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What is a Condenser Microphone – The Best Condenser Microphone

You want to set up your home studio; there are many types of equipment that you will need for your setup, from monitors to stereos. One of the most important pieces of equipment, when building your studio is having the best condenser microphone. A condenser microphone is something that will be a centerpiece for all your setup.

Best Condenser Microphone

If you are looking for a microphone specifically for recording, then a condenser microphone is the one we recommend for you to get. We have this list of the best condenser microphones you can get, and we will tell you in detail what is a condenser microphone, why you should get it, and what is the difference between a condenser and a dynamic microphone. We have made a list of the best condenser microphone, divided into two groups so that you can easily find a microphone that best suits your budget.

Best Condenser Microphone
Best Condenser Microphone

What is a Condenser Microphone?

You are looking at this article and wondering; what is a condenser microphone? No need to worry as we have this covered for you. The first condenser microphones, created in 1916, were known as capacitor microphones. They used this name because the condenser microphone works the same way as a capacitor. Like a capacitor, a condenser microphone has a capsule in them, made of a backplate, and a diaphragm.

The diaphragm is made or coated in mental as it conducts electricity. Condenser microphones now can have both batteries and phantom power for the external power supply. They generate sound by using charged metal plates. You will mostly find condenser microphones in studios and see many professional artists, engineers, and producers use these kinds of microphones.

Condenser microphones are most suited for apprehending acoustic instruments or vocal sounds because of their high sensitivity. You get a crisp, clear and precise sound recorded from a condenser microphone. Moreover, they give you a better frequency response and have a better noise floor. The condenser microphones are the best microphone to get for accurate sounds.

Types of Condenser Microphone

There are two types of condenser microphones:

  1. Large-diaphragm microphone: These types of microphones 1 inch (25.4 mm) in diameter or more, and are best for someone who desires to record vocals or instruments with a deep sound. When you record yourself with this type, it sounds more like you.
  2. Small-diaphragm microphone: These types of microphones have a diaphragm of ½ inch (12.7 mm) diameter or less, and give you a firm, wide-frequency response and the best transient response (means it can follow the sound wave accurately).

Best Condenser Microphone under $100

Marantz Professional MPM-1000

Marantz has proudly produced the MPM-100 condenser microphone. It is a high-quality condenser microphone that gives you studio-type audio production. The MPM-1000 microphone compresses Marantz’s professional microphone feature but on a budget that anyone and everyone, no matter what their financial situation, can buy. It is the best condenser microphone for vlogging, podcasting, gaming, or just recording.

The MPM-1000 is a condenser microphone that has a cardioid polar pattern, which means it is exceptional for recording close-up or on-stage performances. This polar pattern makes sure that any unwanted noise from the background gets eliminated and picks up all the sound needed from the central source sound. The MPM-1000 has a pure aluminum-plate 18mm diameter diaphragm capsule, which captures all the audio in high quality.

This microphone is extraordinary for recording in compact places and for live recording as it captures sounds coming from any direction. It comes with a windscreen, shock mount, tripod stand, and an XLR cable. It captures crystal clear audio, and you can put it on your desktop or stand-mount. It has a wide-ranging frequency, meaning it will capture full and precise audio for you.

The MPM-1000 has a high sensitivity to the low signal-noise ratio, which allows you to record every subtle detail. If you are on a budget and looking to buy the best condenser that gives you a professional touch to your sound recording or live use, then the Marantz MPM-1000 is the one you should buy.

Specifications:

  • Frequency: 20Hz-20,000Hz
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Analog or digital: Analog
  • Dimensions: 1.9″x6.5″ (WxH)
  • Weight: 0.65lb
  • Self-Noise: 17 dBA
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 77dB

Blue Snowball iCE

If you are looking for the best condenser microphone, which is not only in your budget but simple to use, and you can easily connect it to your PC and Mac, then the Snowball iCE is the one you should buy. Blue Snowball iCE is the ideal condenser microphone for beginners. It is versatile, and you can use it for vocal or instrument recording.

You can get the Snowball iCE in black or white and measure to about 12.7″ in circumference. It is in an orb-shape and covered in plastic, which exhibits a metallic grille on the front where you can see the Blue Logo. When you plug in the USB cable, a LED at the top lights up.

