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Best Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

If you are in the music industry, you will find nothing better in the studio than condenser microphones. These units are part microphones and part instruments, which make the sound more vibrant and rich – something that all musicians aspire for.

That said, these devices are too technical, and someone who does not have adequate experience or relevant background will struggle to find a quality condenser microphone. Thus, we have put together a list of the best large diaphragm condenser microphones on the market to help you in the process.

We have tried to make the list as comprehensive and diverse as possible so each of our readers gets value from it. So, let’s just get to them. However, before going into a detailed review, let’s take an overview of what these microphones have to offer. 

10 Best Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphones

Image Product Details   Price
Rode NT1-A A quality large diaphragm condenser microphone Check Price
Audio-Technica AT2020 The best and affordable option Check Price
AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII Top Quality Microphone Check Price
Sennheiser e 965 Compact and ideal for stage use / vocals Check Price
Neumann TLM 102 MT High End Vocal Condenser Microphone Check Price
Shure SM27 A good price value Check Price
Neumann KM 184 Amazing Studio Quality Condenser Microphone Check Price
Lewitt LCT 840 Top Notch True Condenser Microphone Check Price
MXL V67G Affordable Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone Check Price
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 The Ultimate USB Audio Interface Check Price

What is a large diaphragm condenser microphone?

As you can judge by the name, the large diaphragm microphone comes with a larger diameter than the regular types of microphones.

These mics are ideal to record high-quality Vocals and Instruments. Because this mic has the ability to capture a wide range of frequencies and produce high-quality audio.

And because of its larger diaphragm, you can get warmer and deep sound than you might have experienced in Podcasts and interviews. So, ultimately, these mics are a bit more expansive than other types of mics.

Pros and Cons of Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphones?

As with any type of microphone, there are both pros and cons of using a large diaphragm condenser microphone.

Some of the pros include:)

Some of the cons include:)

So, now you have a good idea of Large Diaphragm condenser mics, let’s review all of the picks one by one with specifications and features.

1- Rode NT1-A – A quality large diaphragm condenser microphone

NT-A-1-MP Stereo Studio is one of the most popular studio recording microphones because of its sheer performance and versatility. The large one-inch diaphragm makes the audio more rich and vibrant to engage the listeners.

Furthermore, the microphone also features a very tight cardioid polar pattern for maximum off-axis rejection. And to top it all off, it has low self-noise to ensure the audio remains clear of all sorts of noises.

The combination of the large diaphragm and the noise rejection mechanisms makes its output very captivating and crisp. Another feature that sets it apart from the competition is high SPL capabilities, something that condenser microphones are not known for.

It allows the users to not only record vocals and light instruments but also loud instruments without experiencing distortion in the sound.

The cherry on top is the sturdy and solid metallic construction, including a shock mount, pop filters, and all the other accessories to get you started.


  • Crisp sound
  • High SLP
  • Low self-noise
  • Durable construction
  • High dynamic range


  • A bit expensive

2- Audio-Technica AT2020 – The best and most affordable option Microphone

AT2020 by Audio Technica is another versatile condenser microphone thanks to its high SPL and sensitivity. You can use it to record vocals, voiceovers, and instruments as well.

To be precise, the maximum SPL of AT2020 is even higher than the previous product, making it even better for recording instruments.  That said, it is also more sensitive, meaning it can also capture soft sounds like the breath of the singers.

Some musicians might appreciate it while others would not, but it is not something that cannot be worked around post-production.

Moving on, the microphone features a cardioid polar pattern and a strict one, which ensures off-axis rejection and keeps the audio free of background noise.

Because of the lightweight construction, the microphone diaphragm offers a wider frequency response which, if you look at the graph, fits right in the musician’s alley. 

The microphone also comes with a shock mount, but to be honest, it looks cheap. Although it gets the job done, the delicate design can be a nuisance.


