Menu

Login

New to Audio Assemble?

Register

Already have an account?

Best Microphone for Vocals Under $100

Nowadays, we can record professional-grade music in the comfort of our homes. But, with so many options in the market, finding a decent and affordable microphone can be a challenging task.

Many artists, usually looking to buy their first microphone, are on a strict budget, and the costs of setting up a home recording system can add up very quickly.

That’s why today, we bring you a product roundup of the best microphone for vocals under 100 dollars, suitable for any kind of budget and style of music.

Tip: Also check out our Best Microphone for Vocals article to see microphones in any price range.

What We’ve Considered For This Product Roundup

There are a lot of budget microphones on the market, each with different features. Here is what we considered in our reviews:

  • Microphone Type (Dynamic Vs Condenser)
  • Polar Patterns
  • Connection Type
  • Sensitivity
  • Best Use-Cases
  • Frequency Range and Response

AKG P120 High-Performance General Purpose Recording Microphone

Our Top Pick – The AKG P120

We tested 9 products and found the AKG P120 to be the best microphone for vocals under $100.

The AKG P120 condenser microphone is our top pick because it features great and sturdy construction, as well as quality sound and a great frequency response. It is worth noting, however, that this model will require phantom power.

Our Budget Pick – The Behringer B906

Priced at around $50, the Behringer B 906 is our budget pick.

The B 906 dynamic microphone positively surprised us for its rugged construction and versatility: you can record anything from vocals to guitar cabs with this mic.

Will I Need an Audio Interface to Record With the Microphones on this List?

Yes. With the exception of USB condenser mics, such as the Blue Snowball iCE, all of the microphones on the list will require an interface to work properly and acquire a professional, great sound quality. Condenser mics will particularly need one with the phantom power function.

Best Microphone for Vocals Under 100 in Our Tests

List of Contents

  1. Audio Technica AT2020
  2. MXL 770
  3. AKG P120
  4. Samson C01
  5. BM800
  6. Behringer B 906
  7. AKG D5
  8. Sennheiser E835
  9. Blue Snowball iCE

10 Best Microphone for Vocals Under 100 Reviewed in Detail

#1 Audio Technica AT2020

Audio Technica AT2020

The AT2020, by Audio Technica, is among the best condenser microphones at the $100 price tag in the market today. It offers great performance for a low price and is available both in XLR and USB version. We decided to review the XLR version.

Product Specifications

  • Condenser Mic
  • XLR Connection
  • Unidirectional Cardioid Polar Pattern
  • +48V Phantom Power Required

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The mic comes with a pivotal, threaded stand mount that feels very sturdy during recordings.
  • Comes with a protective pouch, it is always good to have one in hands.
  • Although it is very sensitive, just like any other condenser mic, its cardioid polar pattern is very good at preventing the pickup of unwanted noises coming from behind and from the sides of it.

Cons

  • The diaphragm is smaller than other microphones in the same price range, making it sound a little less full.

Verdict

This is a great choice to use in your home studio. The pivotal mount shipped with the product feels very sturdy and will keep you from having to spend more money buying one.

Another strong point is the unidirectional, cardioid capsule of this microphone. In this particular model, it is very powerful at preventing background noises from entering your recording, making it a good option for those who want a condenser mic but don’t have an ideal room to record in.

#2 MXL 770

MXL 770

MXL offers a lot of quality microphone models for an affordable price. The 770 condenser mic is the entry-level model of the brand and it comes in four colors. It caught our attention, particularly for featuring a built-in FET preamp.

Product Specifications

  • Condenser Mic
  • Available in Four Colors: Black, Gray, Sky Blue, and Vintage White
  • Unidirectional Cardioid Polar Pattern
  • FET Preamp
  • Transformerless Output
  • Low-Frequency Roll Off
  • +48V Power Required
  • One Battery Required for the Preamp
  • XLR Output

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The wide variety of colors is something we don’t see every day. Most microphones only come in black.
  • There aren’t any other microphones in this price range that feature a FET Preamp. This is incredible, as the preamp makes your recordings much warmer and makes the mic sound much more expensive.
  • The mic has a transformerless output, basically meaning it will give a more consistent and true sound.
  • Comes with a professional, rugged storage case, unlike any other microphones in this price range.

Cons

  • A lot of customers relate that the brand offers poor customer service.
  • The outer-case metal seems a little cheap to the touch, we’re not sure if this microphone could survive a lot of drops and falls.

Verdict

With the 770, MXL offers some features that you won’t find in any other budget microphone. At this price tag, it is the only one to come with a rugged storage case that looks very professional and feels very sturdy, and a preamp fitted inside the mic that will give you warmer recordings.

