10 Best Microphones
Are you looking forward to starting your own youtube channel but not sure of choosing a mic? Do you want to start your own recording studio yet confused to start with recording mics? Are you looking for different types of microphones to choose the best? Here, we have a solution to your problem.
Before looking more about the microphones, we will first know what actually microphone is. A microphone commonly called as mic or mike is a transducer which absorbs sound waves and outputs audio signals. Mics are used in public systems, hearing aids, telephones, concert halls, recording studios and etc. Microphone usage had increased in the last decade due to demand for the best microphone for gaming, voice over recording for videos, recording live music, and even podcasts. It is now easy to get any microphone price, its type, and uses.
In this article, we have provided you with the different types of microphones, how it works, tips to use a microphone. Also, the working procedure of a microphone is explained. Moreover, we have mentioned a few things to be checked while buying a microphone. At the top of all, we have provided top picks each has its own usage.
Top 10 Best Microphones
Position adjustable mic
Compatible collar microphone
Mic with Bluetooth speaker
How do microphones work?
Microphones typically are transducers which are capable of converting energy from one form to other forms. Whenever Mic receives sound waves, it reaches the diaphragm. A diaphragm is a small thin material piece that may be either plastic or paper or aluminum. When the waves hit the diaphragm, it vibrates to and fro. Also, a coil is attached to the diaphragm which moves to and fro. Moreover, other components in the microphone also vibrate. Therefore, the vibrations convert into electric current that becomes audio signals.
Tips to follow while using a microphone
- If you are using the microphone in a large auditorium, always do a soundcheck and ensure that the level of the sound matches the size of the room
- Place the lavaliere mike in the center just 10 to 15 inches away from the chin. Also, ensure that no buttons or jewelry come in contact with the mike
- Do not hold the mike close to you while speaking or singing
- During each breathe turn your head to the side not facing the mike
- Avoid recording in a room with a lot of flat surfaces that are hard
- Avoid sibilance and popping
- Do not hold the mike in front of mouth directly, hold it either to a side or below your mouth
Types of microphones
A condenser microphone is also known as an electrostatic microphone or a capacitor microphone. Usually, they need a small battery for providing a voltage across the capacitor. The diaphragm in this kind of mics acts as a plate of a capacitor. The vibrations produced in response to sound waves are amplified into signals.
Large Diaphragm Condenser Mics
As the name suggests, diaphragm size is large, which act as the plate of the capacitor yet smaller than a dynamic mic diaphragm. They are commonly used in recording vocals and hence widely used in studios. They can capture even the minute differences in the sound pressure levels. Also, if the sound pressure level increases or become even higher, then they can distort.
Small Diaphragm Condenser Mics
The diaphragm of this type of mic is even smaller than large-diaphragm mics. They are used for singers, and to capture sound from the acoustic guitar. Also, they are considered perfect for vocal mics. Small diaphragm mics are usually called as pencil mics. They have a wider dynamic range and can handle high sound pressure levels. Also, the mics are stiffer and thin in shape.
Dynamic microphones are capable of capturing sound even at high-pressure levels. Also, they work for low-pressure sound levels. They can be used for capturing sound from the brass instruments, drums, amplifiers, and much more. A dynamic mic is also known as a moving coil microphone. They are resistant to moisture, are inexpensive and easily available. They are used mostly on stage shows. When a sound wave hit the microphone, it reaches the diaphragm, and it vibrates along with other components producing an audio signal output.
Bass Mics or kick drum mics are generally used to capture the sound produced from guitar, drums, and other bass instruments. They are commonly used for live stage performance. Also, they are capable of capturing the low-end boost.
The ribbon microphone is widely known as ribbon velocity microphone. It uses thin aluminum or our aluminium or nanofilm ribbon placed between magnetic poles to pick up the sound. Usually, ribbon mics are bidirectional and capable of picking the sound from either side of the mic. Ribbon mics can be used for electric guitars, saxophone, drums, clarinet.