  • High SPL
  • High sensitivity 
  • Excellent off-axis rejection
  • Aesthetic design 
  • Low self-noise


  • Can capture some background noise
  • Users have reported problems with technical support

3- AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII – Top Quality Microphone

AKG Pro Audio C414 is an investment for those who want to make high-quality music from their studio. It is one of the most premium microphones you can get your hands on in the market, albeit at an expensive price.

The microphone is a complete solution for studio recording, it offers optimum sensitivity, low self-noise, and adequate SPL.

You would not find anything wrong with the basics of this microphone, but there are more – features that really set it apart. While recording you would not have to worry about unwanted gains because the microphone comes with an LED. The LED starts blinking the moment the microphone overloads, signaling the singer to tone down. So, you would not have to put in much work in post-production.

Another feature that makes it stand out is multiple polar patterns. You have not two, not three but nine polar patterns to pick from. The polar patterns can be adjusted according to the requirements of the particular recording. Strictness is the major difference between this polar pattern, which can come in handy while recording vocals and instruments.

Furthermore, there are two versions of the microphones, one that is tailored for vocal recordings, and another for instrument recording. While both of them can execute both jobs, they offer superior recording for the purpose they are tailored for.


  • Tailored for vocal and instrument recording
  • Multipattern
  • LED light to show overload
  • Premium output
  • Solid construction


  • Expensive
  • Too many features can be overwhelming

4- Sennheiser e 965 – Compact and ideal option for stage performances/vocals

E965 is a powerful handheld condenser microphone offered by Sennheiser with a dynamic range of 40-20,000 Hz. While such designs have almost gone obsolete in the condenser microphone category, it is refreshing to see such an offering from a reputed brand. Although it looks like a dynamic microphone, it is a condenser one, and one that is incredible at recording the sound with clarity and richness.

It features an externally polarized dual-diaphragm AF condenser, which is what allows it to deliver crisp results. Furthermore, the frequency response is wide and tailored for indoor studio recording of vocals and instruments. While you might not be able to record loud instruments, it is a decent microphone to record acoustic guitars, flutes, and pianos.

Furthermore, the microphone features two polar patterns including cardioid and super-cardioid, which can be switched easily. The off-axis rejection of the microphone is excellent and it does not allow background noise to get into the final audio. That said, you have to be cautious while using the super-cardioid recording as it is easy to lose the active site of the diaphragm because of its design.

In addition to essential accessories such as a shock mount, the microphone also offers switchable pre-attenuation to record singers with different pitches. The cherry on top? The microphone comes with 10 years of warranty, which covers all sorts of technical issues.

 Accidental drops are quite common with handheld microphones, which is why it is assuring to see a solid construction. It is sturdy enough to withstand those falls and comes out without sustaining a scratch.


  • Sturdy design
  • Incredible sound quality
  • Multiple polar patterns
  • Good-looking design
  • 10 years of warranty


  • A bit expensive
  • The super cardioid polar pattern can be a challenge for beginners

5- Neumann TLM 102 MT – The high-end studio-quality vocal condenser microphone

Neumann Vocal Condenser TL 102 MT is another capable large-frame condenser microphone, which not only looks good and sturdy but also delivers crisp results.

The stand-out feature of this microphone is to impart a slight boost above 6 KHz, which makes the vocal more vibrant and rich in post-production.

Furthermore, the microphone can be used for instrument recording as well thanks to its high SPL. Acoustic instruments will benefit the most from it because of the fast transient response.

While the polar pattern on this microphone is cardioid, it is not as strict as some of the other microphones that have been mentioned so far. However, it is not a problem as the capsule has elastic suspension to reduce structure-borne noise.

While it might not directly deal with background noise, when combined with a cardioid pattern, it delivers excellent results.

The microphone comes with all necessary accessories and a stand, which doubles as a shock mount too. It also features a pop-screen integrated into the grill to prevent the sound of breaths from making it to the final audio.


