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Best Microphone for Vocals Under $200

Many artists nowadays are looking for a microphone with a good value between price and benefits that they can use to do home recordings. With a lot of options on the market, it may quickly become a complex task.

No matter your level of expertise when it comes to recording, there are numerous points to look for when buying a mic, such as type (dynamic vs condenser), different polar patterns, sensitivity and connection options.

In this article, we will review 7 products to find out what is the best microphone for vocals under 200 dollars, and give you some useful insights to keep in mind when making your purchase.

Tip: to see models of any price range, check out our Best Microphone for Vocals article.

We tested 7 products and found the sE Electronics X1 A and the Shure SM58 to be the best microphones for vocals under 200 dollars.

Our Top Picks

sE Electronics X1 a Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

Best Condenser Microphone for Vocals – sE Electronics X1 A

The sE Electronics X1 A excedeed our expectations and proved to be the best choice for a condenser microphone for vocals in this price-range. It has an excellent construction and a high-quality sound powered by a large diaphragm.

Best Dynamic Microphone for Vocals- Shure SM58-LC

The Shure SM58-LC consolidated itself as the industry standard when it comes to dynamic microphones. You can record pretty much anything with it and it will work to record vocals in any kind of situation, be it in a live stage or in a studio setting. That’s why it is our top pick for best dynamic microphone for vocals.

Keep Reading

In this article we’ve covered 7 of the best microphones for vocals under 200 dollars as well as discussed how to decide the best choice of mic for your particular use-case, so make sure you stick with us and let’s get started.

Best Microphone for Vocals Under 200 in Our Tests

Table of Contents

  1. Shure SM58-LC
  2. sE Electronics X1 A
  3. Audio Technica AT2035
  4. Sennheiser e935
  5. Rode-NT
  6. TechZoneStellar X2
  7. Shure SM57-LC

7 Best Microphone for Vocals Under 200 Reviewed in Detail

#1 Shure SM58-LC

Shure SM58-LC

The Shure SM58 is the image that comes to mind when we think about a microphone. This model has been used for live and studio settings in countless situations and is one of, if not the most sturdy-built microphones.

Product Specifications

  • Dynamic Microphone
  • Unidirectional Cardioid
  • Built-In Pop Filter
  • XLR Connection

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The industry-standard when it comes to microphones.
  • The Shure SM58 is one of the most trusted microphones in the market due to its sturdy and very durable design. It can easily withstand falls, drops, and wear.
  • As this is a very versatile mic, it can be used for both live and studio settings.
  • Includes a very well-built carrying bag.

Cons

  • Even though it may work for recording vocals in the studio, the sound of this mic may be a little too aggressive for certain genres and voices.
  • The proximity effect, natural for dynamic microphones, may make the mic sound a little too boomy.

Verdict

You can’t go wrong with an industry-standard such as the SM58. The versatility and durability of this microphone are pros that are hard to find for this price tag. Using the SM58 is a breeze for both live and studio situations.

However, as we’ve said before, it has a lot of proximity effect and the midrange of this mic is very pronounced so it may not suit every singer. Still, these kinds of things can be fixed with proper placement of the mic and in the mixdown step of a song.

Check the Price on Amazon

Tip: If you’re looking for a microphone to record instruments such as acoustic guitars, check out our Best Microphone for Acoustic Guitar article. 

#2 sE Electronics X1 A

sE Electronics X1 A

Founded in 2000, sE Electronics is a relatively young company in the music industry, but its great range of microphones, suitable for different applications are proving to be worth the hype and has been favored by famous artists such as Billie Eilish and Justin Timberlake.

Product Specifications

  • Condenser Microphone
  • Unidirectional Cardioid Polar Pattern
  • Built-In -20dB Attenuation Pad
  • Built-In 100Hz Highpass Filter
  • Requires +48V Phantom Power
  • XLR Connectivity

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The X1 A outer case seems to be very premium and well built, made of quality metal.
  • The built-in -20dB attenuation pad helps a lot when recording loud instruments such as guitar amps and drums.
  • The frequency range is impressive and very flat, going from 20Hz all the way to 20Khz.
  • Very low signal to noise ratio, with the self-noise level hitting at only 16dB.

Cons

  • Only one choice of polar pattern, unlike most other condenser microphones in this price range.

Verdict

The thing that most caught our attention in this microphone is its extremely flat frequency response. There are hardly any bumps on the response graph. For this reason, the sE Electronics X1 A will easily pair with any voice type.

The only downfall we found is that it has only one choice of polar pattern: the cardioid unidirectional. This, however, shouldn’t be a problem if you’re only looking to record vocals and instruments such as guitar amps and acoustic guitar, as this type of pattern will work 90% of the time in the studio.

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#3 No products found.

No products found.

The AT2035 is one of the most popular choices when it comes to budget condenser microphones. It was to be expected, as Audio Technica is one of the most quality-worth brands in the music industry.