The multi-pattern microphone has a great feature of recording facility due to the capability of recording multiple polar patterns. The three polar pattern omnidirectional, figure 8, cardioid pattern can be switched using a multi-pattern mic. They are more convenient to use, and many people opt this mic instead of using a separate mic for each job.
USB microphones are considered easy to use as they are a simple plug and play. They can be connected to laptops, and even a few USB microphones can connect to tablets. Currently, demands for these kinds of mics have been increased due to podcasting. Also, it is a low budget quality recording. Moreover, additional equipment for connectivity is not required.
USB mics can be widely used for home recordings, podcasting, internet radio, skype conversation, video voiceovers. They have in-built digital interference. USB mics convert the sound waves without using sound card into digitalized audio.
Boundary microphones are typically used in conference rooms or meeting rooms. They are capable of recording every one sound present in the room. Often, they are mounted on flat surfaces like flat tables in meeting rooms or flat stage in theatre performances. To operate the boundary microphones phantom power is required.
Usually, they have a cardioid or super-cardioid polar pattern. Boundary microphones are omnidirectional small condenser mics mounted on a flat surface. Also, they can be used as a piano microphone.
Usually, shotgun microphones are not used in sound recordings and are used in speeches, news reading, conference, narrations. The shotgun mic uses a unidirectional pattern as they require a sound source to be of high beam to record a sound. As they follow the unidirectional pattern, the sound must be directly in front else the lower sound will be picked.
For proper recording, the shotgun microphones must be pointed directly to the sound source. Also, they can be used in the crowdy and noisy environments, yet the required sound will be recorded, avoiding other disturbances that come from rear and sidewards.
Things to check before buying a microphone (Buying guide)
It is the foremost thing to be considered while buying a microphone. Since every microphone serves a different purpose and is based on different polar patterns. We have omnidirectional, bidirectional or figure-8 and unidirectional polar patterns used in microphones. Unidirectional mics are considered as the common type of mic used. Opt for the microphone which satisfies your requirements.
Here, size actually does not mean the size of a mic. It means the size of the capsule. Usually, mics may have either large diaphragm or small diaphragm or medium diaphragm. The small-diaphragm is suitable for newbies recordings and works well with small recordings, vocals. While large diaphragm is suited for live performances, broadcasting, etc. If you have just stepped in the world of recording any small diaphragm mic will do your job.
Each mic is capable of picking up the sounds at different levels. The frequency level should be 50Hz for bass drum microphone and for vocals it should be somewhere around 8Kz to 15 Hz. The range of the frequency will be from low to high. So, if you want a mic that should pick up the frequency of greater frequency and if you use the vocal mic, it won’t work.
Purpose of usage
First, check what will be the microphone used for? As you have seen, different types of microphones have a different purpose, you cannot use a shotgun microphone for vocals. Now, your purpose first condenser mics are best for recordings. Dynamic mics are best for live performances, shotgun mics are best for news, speeches, etc. Ensure that the mic you select must serve your purpose.
It depends on how your mic can detect the sound. Few microphones are capable of detecting the lowest sound while few mics are capable of detecting the sounds which are higher. Every microphone comes with SPL-sound pressure level. The lower SPL is considered as a sensitive microphone.
A wide range of mics are available in the market few are wireless, and few are wired. A wireless mic help in easy movement while a wired mic makes few restrictions. A musician who moves on stage from one place to other will prefer wireless mic than the wired one. If you want the freedom of movement opts for wireless microphone else wired serves the purpose.
Battery Life / Power Consumption
Now many microphones are available with different features and great features. We have microphones that can work on chargeable battery and also a microphone that can work on the power supply. Choose according to your convenience if you are traveling around then it is preferable to opt battery-based microphones as each and every time power supply may not be available.
