The choice is challenging whether you’re looking for a Condenser, Dynamic, or Ribbon Microphone. That’s why we’ve put together a top 12 best microphone brands of 2023.
The best recording mics can pick up a lot of detail. You can find a studio mic for recording instruments, video blogs, or voice-overs. Choosing the best vocal mic is a highly individual process. The voice you intend to record determines which technique you like and which vocal mic you purchase. With so many possibilities, it might take time to decide where to start.
Worry not; plenty of high-quality microphones are available that won’t break the bank but will still do justice to your voice. A good microphone designed for recording is a need for any music producer or performer. However, only some microphones will do the job. Therefore, it’s also wise to spend as much as you can on a high-quality studio mic. However, you can have good deals at any cost.
Let’s look at the best microphone options on the market in 2023.
Top 12 Microphone Brands 2023 (Condenser, Dynamic & Ribbon Mics)
AKG, created in Vienna, soon became one of the most prominent players in the world of sound. The name AKG has come to be universally recognized as a guarantee of great audio, a symbol of dedication to the art of music, and an industry leader in quality and innovation.
Within a few short months of the company’s founding in 1947, radio stations, theaters, and jazz clubs were using the first AKG microphones. At the time, five people were involved in the hand-making process for the items (the AKG DYN Series).
In the early 1950s, AKG released several new items, including New technology, the world’s first high-quality condenser microphone, the D 12 with its high sensitivity features, the world’s first wirelessly inter-capacitor microphone, the C 12 and the D 36 made sonic history.
The BBC in London was among the first clients of the now-famous C 12 microphone. Harman International Industries, Inc., in 1994, acquired AKG. There was a period of reorganization and strategic refining of the product line and distribution in the years that followed.
They put exceptional new additions to the wireless microphone range to good use by touring artists, including Rod Stewart, Peter Gabriel, and Simply Red. 1995 marked the launch of the world’s smallest dual-diaphragm system, the CK 77/C 577 – large in sound, less than a thumbnail in size, built explicitly for theater, TV, and film usage.
You can find mics for Karaoke, home recordings, and live performances in AKG’s new Performer Series. Throughout the 1990s, AKG maintained its upward trajectory, releasing products, including the WMS 60 Wireless Microphone, the AKG Hearo Series, and the C 4000 B. After the turn of the millennium, AKG doubled down on its signature offerings.
They introduced a new production strategy at the R&D headquarters in Vienna to reinforce the significant technology position of AKG in the field of professional audio. In 2007, AKG celebrated its 60th anniversary, but AKG is looking into a bright future with extra expansion instead of looking back.
The focus strategy of AKG in existing and new markets and expansion into new geographies will be priorities. They introduced a new corporate logo and brand image to help with this relaunch. 2007 will see the launch of numerous new and innovative AKG goods. AKG plans to continue its reputation as a leader in the professional audio industry by participating in these and other similar initiatives.
Claim To Fame: (AKG C12 VR)
The strong AKG C12 VR Twin isn’t a suitable fit for everyone, but if you can afford it, it’s a fantastic microphone with good sound. This mic was developed using all of AKG’s knowledge and experience. In the ’50s and ’60s, the original C12 was utilized in many of the world’s best recording studios, and it is still regarded by many as the best tube condenser microphone ever created.
The C12 VR Twin is a reproduction that designers meticulously created in Vienna. This updated version features the same 6072A vacuum tube as the classic model, a dual-diaphragm design, and a CK12 capsule. AKG has incorporated only the highest quality contemporary components to ensure that this microphone delivers its promised results.
In a way that very few condensers can, it records electric guitars with a warm, enveloping sound. In addition, the C12 VR Twin allows you to record any instrument, speech type, or sound source from various angles thanks to its nine selectable polar patterns.
You can apply mics from AKG’s extensive catalog to various circumstances. The AKG project studio range provides outstanding low-cost studio solutions, making AKG a company that succeeds in both the entry-level and professional markets for microphones. However, despite their usefulness in private recording setups, they weren’t designed for that purpose.
- Condenser (P220)
The AKG C1000 is a fantastic entry-level microphone for recording vocals and instruments in a professional studio, and we have come to appreciate it. The AKG P220 boasts a big diaphragm with a low mass, allowing for a warm and clean voice, guitar, or bass sound.
For such a cheap microphone, the sound quality is high, and the inclusion of a bass-cut filter and attenuation pad makes it ideal for use with extremely loud sources. Regarding sound pressure level, the AKG P220 can withstand up to 155dB SPL. This cardioid polar pattern ensures that the condenser microphone’s capsule only responds to sound coming from in front of it.
- Dynamic (D5)
The D5 is a dynamic, super-cardioid microphone with an integrated shock mount and excellent gain-before-feedback and directional characteristics. This polar pattern is supposed to have more robust side rejection and weaker rear pickup; however, the measured response is broader.
The midrange has exceptionally low rejection at the sides compared to comparable microphones. Between 70 Hz and 20 kHz, the system operates. The lack of low end is audible in the tone, which is a strength of this microphone because it requires less EQ adjustment to make the vocals stand out.
The company, which began in Berlin in 1924, has significantly impacted the development of recording and playback technologies. Over the years, countless artists, sound engineers, conference attendees, interpreters, and hi-fi lovers have come into touch with Beyerdynamic products, whether on the job or in their own time.
According to the business, they are all part of “Generation Audio,” a community of audiophiles and dedicated customers. Studio Legends are handcrafted in Germany, just like every other pair of headphones from Beyerdynamic. This luxury item is a wise purchase due to its sturdy construction and premium components.
In Germany, electronic media like radio have been present for almost a century, and Beyerdynamic has been there the whole time. The Berlin-based company has done great work in sound recording and playback since its founding in 1924.
The first dynamic headphones, the DT 48, were released by Beyerdynamic in 1937; the first dynamic studio microphone, the M 19, was introduced by the company in 1939; and Beyerdynamic introduced the first tour guide system for museum and factory tours in 1974. However, these are just three of the many breakthroughs that have established Beyerdynamic as an industry leader in the audio industry.
Caroline Reiber, a famous German TV host, can be seen in this 1954 clip wearing the traditional headphones popular in record bars (DT 49). Below is a dictaphone using Beyer film, which creates a line-by-line transcript of the spoken word on a magnetically coated card. The dictation can be punched by the secretary and placed in the folder with the completed letter.