The Blue iCE apprehends your voice sound clearer and much more focused, making it suitable for streaming, podcasting, and even making Skype calls, with a cardioid pattern. You can use this microphone on windows 7, 8, 9, and 10, and Mac OS 10.4.11 and higher, by just plugging in, no extra software is needed. You can use it close up or six to eight inches away from it, and you will still get a clear recording.

It is Skype and Discord certified, which means that whether you are talking over Skype or live streaming on twitch, your voice will be crisp, clear, and loud.

This microphone is the best condenser microphone for someone who not only wants to record but also stream, and that is well in style. It will look great on your desktop and even on the camera. It has a ringer-style suspension design, which makes the microphone isolate from noise, shock, and ambient vibration. If you are a beginner in buying a condenser microphone and have no idea, then we recommend that you start with this one, as it is simple and easy to use.

Specifications:

  • Frequency: 40Hz –18 kHz
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Dimensions: 12″ (circumference)
  • Weight: 460g
  • System Requirement:
  1. Windows 7, 8.1, or 10
  2. USB 1.1/2.0/3.0
  3. Mac OS 10.10 or higher

ZINGYOU BM-800

You may have heard of ZINGYOU. It is the leading manufacturer of professional products for recording and market broadcast. They pay extra attention to fine details and make sure that all their products, no matter at what price, meet a standard that they have set. The ZINGYOU microphone that we have on our list is the BM-800. It comes in a bundle kit and works great with the accessories. This microphone is the one for you if you want to make YouTube videos or podcasts.

In the ZINYOU BM-800 kit bundle, you get the following equipment with the microphone:

  • A shock mount: It is an all-metal shock mount that isolates the condenser microphone from the physical, floor, and stand noise or vibration.
  • A pop filter: This helps to reduce any wind interference or spraying of saliva when your recording or broadcasting.
  • A foam protective windscreen
  • An adjustable scissor stand: It is a clamp stand that you can attach to your desktop to make sure it stays in one place.
  • A power cable
  • A sound card

The ZINGYOU BM-800 has an extremely quiet self-noise, making it perfect for vocal and audio production. It is straightforward to set the microphone up and put it together for it to stay in one place. If there is no phantom power or underpower, the microphone will still sound fresh. The structure of the BM-800 is transcendent as it is made out of metal and gives you a high-quality feel and look. This microphone is the best condenser microphone if you want something that is better than a headset and delivers a clear, warm, and crisp sound.

Specifications:

  • Frequency: 20Hz-20,000Hz
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Dimensions: 1.9″ x 6.3″
  • Net Weight: 400g
  • Self-Noise: 16 dBA
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 78dB

Audio-Technica AT2020

Audio-Technica is a brand that has worked a perfect balance between inexpensive and high performance of their product. They have a product for every category. The Audio-AT2020 is the best condenser microphone, which will give you a great combo of good design, structure, high function, and performance. It may not be a product that high-end professionals use but you can find it in many semi-pro-recording studios all over.

They have designed the Audio-AT2020 with a low mass diaphragm, which gives you extensive frequency response and higher transitory response. It might have a low cost, but that doesn’t mean it will not give you a crisp, warm, and clear sound.

If you use it as a vocal microphone, you will get a subtle, sharp sound, and with instruments like the acoustic guitar, the microphone will provide a balanced sound. It has a cardioid pattern, which helps to isolate unwanted sound from all sides.

The AT2020 has a very sturdy structure, and you will need a 48V phantom power to run it. The diaphragm on this condenser microphone is thin, making it more responsive. In every feature, the AT2020 is the best condenser microphone that you would want, that is low in price and good in quality. You get an airy sound, and if you add a preamp or a compressor of your choice, you can create the perfect combination for the vocal sound you would want.

Specifications:

  • Frequency: 20Hz-20,000Hz
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Dimensions: 6.38″x 2.05″
  • Weight: 345g
  • Self-Noise: 20.0 dB(A)
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 74 dB

Best Condenser Microphone under $500

Shure KSM32/CG

The best condenser microphone that we have first on our list is from Shure’s. They are a well-known company and well-liked in the market for producing the best coil-dynamic microphones. Now they also manufacture condenser microphones that are high-quality yet still affordable. The Shure KSM/32 is just under the $500 margin that you may have for when buying the best condenser microphone that has a large diaphragm.