Product Specifications

  • Condenser Microphone
  • Cardioid Unidirectional Polar Pattern
  • Built-In 10dB Attenuation Pad
  • Built-In High-Pass Filter
  • +48V Phantom Power Required
  • XLR Connector

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • A very versatile microphone that can be used not only for music recording but also for content creation and video appliances.
  • The high-quality large-diaphragm makes this microphone perfect for studio vocals.
  • For this particular mic, there are a lot of great bundles that include extras such as an arm stand and pop filter for a great price.

Cons

  • The Built-In 10dB attenuation pad is less powerful than other options.

Verdict

The AT2035 is one of the most recommended budget microphones for home studios and can easily compete with more expensive options regarding sound quality. If you’re looking for an even more affordable option, there’s also the Audio Technica AT2020 that is just as good.

No products found.

#4 Sennheiser e935

Sennheiser e935

The e935 is one of Sennheiser’s flagship models when it comes to dynamic microphones. Versatile for both live and studio performances, it competes very well with other mics in the same category, such as the Shure SM58.

Product Specifications

  • Dynamic Microphone
  • Unidirectional Cardioid Polar Pattern
  • Wired and Wireless Capability
  • XLR Connector

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • It is a bit more lightweight than other dynamic microphone models such as the SM58, a great feature if you like to hold the mic and move around while recording.
  • The e935 has very good stability regarding climate changes due to its neodymium ferrous magnet.
  • Very good frequency range response for a dynamic mic, it can go from 40Hz all the way to 18kHz.
  • Can be used as both a wired and wireless microphone.

Cons

  • It has a bit less sensitivity than its direct competitor, the SM58.

Verdict

The Sennheiser e935 is an option for those who need a sturdy and durable microphone capable of withstanding the effects of time. You will be able to use this mic both for live and studio settings. Compared to its Shure SM58 competitor, however, it is a bit more expensive. But it doesn’t seem to bring any significant improvements or features that can justify the added price.

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#5 Rode NT-USB

Rode NT-USB

Our only USB microphone on the list, the Rode NT-USB features everything you will need to record vocals already built-in on the mic. Just plug it in and start recording.

Product Specifications

  • Condenser Microphone
  • Cardioid Unidirectional Polar Pattern
  • Built-In Volume Knob and Headphone Jack
  • Includes Table Stand and Pop Filter
  • USB Connectivity

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • As this microphone is powered by USB, you won’t need any additional equipment such as an audio interface to record.
  • The built-in headphone jack will give you low-latency monitoring.
  • The bundled USB cable is 20′ (6m) long. This is a very outstanding feature because most USB microphones come with very short cables.
  • A pop filter is already included so no need for extra spendings.
  • The table stand may be useful for recording quick ideas.

Cons

  • As it is a USB microphone, it offers less versatility than traditional XLR ones. If you opt for buying an audio interface later, you won’t be able to connect the Rode NT-USB to it.

Verdict

This is a great option for those looking for an all-in-one solution. The Rode NT-USB has the benefit of including everything you will need to record in one package. You will only need to purchase a traditional mic stand if you want to record standing up.

The only downfalls to it are, as it is a USB mic if you decide to buy an audio interface you won’t be able to connect your microphone. Plus, USB microphones tend to not be as powerful as XLR ones for vocal recording, especially when it comes to sensitivity and sound coloration.

Check the Price on Amazon

#6 TechZone Stellar X2

TechZone Stellar X2

TechZone is a company that has been getting a lot of hype recently. Particularly because they are offering both regular and vintage versions for many of their microphones. The Stellar X2 is one of these models. We’ve decided, however, to review the regular version because it offers more versatility.

Product Specifications

  • Condenser Microphone
  • Unidirectional Cardioid Polar Pattern
  • +48V Phantom Power Required
  • XLR Connectivity
  • Includes Hard Case and Protective Pouch

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The microphone is made of alloy steel looks very well built. One particular feature we found interesting in the design is that you can see the large diaphragm through the grill, unlike most microphones.
  • The sound of the Stellar X2 is very balanced across the frequency range so it will suit a lot of voices. This is a pro because many condenser microphones sound very harsh and bright in the mid frequencies, so this one offers more versatility.
  • We liked the fact that the company describes in detail each component of the microphone on their website. This particular model features a JFET circuit with german capacitors.

Cons

  • Doesn’t feature additional options of polar patterns.
  • Doesn’t feature built-in filters and pad switches like many other condenser microphones.

Verdict

We like the Stellar X2 a lot. Particularly for its flat frequency response and the transparency of the company when it comes to components used in the product – this is hard to find in the audio industry nowadays.

The hard case included with the product is also a strong point. Not many microphones in this price tag include one, and when moving delicate mics around, you don’t want to just toss them in your bag and call it a day.

Check the Price on Amazon

#7 Shure SM57-LC

Shure SM57-LC

Even though the Shure SM57 is most widely known as an instrument microphone, it can be very well used for recording vocals. Many acclaimed albums, such as Michael Jackson’s Thriller, were recorded with this workhorse mic.

Product Specifications

  • Dynamic Microphone
  • Cardioid Unidirectional
  • XLR Connectivity

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The Shure SM57 is known in the industry as the workhorse microphone. It can be used to mic pretty much anything, from vocals to guitar cabs and drums.
  • The sound of the SM57 is usually described as brighter than the SM58, even though they sound a lot alike.
  • Just like its brother SM58, the SM57 is very sturdy and well-built.

