Here are 8 of the best studio microphones under £500, perfect for intermediate and mid-level studio owners who want to up their recording game
If you’re looking to upgrade your studio recording prowess - and you’ve got a modest budget - we encourage you to check out this list of what we think are the best studio microphones under £500.
All of these mics are available here at PMT, and they have all been designed to provide superb quality audio recordings straight out of the box.
If you’ve already filled your studio with the best cheap home recording microphones and you want to take your vocal, drum, or guitar recording up a notch, we’ve got you covered with a range of different options from Shure, Rode, Sennheiser, sE Electronics, Austrian Audio, and AKG.
First of all – what are the criteria?
We’ve selected these studio microphones based on the fact they are:
- Under £500
- Capable of a range of applications (where possible)
- Provide an upgraded sonic quality over cheaper microphones
- Won’t need to be upgraded for years (if ever)
Let’s dig in.
Show Me The Best Studio Microphones Under £500
In this blog we’ll look closely at the following microphones:
- Shure SM7B Dynamic Studio Microphone
- sE Electronics sE4400a Condenser Microphone
- Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone
- Austrian Audio OC707 True Condenser Vocal Microphone
- Shure KSM9HS Vocal Condenser Microphone Black
- AKG C214 Condenser Microphone
- Rode NT2-A Studio Condenser Microphone Bundle
- Sennheiser E614 Overhead Condenser Microphone
Shure SM7B Dynamic Studio Microphone
It goes without saying that the Shure SM7B Dynamic Studio Microphone is easily one of the greatest studio microphones ever created, let alone one of the best studio microphones under £500.
Every studio - whether it's used for recording music, podcasting or YouTube - has one of these, or should have! Used by the likes of Metallica and Michael Jackson, the SM7B provides near perfect representations of the audio source through a flat, wide-range frequency response of 50 Hz – 20 kHz. This frequency response in combination with the built-in bass roll-off and mid-range emphasis (presence boost) controls keeps you covered for all environments - no matter if you need to capture the subtleties of a YouTube voiceover or the screaming vocals of a hardcore punk band, you can do so without any boominess or loss of detail.
It can handle anything you throw at it.
The cardioid polar pattern ensures rejection of unwanted background noise and the included high-density windscreen works in harmony with the internal "air suspension" shock isolation system to create clean recordings free from rattle and hum.
At under £500 this is a no-brainer and a step into the big leagues of pro-recording equipment – just buy it and improve your vocal and acoustic instrument recording instantly.
sE Electronics sE4400a Condenser Microphone
Next up we have the sE Electronics sE4400a Condenser Microphone which features an array of built-in features for the recording artists and studio owners in need of versatility.
At just over £300, this mic makes our best studio microphones under £500 list with ease - bringing 4 polar patterns and a hand-crafted true condenser capsule with it to up your recording game.
You have a switchable polar pattern function that allows you to select either Cardioid, Hyper-Cardioid, Omni, or Figure-8 recording patterns, which is perfect for studio owners in need of versatility - this microphone can be used to record vocals one day, and then foley sound effects on another, for example.
Each of the 4400a's back-to-back brass-ringed capsules are hand-built and hand-tuned by sE technicians for reliability and quality control. The 32mm Twin Gold/Mylar diaphragm ensures every detail of your recording is captured whilst you make the most of the 20 Hz - 20 kHz frequency range.
A pass filter switch allows you to cut the low pass by 60 or 120 Hz removing any boom or proximity effect, and the pre-attenuation pad lets you drop by -10/-20 dB - which makes it a great option for drums, guitar cabs and your louder vocalists who like to shout.
Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone
If you can’t quite stretch to the cost of the SM7B, the Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone is another great option. Almost like a smaller brother to the SM7B, the MV7 USB microphone has been designed for podcasters that need to set up their recording station in seconds.
The dual USB/XLR output allows for digital or analog recording, making it perfect for those who want to record directly to their computer without an audio interface.
The addition of an onboard touch panel provides control over gain, monitoring volume, headphone mix, and mic muting which works beautifully with the ShurePlus MOTIV Desktop Application.
If your studio is set up to predominantly record vocals, whether singing, voiceovers, interviews, streaming or YouTube the Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone is perfect.
Although the 50 Hz to 16,000 Hz is weighted more towards the vocal spectrum, don’t let that stop you from recording acoustic guitars or even home demos, as the 132 dB SPL provides enough headroom to record a wide range of instruments.
Yes, it’s a podcast microphone, but if you want a great mic for recording vocals and acoustic instruments, the Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone is one of the best studio microphones under £500 on the market today.
