is well suited for a wide range of recording applications, and switchable attenuation levels (-10dB and -20dB) allow you to pad the microphone in high-volume environments.
In addition to a switchable Low-Cut filter and the aforementioned Isolation Pack from sE, this microphone is perfect for turning home-recording environments into a place where you can nail a crystal clear vocal take, and the rugged construction means that it will last a lifetime, too.
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. Sennheiser Mk4 Digital USB Condenser Studio Microphone
The Sennheiser Mk4 Digital USB Condenser Studio Microphone is perfect if you need to be able to record high quality vocals directly to your iOS devices or via USB directly to your DAW. However, don’t be thinking that the USB connectivity is in any way inferior to a traditional XLR connection – no way! This is an absolute powerhouse of a microphone that has been specifically designed to capture the true large diaphragm condenser detail. There’s actually a built-in Analogue-to-Digital conversion within the microphone, providing 24-bit / 96kHz conversion which is as good as the high-end audio interfaces out there!
You get everything you need including a USB cable and Lightning iOS cable so you can record straight out of the box making it one of the best microphones for recording vocals. This is 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. SE Electronics T2 Condenser Microphone
The SE Electronics T2 Condenser Microphone sits firmly in our best microphones for recording vocals list thanks to its incredible versatility. This is essentially 4 microphones in 1 palm-sized unit.
You have 4 polar patterns: omni, cardioid, supercardioid and figure-8 to choose from all of which can benefit from the switchable low cut and pad. We could go on all day about this microphone thanks to its solid bass response and excellent midrange detail and ultra-detailed high-frequency response. It has very low self-noise and its versatility means it can be used for everything from guitar and bass cabinets to classical recordings, choirs, pianos and more.
One of the cool features is the hand-crafted titanium-sputtered capsule which ensures all the clarity and subtle nuances of your vocal performance is intact. Finally, the custom suspension mount allows the mic to be centered within the shock so there's no need to buy an extra shock mount.
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 X1 S Studio Microphone Bundle
A versatile mic is a recording partner for life, and the sE Electronics X1 S Studio Microphone Bundle will happily join you on your journey from studio to studio, song to song.
Of course, this is a recording bundle, so you get everything you need to record high quality vocals anywhere. It's like having a portable vocal studio with you at all times.
The microphone itself features a hand-made gold-sputtered capsule which provides the recording quality of a high-end studio microphone. The -10 dB and -20 dB pad switches provide extended dynamic range so you're all set for other instruments as well as vocals.
We think this is one of the best microphones for recording vocals as it features switchable low cut filters at 80Hz or 160Hz are ideal to filter rumble and foot-fall noise or compensate for proximity effect. There's no chance of that horrible background noise creeping in, so you're all set for podcasting too.
You get everything you need for recording vocals including pop shield, mic, vocal booth and cradle.
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.
8. Lewitt LCT 441 Flex Compact Condenser Microphone
One of the finest microphones in the Lewitt range, the LCT 441 Flex Compact Condenser Microphone is perfectly suited to capturing acoustic guitar recordings.
With 8 polar patterns including cardioid and wide-cardioid settings, this microphone also comes with a shock mount, magnetic pop filter, windscreen and transport bag.
The tonal variety that this microphone is capable of means that you can use it for all sorts of vocal tracking without fear that the finished sound might end up lacking character, and the LED monitor means you’re certain to achieve the perfect levels as you get set up.
If you’re ever in a creative rut, the Lewitt even features a ‘Random’ feature, perfect for experimenting with polar patterns and sounds you might not have considered before.