However, the construction feels a little fragile, especially the material on the outside. This mic would fit musicians that are only recording at home better, to minimize the chances of drops and falls.

#3 AKG P120

AKG P120

AKG is a very renowned brand that needs no introduction. The P120 is the brand’s entry-level condenser mic and is on the most expensive side of our list.

Product Specifications

  • Condenser Mic
  • Unidirectional Cardioid
  • Preattenuation Pad of -20dB
  • Low-Cut Filter Up to 300Hz
  • +48V Phantom Power Required

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • One of the most solid-constructed microphones in this price tag. The equipment feels incredibly sturdy.
  • Features a large-diaphragm capsule, ensuring a better sound than its small-diaphragm competitors.
  • The low-cut filter will save you some time, removing unnecessary low-end frequencies directly on the recording phase and eliminating the need for eq’ing later.
  • Sounds good with acoustic guitar recording too.

Cons

  • Although very versatile, the microphone features only one polar pattern, the unidirectional cardioid.

Verdict

The sound of this mic and its rugged, sturdy construction make it our top pick for the condenser mics category. The P120 is also a very versatile mic and can stand lots of sound pressure, meaning you can even record instruments such as drums with it.

The large diaphragm present on the P120 is something rare to find for a condenser mic in this price range and we love this feature. For us, this is the best condenser microphone of the list.

#4 Samson C01

Samson C01

When it comes to quality budget products, from MIDI controllers and speakers to microphone, Samson is one of the best brands in the market. The C01 condenser mic is proof of it, with its great value for the price.

Product Specifications

  • Condenser Mic
  • Unidirectional Super-Cardioid Pattern
  • Mesh Grille
  • +48V Powered
  • Large 19mm Diaphragm
  • Swivel Stand Mount Included
  • XLR Cable Connector

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The super-cardioid feature present in this mic really caught our attention. This type of polar pattern will reject background noise even better than its cardioid counterpart.
  • The design feels very rugged. The mesh grille is sturdier than the other ones present on most condenser mics at this price.
  • The large 19mm diaphragm will give you a very powerful and warm sound, as well as contribute to the low self noise.
  • The mic responds well to very high sound pressures, making it good for recording acoustic instruments and guitar cabs.

Cons

  • Even though the super-cardioid capsule of this mic is very good at preventing off-axis noise from entering your recording, it has a negative impact on sensitivity.

Conclusion // Verdict

We recommend this microphone for those who prioritize a sturdy design. If you’re going to be moving the microphone a lot and recording on the go, this is a great option. The super-cardioid polar pattern will also be great if you don’t have a treated or isolated room.

However, for those who prioritize sensitivity, this may not be a good pick. There are options with better sensitivity and more detailed sound for the same price range.

#5 BM800

BM800

The BM800 has got lots of attention in the last few years, due to its cheap price. Many people swear by it, others say it is no good. We decided to see for ourselves what this very affordable microphone has to offer.

Product Specifications

  • Condenser Microphone
  • Unidirectional Cardioid
  • +48V Phantom Power Required
  • XLR Connector

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • This mic is one of, if not the cheapest condensers in the market.
  • For the price, it has an okay sound. It could be used in a mix with lots of eqing and effects.
  • This microphone is usually bundled with lots of extras, such as a scissor arm stand and metal shock mount.

Cons

  • It has a small diaphragm, like most budget condenser microphones. Small diaphragm condenser microphones tend to sound thin and not very detailed. Their sound is usually referred to as the “telephone sound”.
  • The microphone can’t stand lots of sound pressure. It will easily clip if the sound source is too loud, be it a singer or an instrument.
  • The construction is very fragile. We feel like the capsule grill could break at the first fall.

Verdict

The BM800 may not be the best mic on the market, but it sounds okay for its very low price. If you pair it with an interface with phantom power, it will be usable. If you’re looking for a cheap option just to try your hand with condenser mics, that’s a great one.

However, as we said before, this microphone will only sound good with an audio interface that can provide it the necessary power. Because the mic comes with a cheap USB adapter, lots of people experience poor sound quality with it. You shouldn’t use this adapter to record music at all, it is not powerful enough.

The BM800 usually comes bundled with a scissor arm stand, a metal shock mount, and a pop filter. So if you end up not liking the microphone at all, at least you get to keep all the extras.

#6 Behringer B 906

Behringer B 906

Our first dynamic microphone on the list, the Behringer B 906 design caught our attention, as well as its switchable low cut and high-frequency boost features. The model’s construction and format prioritizes high versatility.