If you’re looking for a way to listen to music while relaxing on the beach or the road, the LKH 9-neck cushion has you covered. Beyerdynamic has released two of its most popular products in commemorative anniversary versions, so there’s reason to celebrate even if you don’t want to broadcast your love of great audio to the world over the Internet.
The classic silver basket and anniversary symbol on the shaft of the “M 88 TG 90-Years Edition” dynamic microphone set it apart from the series model. It’s much like the one Queen Elizabeth II used on her first trip to Australia in 1962. The M 88’s versatile, warm, and appealing tone was initially designed for use with speech and vocals. So, it is commonly utilized as a bottom drum microphone on drum sets, for instance.
At the “High-End” in Munich two months later, Beyerdynamic will debut yet another new product: the anniversary headphones with Tesla technology, which bring together beyerdynamic’s decades of experience in audio development and the most recent developments in sound technology out of Heilbronn.
German engineers created the Tesla sound converters, and the headphones bear the “Made in Germany” label, just like every other pair of headphones produced by Beyerdynamic over the past ninety years.
Claim To Fame: (TG V50d)
The Beyerdynamic TG V50d is designed to revolutionize how to live vocals are heard. The comprehensive frequency response of this cheap dynamic mic makes it ideal for recording natural lead vocals. In addition, its sturdy construction means you can toss it in a bag or case without worrying about any damage.
More of you in your monitors and more transparent sound at the front of the house are both benefits of the Sound Channeling Technology used in the Beyerdynamic TG V50d. This technology has been fine-tuned over many years. Beyerdynamic uses this technology to improve gain-before-feedback, shape the frequency response for more accurate stage reproduction, and modify the polar pattern.
If you want to start a radio show or record songs at a professional level, purchasing a microphone of good quality is an investment that will pay off for you. Beyerdynamic is mostly recognized for the quality of its headphones; however, the business also produces microphones of a high grade.
- Condenser (FOX)
With FOX, Beyerdynamic makes its debut in the category of USB microphones. And it’s far more of a bound than a stutter. They provide everything you need for a stress-free recording experience, including a high-quality condenser microphone with a sleek design, a clip-on pop filter with ingenious ergonomics, and many other features.
If you’re a gamer or streamer looking to upgrade your setup, this USB microphone’s sound is a must-have. The cost of an XLR condenser and the necessary equipment for its use might add up quickly, but this mic can do the job for much less. Last, the included pop filter does a good job of rejecting plosives and sibilance, resulting in less jarring vocal recordings.
- Dynamic (TG V70D)
The TG V70d improves upon the capabilities of the TG V50d, which were previously limited to voices, by allowing for recording a larger variety of instruments. Superior noise rejection from the hyper-cardioid pickup pattern shields the singer’s voice from distracting instruments in the room.
However, the TG V70d’s broad frequency range makes it a good match for virtually any on-stage sound source, including bass cabinets, snare drums, guitar amps, and more. Customers were impressed with the deep, punchy bass you could feel even at moderate listening distances. In addition, a mic like the Beyerdynamic TG V70d is excellent for adding weight to the low end if your voice is lacking.
- Ribbon (M160)
The M 160 has long been considered by audio professionals to be one of the best microphones for recording acoustic stringed instruments, including violins, violas, acoustic guitars, and zithers, among many others.
It handles a booming saxophone and a snapping hi-hat with the same agility and ease. In addition, the M 160 is perfect for television and film studios where privacy is paramount due to its small size, black color, and chromium plating that eliminates glare.
Among the many companies that make tools for working with sound, Sennheiser stands out as a leader. Despite shifting market conditions, Sennheiser is still owned by the same family it was founded in. As a result, the company produces numerous technologies that have become ubiquitous in modern society.
Moreover, the company wasn’t only focused on creating headphones—its early work also included creating measuring tools, microphones, and sound recording systems, now household names for audio enthusiasts everywhere. Many images of international leaders from the 1960s and 1970s now feature Sennheiser microphones.
Sennheiser Electronic is a world-renowned producer of audio devices with headquarters in the vicinity of Hannover, Germany. Neumann GmbH, the company’s Berlin outpost, manufactures some of the finest studio recording microphones in the world.
Most of Sennheiser’s income comes from premium microphones and headsets for professional and personal use, such as noise-canceling headsets for pilots and headsets for call centers and multimedia applications. Sennheiser is a well-known supplier to the international music and entertainment industry and the broadcast media.
Sennheiser’s research group developed their superior model, the “MD 2,” two years after they began developing the “MD 1” for Siemens. In 1949, the firm decided to distribute and promote the patented model under the “Labor W” brand. Despite this, most of “Labor Wales “was still to Siemens, which facilitated the company’s rise to prominence as a reputable electro-acoustics manufacturer.
In 1950, Labor W introduced the “MD 3” “invisible microphone,” a device that was so thin and had such a small head that it did not obscure the performer’s face in the same way that earlier microphones had. The “MD 4” noise-canceling microphone, introduced by the business in 1951, was industry-first, effectively eliminating feedback and background noise.
The MD 21 reporter’s microphone, introduced in 1954, was an enormous success. Since its inception, it has been a consistent favorite among radio and television broadcasters all around the globe, thanks to its extreme dependability and robust construction. The business introduced the “Mikroport” technology of wireless communication in 1958.
The system, which consisted of a handheld radio transmitter and a miniature microphone, gave TV program hosts more mobility within the studio. Labor W created magnetic, acoustic transducers for dictation machines and hearing aids and microphones for the broadcasting and entertainment industries.
Claim To Fame: (E 835)
One of Sennheiser’s most popular products is the E 835 dynamic microphone. You can use the microphone to record both spoken and sung words. It’s a standard fixture in venues ranging from performance halls and recording studios to practice rooms and places of worship.
The popular Shure SM58 is a predecessor to this model, and the two are remarkably similar. However, some reviewers have noted that this version is a substantial improvement. The mic’s metal construction ensures that it will last a long time.
There isn’t a power button on the side of this model, but you can always upgrade to one that does. However, this service is optional and not necessary. Turning the system on and off is best left to an audio specialist.
