Condenser microphones are the best when looking for a microphone for recording music or any audio in a studio setup. This is because condenser microphones tend to be a lot more sensitive, give a great range and have the ability to capture the smallest nuance of an acoustic instrument or human voice. This makes them common in most studios regardless of the size globally.
While condenser microphones can also be used for live performances, they are too fragile and too complex unless they have been built for stage performances. A good condenser makes a big difference especially when you are recording as it can be the difference between a bad and excellent audio. If you are in the market shopping for a good condenser microphone, then you’ve come to the right place as we’re going to take you down our list of some of the best condenser microphones that you can get in the market today.
1. Audio-Technica AT2020USB Condenser Microphone
Audio-Technica is an established brand in the microphone space and has some range of good microphones that are also affordable and are packed with great features.
• Audio-Technica’s latest model that stands out as one of the best USB condenser microphones
• The USB build means that it’s a plug and play microphone as you can use the USB port in your computer
• Compatible with most recording programs allowing you to easily record without needing an external power source since it can get charged through your laptop as you use it
• Has the ability to be used for multiple uses such as for recording podcasts, home studio recording, voice-over use, and filed recording
• Has the Audi-Technica cardio pattern meaning you don’t have to worry about unwanted noise getting recorded
• The low-mass diaphragm helps with extended frequency and superior transient response
• Features a low self-noise
• Budget-friendly condenser microphone
• Very easy to set up
• Best used in a home recording studio
• Some users complain of USB driver fails
2. AKG C214 Condenser Microphone
The AKG C214 condenser microphone is a favorite for many people given that it has a strong build and its price point means you get all the features that you need in such a pricey microphone.
• Available in two different sizes, styles and configurations
• Has the ability to prevent conventional mechanical noise thanks to the 1-inch capsule found on the integrated suspension
• Ability to record loud sound sources of up to 156 dB SPL because of the switchable 20 dB attenuation pad that it has
• Has a wider body which gives you a good field of recording hence ability to pick up sounds that in front of it
• Enjoy close-up recordings without worrying about proximity effects thanks to the bass-cut filter
• Suitable for recording both vocals and most solo instruments
• The design-build is all metal and a die-cast body with scratch and shock resistant finish which enhances the durability
• Relatively expensive
3. Neumann TLM 102 Condenser Microphone
This Neumann TLM 102 condenser microphone even though expensive, it is a high-end microphone that you can be sure is built to deliver just what you need.
• Available in two different colors, black, and nickel
• Ranked among the beats microphones given how powerful it is
• Has a high-quality cardioid pattern for external noise cancellation
• Ability to withstand very high levels of sound pressure thanks to its large diaphragm
• The microphone’s capsule makes it perfect for recording loud sound sources such as the recording of amplifiers, drums, percussion, loud voices among others as it is paired with a crispy and clear sound as well as high SPL
• Has a quick transient response that can be utilized when looking to record low volume sounds efficiently
• Users have the ability to make well-defined bass range and great vocal presence
• Enjoy a near professional level of sound and music recording for its worth
• Boasts of the compact design that is a well-known Neumann design
• Maximum sound pressure level of 144 dB which is very high
• Very expensive
• Not the best condenser microphone for quiet vocal recordings even though it still does a good job but is more suitable for recording loud vocals and sound sources from instruments
4. Blue Yeti USB Microphone
Blue is another well-known brand when it comes to designing good microphones that are affordable and appeal to the masses.
• Available in multiple colors
• Boasts of lots of positive reviews from people who have purchased it for various use
• Has a numerous polar pattern selection which creates flexibility in recording for users
• Has an integrated headphone amp and a gain control on the mic itself
• There is an instant mute functionality on the face of the device
• Compatible with both Windows and Mac devices
• Comes with a USB cable meaning you can immediately start using it when you get it out of the box
• Easily fold the microphone for storage as well as when you need to carry it with you or adjust it so it can comfortably stand on a desk
• It is quite versatile and can be used with different applications making it a good podcast mic
• Very affordable given that it can capture audio of more than 48kHz and 16-bit resolution
• Built with a three condenser capsule meaning, you can still record regardless of the situation
• Suitable for a wide range of recording demands such as vocals, voiceovers, musical instruments, field recordings, conference calls, interviews among others
• If you are looking for cutting edge professional sound, the Blue Yeti might not be your best bet
There are plenty of condenser microphones that are available in the market today which makes choosing one somehow a hard task to accomplish easily. Still, with proper research and the right considerations put in place, you are able to invest in a good condenser microphone. Remember, not all condenser microphones serve the same purpose. While some do a good job of recording loud sounds and vocals, others don’t. So, choose wisely what suits your needs.