Cons

  • You will need a pop filter to be able to record vocals properly since this microphone doesn’t feature a built-in windscreen.

Verdict

You can’t go wrong with the Shure SM57. Being able to record pretty much any instrument, this model will be a powerful addition to your setup whether you’re a beginner buying your first mic, or a pro with a vast collection of gear.

Keep in mind though, that in order to record vocals and have great results with this microphone, you’re going to need a pop filter. These don’t cost much and can be easily bought at any music store.

Check the Price on Amazon

Important Features to Consider

Here are some useful things to know and important features to consider when shopping for microphones for vocals, before we head on to our top picks.

Dynamic Vs Condenser

Microphones in this price range are usually of the dynamic or condenser types. Dynamic microphones will pick less background noise and tend to have a more focused sound, that’s why they’re used a lot for live performances. On the other hand, they will have much less sensitivity than their condenser counterparts.

Condenser microphones have more sensitivity and they pick up a lot more sound and a lot more details. For that reason, when using them you should record in a soundproof, treated room. An audio interface with +48V phantom power feature will also be necessary.

Polar Pattern

When it comes to music recording, there are three basic polar patterns: cardioid (and its derivatives super-cardioid and hyper-cardioid), omnidirectional and figure 8.

Cardioid, super-cardioid, and hyper-cardioid patterns will only pick sound coming directly into the mic’s diaphragm and ignore most of the sound coming from behind it. These types are the most recommended when recording vocals, so we recommend sticking to them.

Omnidirectional, on the other hand, will pick sound in 360, that is, from every side of the microphone. Figure 8 will focus more on picking sounds from the front and the back and ignoring the sides of the mic. These particular types are more useful for recording room sounds and choirs.

Diaphragm

The quality and size of the diaphragm is an important point to take into account when shopping for microphones. Small diaphragm condensers, for example, tend to sound thin and they’re not very recommended for vocals. However, they could work, depending on the singer’s voice.

Large diaphragms, as the name implies, are larger in size so they’re usually able to pick up more details and sound more natural across the frequency range. We recommend sticking to this type, especially if you opt for a condenser microphone.

Frequency Response

The frequency response will determine how natural and how faithful the microphone will sound across the frequency range. Most mics will naturally have bumps on some frequencies. As a rule of thumb, the flatter the frequency response the better.

It is useful to look at the frequency graph of a microphone – these are usually available on each manufacturer’s website – and check if you see any significant bumps on certain frequencies.

Who Should Buy a Condenser Microphone?

FAQs

Which Mic is Best for Singing?

In our list, we’ve found the sE Electronics X1 A to be the best condenser microphone for singing, and the Shure SM58-LC to be the best dynamic mic choice. But all microphones on this list are good for singing and recording.

What Microphones do Famous Singers Use?

Famous singers use a lot of different microphones. One of our top picks, the Shure SM58, is and was used by countless famous artists such as Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney. The company that makes our top pick for condenser mic, the sE Electronics, is favored by singers such as Billie Eilish and Justin Timberlake.

Conclusion

After reviewing these 7 products to find out what is the best microphone for vocals under 200 dollars, we divided our top picks into two categories: best condenser microphone and best dynamic microphone.

Both of these products will work very well for recording vocals, but they each have their best use-case. The condenser mic will work better for studio recordings where you have a very controlled and soundproof room whereas the dynamic mic will work both for live situations and studio settings.

The choice between these will ultimately depend on your preferences. If you’re looking for a more detailed sound, go for the condenser. If you’re looking for a slightly more aggressive sound, that will offer more versatility, we recommend you stick with the dynamic microphone.

sE Electronics X1

Best Condenser Microphone for Vocals – sE Electronics X1 A

The sE Electronics X1 A is our pick for the best condenser microphone for vocals. Particularly because we liked a lot of things about this mic, such as its sturdy construction and very quality components.

Speaking about components, the sE Electronics company is very transparent about what kind of components they use in their products. That, for us, was a huge plus, as we could find a lot of interesting information on their website.

Shure SM58-LC

Best Dynamic Microphone for Vocals- Shure SM58-LC

The best dynamic microphone for vocals in our tests was the Shure SM58-LC. Due to its versatility and ease of use, this is a perfect choice for singers and producers of any kind of expertise.

Because it is a dynamic microphone with a unidirectional, cardioid polar pattern, you won’t even have to worry about background noises, sound resonances or reflections: just plug it in and you’re ready to record.

Tip: Still couldn’t find a choice that fits your budget? Check out our Best Microphones Under $100 for more affordable models. 

How to Buy

If you liked a particular model from this list, you can find the link leading to the product’s page on the Amazon marketplace in each microphone’s topic on the list.

In this article we reviewed 7 products to find out what is the best microphone for vocals under 200 dollars. We hope we have helped you make your decision and learn more about these equipment. If you have any tips, questions or additional insight, please consider commenting below!