Sennheiser has a wide range of vocal microphones suitable for various musical genres and live performance settings. It begins with a portable, road-ready microphone and culminates in a dynamic, stage-ready unit. In addition, there is a real condenser microphone with a huge diaphragm that you can use in professional recording studios.
- Condenser (MK 4)
Sennheiser produces the MK 4 condenser microphone. Studio recording calls for the use of condenser microphones. They’re more sensitive, so they’ll pick up on even the most minor details. However, the user’s heightened awareness makes them more easily distracted by background sounds.
Recordings are more likely to come out clearly if the surrounding area is as quiet as possible. The cardioid polar pattern helps fix this problem by eliminating ambient noise.
In some cases, however, more is needed. This is hardly an excuse to avoid investing in a condenser microphone. Only condenser microphones can help you get a sound that’s as natural and smooth as possible and sometimes even more beautiful than real life.
- Dynamic (e 945)
The e945 dynamic super-cardioid portable mic is unrivaled in sound quality, portability, and durability for the professional musician. Thanks to the mic’s shock mounting system, you receive a tight super-cardioid pickup pattern and minimal sensitivity to contact and control noises. As a result, this microphone will be there for you whenever the pressure is on.
4. Universal Audio
Universal Audio stands out from the crowd in the professional audio industry because of its rich history and long tradition of excellence. Universal Audio was founded by Bill Putman Sr. in the 1940s when he launched his first recording studio in Chicago. He eventually collaborated with such titans of the industry as Ray Charles, Count Bassie, Frank Sinatra, and Duke Ellington.
When it comes to audio equipment, Universal Audio has been at the forefront of innovation for the past 60 years, with products like the Apollo and Volt audio recording interfaces, UAD plug-ins, the LUNA recording program, and the UAFX guitar effects series.
In 2020, UA purchased Bock Audio from David Bock, which included the rights to produce his hand-built UA Bock microphones. Santa Cruz is also the home of the three high-end tube and FET-based variations of these artisan microphones.
The SD-1 Dynamic Microphone is ideal for voice and broadcast applications. The SP-1 Pencil Condenser Microphones are great for the simple dual recording of instruments and live performances, both at a low price and with proven designs.
UA is ecstatic to welcome Chris Townsend, creator of the patented Sphere Modeling Microphone technology and modeling specialist, to the UA team in 2021 as part of the acquisition of Townsend Labs Inc., which will bring Townsend’s expertise in this area into line with UA’s leading UAD audio plug-in platform. All UA microphones are compatible with the Apollo audio interface line, which is widely regarded as the best.
Claim To Fame: (Sphere DLX)
The large-diaphragm condenser microphone in the UA Sphere DLX works with software that meticulously replicates the acoustic characteristics of 38 of the most sought-after microphones in history. The Sphere DSP plug-in precisely models the response of several microphones, including dynamic response, proximity effect, resonance, and three-dimensional polarity response.
In addition, it allows you to adjust your mic selections and polar patterns after recording. The Sphere DLX allows for a more comprehensive capture of the sound field and, with the help of the plug-in, allows for simultaneous stereo recordings with different mic types in the left and proper channels. The Universal Audio Sphere DLX ushers in a revolutionary new era in audio recording.
UA has been around for a long time as a go-to provider of good interface solutions for recording studios everywhere; more lately, the firm has expanded into offering a wide variety of enticing microphones, from USB devices to professional XLR designs. The Sphere DLX and Sphere LX are two new high-end modeling microphones that have just been revealed.
- Condenser (Bock 167)
David Bock is well-known in the modern professional audio community for the high quality of his microphones inspired by the past. The Bock 167, with its unique K 67 capsule and refined tube electronics, reproduces the legendary ’67’s sonic prowess in a sleek, contemporary form far more adaptable than the original.
The Universal Audio Bock 167 stands apart from the crowd thanks to its continually adjustable polar patterns. It can move between the three with a single smooth motion on the ’67 and the many mics it inspired. Accessing every point in between enables the creation of hybrid pickup patterns, which provide great versatility in recording sources under challenging environments.
- Dynamic (SD-1)
The SD-1 is UA’s top-of-the-line dynamic microphone, and it’s excellent for close-miking singers and instruments because of its flat frequency response and genuine sound. Employees have used the SD-1’s cardioid polar pattern to join Zoom meetings from their homes without disturbing neighbors.
Each microphone comes with a custom set of UA-created Apollo Channel Strip Presets, allowing you to tailor your recording to virtually any sound source. Recording sound has never been simpler, thanks to the microphone’s low-cut and articulation boost settings.
When it comes to professional audio equipment, hundreds, if not thousands, of different companies are vying for your business. A few companies have emerged from the pack, earning widespread recognition for their superior offerings and unwavering commitment to maintaining consumer trust over the years. Shure has created several microphones that have become de facto standards in the industry.
In 1925, in Chicago, Sydney N. Shure created the “Shure Radio Company,” which would later become one of the industry leaders in microphones. In its early years, the company relied heavily on its catalog — one of only six devoted to radio parts at the time — but with the onset of the Great Depression in 1928, and it shifted its focus.
Company founder Sidney Shure brought in his brother Samuel J. Shure; therefore, they rebranded themselves as “Shure Brothers Company.” As demand for inexpensive radios soared, the company was eventually compelled to shift production to miniature microphones in 1929, around a year later. Regrettably, Samuel J.
Shure had already left the company by 1930, so Sydney N. had to locate a new partner; he eventually settled on engineer Ralph Glover. The two had created the first product to bear the Shure name by 1931, a two-button carbon microphone they called the Model 33N.
Noting that Shure was one of only four microphone producers in the US at the time is significant because it exemplifies Sydney Shure’s propensity for taking risks, which ultimately paid off for the company. The United States government hired Shure to create microphones for use in the war effort during World War II, and the company excelled in this role as well.
Their T-17B microphone became the standard issue for the US Army and Air Force in 1942. The company also made microphones that fit in the throat, headset, or oxygen mask.
Shure has a long history of releasing good products, beginning with the first wireless microphone performance system in 1953 and continuing with the Unidyne III Microphone in 1959, followed by the release of the iconic Shure SM57 and SM58 the following year. If you are unfamiliar with these types, these are two of the most popular and highly recommended live performance and recording mics on the market today.
