The best studio recording microphones under $1000

The best studio recording microphones under $1000

The best recording microphones under $1000 can serve from home studios to professional ones. Prices vary from $400 to $1000.

When i was starting to build my home recording studio i was a student who barely make it financially to the end of month. That didn’t stop me investing on my gear and i managed to add or upgrade 2-3 pieces of equipment every year. So, if your budget is tight, like it was mine, check our post for the best studio microphones with options starting from $80. Thankfully you can still find some decent choices for a studio microphone for less than $300. If from the other hand it’s time to upgrade your  current studio microphone or want a mic to expand the variation of your sound source recordings, then this is the list you need. 

Does a studio microphone worth the money?

I have been in a dozens of music studios, live recordings and radio broadcasts and i can confidently say that your recordings will not sound better analogously with the money you spend. So, a $1000 mic will definitely not sound 5x times better than a $200 studio microphone. But of course there is not such thing as ratio between price and money on any product you will ever buy. The price differential between our two lists is mostly because of the included polar patterns. More about that later..

Nevertheless an expensive high-end studio microphone has a lot to offer. Recording quality, durability, versatility and time saving from sound notifications a lower quality mic might need.

A quick reminder on what specifications we want to see on a studio recording microphone

  • Microphone typeCondenser type of microphones are preferable in a studio. Condenser mics point the source of the sound and are the most versatile, giving you the opportunity to record pretty much everything. Dynamic on the other hand are best for live shows. However we have seen legends like Michael Jackson record with dynamic type of microphones. A good example is our first pick Shure SM7B.
  • Polar patternsCardioid: rejects the sound from the sides and rear and concentrates on what happens if front of it. Omnidirectional: It will record sources from all directions. Figure 8: It is for opposing sound sources, such as two singers facing the mic from opposite side. 
  • Diaphragm: Large diaphragms offer less self noise and high sensitivity. Small diaphragms from the other hand give us wider frequency and dynamic range.
  • Connectivity: XLR, USB and the classic 3.5mm are your choices, but XLR is the best option. Check the best audio interfaces and what inputs fit your needs.

 All models below for the best studio recording microphones under 1000 are choices i have made with music producers in variety of studios and needs. 

 

5 BEST STUDIO RECORDING MICROPHONES

 

1. SHURE SM7B

the best studio recording microphones SHURE SM7B

Shure SM7B has become one of the most popular vocal dynamic microphones in the market. On amazon store you will find nearly perfect reviews with users praising all it’s features and built quality. 

This high-end microphone by Shure offers cardioid polar pattern. It is one of the few dynamic mics that is used in a recording studio. SM7B has a natural, crystal-clear sound and so rich that can be easily compared to 2-3 times more expensive condenser microphones. It has a smooth, flat and wide-range frequency response suitable for vocal recording as well as instruments. The low and mid range are a bit emphasis 

SM7B is a quite staple mic used by sound engineers to record pretty much everything. You must really mess up the recording to get bad results. To add more plus on this choice, there is no need for external shock mount or pop filter. The package includes foam winscreen, close-talk windscreen, and locking yoke mount.

Conclusion: When a microphone has been used by the king of pop Michael Jackson for the recording of the Thriller EP, there is no room to doubt it’s quality. Shure SM7B is probably the best studio microphone for male-vocal recording. It is one of the most affordable mic in our list and it worth every penny.

Musicians who use it: Michael Jackson, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mick Jagger, Skrillex

Check price on Amazon.com

Microphone type: Dynamic
Polar pattern: Cardioid
Diaphragm: Large
Value for money: 9/10

 

2.NEUMANN TLM-102 

the best studio recording microphones NEUMANN TLM 102 MT

A list of the best studio recording microphones that does not include a Neumann model, it is not a reliable article. Mostly known for it’s “U” model series (U47, U87) which are in some of the best music studios in the world. They are however quite expensive for beginner producers and home use.

Neumann TLM (which also includes TLM 103 and 107 models) sets a new generation of affordable studio condenser microphones. The TLM 102 has a cardioid polar pattern and even if it’s size might trick you, it still has a large diaphragm. The maximum sound pressure of 144dB is great for loud sources like drums. With it’s fast transient response it excels on female vocals and instruments like acoustic guitar.

TLM 102  is a high-end vocal mic that you can record a big variety of sound sources with high quality, great fullness and crisp sound. It has a slight boost above 6 kHz providing excellent vocal presence in an overall mix. It is also exceptionally compact, as it weights only 1,1 pound (same as a book). I did a big market search to find negative reviews but in vain. 

Conclusion: If your pocket can afford the TLM 102 by Neumann then go for it without hesitation. A microphone with professional purpose, will sure perform amazing in home recording studios. If you thing that this is expensive, check the other models of Neumann and you will have a clear image. The TLM 102 is available in black and nickel finishing for you to pick and the package includes a shock mount to start recording immediately.