Product Specifications

  • Dynamic Mic
  • Unidirectional, Super-Cardioid
  • Switchable Low Cut and High-Frequency Boost
  • XLR Connector

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The B 906 is a versatile microphone. It can be used for recording vocals, guitars cabs, and percussion instruments.
  • The super-cardioid polar pattern and the fact that the B 906 is dynamic makes the mic perfect for recording in untreated rooms and noisy environments.
  • The low cut and high-frequency boost present in this mic are hard to find on dynamic mics at the same price range.

Cons

  • Low sensitivity.
  • The sound lacks a bit of detail.
  • The high signal output may not suit softer styles of singing.

Conclusion // Verdict

If you’re looking for versatility, the B 906 will serve you well. The design looks great and will help you capture vocals, guitar cabs, and even drums. The hyper-cardioid polar pattern is one of the greatest in the market for keeping background noises from entering your recording.

#7 AKG D5

AKG D5

The AKG D5 is the entry-level dynamic microphone of the brand. Interesting features such as wired and wireless usage capability and super-cardioid capsule make this model very versatile and useful for those looking to use it both in live and studio situations.

Product Specifications

  • Dynamic Mic
  • Super-cardioid
  • Wired and Wireless Usage
  • XLR Connector

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The microphone can be used both wired and wireless if you have the required additional receptors.
  • The combination of super-cardioid and high gain output makes it useful for noisy environment situations.
  • One of the dynamic mics with the most improved frequency response in this price range will make vocals cut through the mix easily.

Cons

  • Very sensitive to feedback, especially in live situations.

Verdict

One of the best characteristics of the AKG D5, in our opinion, is the improved frequency response. It can be a hassle having dynamic vocals cut through the mix, but this mic makes the job much easier.

If you’re willing to spend some extra money, the Shure SM58 would be a good, even more rugged, and sturdy alternative to the D5. Even though both models stand very close regarding audio quality.

#8 Sennheiser E835

Sennheiser E835

The Sennheiser E835 is yet another rugged dynamic mic suitable for all kinds of recording situations. We find one of the best features to be the low handling noise of the model.

Product Specifications

  • Dynamic Mic
  • Unidirectional Cardioid
  • Wired and Wireless Usage
  • XLR Connector

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • Low handling noise, good if you like to hold the microphone while recording vocals.
  • The presence boost on the frequency range makes it an excellent mic for vocal recording.
  • This model has less proximity effect than most other dynamic mics, which means you can sing closer to the capsule without making it sound boomy.

Cons

  • The E835 doesn’t sound as warm as other models such as the Shure SM58. This is also due to the reduced proximity effect and could be a pro or con depending on your preferences and application.
  • The cardioid pattern will pick more exterior noise than its super-cardioid counterparts.

Verdict

The Sennheiser E835 will be a very good vocal mic for those who like to hold the mic and move a lot on their sessions. Something that we also like a lot is the reduced proximity effect.

When a microphone has too much proximity effect, it will easily become muddy and tangled in the mix, especially in studio vocal recording. This is something very common with dynamic microphones, but not with the E835.

#9 Blue Snowball iCE

Blue Snowball iCE

Our last reviewed product on the list is a USB mic. USB mics are rarely mentioned when it comes to music recording. But, we’ve decided to review the Blue Snowball iCE, since you won’t need any additional interface to use it, making it a great option for those on a strict budget.

Product Specifications

  • Condenser Mic
  • Unidirectional Cardioid
  • USB Cable Connectivity

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • USB connectivity. You can plug it and be ready to record without the need for audio interfaces.
  • Although it is a condenser, you won’t need to use a pop filter, since the model already features one.

Cons

  • Even though you can technically record music using a USB mic, it is not recommended since these devices are very low-powered and usually don’t have great sensitivity or dynamic range.
  • The table-stand that comes with it may not be very suitable for vocal recording.
  • The model is not compatible with all mic stands.

Verdict

This USB condenser mic may do the job for recording at home if you’re on a very strict budget since you won’t need any additional gear to record with it. But we do recommend spending a little more and opting for a microphone with an XLR connector and an interface, for optimal quality audio.

Tip: Couldn’t find a model of microphone of your liking? Make sure to check our Best Microphone for Vocals Under 200 to see more great options. 

Buying Guide

Dynamic Mics vs Condenser Mics

In the $100 price range, there are basically two types of microphones: dynamic and condenser.

Dynamic mics are more suitable for live use and for use in places that don’t have any acoustic treatment or isolation. That’s because they’re less prone to picking background noise. They will, however, have less sensitivity and detail than their condenser counterparts.