Claim To Fame: (SM57)
A Shure SM57 dynamic microphone is an investment that will pay dividends for years to come. Numerous music industry myths and tales revolve around accounts of its heroic toughness, the vast majority of which are accurate. The SM57, besides being an excellent microphone overall, is particularly impressive when used with a wide range of instruments and electronic devices.
The SM57 is responsible for the distinctive sound of countless drum kits, guitar amps, and vocal tracks from the last several decades. If you want to know why the Shure SM57 is the most revered microphone in the world, all you have to do is try one.
The SM57 is a beautiful workhorse microphone for several reasons beyond its excellent sound quality. It has an incredibly isolating cardioid polar pattern. The fact that the Shure SM57 can be angled to cancel out the hi-hat makes it a great choice as a snare drum microphone.
There aren’t many firms that can compare to Shure in terms of the breadth and depth of their selection of recording equipment. Since its founding in 1925, Shure has become the world’s preeminent maker of microphones for speech, performance, and broadcast applications.
So one of the oldest American microphone manufacturers is worth a try if you want to improve your podcast, band, or even conference calls.
- Condenser (Beta 87A)
When you need a high-quality handheld condenser microphone, go no further than the Shure Beta 87A. The Beta 87A is an excellent choice if subtlety is essential to you or if you’re a vocalist hoping to improve upon the sound of the worn-out microphones at your local bar.
Their super-cardioid pickup design provides excellent sound quality and feedback rejection. You also receive the durability and sound quality of Shure equipment, which has made the company the gold standard in live sound worldwide.
The Shure Beta 87A is an excellent option for performers that must consistently deliver a polished, professional sound. The Beta 87A, like other Shure microphones, is rugged and reliable. Shure microphones have a reputation for being extremely durable.
Their designs are subjected to the same rigorous durability testing, including being dropped, subjected to high humidity and heat, and more. Shure microphones are a popular choice for live performances worldwide for one very obvious reason: they keep functioning no matter how rough things get.
- Dynamic (SM7B)
The SM7B from Shure may be a go-to mic for many applications, but it shines as a fantastic dialogue mic. The SM7B’s two modes of operation make it adaptable to a wide variety of users and situations. The Shure SM7B is an essential component of any recording setup, whether you’re trying to catch the reverberation of a deep baritone, soften the brittleness of a high soprano, record a gunshot, or anything in between.
The SM7B’s flexibility stems from its two independent tone controls. This passive EQ has a low cut and a presence boost that you can toggle on and off. The SM7B is a great mic for male conversation and voices whether you use it flat or with the low cut, and it excels with bright sound sources and sibilant vocalists thanks to a switchable presence boost.
- Ribbon (KSM313)
The Shure KSM313 ribbon microphone serves multiple purposes. The KSM313’s rich, full sound is perfect for your amplified instruments, while its brighter nature is great for your voices. This stunning ribbon mic utilizes a Roswellite ribbon material, which is far more durable than the regular foil used in other ribbon microphones.
The fragile ribbon aspect of a ribbon mic need not deter you from adding one to your locker. Roswellite, used in Shure’s KSM313, offers superior “form memory” to more ordinary materials, making it a more robust component. If you want a ribbon mic that can handle loud environments without distortion, go no further than the KSM313.
6. Warm Audio
Bryce Young, a veteran indie guitarist, engineer, and producer, founded Warm Audio in Austin, Texas, in 2011 because he has always had a passion for recording, is always striving to improve his sound, and has seen a need in the market.
The inspiration for Warm Audio came from its creator, Bryce Young, who wanted to ensure that talented amateurs like himself could afford great recording gear. Warm Audio creates vintage analog recording equipment that was once the stuff of legend but is now within reach of many musicians.
As a result of its “no corners cut” design philosophy and high volume manufacturing with low markup, Warm Audio can provide its products at competitive pricing. Fast becoming a movement reshaping the professional audio industry, Warm Audio has amassed a devoted following quickly.
Since the company’s founding, President & Founder Bryce Young has assembled a group of audio professionals with more than 50 years of combined experience in research & development, manufacturing, marketing, and sales of professional audio equipment.
This talented group uses the “Warm Formula” to ensure that each new product release provides the highest possible sound quality and maintains an accessible price point. At Warm Audio, modern updates on classic goods are essential.
For example, the WA-251 was made so that young musicians might have access, at a reasonable price, to a microphone based on a tried-and-true design. It’s a big condenser microphone with a vacuum tube preamp, a giant diaphragm, and many polar patterns modeled after the famous 251.
Another innovative product is a condenser microphone with a small diaphragm that uses a tried-and-true electronic design. The WA-84 features a discrete Class A design with a CineMag USA transformer and excels on various instruments and sources.
Claim To Fame: (WA-8000)
The Warm Audio WA-8000 is modeled on a renowned tube mic with an iconic style that produces a wide tone that gives vocals a radio-ready gloss. To capture the WA-8000’s inspiration, Warm Audio’s design team built a one-of-a-kind K67 capsule and Lundahl custom transformers.
The WA-8000, like the original, features a tube and electronic components housed in a special exterior heat sink assembly, which helps to keep the microphone’s performance at its peak.
Warm Audio has also equipped the WA-8000 with a quality cable from Gotham Audio, a Swiss company widely regarded as the gold standard in the cable market. As a result, the WA-8000 from Warm Audio is an excellent large-diaphragm condenser microphone for so many genres and where the singer takes center stage.
Even while Warm Audio does not provide a large selection of microphone models, or, to be more specific, they only create condenser mics, they unquestionably have some of the greatest microphones available.
- Condenser (WA-251)
The WA-251 by Warm Audio is an exact recreation of the original ‘251 large-diaphragm condenser microphone. The original model, released in 1960, is universally hailed as one of the finest microphones due to its exquisite sound quality.
Even though antique ‘251s in good working order fetch astronomical sums, this microphone will make it sound fantastic if you play an instrument. The Warm Audio WA-251 is a faithful reproduction of a classic microphone and a must-have for any studio’s mic collection.
Of course, you knew it would be fantastic when Warm Audio aimed the grandfather of tube condenser mics in the same vein as their famed vintage-inspired compressors, preamps, and mics.
