Table of Contents
When it comes to professional studio recordings, a condenser mic is the first thing that comes to mind. These mics have the ability to produce high-quality audio + you can record from a distance and you can keep the mic, out of your video frames. So, in this guide, we’ll be exploring some of the best condenser microphones under $500.
Condenser microphones are being used in professional studio recordings where you can control the background rumble. +They require a 48V of Phantom power to work properly. This guide will be really comprehensive to large diaphragm condenser mics that can be used for studio, singing, podcasting, or instrument recordings.
However, there are a ton of condenser mics out there, but most people ask for a microphone below a specified number. So, that’s why we’ve decided to address it today. As compared to the dynamic microphone, these mics come with loud and sensitive audio.
The highlighted products of this guide would be XLR supporting, but we’ve also listed some of the best plugs and play USB condenser microphones. So, If you want to navigate to the products fast, you can check out our top 10 picks table below:
Top Picks: 10 Best Dynamic Microphones
|Neumann TLM 103||Weight: 7.7 pounds|
Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 4.2 x 11.5"
|AT2020USB+||Weight: 13.6 ounces|
Product Dimensions: 6.38 x 2.05 x 2.05"
|Blue Spark SL XLR||Weight: 11.5 ounces|
Product Dimensions: 1.77 x 1.77 x 8.68"
|NT1-A Anniversary||Weight: 4.6 pounds|
Product Dimensions: 15.25 x 4.5 x 11"
|Blue 1967 Yeti Pro||Weight: 0.004 ounces|
Product Dimensions: 5.98 x 5.98 x 12.01"
|Rode NTK Premium Tube||Weight: 14.2 pounds|
Product Dimensions: 26 x 6 x 13"
|HyperX QuadCast||Weight: 1.57 pounds|
Product Dimensions: 5.05 x 4 x 9.8"
|Rode NT2A Anniversary||Weight: 1.9 pounds|
Product Dimensions: 2.17 x 2.17 x 8.23"
|Samson C01U Pro||Weight: 15.8 ounces|
Product Dimensions: 2.12 x 7.08 x 2.12"
|MXL Mics 770||Weight: 1 pounds|
Product Dimensions: 12 x 4 x 8"
1. Neumann TLM 103 | High-end voice-over mic
The one is a large diaphragm mic and a go-to resource for voice-over artists. TLM 3 is an expansive microphone, but it delivers extremely nice audio for almost everything. But people mostly use it for voiceovers and professional studio projects. It’s an XLR condenser microphone, which means it requires 48V of Phantom power to work.
In terms of build quality, TLM 103 is fully metal constructed and it should be at this price range. The microphone comes in a nice wooden storage box. You’ll get the microphone and mount + stand adapter.
You won’t get any button or switch on the microphone, but at the bottom, you get an XLR port to connect it. In terms of specs, it has a cardioid polar pattern that basically we need for voice-overs and studio works. The thing I love is it has 8db – A of self-noise that is amazingly quiet. When we talk about instrument recording, it sounds really smooth sounds. If you get closer to the microphone, you can get a nice proximity effect.
So overall, it comes with a reasonable price and one of the best condenser microphones. Now, this is absolutely designed for professional use and not suitable for beginners, because the mic is very expensive and everyone can’t afford it. But, if you’re serious about your career and entering the music industry and wanna take it as a career, then you can invest in this thing.
|Output Impedance||50 ohms|
2. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ | Best USB Condenser mic
This microphone is a USB variant of AT2020 which is a well-known XLR microphone in the market. Audio-Technica always pay extra attention to the build quality of their equipment. And this one is also extremely durable and all-metal constructed.
It brings all pro features that required to record amazing audio. In its box, you’ll get a standard USB cable and a desktop stand which is useless in my opinion, because we mostly use separate boom arm to record better audio. It comes with a carrying pouch to protect it. The mic looks supremely amazing in this design &matt black colour.
On the front of this mic, you’ll see a blue LED light that indicates that the microphone is getting powered. On the other hands, you get a dial to mix the mic and computer audio, it helps differentiate between the computer audio and the microphone audio. The next dial is to control headphone volume. And you can obviously connect your headphone with the microphone.