Condenser microphones are the opposite. They’re much more sensitive and detailed and are made to be used in a sound-treated home studio setting. When using this type with an audio interface, they will also require the +48V power feature.

The choice between these two types of microphones comes down to a few factors. Condenser mics will work their best if you have an acoustically treated and isolated room. If not, you’re better off going for a quality dynamic microphone.

Also, the style of music you’re recording matters. Sure, you can use a dynamic mic to record a soft-ballad and have great results, but the condenser type will give you a much more detailed sound. Heavier genres such as rock n roll will usually benefit from the “hard” sound of a dynamic mic.

What Should I Look For When Buying a Microphone for VOCALS?

Quality of the Building Materials

Some microphones are made out of plastic, most are made out of metal. Equipment made out of quality materials will last much longer and survive eventual accidents, such as drops and falls.

Connection

Most microphones use the XLR connection. This is pretty much the industry standard. There are also USB microphones, but they’re not widely used for music recording. They are most used for video recordings, gameplay videos, and calls.

Sensitivity

Each microphone will have a different sensitivity. This factor is highly subjective to the instrument and the style of music that you will be recording. Microphones with high sensitivity are favored for recording vocals in the studio since they pick a lot of details.

However, for live situations and recording sessions in places that are noisy, dynamic microphones are preferred. They lack sensitivity but pick the sound in a much more directional way.

Polar Pattern

The polar patterns for microphones used for music are usually divided into the following categories:

  • Omni directional – The microphone capsule will pick sound from all sides of it.
  • Subcardioid – The capsule will prioritize picking sound from the front of the microphone, but still pick some sound from behind it.
  • Cardioid – The microphone will only pick sounds in front of it, and minimize most of the sound coming from behind.
  • Super-Cardioid and Hyper-Cardioid – These are the same as cardioids, but a step above. They will pick sounds coming from the front of the microphone while minimizing the sound or noise coming from behind it to the maximum.
  • Bi-Directional – The microphone will equally pick sounds coming from the front and the back of the microphone.

The best polar pattern will depend on your environment and what you’re using the microphone for. For recording vocals and guitar amps, most professionals use cardioid, super-cardioid, and hyper-cardioid mics, as the subject that is being recorded is right in front of it.

Omnidirectional and bi-directional are more frequently used to capture choirs and room sounds but may pick up a lot of background noise.

FAQs

Which Type of Mic is Best for Recording Vocals?

Both condenser and dynamic mics are excellent for vocals. The first will pick up more details as it is more sensitive, but will need to be placed in a sound treated and isolated room. Go with a dynamic mic otherwise.

How Much Does a Decent Condenser Mic Cost?

The cheapest condenser microphone on our list is the BM800, priced at around $30. We do recommend you spend a little more and go for a device with better frequency response, such as the AKG P120, our top pick priced at around $100.

Can I Use a USB Mic to Record Vocals?

You can get okay results with a USB mic, but it is not recommended. Mics powered via USB cable tend to sound too weak and have a frequency response too short for professional vocal recordings. You’re better off buying a quality interface to connect your mic into.

Conclusion

Here are our top picks for this product roundup.

AKG P120 High-Performance General Purpose Recording Microphone

Image and Product

AKG P120 – The Best Microphone for Vocals for Under $100

The AKG P120 condenser microphone remains our overall best choice. Even though it is on the more expensive side of the list, it offers outstanding value for the price. One of the best condenser mics in a budget you can get.

Behringer Dynamic Microphone

Behringer B 906 – The Best Budget Microphone for Vocals

The Behringer B 906 was chosen by us as the best budget microphone for vocals. With a price of around $50, you can’t go wrong with this sturdy, highly versatile dynamic mic. It has a very good frequency response too.

In this article, we’ve covered nine microphones under 100 dollars, aimed at those who are on a budget or buying their first microphone.

We reviewed both dynamic and condenser mics. As we’ve discussed, the optimal pick between the two will depend on your application and recording environment. Keep in mind that dynamics are better for noisy situations, while to get the best results out of a condenser, you will need a treated, soundproof room.

Also, remember that to use most of the microphones depicted on our roundup, you will need an interface capable of delivering the right power to your mic. This is the case on the vast majority of professional microphones.

Tip: Youtube videos are great to hear the sound of the mic in action.

How to Buy

If you made up your mind about what is the best microphone under $100 for your particular use, you can find Amazon links under each product topic, directly on our review list.

We hope we have helped you find out what is the best mic for vocals under the $100 price tag. Remember to research extensively to find out what type is really the best one for you. Do you have any more tips or questions about budget mics? Please share with us in the comment section below!