Austrian Audio OC707 True Condenser Vocal Microphone
Forget what you’ve been told about handheld microphones in the studio. The Austrian Audio OC707 True Condenser Vocal Microphone is not only a great live microphone, but an incredible recording microphone under £500 that provides the quality of a condenser mic, but with the portability of a handheld dynamic.
This makes our best mics under £500 for studio recording list as it features a perfectly tuned small-diaphragm capsule with true condenser technology that benefits from one of a kind Open Acoustic design. This design provides a resonance-free signal source that offers live musicians a quality of recording rarely seen in handheld microphones.
It also features a useful high-pass filter which gives studio engineers greater sound-shaping control over proximity effects.
If you have a vocalist that likes to hold the mic when recording, or you’re using a microphone for a television studio or interview setting, the Austrian Audio OC707 True Condenser Vocal Microphone is a great choice.
Shure KSM9HS Vocal Condenser Microphone
In keeping with the handheld condenser mic theme, we’ve included the Shure KSM9HS Vocal Condenser Microphone. With the rise of live recording techniques being used in a studio again – with the likes of Idles recording as a “live” band in the studio - it makes sense to include these condenser mics.
We think this is easily one of the best studio microphones under £500 as it can be used to capture the live ferocity of recording a band without losing any of the subtleties of the vocal performance.
The 50Hz to 20kHz frequency response ensures you’re ready to tackle everything from whispering vocals to screaming anthems. The addition of a switchable polar pattern is also a great feature as you can choose between hypercardioid and subcardioid polar patterns depending on your delivery, style and performance.
The Hypercardioid setting is better suited towards the heavier vocals providing a better low-end response and excellent high-gain signal before feedback. The subcardioid setting produces a natural and rounded sound which reduces the proximity effect, making it a great option for quieter vocals and even acoustic guitar recording.
A versatile studio microphone that you can actually use to create the feeling of a live vocal in the studio.
AKG C214 Condenser Microphone
Next up we have the AKG C214 Condenser Microphone which features AKGs Legendary 1” edge-terminated large diaphragm. This studio microphone is capable of picking up the subtle changes in your voice, the tonewood qualities of your acoustic guitar and the emotion in your string instruments, yet also capable of withstanding the absolute blast from a double hit snare drum or driven guitar cab – it can do it all thanks to a dynamic range of up to 156 dB SPL.
We think it’s one of the best studio microphones under £500 as it provides superb clarity at all volumes. The ultra-low noise makes it perfect for podcasting or voiceover work and the integrated suspension helps to reduce mechanical noise when you’re sitting down to record your next acoustic masterpiece,
Studio engineers will appreciate the switchable 20 dB attenuation pad and Low Cut Switch, whilst live sound engineers and travelling producers will love the rugged double-mesh grill and hard-wearing construction. For added peace of mind, you also get a Spider-type Shock Mount included.
Rode NT2-A Studio Condenser Microphone Bundle
The Rode NT2-A Studio Condenser Microphone Bundle is easily one of the best value for money microphone packages on the market today. The Rode NT2-A Studio Condenser Microphone alone is one of the best studio mics under £500, but with the added shock mount, cable and pop shield it’s an essential piece of kit for new studio owners and those who want to take their recordings to a more professional standard.
We love it as there are 3 switchable polar patterns including cardioid, omnidirectional and figure of 8, making it a great option for recording voiceovers, instruments, and ambient room recordings - or even multiple sound sources at the same time.
A -10 and -5 dB Pad and high-pass filter also give engineers and studio owners the control needed to capture high-quality vocal or instrument takes without the worry of having to clean things up in the mix.
A great option for those who need versatility and more control over their sound.
Sennheiser E614 Overhead Condenser Microphone
Every studio needs a high-quality overhead condenser mic to capture drums and extended frequency instruments such as woodwind and string instruments.
The Sennheiser E614 Overhead Condenser Microphone is the perfect, budget-friendly option for studio owners who want better recordings of drum sounds, especially.
This supercardioid, back-electret condenser microphone features a 40-20,000 Hz frequency range and a max SPL of 139, so it makes an ideal studio partner for drummers with extra cymbals or those who want to record acoustic pianos. The medium-range sensitivity means it reduces bleed from other instruments making it ideal for recording acoustic guitars or even guitar cabinets too.
At around £200 it fits firmly under the £500 bracket and provides studio owners both new and old-hand with a budget-friendly way of recording high-quality percussion and acoustic instruments.
Need some extra help choosing studio microphones? Do you need to speak to someone about creating a home studio or improving your recording quality with better microphones? 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.