Shure KSM/32 has been designed in a way so that you can use it for live or studio use. It has a strong structure and solid-state parts, makes it enduring, and a fully open reaction allows the sound to dominate on most sound sources. It comes with two accessories:

  1. A swivel mount
  2. A carrying case that is padded and has a zip.

The Shure KSM32/CG is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone that has a diameter of 19mm. Shure designed this microphone around a single-diaphragm cardioid capsule that radiates a precise provisional response and allows a more constant cardioid polar pattern because of its small size. This condenser microphone has a 3/4″ gold-faltered 2.5-micron Mylar diaphragm.

They have managed to keep the cost low by producing the KSM32 with a Class A amplifier and have not put in an output transformer, which wipes out traverse distortion for improved linearity over the full frequency range.

It has a high input SPL capacity and high output level, with no cross-over distortion. You can use the KSM32 for many types of applications like low-frequent instruments ( double bass, electric bass), wind and acoustic instruments, and voices (solo, voice-over), and several others.

It has an internal mount shock that helps to reduce the transmission of noises. The KSM32/CG is the best condenser microphone that will give you a frequency response, which extends for a more natural and open production of the original sound.

Specifications:

  • Frequency: 20Hz-20,000Hz
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Self-noise: 13dBA
  • High-pass filters:
  • 6 dB/octave below 115 Hz
  • 18 dB/octave below 80 Hz
  • Dimensions: 55.9mm- Body diameter and 187m in length
  • Weight: 490 grams

Blue Yeti Pro

The best Condenser microphone, with high-resolution, high-definition, and one that you can put anywhere, including your desktop, then we would recommend the Blue Yeti Pro. You can record multiple sources, or switch to may setting and fine-tune the pick-up pattern to however you would like it. The Yeti Pro has a dual system and three custom condenser capsules and four different modes.

The four modes that the Yeti Pro condenser microphone has are:

  1. Bidirectional Mode: This mode allows you to record voices from the front and rear sides. It’s ideal for when recording an interview with many people.
  2. Omnidirectional Mode: This mode picks sound from all four sides and creates an ambiance of a person being there when hearing back the recordings.
  3. Cardioid Mode: It’s great for when you want to record something that is being said or played straight in front of the microphone.
  4. Stereo Mode: It uses the left and right channels and is great if you want to get a realistic sound picture.

You can change to any mode easily by just rotating the knob added for your ease.

The Yeti Pro has preset a wide range of genres and applications, making it easy to intensify your voice whenever you want. It includes a Yeti Pro that comes with a PreSonus Studio One Artist Blue Microphone Edition software, to give you studio-quality recordings. This software will allow you to use professional tools and get the voice and edit to get the perfect sound you want. With a 32-bit audio engine, it means you will be able to get professional recordings with precision.

The Yeti Pro is the only USB microphone that also includes an XLR cable so that you can connect to pre-amps and any professional gear. We have included the Yeti Pro in our list of the best condenser microphones because it not only gives you great features, but it also gives you full control of what volume, mode, and sound you need.

Specifications:

  • Frequency: 20Hz-20KHz
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo
  • Maximum SPL: 120dB
  • Operating system: Windows, macOS/OSX
  • Weight: 0.54g

Audio-Technica AT4040

The second best condenser microphone that we have included in our list is the one from Audio-Technica is the Audio-Technica AT4040. If you are looking for a professional recording microphone that is great for broadcasting and live sound, then this is the one you should consider.

This condenser microphone has a special appeal to artists or producers looking for a microphone, which gives a focused, reliable and consistent sound. The AT4040 comes from Audio Technica’s 40-series of condenser microphones that gave notoriety a masterpiece like the AT4033.

Audio-Technica came up with the AT4040 masterpiece, which has a 20 mm large- diaphragm, with a cardioid pick-up pattern, and many applications, delivering a smooth sound. The large diaphragm makes the quality of the microphone smoother and more natural.