  • Color options 
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Solid construction
  • Fast transient response
  • Excellent for vocals


  • Polar pattern is not strict
  • Expensive

6- Shure SM27 – An excellent price value microphone

Shure SM27 is the best large diaphragm condenser microphone for vocals if you are running a little tight on your budget. You would not find anything better in this price bracket.

It features a metallic construction, a large diaphragm, and even low impedance if you want to connect a long cable to it.

Furthermore, the polar pattern on this microphone is cardioid to ensure maximum off-axis rejection and it also comes with a shock mount.

The accessory absorbs the vibrations and keeps the audio free of all sorts of noise. It is equipped with a 3-position switchable filter to counteract proximity effects and block unwanted noise from the environment.

Furthermore, the frequency response is wide and tailored for vocals. Also, it offers superior transient response thanks to its lightweight but large diaphragm.

The only drawback to this microphone is its low SPL which means you would not be able to record loud instruments with it. However, it should not be taken against it as the company does not advertise it to be that.


  • Affordable price tag
  • Durable construction
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Decent off-axis rejection
  • Low impedance 


  • Not suitable for instrument recording

7- Neumann KM 184 – Amazing Studio Quality Condenser Microphone

Neumann KM184 is a unique condenser microphone. It does not feature a large diaphragm, but the quality of its sound is too good and could not be overlooked for a list of microphones for studio recording.

The sleek and slender shape design makes it a versatile microphone for the media industry. It can be used for vocal recording as well as for television interviews.

The frequency response of the microphones is tailored for acoustic purposes, and it is something that manufacturers have worked on a lot. The response graph features gains and dips at the strategic parts of the curve, enabling it to deliver crisp and rich results.

Furthermore, the microphone features a strict unidirectional polar pattern for maximum off-axis rejection. It makes it a capable microphone for instrument recording as well, thanks to the high SPL. 

The reason why it is so down the list is because of its high price and lack of accessories, which should really have been featured in the package considering its price.


  • Unique design 
  • High SPL
  • Tailored frequency response
  • Low impedance
  • Multiple applications


  • Expensive
  • Does not come with accessories

8- Lewitt LCT 840 – Top Notch True Condenser Microphone

LCT 840 by Lewitt is a lesser-known premium condenser microphone with external polarization.

The highlight of the microphone is its ultra-thin 1-inch diaphragm which features gold plating and a dual triode tube to provide superior transient response and deliver high-quality audio.

Furthermore, the construction and design of the microphone are also premium, much like the high-end offerings of AKG.

It offers multiple patterns that can be switched according to your requirements, making it one of the versatile best large diaphragm condenser microphones. 

The microphone also has low self-noise and excellent off-axis rejection and cardioid polar pattern,  which keep the output clear of all sorts of noises.

The low SPL is the only thing that could have been better, especially considering its expensive price tag. While you can record some instruments, loud ones such as drums and violin will discord the audio. 


  • Quality sound
  • Multiple polar patterns
  • Low self-noise
  • High sensitivity
  • Durable product


  • Expensive

9- MXL V67G – Affordable Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

The last one to make it to our list of the Best Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphones is a product for users who are starting out with a condenser microphone.

It is the best microphone you are going to find for under $100. With a price tag like this, there are certain compromises to be made but the manufacturer has struck an optimal balance. 

The microphone checks all the boxes when it comes to basics. Certainly, the audio quality is not comparable to some of the high-end microphones we discussed earlier, but it is decent enough to be used for vocal recordings of music. You may have to make certain tweaks in post-production, but you will get decent enough results.

It features a unidirectional polar pattern for off-axis rejection, which is decent enough. You would not hear background noise unless they are really loud or coming directly at the active site of the diaphragm. There are several variants of this microphone, enabling you to pick the one that suits your needs the best. 


  • Inexpensive
  • Comes with a shock mount
  • Striking design
  • Excellent off-axis rejection


  • High impedance

Buyers Guide For Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphones For Vocals

We hope you have found a suitable microphone from our list of the best large diaphragm condenser microphones. However, we understand that seeing so many good options might be overwhelming, so we have yet another section for you.

