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Giving Musicians the Tools to Make Better Music

The Best Microphones for Vocals [2024 Update]

Mic Overview

Microphone

Type

Sound Profile

Best For

Price

Rating

Link

Electro Voice RE20

Dynamic

Warm, Crispier than Other Dynamics

Studio Vocals, Warm Sounding Singers

9.0

9.0/10

Shure SM58

Dynamic

Warm, Boomy

Live Performances, Untreated Rooms

7.4

7.9/10

Shure SM7B

Dynamic

Warm, Boomy

Studio Vocals, Untreated Rooms, Background Vocals

9.4

OUR CHOICE

9.4/10

AKG- c214

Condenser

Well-Balanced, Clarity

Giving extra clarity and clear recordings

9.1

9.1/10

Audio Technica AT-2020

Condenser

Clean, Clear

Beginning Studio Vocalists

8.4

8.4/10

Nuemann TLM-103

Condenser

Detailed High End and Airy

Adding premium high end shine

8.9

8.9/10

Rode NT1

Condenser

Extremely Crisp High End Focus

Singers with Deep Voices

8.6

8.6/10

Warm Audio WA-87

Condenser

Mid-Range Focus, Vintage Vocal Sound

Works well with many sound sources

9.2

9.2/10

OUR CHOICE

Watch the Video

One of the quickest ways to up your vocal sound is to find a microphone that fits your voice! 

But with all the options out there, what the hell do you even pick? 

I think I can help with that.

I’ve spent the last month testing the 8 most popular microphone options for recording vocals, and in this video I’m going to show you exactly what I’ve found and provide live sound tests for each of them.

I’ve also tried using each microphone on professional productions to see how they stack up and if they can achieve a radio ready vocal for my clients. And some of the results I found are surprising.

Let’s get started!

Compare the Mic Sounds

Each Audio Snippet contains both the processed and unprocessed versions of the vocals and how they sound on each individual mic. Listening will give you a good sense of mic similarities and differences as well as how it take processing! All the processing was done with one click with our vocal preset pack Vocal Magic 1!

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Mic 1 - Shure SM58

To start off we have one of the most iconic microphones to ever grace the stage. The Shure sm58. This is by far and away the most popular vocal microphone of all time for live performances. If you’ve seen a live performance, you’ve probably heard this mic. 

This Mic is affordable, normally clocking in at under $100 bucks new! I’d recommend checking the price though using the links below, because it may have changed since filming.

And on top of being a budget microphone enthusiast must have, this thing is built like solid steel. Are you worried about dropping your mic? Doesn’t matter. Even a dented wind screen won’t stop this bad boy. 

This mic is also great for studio recordings. Especially on vocals that are recorded in untreated rooms without blankets on the walls, or DIY acoustic panels. (I made a video on how to make those if you wanna learn). 

But this microphone isn’t perfect. It lacks a lot of the high end sparkle that other condenser mics have and isn’t as ideal for studio recordings. For that reason, my final rating is a bit lower than some of the others.

Scroll up to hear all the sounds!

Mic 2 - Shure SM7B

Moving on to microphone number 2. I like to think of this mic as the good looking grandpa of the shure sm58, the SM7b. This silver fox is made by the same company, Shure, and has almost an equal track record of microphone famousness as the SM58. And come highly rated, by me.

The SM7B is another dynamic mic, but it’s a more premium version of the 58. Around $300 more premium.  It’s designed more for studio use than road travel, so you’ve probably haven’t seen it on stage. Though you probably have seen it used in podcast studios. I record all of my voice over work on it as well. Though I’m still trying to figure out the settings I need to change to sound like Morgan Freeman.

This mic is great at getting rid of unwanted room noise, and it takes EQ and processing very well. It’s got a warm sounding profile to it. Which makes it fantastic for male singers and females who might need some more beef. It’s also my go to for singers who tend to yell or scream into the mic. 

I’ve used the SM7B on so many tracks I’ve lost count. Even if I don’t record lead vocals with it, I’ll track almost all of my background vocals with this mic. It’s warm profile helps them sit in the mix really nicely. 

This mic does however require a ton of input gain that most budget audio interfaces can’t handle! That means to use it you’ll also have to purchase a device to help up the signal. The most common one is called a cloud lifter! This had me knock off some point from my final rating.

Also, fun fact: This is the mic that Michael Jackson used on all his records. So, yeah there’s that.