Best Mics to Record Vocals

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Microphones just might be one of the most underestimated pieces of recording equipment out there. Musicians tend to pay a great amount of attention to instruments, amplifiers and pedals, but when it comes to mics, they have this casual “any mic will do” attitude. And that is just plain wrong.

Getting a proper microphone is crucial for achieving great vocal sound, and vocals are in many ways a driving force of the song, so it goes to show without saying that they deserve extra care. We’ll gladly be of assistance and present you with our list of best mics to record vocals. The rundown awaits below.

What is the best mic to record vocals

– Samson CS Series Capsule Select Microphone

Samson CS Series Capsule Select Microphone - MusicFutures

We’ll kick it off with a hidden gem and possibly the best cheap mic for recording vocals out there – the Samson CS. With an amazingly affordable price, this item should be on the top of your list if you’re a beginner producer, or just someone in search for a great bang for the buck.

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 Features

This affordable mic instantly stands out with the fact that the package includes not one, but two mic capsules –  the CS1 Vocal Microphone neodymium tuned for quality vocal performance by utilizing the super cardioid pickup pattern for great feedback rejection, and the CS2 Instrument Microphone capsule for recording instruments. This is pretty impressive, but wait until we get to the sound department.

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 Sound

This is where the mic really stands out! You will be impressed, amazed even, by how great performance this thing will give you. It’s crystal clean, free of distortion and very focused. It will get the vocals recorded without a hinge, zero interaction with the surrounding. Work equally efficient for live shows and recording sessions, get one before the word gets out!

– Shure SM58S Vocal Microphone

Shure SM58S Vocal Microphone - MusicFutures

This one needs no introduction, we’ll just say that this mic is known as the most popular microphone for recording vocals in the world. It’s the iconic Shure SM58, still the reigning champion of vocal mics.

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 Features

The SM58 offers a great frequency response with a cardioid pickup pattern to isolate the primary sound source and minimize background noise and a pneumatic shock-mount system to cut down handling noise. The mic also a built-in pop and wind filter and an On/Off switch for onstage control. High durability, fairly affordable price.

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 Sound

Very clean, very efficient, very high-quality. When they say “legendary SM58 sound,” they really mean legendary. Shure mics boast a very rich history and a reputation of maintaining high-quality and an affordable price for many years now. It’s an iconic device with an iconic sound, a standard by all means.

– Neumann TLM 102 Condenser Microphone

Neumann TLM 102 MT Condenser Microphone - MusicFutures

Finally, a choice for the pros. For under $1000, the Neumann TLM 102 is probably the best mic for recording vocals. But that’s a hefty price, so it needless to say, it’s aimed at professionals. And once again, this is our pick for the best vocal mic under $1000.

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 Features

Apart from a striking gorgeous look, this large-diaphragm mic has the so-called cardioid directional characteristic, or a pressure gradient transducer, and a super high maximum level of sound pressure, 144 dB to be precise. Finally, the slight presence boost above 6 kHz has been added to help vocals shine in the recording mix.

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 Sound

The best one on the list for sure. Crystal clear, impeccably precise, top-notch, killer. It utilizes cutting-edge technology and works like a charm for absolutely any kind of approach, whether it’s crooning falsetto lines, lower airy vocals, loud belting, full-on metal growls and screams, you name it, the TLM 102 will deliver. Highly recommended!

Conclusion

If you plan on recording vocals, these three mics are your tools of the trade. Each does an amazing job, now it’s just up to your budget and personal preferences to single out the specific model. But what is most important – you can’t go wrong with any of them, and there’s nothing worse than buying a product you don’t like. Buy one today, improve your studio!

5 COMMENTS

  1. I had a privilege of recording on a Neumann TLM once, and boy is it good! Sure, Shure rules, but it still rules for the budget domain it belongs to.
    But the Neumann boy is on a whole new plain – unbelievably crisp, clear, loud and proud. The sound it makes will inspire you!

  2. Heh, I recorded my first demo on that Samson. Not that it’s bad, but you’ll want to reach the Shure league as soon as possible, I don’t think that anyone can record anything of high quality on that mic to be perfectly honest. Still a solid choice for the price of course.

  3. I tried a Shure SM 58 and some $1000 Neumann and I can’t really tell the difference. I might be just a singer and I’m more focused on emotions and not the technicalities, but I can’t see how the Neumann is THAT more expensive. If someone could explain I’d appreciate it, but I’m kinda lost here..

  4. Not bad choices at all. I’d like to test that cheap option, I’m always intrigued when someone says you can get a good sound from a cheap device like that, those things fascinate me. Guess we are all a bit of gem collectors on the inside, right??:D

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