Our list of the best cheap home recording microphones under £100 will provide high-quality audio without breaking the bank
When you’re first putting together a home studio, you’re likely going to be on a budget - but you don’t want to scrimp on quality. Fortunately, we’ve put together this list of some of the best cheap home recording microphones that don’t suck.
These cheap microphones will provide incredible sonic qualities and record accurate representations of the sound source, whether you’re recording acoustic guitars and instruments, vocals or guitar cabs.
But what are the criteria?
When you think “cheap” you’re probably going to think bad quality. In this case, 'cheap' simply means budget-friendly - besides, our #1 option – the Shure SM57 - is an industry-standard studio microphone that pro-level studio owners almost always have.
In this article, “cheap” simply means under £100. They certainly don’t suck!
In this article we’ve collected home studio microphones that are:
- Under £100
- Perfect for home studios
- Offer high-quality recording
- High levels of SPL (where possible)
- Studio quality frequency response and high sensitivity (where applicable)
- Don’t suck – we would wholeheartedly recommend them!
Let’s dig in!
Show me the best cheap home studio microphones..
In this article we are looking at the following microphones - including the industry-standard choices in addition to some relative newcomers:
- Shure SM57 Dynamic Microphone
- sE Electronics X1 S Condenser Microphone
- Shure Motiv MV5 Digital Condenser Podcasting Microphone
- Rode PodMic Dynamic Podcast Microphone
- Shure PGA81 Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone
- Marantz MPM-1000 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
- Sennheiser Evolution E609 Silver Dynamic Guitar Microphone
- Shure PGA57 Cardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphone
Shure SM57 Dynamic Microphone
Run away from any article that doesn’t include the Shure SM57 Dynamic Microphone as part of a 'best cheap home recording microphones under £100' list.
This is an industry-standard. Just buy it right now.
This microphone is used by professional-level studio engineers all over the world. Hard-wearing and versatile, this microphone was actually used to record Kurt Cobain’s vocals on ‘Nevermind’. This microphone can do it all. Acoustic guitars? No problem. Cranked amplifier? You got it. Hard-hitting snare? Absolutely.
Although it’s not the most sensitive of microphones, owing to the 40 to 15,000 Hz frequency response, it captures the subtleties of your snare, guitar and louder vocals with incredible detail.
The key benefit of this mic is down to its cardioid pickup pattern which isolates the main sound source and rejects anything around it. What you want to record, gets recorded!
The built-in pneumatic shock-mount system cuts down handling noise, which enables you to record high volume instruments without worrying about the capsule rattling during the recording process. The max SPL clocks in at 150dB which is louder than a jet engine. This means you can enjoy recording a cranked tube amp without worrying about the mic distorting.
If you want a good all-around microphone you will NEVER have to upgrade – get this.
Who is the Shure SM57 Dynamic Microphone good for?
- Home studio owners
- Guitar players
- Live sound engineers
- Brass players
sE Electronics X1 S Condenser Microphone
At £99, this just makes it into our best cheap home studio microphones under £100.
Again, this incredible microphone proves that you don’t have to break the bank to get a good sound.
The key benefits of this microphone come from its capsule and the ability to switch the attenuation. The 1" individually-tuned capsule features the highest dynamic range and SPL handling in its mic class – meaning it’s perfect for all aspects of live sound recording including studio, podcasting, vocals, acoustic, rap or field recording applications.
The -10 dB and -20 dB pad switches enable you to extend the wide range and provide distortion-free recording at extreme volumes – if you’re recording a snare or loud guitar cabinet for example.
The high-frequency response of 20 Hz - 20 kHz means all the detail of spoken word, the acoustic timbre of your voice and quality of the instrument are captured whilst the rugged housing makes it ideal for travelling musicians and sound engineers too.
If you want to get everything you need to start a podcast or create better recordings at home, the X1 S is also available via the sE Electronics X1S Vocal Pack and thesE Electronics X1S Studio Bundle.
Who is the sE Electronics X1 S Condenser Microphone good for?
- Home studio owners
- Rap/Hip-Hop artists
- Guitar players
- Live sound engineers
- Travelling musicians
Shure Motiv MV5 Digital Condenser Podcasting Microphone
Home studios aren’t just for recording music! The Shure Motiv MV5 Digital Condenser Podcasting Microphone is the new industry standard podcasting mic, which is also one of the best voiceover microphones under £100.
If you record vocals, whether spoken word or singing vocals this is an exceptionally well-built microphone that will provide decades of high-quality sound.
If you do want to record music with it, the three preset recording modes; Voice, Instrument and Flat allow you to change the settings of the microphone and optimise them for different sound sources.
This is extremely versatile, able to connect to your PC or Mac via the included Micro-B-to-USB cable or optional Micro-B-to-LTG cable for connecting to Apple mobile devices and recording at 24 bit / 48 kHz quality. You’re ready to record high clarity audio at a moment's notice.
The free, dedicated iOS app; ShurePlus – Motiv enables you to start recording, editing and sharing straight out of the box, without the need for a DAW whilst the 3.5mm headphone output empowers users with real-time audio monitoring – you don’t need an interface!