The durability of a microphone is one such factor to be considered while buying a microphone. Mics may prone to damage if they are dropped from a certain height. Few mics may damage even if they are met with high temperatures. If you are looking for a mic that should have good durability, then opt for heavy-duty mics.
It is the audio phenomena where the closer you get to the mic and speak, the louder can be heard. Few people choose mics that have a louder output for clear and louder vocals. To reduce this kind of mics, many manufacturers use filters to cut shot the higher frequencies.
1. Blue Microphones Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone – Our Pick
BLUE Microphone is a US-based audio production company. The design of the products are innovative and include headphones, microphones, signal processors, recording tools, and music accessories. The company manufactures ribbon microphone, condenser microphone, USB microphone, dynamic microphone.
Snowball iCE improves the quality of the recording. The microphone can be easily connected to PC or Mac. It is also capable of recording instruments, vocals and audio narration without any disturbances. Also, the microphone enhances in taking skype calls and any online calls. The setup of the microphone is easy. If you are looking for a microphone for the computer, then this is the ideal choice.
- The microphone is suitable for skype messages, video chats, and Facetime
- It comes with a tripod
- Snowball microphone is ideal for recording vocals, for podcasting and to add narration for home created movies
- The microphone comes with USB and desktop stand
- It also helps to add recordings for your youtube videos
- No drivers are required for installation
- Easy to use
- Quality of the recording is clear
- Easy plug-and-play connection
- The height of the stand is fixed and can not be extended as required
2. MXL Mics 770 Condenser Cardioid Microphone – small-diaphragm microphone
MXL 770 is the product of the MXL microphone company. MXL is the leading manufacturer of various microphones. Their microphones can be used for studio recordings, home recordings, live performances, and even in garages for recordings. Also, the mics deliver high-quality sound without any trouble.
The MXL 770 condenser microphone is a small-diaphragm multipurpose microphone. It is chosen by many singers and recording artists for its bass. The mic comes with a shock mount in a rugged storage case. It is perfect for new musicians or singers who have just started their career.
- MXL 770 condenser microphone is a small-diaphragm multipurpose microphone
- The microphone comes with a shock mount in a rugged case
- For a dynamic wide range, the mic uses high-quality FET preamp
- Many singers and vocals love this microphone for solid bass
- The microphone works well with piano, vocals, acoustic guitar, strings and voice-works
- Crystal clear recordings
- Works best for youtube, Instagram videos
- Ideal for recording vocals and instruments
- The mic does not work with a normal XLR cable
3. Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone – Position adjustable mic
Yeti USB microphone is the product of a Blue microphone company. It was founded in 1995 by an American musician. Their products are designed as per the requirements and innovatively. Their products include a wide range of microphones. Also, the company received awards for their best microphone.
The Yeti USB microphone is a tri-capsule array with three condensers. With multiple pattern selection, recordings became much easier. No additional drivers are required for installing the microphone. Also, the instant mute button allows breaking the middle of the podcast.
- The microphone has multiple pattern selection like omnidirectional, stereo mode, bidirectional, cardioid mode
- The microphone comes with headphone, mute button and volume button
- If you want to stop recording in between of the podcast just simple use mute button.
- Also, it is easy to set up and follows simple plug-and-play
- Moreover, the microphone can be adjusted as per the source of the sound as it is mounted on the hinge
- It can be used for vocals, podcasting, musical instruments, conference calls, field recordings, voiceovers
- Budget microphone with good features
- Easy to use
- The microphone has a mute button
- Recordings are clear and perfect
- Multiple patterns help in recording different source sound through a single mic
- Quality of the buttons can be improved
- Stand quality can be improved
4. BOYA by-MM1 Universal Cardioid Shotgun Microphone Mini Mic – On-camera microphone
The MM1 Universal microphone is the product of BOYA. BOYA is a renowned company well-known for manufacturing electro-acoustic products. BOYA started in 2007 and they are in the field of scientific research, production, development and sales. Also, the company ensures timely delivery of the products.