In this section, let’s understand some of the important features of these microphones. It will help you narrow down your options and select the one that suits you the best.

1. Pickup Pattern Variation 

The pick-up pattern is a term you will hear and read quite often while browsing for microphones – be it dynamic or condenser ones. It essentially describes the area where the microphone will pick up the sound from.

For example, if a microphone is unidirectional or cardioid, it will only pick up the sound from one direction. Whereas it will reject the sound from other directions, a phenomenon known as off-axis rejection.

You should pick these microphones if you want to record the sound coming from one direction only, as it will minimize or eliminate the background noise. 

In contrast, the omnidirectional pickup pattern tells that the microphone can pick the sound from all directions. Thus, these microphones have minimum off-axis rejection, and if not recorded in a quiet studio, the output will have some degree of noise in it.

Another thing to look at while selecting a pickup pattern is how tight it is. The word tight is used to describe how strict a microphone is about its polar pattern.

For example, if a microphone is unidirectional but the pattern is not tight, it will still have some noise in the output. In contrast, a microphone that has a tight unidirectional pickup or polar pattern will not have any noise.

That said, a microphone with too tight a polar pattern can also be a problem for those who are not experienced with it. You will have to ensure that the active portion of the microphone is facing the source of the sound – something that is noticed only after the recording. 

There is a third type of microphone too, which allows both patterns. You can switch both patterns as per your requirements, making them versatile. However, such microphones are typically more expensive and also do not have tight polar patterns.

2. Proximity Effect Sensitivity

Have you ever noticed the difference between the sound when singers move away or get too close to the microphones? This phenomenon is known as proximity effect sensitivity.

Some condenser microphones are designed specially to counter this and provide more even audio regardless of the distance from the source of the sound. 

Microphones like Electro-Voice RE20 and Shure SM7B are examples of such microphones; hence they have become standard for voiceover and podcast recording.

Using these microphones will provide an even sound whether the speaker is two inches or fifteen inches away from the microphone.

3. Frequency Response Curve

All microphones will come with a graph to show the frequency response – something you must understand because it plays a key role in the microphone’s performance.

In simple words, the graph represents how the microphone will reproduce the sound in any frequency range. Typically, you will see some frequency reproducing too high; some will remain too low. In order to select the right microphone, you will need to know exactly what sound you want to record with it.

4. Noise Floor

Noise floor, also known as “self-noise,” is something that can be a problem with budget microphones. Self Noise is a self-explanatory term that is the level of noise that a microphone produces when it is not being used.

Typically, budget microphones have higher self-noise; thus, the output produced from them retains some degree of noise. 

In contrast, premium microphones have low self-noise, and their output is much clearer, which is why they are often used by music producers.

5. SPL

SPL is another term you often hear if you are looking for a condenser microphone to record musical instruments. SPL is essentially the maximum sound pressure a microphone can sustain.

Typically, the condenser microphones have low SPL, meaning they are not good at recording musical instruments. Thus, most musicians typically use dynamic microphones for recording musical instruments.

However, there are some modern condenser microphones that are excellent at recording musical instruments because of their high SPL.

So, if you want to record musical instruments, particularly the ones that are loud, you should opt for those condenser microphones.

6. Dynamic Range and Headroom 

Dynamic Range is the difference between the maximum and minimum level of loudness a microphone can record. Some microphones are incredible at capturing the audio throughout that range, while others are not. You will come across microphones that will gain unwanted frequencies and lose bass at different levels. 

However, you should experience this problem with high-end large diaphragm condenser microphones as they produce even sound throughout the spectrum

Conclusion – Best Budget Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphones

While looking for a large diaphragm condenser microphone, you will come across various options, but not all of them are fit for the studio, especially in the budget category.

The microphones we have featured on this list were, after thorough due diligence and undertaking different factors into account.

We hope this piece has helped you narrow down your options and helped you understand how to select the best large condenser microphone for your needs.

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