If you are looking for an amazing microphone that does not break the bank, do not fear because it is possible. There are affordable mics on the market that produce optimal sound quality, sensitivity, and durability.
We’ve done some research and here is what we found for the five best vocal mics under $500.
At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks For Best Vocal Mics Under $500
- BEST OVERALL: Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone
- RUNNER-UP: Rode Procaster Broadcast Dynamic Microphone
- ALTERNATIVE: Shure 55SH Series II Unidyne
- ALTERNATIVE: AKG Pro Audio P220 Vocal Condenser Microphone
- ALTERNATIVE: Electro-Voice RE320
The Studio Genie is dedicated to helping streamers and YouTubers or anyone looking to have their own home studio. The author, Felicity Martinez, have been helping out streamers and YouTubers for years.
The goal is to provide a free resource for anyone looking to build a quality home studio. The reviews below are a result of hours of research and analysis. We provided the pros and cons and ranked each product to help you make a quick decision.
QUICK OVERVIEW: Our Top Picks for Best Vocal Mics Under $500
OUR TOP PICK
Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone
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Rode Procaster Broadcast Dynamic Microphone
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Shure 55SH Series II Unidyne
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AKG Pro Audio P220 Vocal Condenser Microphone
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The Five Best Vocal Mics Under $500: Reviews
This is a five-star vocal microphone. Shure is a brand used by some of the best musical artists, and the quality is optimal. It produces warm and clear tones that are well-balanced.
The Shure SM7B is versatile and covers many areas of recording. Whether that is podcasting, music, studio, home recording, live-setting broadcasting, or streaming.
If you are worried about a microphone being able to pick up on your breath between conversations, you will not have to worry about this one. This microphone has shock isolation as well as a pop filter to block out any unwanted sounds. Vocals only, thank you.
It also shields from electromagnetic humming that can cause interference.
This is a dynamic microphone, so it is not as sensitive as a condenser microphone and it will not pick up on delicate sounds. It will handle the loud sounds very well.
This microphone is a great option if you are recording louder sounds, and need something reputable and high-quality. It comes ready to use and produces crystal clear vocals while blocking out unwanted background noise.
Rode Microphones is a reputable brand that designs high-quality products. It was established in Australia and has a team of skilled audio engineers, technicians, and toolmakers.
This particular microphone is designed to be used as a broadcast microphone, and it includes an internal pop filter.
The polar pattern provides a frequency response for converting your vocals. The sensitivity of these microphones picks up on your voice only, which is beneficial when it comes to broadcasting.
This is a user-friendly microphone set that is ready to use and good for those that may be starting simple.
The “no background noise” is a great feature for broadcasting. This microphone has high quality sound, exceptional frequency response, and an amazing price point. It is easy to tote around and looks good too.
Shure makes our list again. If stylish is something you want in a mic, this one is worth taking a peek at. It is classy and sleek looking.
This reputable brand is known for its high-quality products, and that includes this 55SH Series. Whether you need something for the studio, podcasting, or streaming, this one fits the bill.
The Shure 55SH provides excellent sound quality and high sensitivity. This is ideal for picking up on soft vocals, speech, and instruments. The cardioid pattern is also designed for the finest performance standards.
This mic comes with a mount that can be adjusted forward, backward, and it also swivels in any direction.
You can use this microphone next to a speaker and have no complications, or interruptions. This microphone, unlike those that are omnidirectional, can be used in adverse acoustic areas.
It comes assembled and ready to use. If you need something that picks up on loud vocals while being moved around, this one may not suit you. If you want something that picks up on soft vocals, has great sound quality, and will last a long time, this one has made the list.
This would be useful for beginners to amateurs who are looking to have fun with a microphone and learn how to use one.
The AKG P220 comes from a reputable brand that offers high-quality products and has been for more than 65 years. AKG statement:
“AKG has helped create the iconic sounds of some of the world’s most well-known recording artists, engineers, and producers. Our designers and engineers have made it their life’s passion to find new ways to deliver breakthrough experiences for artists of all levels. Whether in the studio or on stage, when you use AKG, you’re seconds away from creating history.”