Although Rode microphones are well-known in the recording industry, the brand had undergone significant changes since its inception, when it paired Chinese capsules with Australian circuitry. Manufacturing of all Rode products now takes place in Australia, with the bulk of that work being done at Rode’s facility in Sweetwater, a district of Sydney.
Rode, an audio firm based in Australia, is renowned for producing cool devices. Founded in 1967 as Freedman Electronics, the company has a long history. Rode started making their affordable recording equipment available to the public in 1990 when the firm took off.
It was inevitable that a company like Rode would become successful in the 1990s when home recording was all the rage. Their microphones were (and still are) both reasonably priced and of excellent quality. They had become an industry giant by 2000, and their Chinese manufacturing facilities allowed them to pump out an abundance of products that ignited the home recording market.
To complement their DSLR camera lenses, Rode is also well-known for their great sound design mics. As a bonus, you can boost the audio quality considerably by attaching the mic to your DSLR camera, making it a favorite among amateur and professional filmmakers. They’ve even been recognized with honors when it comes to filming music.
The Lav mics they use are great for doing on-camera interviews without drawing undue attention to themselves. Two pieces of film equipment that won’t break the bank are the Stereo Video Mic Pro and the Stereo Video Mic X. The NTG2 shotgun mic, with its highly narrow recording field, is also a good option for you, allowing you to record audio from a distance.
Claim To Fame: (NT1-A)
One of Rode’s most well-known products is the NT1-A, a remarkably cheap home condenser that has still attained legendary status among audiophiles. As a result of its great and welcoming tones, it is one of their best-selling condenser microphones for usage in the comfort of one’s own home.
Their signature NT55 pencil microphones are a favorite among drummers and acoustic guitarists for their great quality and transparent sound. If you want to record every nuance of an instrument, be it a vocalist’s performance or a guitar amp’s cabinet, the NTR Ribbon mic is a great option.
Sound is essential to any creative endeavor, whether you’re a musician, an artist, a cinematographer, a cameraman, or a content provider. Your audience will only understand what’s going on in your story if they can hear the dialogue.
One of the most widely used microphone manufacturers, Rode, is known for making equipment at surprisingly low prices. Their wireless microphone kits, on-camera microphones, and shotgun mics are all huge sellers.
Rode shotgun microphones have become standard in the film and music industries for collecting ambient noises from far away. On the other hand, if you need to record a presentation, conference, speech, lecture, or another event where the speaker(s) will be facing the mike, then a Rode shotgun mic is the way to go.
- Condenser (NT-1)
The most recent NT1 release is the most visually impressive of any of them. The NT1 is the cleanest microphone Rode has ever made and one of the quietest mics of its class in the world, with a self-noise level of under 4.5 dB.
Lyre capsule stabilization technology, pioneered by Rycote, substantially reduces vibrations from the NT1’s aluminum body, improving the sound quality. This NT1 Kit is an excellent deal because the SM6 includes a shock mount and pop filter in one.
- Dynamic (PodMic)
You can count on the Rode PodMic to provide the smooth, professional sound you seek. The Rode PodMic can handle anything from quiet whispering too loud yelling, so you can be assured that your podcast will have a professional-quality recording every time.
The built-in pop shield ensures a smooth listening experience free of annoying plosives. Take advantage of the sturdiness provided by the metal construction. A professional podcasting mic, such as the Rode PodMic, is essential for recording audio.
- Ribbon (NTR Active)
The Rode NTR ribbon microphone is a condenser microphone that uses a 1.8-micron ribbon element and a custom-engineered transformer to provide crystal-clear audio with remarkable fidelity.
Capturing a well-built guitar tone, laying down horns, or tracking voices, the NTR will wow you with its very open sound and organically present high-frequency range, qualities that are sometimes lost in ribbon mics. In addition, the NTR is robustly constructed to withstand regular use without being damaged.
Neumann mics, along with those made by many other illustrious pro audio businesses, should rank near the top of any such list. In addition, when you mention the phrase “microphone,” the shapes of their products are generally the first thing that comes to mind.
Georg Neumann started his own audio manufacturing company in 1928; however, his contributions to the field trace back far further. With a legacy spanning over 90 years, Neumann is sure to surprise you in many ways. Thanks to Neumann, many elements that have become standard in modern audio will be featured.
On October 13, 1898, in Germany, the world was introduced to Georg Neumann, who would later become one of the most pivotal figures in the development of microphone technology. Neumann was not formally educated, but he obtained professional training at the Berlin company of Mix & Genest.
As a result, he is self-taught and learns from the best role models. Later, Neumann worked for AEG’s research division, which focused on developing and manufacturing audio amplifiers. During his time at AEG, Neumann got to know Eugen Reisz, the lab’s director and ultimately Neumann’s boss.
Reisz left AEG to start his own company because he had different views on the future of microphones than AEG, and he invited Neumann to join the new company. Between 1920 and 1930, the microphone was an essential tool for recording speeches and musical performances.
The microphone is still the go-to transducing element in capturing, conveying, or reinforcing such experiences. Therefore, the microphone is the starting point for the process that will result in replication for the intended listener, whether the source is a human speaker, an orchestra, or a musical ensemble.
This explains why microphones, as input transducers, have garnered equal praise and condemnation. The first electrostatic (condenser) microphone was reportedly created by E.C. Wente around 1917. Wente’s invention, however, was bulky, needed a sizable, wattage-hungry power supply, and had only limited commercial applications; thus, it remained primarily a laboratory curiosity.
So many other points were there on which Reisz and Neumann disagreed. In Neumann’s view, Electrostatic principles were the key to the advancement of microphone technology. As a result, Neumann founded his own company in 1928 to capitalize on the maturation of (so-called) condenser microphones.
“Neumann Bottle,” or CMV 3, was created as a consequence of these efforts with the help and financial savvy of Erich Rickmann. Carbon button microphones, which had heralded the initial launch of telephone transmitter technology, remained the dominant microphone technology of the time.
Claim To Fame: (TLM 103)
The transformerless electronics and capsule from the U 87 give the TLM 103 mic that signature Neumann sound. Due to its low self-noise, the TLM 103 has been used in various settings, including Foley recording, sampling extremely low-amplitude sources, and high-dynamic-range classical recordings. Jack White has used the TLM 103 to mic amps on stage, so you know it’s also durable enough for that environment.