This is a plug-and-play microphone perfect for home studio owners who want to create better vocal recordings, voiceovers, YouTube videos and podcasts. For under £100, it’s a great investment.
Who is the Shure Motiv MV5 Digital Condenser Podcasting Microphone for?
- Voiceover artists
- Home demo enthusiasts
- Acoustic guitarists
- Conference callers
Rode PodMic Dynamic Podcast Microphone
While we’re on the subject of podcasting microphones - we simply had to include the Rode PodMic Dynamic Podcast Microphone. This is a cheap home studio microphone that certainly doesn’t suck. It’s one of the main mics used by the incredible Boogaloo Radio in London!
At under £100, it sits firmly within the budget-friendly bracket, yet boasts a highly detailed frequency response of 50Hz - 13 kHz often seen on higher-end mics. This means all the subtleties of your vocals will be accurately captured whether you’re talking or singing.
The internal pop filter minimises any plosives and the integrated swing-mount is perfect for positioning your microphone for interviews, streaming or YouTube videos.
Perfectly matched with the Rodecaster Pro.
Who is the Rode PodMic Dynamic Podcast Microphone for?
- Online radio
- Home studios
Shure PGA81 Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone
Where the SM57 may lack sensitivity, the Shure PGA81 Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone makes up for in droves.
You have access to a frequency response of 40 – 18,000 Hz with the PGA81 condenser mic, which makes it a perfect option for those who need the rugged, industry-standard quality of a Shure mic, but the sensitivity of one of their high-end options.
This is ideal for recording sensitive acoustic instruments like acoustic guitar, violin, piano or even ukulele. However, it can still handle drums as an overhead microphone, providing the detail you need from a cocktail kit and is ideal for the more relaxed drummers with a smaller selection of cymbals. It even works better if you have two for overheads or as an XY stereo recording option for acoustic guitars.
If you’re a singer-songwriter or record those who are, this is easily one of the best cheap home studio microphones under £100 that won’t let you down.
Who is the Shure PGA81 Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone for?
- Acoustic recording artists
- Piano players
- Studio owners
- Stereo recording
Marantz MPM-1000 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Setting up a home studio can be a little expensive. The large-diaphragm Marantz MPM-1000 Cardioid Condenser Microphone makes it a lot easier by providing almost everything you need to record quality vocals and acoustic instruments straight out of the box.
At around £45 it’s not going to destroy your bank balance, but it’ll certainly improve your recording as you make use of the high sensitivity frequency response of 20–20,000Hz, enjoy off-axis rejection with the cardioid polar pattern and make use of the max SPL of 136dB. It’ll handle almost everything you throw at it!
This is certainly one of the best value for money podcasting and home studio microphones as you also get a windscreen, shock mount, tripod stand and XLR cable included, capable of drastically improving the audio for your YouTube videos, podcasts and voiceover work. However, it’s entirely ready to record electric guitars thanks to the high SPL that delivers clear quality audio for recording vocals, Podcasting, YouTube Videos and acoustic instruments.
Who is the Marantz MPM-1000 Cardioid Condenser Microphone for?
- YouTube artists
- Acoustic guitarists
- Online radio broadcasters
- Voiceover artists
Sennheiser Evolution E609 Silver Dynamic Guitar Microphone
If you want a purpose-made guitar microphone for loud guitar cabs and all manner of guitar recording, you’re going to love the Sennheiser Evolution E609 Silver Dynamic Guitar Microphone.
The super-cardioid polar pattern provides a highly controlled sound with great off-axis rejection, whilst the 40-15000 Hz ensures all the detail from your guitar cabinet, amp and guitar are kept intact during the recording process.
The rugged design with built-in shock-mount design and hum compensating coil makes it the best mics for recording high-volume sound sources and a perfect tool for studio engineers and live sound engineers alike.
If you want to step up your guitar recording game at home, this is a great option way under £100.
Who is the Sennheiser Evolution E609 Silver Dynamic Guitar Microphone for?
- Those who record guitar cabs at home
- Live and studio engineers
- Touring musicians in need of a reliable sound
Shure PGA57 Cardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphone
Last but not least we have the Shure PGA57 Cardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphone. This is a budget-friendly sibling to the (already budget-friendly) SM57, but with a few tricks up its sleeve.
This is a cardioid dynamic mic, designed for vocals. This set-up is becoming far more common as bands are recording more albums “live” or recording live shows directly from the PA system for upload to the internet and social media sites.
The key benefit here is that if you want a live sound and vibe of a dynamic mic, but with the control and off-axis rejection of a cardioid – this has got you covered.
The frequency response of 70Hz - 15kHz provides all the detail in the recording you need at louder volumes, able to capture the subtle nuances of a snare drum’s tonewood as well as the emotion in a vocal performance.
Who is the Shure PGA57 Cardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphone for?
- Live vocalists
- Engineers who want to capture the live “vibe”
- Home studio recording artists
And that covers our best cheap home studio microphones article..
If you need some extra help choosing studio microphones or need to speak to someone about creating a home studio, call us on 0151 448 2089 - or check out your local store to speak to one of our Experts about your microphone and recording needs.
We’re here to help!