In terms of specs, this microphone is compatible with MAC and windows and comes with a Cardioid pickup pattern. It delivers buttery smooth and natural audio and does a nice job in reducing background rumble. So overall it’s a good option in a budget. The thing I like is, the mic is plug and play, you can directly connect it to your computer for gaming or use it for professional home or studio projects.
AT2020 USB+ work pretty nicely with electric and acoustic guitar and other musical instruments. So, this is all in one microphone for everyone who is struggling to get a reliable mic in an affordable budget. But for home recording, this mic would be better for treated rooms and quiet environment.
|Bit Depth||16 Bit|
|Sample Rate||44.1 kHz /48 kHz|
3. Blue Spark SL XLR | Best mic for streaming
Blue Spark is a Pro recorder for Podcasting and streaming. The mic comes with a really unique design and crisp clear audio quality. If the video is amazingly shooted but your audio is crapy, then you’re wasting the time. In this case, the Spark is an extremely nice fit and delivers amazing audio quality whether you’re in gaming, podcasting, streaming or anything else.
There is an XLR connection integrated with USB audio interfaces and mixers. The microphone comes with a custom large-diaphragm capsule that produces detailed and focused sounds.
Good news is, it comes with a 100Hz low cut filter that provides extra clarity, reduces background rumble or any other room tone. It comes with a really unique Blue Branded wooden storage box that contains a sturdy shock mount. If we talk about overall build quality, it comes with an all-metal body and grill + a reliable weight to it. On the front of the microphone, you see a low cut filter and -20dB pad to help with loud sounds sources.
The mic has a Cardioid pickup pattern and a good frequency range of 20Hz – 20kHz. It brings a substantial noise level of 16.4 dB-A. So, if you’re searching for a mid-budget best condenser microphone for the podcast, streaming or gaming etc, this mic is absolutely best. + This mic also perfect for singing if you’re planning to use it for singing.
|Output Impedance||50 ohms|
|Frequency Response||20Hz – 20kHz|
|Sensitivity||34.9 mV/Pa at 1 kHz (1 pa = 94 dB SPL)|
|Maximum SPL||136 dB SPL (1k, THD 0.5%)|
|Noise Level||16.4 dB-A|
|Dynamic Range||119.6 dB|
4. Rode NT1-A Anniversary | Best condenser microphone
NT is a popular pro microphone series by Rode. NI1-A is also a professional studio microphone package. This is a true condenser microphone and requires a full 48v of Phantom power. The microphone comes at a reasonable price and provides awesome audio quality for vocals or singing etc.
The box contents include a metal shock mount with a pop filter attached. You’ll get Rode Branded XLR cable. In terms of build quality, NT-A does feel sturdy with an all-metal body and a good amount of weight. It also comes with a pouch to protect it from dust.
This microphone has a cardioid polar pattern that usually comes with all professional studio microphones and has a nice frequency response. The output impedance is so quit of 100 ohms. In my opinion, apart from all studio works, this microphone can be a really nice fit for gamers and streamers. Because it works pretty nicely in rejecting noise and will work fine if you’re in a noisy environment.
If you’re looking for the mid-budget microphone for almost everything, whether it is Instruments, voice, or gaming, this package is an excellent choice. But it depends on your personal preferences, so you’ll have to pick according to your budget. So, if you can afford this, I would highly recommend this thing. I suggest this microphone to those who’re trying to upgrade to a high-end microphone to improve their audio quality.
|Output Impedance||100 ohms|
|Maximum SPL||137dB SPL|
5. Blue 1967 Yeti Pro | Top XLR & USB condenser mic
Yeti Pro is an updated XLR version of a popular Blue Yeti USB condenser microphone. Now in this package, you get some extras and improved features. Blue Yeti works amazingly and people love using the mic, but having great audio quality with no XLR support was a question mark.
So, that’s why Blue has decided to update this microphone. It comes with an all-metal body and sturdy construction with pre-installed desktop stand. You get 5 pins XLR to Stereo 3 pins XLR and USB cable. The mic looks amazing with its vintage design.