The ultra-low self-noise and maximum SPL transmission of the cardioid TLM 103 are made possible by a tried-and-true transformerless circuit common to high-end Neumann microphones. This pattern is used in the vast majority of recording scenarios, and by focusing on it, the attenuation of undesired back sound has been improved.
As a result, isolation is improved, and off-axis noises are reproduced faithfully. When the microphone is used in an environment with loudspeakers, this also significantly reduces feedback.
People will mention Neumann multiple times if you poll a group of experienced musicians and ask them to choose the best microphone maker in the world. Furthermore, if you want to record vocals and are wondering which Neumann microphone is the best, you’ll soon discover plenty to pick from.
This is because every Neumann microphone has a long and illustrious history and solid construction that other manufacturers can only dream of matching, making it nearly impossible to pick even a handful of standout models.
- Condenser (U67)
In 1960, Neumann introduced a brand-revolutionary microphone. The U 67 is the latest and greatest large-diaphragm condenser from the manufacturer, taking the place of the U 47. Countless tunes have featured the powerful tone of the ’47, from Sinatra to the Beatles. Thankfully, it was based on an obsolete vacuum tube.
Neumann began planning its replacement, the microphone that would propel the company. Incorporating a new K 67 circuit, along with state-of-the-art innovations, the U 67 provided significant improvements over its predecessor, the U 67, based on the widely available EF86 pentode tube already used in Neumann’s KM56.
The professional recording industry embraced the U 67 and it quickly became the standard-bearer Neumann large-diaphragm studio microphone. A U 67 could be considered the quintessential ’60s sound system. The myth is real again thanks to a detailed reissue meticulously built in Germany according to the original blueprints and specs.
Many consumers feel that their lives would be incomplete without the microphones bearing the circular triangles of the Audio-Technica emblem, which stands for consistent fidelity and critically recognized durability. In the language of show business, Audio-Technica is a headliner that can be seen in both the analog and digital eras.
Audio-Technica, a company with a 46-year existence, has come full circle on the 30th anniversary of its microphone technology section by further influencing how we hear and listen to the world. The company takes pride in its long history of producing great microphones for many uses.
Research and innovation, cooperative solving problems with end customers, engineering inspiration and vision, and occasionally just plain fate in the marketplace at the right moment and with the right product all contribute to shaping that tradition.
The narrative of Audio-Technica microphones is a fascinating and storied one, intrinsically linked to the eras in which we have lived and the sounds that have erupted from the numerous fields of entertainment and sports. Regarding “great quality, high performance, and excellent value, with exceptional customer service,” Audio-Technica has always been at the top of the list.
The company’s Japanese and American roots are intrinsic to these defining features. In 1978, Audio-Technica released its first line of microphones. The AT801, AT813, and others were all part of the 800 Series. They were a more affordable range of microphones aimed squarely at amateur musicians.
800 Series swiftly adapted to changing times as the line proceeded (for an example, see the Live Sound section). As you’ll see, AudioTechnica has yet to be content with the status quo, which has helped them become the microphone of choice for so many people. Following its founders’ footsteps and the bicontinental roots from which it sprang, A-T has become a forerunner in the audio technology industry and a household name worldwide.
At the beginning of their PR and advertising campaigns in Japan, A-T was marketed as “a miracle firm” that was “just a little bit different.” Point-of-sale promotion for the 800 Series 9 released ahead of schedule dive deeper: The Evolution of Audio-Legendary Technica’s Microphones When it debuted in 1978, the 800 Series was already a serious contender on the international stage.
After 46 years, the company’s corporate figures in the United States and its devoted technical and sales teams in other parts of the world have written exciting new chapters in the company’s journey. It’s a journey through the numerous ways Audio-Technica microphones improve the quality of life for readers and users of the company’s products.
Claim To Fame: (AT2020)
The AT2020 offers legendary Audio-Technica sound at a fraction of the cost. One mic that can handle everything from acoustic guitars and voices to roaring amplifiers is what you need. Inexpensive and versatile, this condenser is like a Swiss army knife for your microphone needs, and at this price, you can get two and make your stereo setup.
Also, the AT2020 was made to blend in with your production without breaking the bank, making it ideal for the modern home or project studio. The AT2020, as a first microphone, will work well in your recording setup.
In the world of microphones, Audio Technica is a household name. The company manufactures a wide variety of audio equipment that serves consumers worldwide. As a result, you could feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of microphone options. Audio Technica makes microphones for various uses, including performing musicians, audio engineers, podcasters, YouTubers, and voice actors.
- Condenser (AT4040)
For essential applications in broadcasting and live sound, the AT4040 was developed. Artists, engineers, and producers looking for a mic that reliably and consistently produces a focused, musical sound will appreciate the AT4040’s adaptability.
The AT4040’s low-frequency distortion is so low you won’t believe it. This is due to the transformerless circuitry used by Audio-Technica. The AT4040’s architecture also allows it to reproduce high-speed transients exceptionally well, making it a fantastic choice for recording the assault of any percussion instrument.
The AT4040 has a wide dynamic range and a natural musical sound. This microphone is excellent for recording male vocals and high-quality acoustic guitars. In addition, the AT4040’s diaphragm is only two microns thick, so it can faithfully reproduce high frequencies without losing the mic’s ability to pick up lower ones.
- Dynamic (AT2040)
You’ve got the concept and the people; you’re missing the microphone. If you’ve ever wished for crystal-clear podcast audio, the Audio-Technica AT2040 is your ticket. The hypercardioid pattern of the AT2040 provides excellent vocal isolation, allowing you to hear yourself clearly while blocking out background sounds.
Podcasters know they can rely on Audio-Technica for their vocal tracking needs. The dynamic AT2040 microphone has proven reliable for capturing clear audio that strengthens the connection between creators and listeners.
This design is a big reason you may enjoy outstanding isolated audio, but that’s not all. Vibrations sent via your boom, stand, and shock mount will cancel out the mount on a pivoting stand mount. With its internal pop filtering capabilities, a multistage foam-mesh windscreen is an additional layer of defense.
- Ribbon (AT 4081)
The AT4081 microphone provides the soft, natural sound expected from a good ribbon mic and a more powerful output. This microphone is based around a ribbon transducer. Still, its slim form is akin to a pencil condenser microphone’s, giving you a lot of flexibility in how you position the mic.