The microphone is designed to improve the quality of the recording and comes with two output cables. Also, it comes in a compact size with lightweight. The microphone can be used on cameras, smartphones, recorders and PCs. Moreover, the microphone can also be used for outdoor recordings as it comes with a furry shield.
- The product comes with furry windshield, shock mount, and two different audio cables for connecting digital devices
- The shotgun microphone doesn’t require additional batteries and can be connected directly to smartphones or DSLR cameras
- Also, it has an anti-shock mount that can reduce unwanted vibrations
- Furry windproof shield helps in avoiding capturing air sound or breathe taken while speaking or singing
- Moreover, the microphone fits for camcorder and recorder, DSLR camera, smartphones
- Great sound quality
- Perfect for youtube recordings
- Clarity of the sound is awesome
- Records all kinds of noise
5. Powerpak Studio Microphone BM-700 – Condenser Microphone
The Powerpak company established in 2008. They deal with musical instruments and accessories. Their products include Guitars, Microphones and other support accessories. All their products have good user ratings and opted by a wide range of consumers.
The Large Diaphragm Studio recording microphone is a condenser microphone and works with the devices that can provide good power. The microphone is ideal for studio voice-over, radio broadcasting, and studio recording. Moreover, the microphone does not need additional power phantom when enough power is provided from the device.
- The microphone comes with power cord, shock mount and anti-wind foam
- The microphone uses a cardioid pickup pattern thus minimizing the noise and isolating the sound waves to be recorded
- To reduce handling noise, shock mount must be used
- The Large Diaphragm can be connected to a computer directly but while connecting to a laptop it must use an additional power supply
- If your required device produce low volume then use an additional power supply
- For better sound effect sound card can be added
- Works without phantom power
- Good recording quality
- No noise disturbance
- Volume can be improved
6. Aeoss Professional Condenser Microphone – Less noise
Aeoss started in 2010 and is a family owned business. The company solutions include CCTV cameras, web surveillance, wireless connectivity, Bluetooth car kits etc. The companies main aim is to make advanced security and easy security. Their products include HD convert cables, Bluetooth car kits, Alarms & Doorbells, Security cameras, Mobile & tablet accessories and much more.
Aeoss condenser microphone has a perfect interface and the pickup pattern minimize the background noise time. The microphone is suitable for recording and broadcasting. Also, it comes with shock-mount proof.
- The condenser microphone is suitable for recording studios, broadcasting stations, studios, theatrical performances
- Also, the shock mount present with the microphone reduces noise
- The microphone uses a unidirectional polar pattern
- Also, it helps in low noise and high performance
- It is ideal for studio voice-over recording and broadcast studio
- The microphone comes with a metal net and has a zinc alloy body
- The microphone comes with a shock-proof mount
- The pick-up pattern which is unidirectional puts an end to microphone regeneration
- The mic requires phantom power or sound card to make it work
- It is not compatible with tablet pc or mobile phone
7. Nady RSM-4 Unique Style Ribbon Microphone – Stylish microphone
This Ribbon microphone is the product of Nady Systems, Inc. It is a US based company founded in 1976. They manufacture audio equipment that is used widely professionally. John Naddy is the founder and CEO of the 40 years company. Their products are categorized into wireless systems, microphones, speakers, headphones, amplifiers, accessories, processors, mixers, and Guitar products.
Stylish ribbon microphone ideal for vocal recordings is manufactured with high-quality material. It uses a figure-8 polar pattern. This is the best microphone for recording due to its light in weight and capability to capture even small sounds. For rugged reliability and structural integrity, the product comes with internal shock mount construction.