On the bottom of the microphone, you get XLR and USB connector + Headphones jack that does offer latency-free monitoring. Font of the microphone, there is a mute button and headphone volume controls. The back of the microphone contains microphone gain controls and the dial to switch between different polar patterns.
So, overall everything is nicely put together in the form of great design microphone. You’ll have 4 polar patterns such as Stereo, Omnidirectional, Cardioid and Bidirectional. These all polar patterns allow you to record in any situation whether its interview. podcast, gaming, streaming, youtube etc.
First, we have a bidirectional polar pattern, that helps interview a single person sitting in front of you. Next is Cardioid which is standard and helps in Podcast, gaming, streaming, or something like that. The omnidirectional obviously allows us to capture the audio from all around the microphone. And it helps a lot in conferences or parties etc. The last one is stereo, that captures audio from both sides and this is ideal for instrument recording.
If you’re using an XLR, then make sure to use 48V of Phaanton power. So, overall, this is an excellent sounding microphone and packed with dozens of amazing features. If you want all in one microphone that is perfect for all purposes, this is highly recommended.
|Sample Rate||192 kHz|
|Capsules||3 Blue-proprietary 14mm condenser capsules|
|Polar Patterns||Cardioid, Omni & Bidirectional, Stereo|
|Frequency Response||20Hz – 20kHz|
|Sensitivity||4.5mV/Pa (1 kHz)|
|Max SPL||120dB (THD: 0.5% 1kHz)|
6. Rode NTK Premium Tube | High-end studio microphone
Here we’ve another microphone by Rode. This is a top-quality microphone for Singing, Vocals and other studio works. 1″ large-diaphragm condenser mic that requires phantom power to work. The microphone is specially designed for pro studio recording and works on the cardioid polar pattern.
We can get a lot more low frequencies and proximity effect if we get closer to the mic. It works amazingly with vocals and delivers worm and crispy audio. The microphone comes in a sturdy bigger case because it is a complete recording package that includes electronic circuitry.
So overall this microphone is ideal for vocals, acoustic instruments, drum overheads, guitar amps and pianos. This is a high-end and upgraded variant in Rode’s NT series. Build quality of this thing is superb and has all-metal construction that feels really nice. All of the box contents are a bit difficult to carry, so that’s why Rode send this in a storage case that will help a lot carrying it out.
NTK Premium is an expansive microphone but a solid option for professional users. If you’re serious about it and want to invest in your audio equipment to improve your audio quality, then this is a versatile option. But if you’re a beginner and just starting on youtube of podcast etc, this is’nt suitable.
7. HyperX QuadCast | Top quality gaming mic
Quantcast is USB mol type pattern condenser microphone specially designed for gamers. It’s not much expansive and comes with an affordable budget. The microphone has a really nice and impressive unique design with led light on it. It is compatible with your PC, Mac or PS4 etc.
Because most of the people use and prefer it for gaming, so it comes with Anti-Vibration Shock Mount to reduce desktop handling bumps and noise. Don’t think that this mic is only for gaming, HyperX Quantcast contains 4 different polar patterns, that you can use for interviews, podcasts, vocals, instruments or gaming.
In the box, you’ll find the microphone with pre-installed shock mount and desktop stand. But people mostly use it on a separate boom arm, so it does come with the microphone mount. The microphone looks nice and has an all-metal body, but it looks like cheap metal. Bottum of the microphone has gain controls and the top of the microphone has a mute button.
If the microphone is getting power or capturing audio, the LEDs would be on and if the mic is muted, then obviously the lights wouldn’t be on. On the back of the microphone, you get a USB port and headphone port that does offer latency-free monitoring.
This microphone comes with Stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional and bidirectional polar pattern. But for gaming or podcasting, we only use the cardioid pattern, so the rest of the polar patterns seems to be complementary. It can be helpful for dozens of other purposes like vocals, interviews or instruments.
|Power Consumption||5V 125mA|
|Polar patterns||Stereo, Omnidirectional, Cardioid, Bidirectional|
|Sensitivity||-36dB (1V/Pa at 1kHz)|
|Frequency response||20Hz – 20kHz|
|Maximum power output||7mW|
8. Rode NT2A Anniversary | Best condenser mic for vocals
This is another condenser microphone from NT series of Rode and this is an upgraded version of NT1-A. By the way, this is a full recording kit that includes some extra stuff with the microphone. You get shock mount with a pop filter attached and everything is metal constructed.