Check price on Amazon.com

Microphone type: Dynamic
Polar pattern: Cardioid
Diaphragm: Large
Value for money: 8.5/10

 

3.AUDIO TECHNICA AT4050

the best studio recording microphones Audio Technica AT4050

If you want more than one polar pattern for versatility Audio Technica AT4050 is for you. This large diaphragm condenser microphone offers multiple polar patterns. You can select between cardioid, omnidirectional or figure-8 in order to get the best match from any sound source you are recording. 

AT4050 has low self-noise and can handle sound pressure greater than 130 dB and still deliver quality sound. It delivers transparent highs, rich lows and balanced mids and with Audio Technica’s advanced acoustic engineering you will experience highest quality and extensive performance. It is one of this mics that you can pretty much record a whole album. 

From female/male vocals to guitars, drums or even grand piano, this mic will give you modern sounding, solid and punchy. The reviews on the web will confirm my words of a top-notch studio recording microphone whereupon your recordings won’t need much, if not at all EQ. If you are looking for extra features there is a switchable 80 Hz hi-pass filter and 10 dB pad.

Conclusion: For this price tag you won’t find many condenser microphones to serve you so well at all your sound source recordings. With 3 switchable polar patterns the AT4050 is a must for every studio owner who wants a mic for many years and purposes. The package comes with AT8449 shock mount, so you will only have to add a pop filter in your basket. If you like this mic but you don’t care for multi-patterns check the Audio Technica AT4040 cardioid microphone with same characteristics and sound. 

Musicians who use it: Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones, Linkin Park, Joe Perry, Rich Redmond

Check price on Amazon.com

Microphone type: Condenser
Polar pattern: Multi-pattern (cardioid, omnidirectional, figure-8)
Diaphragm: Large
Value for money: 8.5/10

 

4.AVANTONE AUDIO CV-12

the best studio recording microphones Avantone Audio CV 12

The first tube mic in our list comes from Avantone Audio. CV-12 has the design, vintage look and “cabernet red-wine” finish that will easily magnetize you. It resembles to Sony C800G and AKG C12 but a much more affordable option. 

Avantone Audio CV-12 is a multi-pattern condenser microphone with a large diaphragm. It offers total of 9 patterns including cardioid, omni, figure-8 and 6 in between settings. With time and experiment you will find the patterns that work for your recordings. 

As expected from a tube microphone the CV-12 offers “warm” sound, perfect for female vocal recordings. It also offers -10dB pad for loud sound sources like drums. As well as high pass filter and switchable 8OHz bass roll-off for the unwanted low frequencies. 

Conclusion: The Avantone CV-12 comes with literally everything you need to premium record. A shock-mount, power adaptor, 7-pin connector cable, a small portable wooden case for your microphone and a transport case for all the above. It’s sweet price tag and straight reviews on the web make it a superb option for your recording studio.

Musicians who use it: Taylor Swift, Grimes

Check price on Amazon.com

Microphone type: Condenser
Polar pattern: Multi-pattern (cardioid, omnidirectional, figure-8 and 6 more in-between options)
Diaphragm: Large
Value for money: 8.5/10

 

 

5.AKG PRO AUDIO C414 XLS

For those who are not thrilled by the previous picks, the AKG C414 will satisfy the most exigent. It is such a global active mic that has been released and re-released over the years since 1971. Legends like Kurt Cobain have perform with this mic and likely for you is under our budget. 

C414 is a condenser multi-pattern microphone with large diaphragm with-which you can switch between 9 directional patterns. Cardioid, wide-cardioid, hyper-cardioid, omnidirectional, figure-8 and 4 more intermediate positions. There is no doubt that the big brother of C212 is the most versatile microphone that can adopt almost to any situation.

AKG C414 features switchable bass cut filter at 40, 80 and 160Hz to reduce wind noise, subsonic noise or proximity effect. In addition 3 attenuation pads for gain staging at 0, -6, -12 and -18dB. It also has a dynamic range at 158dB making it great for toms as well. The overall sound quality is superb, clear and true, without “warmth” like tube mics. 

Conclusion: AKG C414 is for those who want a skillful workhorse microphone that will handle everything instead of a couple of different mics in their studio. The five different pick-up patterns and nine in total make it fun to experiment. I highly suggest it if you can afford it, and for extra cover check the superb reviews on amazon store. It comes in a package with a carrying case, pop filter, windscreen, and a spider-type shock mount.

Musicians who use it: Kurt Cobain, Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day), Ken Andrews, Tycho

Check price on Amazon.com

Microphone type: Condenser
Polar pattern: Multi-pattern (cardioid, wide-cardioid, hyper-cardioid, omnidirectional, figure-8 and 4 more intermediate positions)
Diaphragm: Large
Value for money: 9/10

 

These are some nearly perfect studio microphones that will stand in any recording studio. From vocal mic to instrument recordings, these microphones will deliver the job.

Do not hesitate to post your comments are questions. Me and my team would be happy to help! Enjoy shopping… 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
  • comment-avatar

    Great article on the best studio recording microphones! I agree with a lot of the things and the entries on the list in the post…
    WELL DONE!! very informative..

  • comment-avatar

    Hi,

    I’m Kim Lori, and come from Miami. Thanks for your awesome article share. This article is very much helpful. But still I have question on it should I ask here ?
    Thanks

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