- The microphone comes in a soft pouch
- The weight of the product is 340 grams
- Sound pick-up pattern is figure 8
- High-quality material is used in manufacturing the mic
- It has internal shock mount construction
- Fast and accurate transient response
- Ideal for vocal recordings and live applications
- Sound quality is excellent
- easy to use the microphone
- Crystal clear recordings
- Not suitable with guitar amps and brass instruments
- Even keyboard sound is recorded
- Not good for podcasting
8. Techlicious 3.5mm Clip Microphone – Compatible collar microphone
The 3.5mm clip collar microphone is the product of Amputive. The microphone is compatible with many devices. Also, it has a built-in noise reduction mechanism. It is perfect for video recording, can be connected to a mobile, digital camera, PC/MAC. If you find the microphone is not compatible then you can use the splitter and connect the mic with your phone. Apart from microphone Amputive also have 3-axis stabilizer. Techlicious brand also offers one of the great customer services, responding to any query as fast as they can hence it is loved by their customers.
- The microphone can be used with Android devices, PCs, laptops, DSLR etc.
- Also, the 3.5mm Clip microphone claims wind muff, heavy-duty metallic clip, a noise reduction mechanism, two-meter-long thin wire, in-built noise cancellation mechanism, and a microphone splitter cable along with the product
- The long wire called anti-fiction wire provides durability to the mic and ensure that no interference happens with the audio while recording video
- The mic has an in-built noise reduction mechanism to eliminate unwanted noise. Will record even the slightest voice be it fan or ac.
- This microphone is perfect for recording lecture videos, podcasting, screencasting videos
- The mic is compatible even with a mobile phone
- Works with PC and laptop but should have a microphone jack
- No additional configuration app is required for the camera app
- Clip to hold the mic is perfect
- Connectors can be improved
- Captures a lot of noise during outdoor shoots
9. SKYSE Handheld Wireless Microphone – Mic with Bluetooth speaker
The wireless microphone is the product of SKYSE technologies. This handheld wireless microphone is compatible with all smartphones. The microphone has volume, bass, and echo adjusting buttons. Also, an On/Off button and Bluetooth connection. Also, it is easy to use and has a good look feature. Ideal for singing, recording karaoke songs also provides a great fun time.
- The microphone comes with one charging cable and a user manual
- It is compatible with smartphone, computer, iPhone, iPad, audio player
- It allows to sing and record anywhere as it can be connected to smartphones via Bluetooth
- Ideal for recording news, singing, podcasting etc
- Moreover, the microphone is capable of adjusting volume, echo, bass, treble separately
- The microphone comes with a volume control feature
- Clear voice recording with noise reduction
- Easy access buttons
- Quality of on/off button can be improved
10. AMG Digital Noise Cancellation Collar Mic – Economic microphone
The noise cancellation microphone is the product of AMG Digital. Their products include Fun activities games and laptop, USB connectors, mics, mobile charger and much more. Noise cancellation microphone is hands-free and convenient to use. It comes with a metal clip that can be fixed to collar or tie. Also, the windshield reduces unwanted noise.
- The omnidirectional microphone comes with a metal clip, long cable, wind muff
- Design of the microphone is innovative, hands-free
- The metal clip helps in fixing the mic to shirt collar or your dress
- Wind muff allows reducing the noise or disturbances
- The microphone is compatible with PC, laptop
- It can be used for youtube videos, singing karaoke
- The microphone is supported with all smartphones
- Quality of the sound is good
- No negative points were observed.
If you have reached this part of the article means you are looking for a microphone and are confused to opt the best one. Now, that after reading the article hope you are clear with types of microphones available in the market and each serving its own purpose.
Also, the buyers’ guide will help in choosing the right microphone as per your requirement. After research, we have considered Snowball iCE as our best pick while the on-camera mic is compatible with the tablet, DSLR camera, smartphones etc. If you want to opt a microphone that is used for fun and entertainment and smaller recordings via Bluetooth then choose Economic microphone.
Hope, you have liked the article. Do you want to make a selection or want to choose from any of the above-mentioned microphones then click on the link provided along with the name of the microphone.