The microphone is extremely durable and comes with excellent audio and build quality. You’ll also get an XLR cable and dust cover in the box. On the front of the microphone, you can see some controls of the microphone. On the top switch, you can navigate to the polar patterns.
There are three main polar patterns such as cardioid, figure 8, and omnidirectional. Because these mics are specially designed for studios, so Rode usually provide the cardioid polar pattern in their condenser microphones. But in this microphone Rode has given three polar patterns because this is a multipurpose microphone. This is why this mic is most popular as compared to other Rode’s NT microphones.
The feature I personally love in this microphone is its high pass filter that helps a ton in rejecting plosives and background rumble, +you get a 3-way pad selector on the front of the mic. NT2-A has extremely low self-noise of only 7dB-A. In my opinion, it is actually an ultimate recording kit, and if you pick this up, you don’t need anything to record better. It has all the features that any professional microphone should have. So, if you’re searching for a pro-quality condenser microphone for everything, then this is for you.
|Polar Pattern||Cardioid, Figure 8, Omnidirectional|
|Frequency range||20Hz – 20kHz|
|Sensitivity||-36.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (16.00mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz|
9. Samson C01U Pro | Best Budget USB Condenser mic
However, Samson is not a much older microphones brand, but now it is becoming a reputed and trustworthy microphones company. C01U Pro is a professional studio USB condenser microphone specially designed for laptops, PCs etc.
The microphone gives really nice audio quality at an affordable budget. It does come with a desktop stand that always comes with USB microphones because people mostly use these mics for gaming. But you get a stand adapter with the mic so you can connect it on a boom arm.
An impressive thing in this mic is it has all-metal body and grill, which is shocking at this price tag. You can see an LED at the front of the mic that indicates when the mic gets power. There is a headphone port so you can monitor your audio in real-time which is a game-changer because you won’t find these feature in any of its competitor microphones. A desktop stand with this microphone is really sturdy and has a metal construction as well.
It does a good job in rejecting room noise or keyboard nice that make this mic best for gamers. So overall it is a nice package and an excellent deal in this budget. If you’re searching for a budget-friendly but amazing microphone for your recording, this is an awesome microphone.
|Frequency range||20 Hz to 18 kHz|
|Sample Rate||44.1 kHz/ 48 kHz|
10. MXL Mics 770 | Best budget multipurpose mic
MXL is a multi-purpose condenser microphone. This is also a cheaper microphone but produces really warm and smooth sounds and ideal for vocals, pianos, stringed instruments, and percussion. It has a nice frequency response with high-end clarity. In order to reduce unwanted rumble, it comes with low-frequency roll-off. Overall the microphone has a good design.
As I mentioned before, its a multi-purpose microphone, it works nicely in gaming, streaming or podcasting. You’ll need 48v of Phantom power to use it. It comes with a shock mount and everything is packed in a carrying case and comes with a 1-year warranty.
All the stuff is metal constructed and contains a substantial weight. You get two dials on the back of the microphone where you can control the bass roll-off to decrease base frequencies. On the other hands, there is a 10dB pad that will help to decrease a signal, if you’re recording really loud sound sources.
The microphone just has a cardioid polar pattern that is fine because for pro studio recording, gaming or podcasting, we don’t really need any other pickup pattern. A good this that this microphone does is, it doesn’t pick each and everything around you. This will help getting rid of plosives and background noise. So, if you want to get a multi-purpose microphone in a low budget, this is an extremely durable and reliable option.
|Capsule Size||22mm/.87 in.|
|Frequency Response||30Hz – 20kHz|
|Output Impedance||150 ohms|
|Power Requirements||48V phantom power (+/- 4V)|
Conclusion | Best condenser microphone
All of the mics are the best condenser microphone that worth buying these mics. Now you can pick according to your budget, we’ve shared the mics on every budget. If you’re on a good budget, you can pick Rode’s condenser microphone. But if you’re on a low budget then you can choose MXL or Samson microphone.