The AT4081, with its small profile and multiple mounting choices, is a fantastic choice for miking guitar cabinets and drums. In addition, the MicroLinear ribbon imprint, a patent of Audio-Technica, prevents the microphone’s two ribbons from flexing laterally and distorting sound, making it suitable for studio recordings and live performances.
Thomann sells various products from various manufacturers, including its own. They also own T.Bone, a company that provides players with great microphones and, in the end, some of the best budget drum mics on the market.
Established in 1954 by Hans Thomann Sen, the t.bone is widely credited as one of the Internet pioneers. Ten hundred eighty people work for the company, which has its headquarters in Germany. Thomann has its line of products, one of which is called the t.bone.
Famous manufacturers who also make machinery for numerous other well-known brands are the exclusive producers of these items. As a result, you benefit from affordable prices on name-brand products. There are now 578 products available from the t.bone, 447 in stock, and 55 featured in their category ”Hot Deals”.
The t.bone has been available from that company since 1994, and its goods are big sellers in the music industry. Among the various categories represented in current best-seller lists are Podcast Mics, Wireless Systems, Microphones, and so on, for a total of 124 the t.bone top sellers.
Popular products now include the t.bone SC 420 USB Desktop-Set; this product has been a massive success from t. bone and a hundred thousand or more of these have already been sold.
Claim To Fame: (GM 55)
The GM 55 is unquestionably the ideal choice to consider if you want to maintain a fashionable appearance while adhering to a financial plan. The fact that you cannot hold this mic in your hand is the primary drawback of purchasing it. In addition, it has a minimal amount of handling noise correction.
However, its advantages now go well beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. To begin, the GM 55 has nearly no feedback, which is remarkable for a mic in its price range and a significant selling point for the product. The microphone also has an excellent frequency response, and its performance is awe-inspiring whether used for jazz, blues, or rockabilly.
If you’re looking for cool German music equipment, go as far as T.bone. They are known for making excellent microphones at reasonable prices. Their low costs are so attractive that they frequently throw off musicians. Customers that bought things under “the t.bone” and were pleased with their purchases naturally left positive comments.
t.bone microphones have been heralded for their great sound and long lifespan. No matter how hard your mic may work, it’s still an instrument and deserves to be handled as such. It is durable if a microphone can survive a fall to the bottom of a stage and still work.
- Condenser (SCT2000)
This is a best-in-class microphone from t.bone. The external power supply houses a 9-position polar pattern switch that allows the user to pick between the three polar patterns, each with their intermediate settings. The resulting flexibility makes it suitable for practically any kind of audio recording.
Interesting take response and high sensitivity are accomplished by the SCT2000’s 24K gold-sputtered diaphragm (1.07″). This microphone has a minimal self-noise compared to others of its sort, thanks to its replaceable 12AX7B tube. Engineers and solo artists favor the SCT2000’s vintage technology and good sound quality.
- Dynamic (MB85 Beta)
For those familiar with the SM58, the MB85 Beta will sound very familiar. A common way to describe the MB85 Beta is as a “cheap Shure SM58.” The MB85 Beta differs primarily because it is not intended to withstand rough treatment and hence has less handling noise correction. However, it is a good and cheap mic for recording vocals because it is louder, clearer, and warmer than a regular SM58.
- Ribbon (RB 500)
The t.bone RB 500 is a directional ribbon mic that features a high SPL handling capacity, a slow sensitivity, and an XLR cord that is already attached. This microphone is less sensitive than an SM57, with a sensitivity value of -57dB/PA; if you’re having trouble capturing a fuller tone at high gain, moving the microphone closer to the source is a natural method to boost gain.
The frequency response of the RB 500 is from 30 Hz to 18 kHz. Despite discrepancies between the frequency range listed on the microphone’s product details page and the frequency range listed in the handbook, the microphone’s frequency response begins to roll off quickly after 10 kHz.
There are many peaks and valleys, although they could be more dramatic. The mic’s thumpy sound can be attributed to the shelf boost in the bass end.
Behringer is a well-established brand that manufactures various musical instruments, equipment, and accessories. So naturally, you can find microphones among those many offerings. Also, the company has been plagued by its fair share of controversies, but that hasn’t prevented it from turning out equipment.
Swiss engineer with musical roots Uli Behringer started the company. He established Behringer’s production facility in Willich, Germany, and the company now has a global distribution network that serves up to 130 countries. The company’s musical instruments are currently produced in China.
It is worth noting that Behringer’s creator also serves as the chairman of Music Tribe, the holding company that owns Behringer. The organization relies on the talents of around 3,500 people stationed in dozens of countries. Behringer is prosperous and one of the world’s largest musical firms, placing fourteenth in manufacturing capacity in 2017.
His dual passions marked Behringer’s early maturation for music and electronics. After high school, he decided to pursue a music career, so he traveled to Dusseldorf, Germany, in 1982 to study piano and audio engineering. Psychoacoustics was a hot topic in the audio industry during the late ’80s when companies scrambled to improve their products’ sound quality by compensating for faulty components.
Uli Behringer was the one to pull back the veil for those in search of an economical answer. Thus, the company’s history began in 1989, when Behringer began implementing his plans. He hoped that by keeping the costs low, his solutions would appeal to small businesses like recording studios and independent performers.
Because of Behringer, the home recording market has taken off in a way never seen before. As it entered the new millennium, the company bought out Intersil Corporation’s license to use the CoolAudio technology. They are a US-based company that focuses on audio-related integrated circuits.
Licenses such as Alpine and Rowe were acquired along with the company. Behringer City, where the company’s factories in China were being built, was finished in 2002. Even though the company has been around since the early 2000s, it designed its current logo in 2010.
Claim To Fame: (B-2 Pro)
This Behringer B-2 Pro microphone won’t break the bank. This condenser microphone has a 10 dB pad, three adjustable polar patterns, and the unmistakable sound of a professional recording studio mic. Yet, it costs less than a hundred dollars, making it ideal for home and project studios.
Behringer provides a shock mount, windshield, and aluminum housing in addition to the B-2 Pro. The Behringer B-2 Pro is an excellent alternative studio mic that won’t break the bank if you’re just getting started in the recording.