Knowing you are purchasing from a reputable brand may help influence your decision. If you are a lead vocalist or play an instrument – this may be for you. It looks good on the stage, too.
The P220 offers excellent sound quality that is crystal clear for lead vocals and instruments such as guitar or bass.
This microphone also comes with a mount that eliminates shock and vibration, as well as a case.
Ready to use on arrival and good for any level of skill. This is an option for those that need something reliable and reputable. This microphone has great sound quality, sensitivity, versatility, and durability.
Last but not least is the Electro Voice RE320. This microphone comes in a packaged deal including a stand clamp, hard case, and warranty. It also features a kick drum curve switch which means the frequency is adjusted by the response of the drums. It also looks very stylish.
The sensitivity of these microphones makes them great for capturing vocals. They may pick up on other noises that are in proximity of this microphone. It can handle high SPL levels, whether it be loud vocals, sounds, or instruments.
It is a lightweight microphone that comes ready to use and enjoy. If you need something for loud vocals, this one is worth checking out. With high sensitivity, you are bound to have great sound quality that picks up on those louder vocals.
About Microphones for Vocals
When it comes to microphones, there are plenty of options that come with a lot of features. We know that can seem overwhelming.
To help narrow it down for you, here’s what you want to consider in a vocal microphone:
- Something that ranges between 80 Hz and 15 kHz
- High frequency
- High sensitivity
- Condenser or Dynamic
- Least amount of output at 90
- Polar pattern
You also need to determine what you are needing it for. Is it for instruments, or performing? Will it be loud vocals or softer?
What Kinds of Microphones Do Performers Use?
Knowing what kinds of microphones singers and other performers use could help you figure out what type of microphone to look for. If you have a similar vocal style to a big-name musician, it can be beneficial to know what type of microphone they use. Every singer has a different range of vocals, so microphones will have a different effect on each of them.
You may not have the expendable budget like a professional performer, but you can still find similar ones that are affordable.
If you like loud and exciting, this one’s for you. Nirvana’s producer provided the band with Electro-Voice PL20 microphones or a Crown CM310A for stage vocals. If you have ever wondered about microphones and their significance, this next statement is important.
The producer, Steve Albini commented on microphones, saying: “They stopped being microphones and now they’re artifacts. I feel like I should get them into the hands of somebody who would take care of them and not put them at risk in the hectic environment of a recording studio.”
A good microphone is worth every penny you spend on them.
Adele uses a Sennheiser SKM9000 for translating those crisp and stunning vocals.
Billie Eilish sings quietly a lot of the time and has a very unique, whispery voice. She needs a microphone that can pick up on those gentle vocals. That is why she uses a Neumann TLM 103 microphone.
Lastly, we have Metallica’s mic. It has been said that they used Shure, the brand that has been mentioned above. They used the Shure 55, an all-time favorite of heavy metal bands.
A good vocal microphone is a vital component when it comes to performing. The microphones capture and convert those beautiful sounds that relay emotion to those who are listening.
When shopping for a microphone, it is important to pay attention to the dynamic range, frequency, sensitivity, and SPLs.
Types of Microphones for Vocals
A condenser is a common microphone for studio recording that picks up quiet and gentle vocals. They are highly sensitive and grab those crisp and warm tones that are in proximity. These are the most efficient microphones for vocals, whether it be on the stage or in the studio.
These are vintage microphones and are not as common as the condenser and dynamic. They are accurate as it gets and they come with a price tag, too. They are one of the most natural mics and capture instruments and vocals well.
They do tend to pick up on a lot of sounds that are in proximity to the mic.
The all-around microphone.
Whether you need it for loud or medium sound, this mic will not let you down. These mics have lower sensitivity, so keep that in mind when you are shopping. These are great for starting and can be found for cheap. They are great for loud environments and can be used for vocals or drums.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of microphones are there?
There are four types of microphones. These include dynamic, condenser, large and small diaphragm, and ribbon microphones.
What is a microphone?
A microphone is a transducer. It translates sounds and vibrations into electronic signals. It relays information sensitivity, frequency, and volume.