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If you are in a hurry I want to just know what the best condenser mic for vocals is, Then I highly recommend the Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Mic
As an audio file or all recording producer, you definitely know that you need a very good microphone.
Now there are some people who swear by a dynamic microphone, but I want to go a different route.
A dynamic microphone has it’s uses and can be used for various recordings round the studio but nothing beats using a condenser microphone for recording vocals.
A condenser mic is well suited to recording vocals and with its high sensitivity you can be sure of getting, crisp clear vocals everytime.
But how do you know which condenser microphone is best?
How do you go about picking a condenser microphone that serves you well and lasts for a long time.
In this article, I will be showing you what you need to do when picking a condenser mic, the top 5 best condenser microphone in the market today and answers to some questions other users have asked about condenser mics
At a glance, here are the top 5 condenser microphones for vocals, which I will be reviewing
- Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
- AKG P220 Condenser Microphone
- Rode NT1 Condenser Microphone
- AKG Pro Audio C214 Condenser Microphone
- Shure KSM32 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Is a Condenser Mic better for vocals?
The question on what type of microphone works best for vocal recording has been a subject of much debate.
While you find some people who use dynamic microphones for home vocal recording, there is a consensus that condenser microphones are the best.
But that does not mean dynamics aren’t useful for vocal recording. There are situations where they are actually a better option.
For example, if the vocal source is particularly noisy or it requires better SPL (Sound Pressure Level) handling, a dynamic will be a better option.
It is just that most people prefer their vocals to have more sonic detail, an attribute for which condenser mics have no real competition.
Are condenser mics better than dynamic mics?
The answer is simply it depends
It depends on what you plan to use the microphone for
Condenser microphones have their uses which makes absolutely good for recording vocals while dynamic microphones also have their own uses.
But when it comes to judging which of them is better?
The answer like I said earlier is that it depends
Getting back to the microphone itself, condenser microphones are by their design very sensitive.
Perhaps more important for singer/songwriters than louder rock lead vocalists and rappers who tend to scream and shout into the mic, condenser mics will pick every little nuance of your voice and produce detailed, crisply rounded vocals.
Without getting too technical, condenser microphones are more sensitive than other types of microphones, like dynamics and ribbons.
Since you are recording at home, where it is unlikely to be as noisy as a live venue, you should exploit condenser mics’ noted attributes to record better vocals.
1. Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
The Audio Technica Condenser Microphone is perhaps the best condenser mic for vocals in the market today.
It is ideal for project and home studio applications with a noise level of 20dB SPL.
It has high SPL handling and a wide dynamic range which provides unmatched versatility.
It is custom engineered and well designed with a low mass diaphragm which provides extended frequency response and superior transient response.
Its unique cardioid polar pattern conveniently reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and the rear which helps to improve isolation of desired sound source.
Its output connector – the 3 pin XLRM type pin helps it to easily connect with various mixers easily
It comes with a unique pivoting and threaded stand mount which attaches securely for easy and precise placement of the microphone.
The Audio Technica is certainly an awesome microphone and should be your first choice which picking the best condenser mic for vocals.
2. AKG P220 Condenser Microphone
The AKG p220 Condenser microphone is the best condenser mic for rap vocals.
It has an audio frequency response of 20Hz to 20KHz. This ensures that the vocals are clean and crisp all the time
It has a maximum SPL of 155dB for clear vocals
Its very sensitive and can pick up audios with a sensitivity of 20mV/pa
This large diaphragm condenser spots an all metal enclosure and full 1-inch LDC diaphragm.
A side address mic, this Perception 220 has so much sensitivity you may end up with a battle trying to reduce all the secondary noises it will pick up.
Though the low end on this mic is on the muddy side, its high end glistens, with remarkable detail.
For the money, you are unlikely to do any better
3. Rode NT1 Condenser Microphone
Looking for the best budget condenser mic for vocals, then look no further than the Rode NT1.
It features a sound signature that is reminiscent of the awesome microphones of old with their clean, clear sounds while at the same time extremely quiet.
It has an ultra low and self noise of 4.5dB
It is uniquely designed and constructed for midrange response, coupled with silky smooth high frequencies and warm, round, bass production
It has a unique mechanism of suspending the transducers inside the microphone using the Rycote Lyre’s system which helps to minimize external vibrations and background noise at the capsule level.
It’s body is well constructed and machined with 6061 aluminium and then nickel plated for resistance which helps protect it against corrosion.
It is coated in a durable, military grade ceramic layer which ensures that it has an extremely hard wearing finish that is resistant to wear, tear and scratches.
It has a unique double Lyre suspension shock mount system called the RODE SMR, which helps cancel out external vibrations and background noises.
It’s removable all pop metal filter provides an integrated solution for plosive protection that is easily washable and designed to last.
This is one microphone that is built to give you awesome results and with its 10 years warranty, you can be sure that you are making the right choice.
4. AKG Pro Audio C214 Condenser Microphone
This is a beautifully designed microphone that is well detailed for recording of lead vocals and solo instruments.
Its outstanding dynamic range and ultra low noise allows for close up recording of high output sources of up to 156dB SPL.
It has a switchable 20db attenuator and bass cut filter which helps in close up recording and in the reduction of proximity effect.
It has a unique integrated suspension which helps to reduce mechanical noise and background interference from stage
It comes in a beautiful and road worthy design and all metal die cast body with shock and scratch resistant finish
AKG’s legendary C 414 needs no introduction – it is a tool found in most recording studios and has been used on thousands of hit records.
It’s been on stage with artists of every musical genre and is also used by leading broadcast facilities the world over.
5. Shure KSM32 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
This is a class A transformerless preamplifier circuitry which eliminates cross-over distortion for improved linearity across the full frequency range.
Its embossed, high compliance diaphragm provides extended low frequency response. Which ensures that the audio quality and clarity is top notch
Its ultra thin, is gold layered and has a low mass mylar diaphragm which provides excellent transient response.
It has a 15 dB attenuation switch which helps to properly handle extremely high sound pressure levels (SPL)
It has a switchable low frequency filter which provides greater flexibility and helps to reduce background noise and to also reduce the effect of proximity.
It has an integrated 3 stage pop protection grille which helps to reduce pop, plosives and other breath noises.
It comes with its own internal shock mount which reduces the transmission of handling noise.
Designed for studio use but rugged enough for live applications, the Shure KSM32 side-address condenser microphone with cardioid polar pattern features a permanently-biased 3/4-inch diaphragm, extremely low self-noise, and an extended frequency response specially tailored for vocal tracking and instrument recording.