The B-2 Pro has all the tools you’ll need to make the most of your studio time. An aluminum case, a custom shock mount to dampen vibrations, and a windscreen to muffle plosives are all included in the package.
Behringer microphones are worth considering for several reasons. To start, they’re cheap without compromising quality. Two, an excellent selection of items allows you to discover the ideal microphone for your requirements.
Finally, Behringer is constantly updating their technology, so you know you’re receiving the best possible sound. Finally, if you ever have any questions or concerns, you can be assured that Behringer’s customer support will be there to help you promptly and satisfactorily.
- Condenser (SB 78A)
Similar in design and sound to the more expensive Shure Beta 87A, the Behringer SB 78A is a portable condenser microphone that won’t break the bank. It’s not only a great choice for recording vocals but also for guitar.
The SB 78A is a cardioid condenser microphone that has an HPF and a pop filter in its design. However, it does require 48v phantom power to use. Also included are a mic clip stand adaptor, foam-lined plastic carrying box, and a good mic clip.
- Dynamic (XM8500)
The Behringer XM8500 is an affordable dynamic microphone ideal for touring musicians. The XM8500 is a cardioid dynamic microphone with a tone that can be heard even when other instruments are present. The mic has a foam lining within its spherical grill that helps soften plosive sounds.
As a mountable pop filter is not always an option in live sound settings, the plosive rejection can be helpful. Unfortunately, there needs to be a record of the particulars of the polar pattern.
In contrast, the off-axis rejection is soft and does a fantastic job of isolating vocals. The range of frequencies covers anything from 50 hertz to 15 kilohertz. Look at the XM8500’s frequency response below, and you’ll hear it shines in the upper-midrange.
12. Austrian Audio
Vienna, Austria, is sometimes nicknamed “the City of Music” because of the many famous classical composers (such as Beethoven and Mozart) who once lived there. A new company by the name of Austrian Audio was established. However, some of the biggest brands in the audio industry have already been challenged by its products.
AKG was established in 1947 by two Viennese guys who made cinematic equipment. In 1953, AKG introduced the world to the world-changing D12 microphone, which quickly became the norm for professional-quality voice recordings and transmissions around the globe.
Due to its great sound quality, the first dynamic cardioid microphone quickly found its way into studios and radio stations worldwide. The product improved, with notable later upgrades, including the C414 and C12 microphones.
Harman International Industries, which had purchased the AKG facilities in Austria in 1994, stated in 2016 that the company would be relocating its headquarters to California. Twenty-two members of AKG’s management team stayed behind in Vienna to continue developing innovative microphone and headphone technology.
Austrian Audio offers two precision microphones: the OC18, featuring a cardioid polar pattern, and the OC818, a condenser microphone with a wireless remote control. Both versions of the microphone use the same hand-made Austrian Audio capsule, responsible for the microphone’s remarkable sensitivity, minimum self-noise, and adaptation to everything from a whisper to huge SPLs.
Since its release, the OC818 has received acclaim for its novel form factor, remarkable sound quality, and state-of-the-art wireless control technology, all of which contribute to its ability to facilitate highly optimized studio, broadcast, and live workflows.
Claim To Fame: (OC818)
The Austrian Audio OC818 is a breakthrough microphone with optional wireless control. The OC818 includes four configurable polar patterns, pads, and selectable highpass filters. PolarDesigner, a free plug-in available for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows, allows users to create polar designs for up to five separate frequency ranges.
In addition, the PolarPilot mobile app (iOS, Android) allows you to adjust settings wirelessly in real-time using the OCR8 Bluetooth adapter, which is sold separately. The OC818 operates and switches modes entirely in the analog domain and is only remotely controlled by the analog bias voltages.
As of now, Austrian Audio is still regarded as one of the finest microphone manufacturers. They offer a variety of microphone solutions and, in recent years, have shown an interest in technologically modernizing the concept of a microphone to make it smart, like with the OC818. They also have some of the best vintage microphones available today.
- Condenser (OC18)
This handcrafted microphone, the OC18, features a constant cardioid magnetic shape, -10dB and -20dB pads, and a switchable highpass filter with three settings. As a result, the OC18 delivers top-notch performance regardless of input.
Furthermore, microphones from Austrian Audio are tested extensively using measurement equipment and are precisely matched to a highly tight 1dB tolerance. In other words, you can utilize your OC18 with another OC18 in a stereo-pair arrangement with complete confidence, knowing that you’ll get equally impressive results.
- Dynamic (OD5)
An essential for any recording studio, the OD5 microphone adapts the OD505 vocal mic’s design to become a mic for various instruments. The Active-dynamic circuit developed by Austrian Audio combines a condenser mic’s sensitivity with a dynamic mic’s ruggedness, creating a device that can capture anything from rumbling guitar cabs to ethereal wind instruments.
The OD5’s internal swivel mechanism allows for easy setup and fine-tuning, with a full 220 degrees of movement to pinpoint the ideal position of the mic relative to the sound source. Lastly, the OD5 is equipped with Open Acoustics technology, which suspends the microphone basket and the capsule to eliminate acoustic interference and create a pinpoint cardioid pickup pattern.
Since everyone has distinct needs, it’s tough to recommend a single “best in class” microphone. Instead, select the one that best meets your requirements and price range from the provided selection. You can expect a lot of use out of each of these mics. It’s important to know that not all microphones are created equal. The Shure SM7B, for instance, is highly recommended for singers due to its low noise floor, but there are better options for interviewers.
Also, for good quality and cheap solutions, it’s worth mentioning Rode with their NT-1, which has long been a hit in studios. Sennheiser offers good-quality live microphones, so with the E 835, you can’t go wrong. However, if we are talking about microphones of exceptional quality, we have to talk about Neumann and Universal Audio; the Neumann TLM103 is probably the most desired and used microphone by studios.
We hope this top has helped you understand more about microphone brands and helped you correctly choose what you want.
Death metal enthusiast here. I am a Romanian musician and producer with over 13 years of experience in the music industry. I’ve experienced all types of Metal up until now, playing Melodic Death Metal, Brutal Death Metal, and Black Metal with different bands. Learning by doing is my base principle, which is why I’ve been drawn to sound design from an early age. Read more…