It has a wide cardioid, which makes it great to pick up voices and instruments in the same way. Moreover, it is transformerless, which means it reduces low-frequency distortion and provides you with a higher correspondence of high-speed transients. This microphone you can use wherever you want, whether it is at home or in a professional studio.

The AT4040 microphones come with an A18449 shock mount, which has a sturdy build. It has two standard controls; a minus dB pad for when you want to reduce sensitivity and a roll-off for low frequency.

It has a frequency range of 20-20000Hz and a 10HZ pad button, with no internal switch. In order to operate, it needs 48V phantom power. When you get all these features together, then one can consider this the best condenser microphone.

Specifications:

  • Frequency: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Self-noise:12dB
  • Hi-pass filters: Switchable 80Hz
  • Dimensions:6.69″ x 2.1″
  • Weight: 450grams

AKG Pro C214

The AKG has been around for more than 65 years, with great products that are popular amongst artists, engineers, and producers. The next on our list of the best condenser microphone is the AKG C214. This microphone gives an exceptional dynamic range and ultra-low noise for when you record anything close.

The AKG C214 is an affordable option for the AKG C414. It does have the same high standards; they have not let us down on many features. The AKG C214 is not only made for vocal podcasts or recordings, but it is also a good option for musical instruments because of its adaptability.

It is a versatile, premium-grade, large-diaphragm microphone. You can reduce it to 20db with its attenuator effortlessly, which means you can record louder things without getting distortion. They have designed this so it can reduce the proximity effect, effectively. The capsule sits in an integrated suspension, which means that it helps to decrease any mechanical noises for optimized signal sincerity.

The C214 has a sleek look that would look and work transcendent in studios and on stages. Its body is all metal and features a scratch and shock-resistance finish. You get an H85 universal shock mount and a metal carrying case, so you can store and transport your microphone easily. It catches every natural tone in detail, giving you the resulting sound, which is remarkable.

It is worth getting if you want something that picks up even the subtlest details. The AKG C214 is the best microphone that is professionals and prominent in reducing even vibrations on the stage.

Specifications:

  • Frequency: 20Hz-20KHz
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Self-noise: 13dBA
  • High-pass filters60Hz (6dB/octave)
  • Dimensions: 160 x 55 mm
  • Weight: 280 grams

What to look for When Buying the Best Condenser Microphone

  1.    Budget: The first and most important thing is figuring out what your budget is? That is why we have given a list of many condenser microphones fitting to all kinds of budgets.
  2.    Recording Environment: You need to look at what type of environment will you be recording from, a compact one, a noisy one, a silent one, so that you can get the microphone according to that, for example, if you live in a noisy roommate, then you would want a microphone that only focuses on your sound and ignores any background noise.
  3.    What you plan to record: You need to have an understanding of what type of voice you will be recording, is it just people talking or instruments playing so that you can get a microphone that is just right for that kind of voice.
  4.    Type of condenser microphone: You have to decide beforehand whether you want a large or small – diaphragm condenser microphone.
  5.    Pattern Variations: You must decide what pick-up pattern variation will be the best for you. Like if you will be interviewing people, and then an omnidirectional microphone will be the best for you, but if you are only recording your voice from just one place, then the cardioid microphone will be suitable for you.
  6.    Proximity effect: This is knowing how much distance the source to the microphone will be. Like some microphones have sensitivity where even if your 15 inches away, it will pick your voice up clearly.
  7.    Applications: You need to decide on a condenser microphone after figuring out what type of application (instruments) you are most likely to use. It will help you get a microphone that will pick that application’s voice without distortion of any sort.

Conclusion

There it is. The list of the best condenser microphone you should get, and now we hope you understand what a condenser microphone is. Someone who is building a recording studio wants a condenser microphone then you can advise them to get a condenser microphone and how they will be exceptional because of how sensitive they are. These are better than the dynamic ones as they have a better frequency range. We hope this list has helped you in finding the best condenser microphone, which suits your needs and budget.

ThriveVergehttps://thriveverge.com
The founder and CEO of ThriveVerge, Thrive, and The Verge Revolution. In 2016, he launched Thriveverge, a leading behavior change technology, news, media, entertainment, and daily news company with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success.
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