10 Best Condenser Mics [2020 Reviews]
When you are about starting a home studio, one of the major gears you need to get right is a microphone
Most especially a condenser microphone
Microphones are an essential part of your studio equipment and any serious person will ensure that he gets the best
Which is why the most common question I get from people about to setup their own home studio recording is
“Which condenser microphone should I buy?”
There are a few points you need to consider when searching for the best condenser mic to buy.
Apart from the price, there are other things such as the frequency range, the sensitivity and the connection which all play a huge role in getting the absolute best condenser mic for you
In this article I will be showing you the best 10 condenser microphones in the marketing today, we will be looking at the pros and cons, their performance, their build quality and design and where you can get this mics at very cheap prices
At a glance here are Our Top 3 Picks
- Neewer NW 700 Professional Studio Recording Microphone
- Audio Technica AT4060 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
- Lewitt LCT 240 Professional Condenser Microphone
Our List of the Best Condenser Mics of 2019
1. Neewer NW 700 Condenser Microphone
This is a professional studio condenser microphone that comes with an adjustable suspension scissors arm and a mounting clamp kit
This microphone is ideal for podcasting and games who want to give a running commentary while recording their games
It adopts the completely new audio circuit which helps it to capture rich, full bodied sound from sources that are directly in front of the mic
It has a cardioid pickup pattern that helps it minimize all forms of background noise and isolates the main sound source
Its adjustable scissors arm is made from solid steel which helps keep the mic sturdy and durable
It is also the folding type which makes it very convenient to carry and can be mounted on your table easily
The unique mics wind screen pop filter helps to mask any breath issues and ensures that your audio is crisp and clear
It also prevents the dreaded hissing and lisping sounds
Its metal shock mount features an angle adjustment with locking knob which helps to effectively reduce handling noise.
The ball type anti wind foam cap helps protect the microphone from wind interference and singers spit.
All in all the Neewer NW 700 condenser microphone is an ideal mic with a mixture of great value and good quality.
2. Lewitt LCT 240 Condenser Microphone
The Lewitt LCT 240 Condenser microphone is one mic that makes you sound way better
It is a versatile cardioid pattern condenser mic for recording vocals, instruments, or podcasts.
It has a unique high performance capsule that ensures it provides a clean, clear and modern sound with zero hassle.
It helps you get that professional sound and clarity even when recording from your home studio.
One good thing about this microphone is that you can easily record at any volume
The LCT 240 Pro can handle ear shattering sound levels and always produce the source in a clear and precise manner
It has a unique cardioid pattern which helps to reduce and minimize background noise while isolating and capturing the main sound source
It comes included with a windshield, mic mount, and protective bag which helps to prevent wear and tear.
- It is excellent for the price
- Amazing audio quality
- It is very sturdy and durable
- It is a bit too sensitive and might pickup minute sound details
3. Audio Technica AT4060 Condenser Microphone
The Audio Technica AT4060 is a mic that produces vintage tube sound coupled with the versatile performance that is necessary for the most demanding studio microphones
It has a wide dynamic range, low self noise and high max SPL capability which makes it ideal for recording vocals and instruments
Its 2 micron thick, vapor deposited gold diaphragms undergo a special 5 step aging process which ensures that the optimum characteristics achieved remain constant even after years of use.
It has a dual diaphragm capsule designs which maintains precise polar patterns across the full frequency range of the microphone and helps reduce background noises
The design of this microphone is a precision machined, nickel plated brass with acoustic element baffles that helps to provide enhanced element stability and optimal audio stability.
- It has a wide dynamic range and high SPL capability
- It has a dual diaphragm capsule design which helps to maintain the perfect polar pattern
4. Neweer NW 800 Condenser Microphone
The Neweer NW 800 is the cheapest condenser microphone among this lot but make no mistake, this mic delivers awesome sound vocals when used
It comes in a set that includes a microphone shock mount, a ball type anti wind foam cap, and a microphone power cable
It adopts the exciting complete electronic circuit control which helps it to capture rich, full bloodied sound from sources that are directly in front of the mic.
Its awesome shock mount helps to keep the mic stable and sturdy which reduces vibrations
It has a good cardioid pickup output and very high sensitivity which helps in delivery clear vocals
The ball type anti wind foam cap also helps in preventing wind interference and singer’s spit
This microphone is ideal for people who want to set up their home studio and want to start with a condenser mic that is cheap and of high quality.
- It comes with a cardioid pickup pattern for clear, quality vocals
- It comes with a sturdy and stable shock mount included
- Its unique ball type anti wind foam cap helps prevent wind interference
All in all this microphone offers fantastic value for money with its unique features, accessories and low price point.
5. Audio Technica AT2035 Condenser Microphone
The Audio Technica AT2035 Condenser microphone is designed for critical home projects, professional studio applications and live performance
It has a unique cardioid polar pattern which helps reduce the pickup of sounds from the rear and the sides and only improving isolation of desired sound source.
It has a fairly large diaphragm for smooth, natural sound and low noise
It has high SPL handling and a wide dynamic range which provides excellent versatility when used
It comes equipped with its own custom made shock mount provides superior isolation and reduces background vibrations
It features a switchable 80 Hz high pass filter and a 10dB pad that all ensure you get a clear and quality audio recording.
With its rugged construction and high performance construction, this mic provides a reliable performance every time
- It has a large diaphragm which offers low noise and a natural smooth sound
- It has a cardioid polar pattern making it ideal for eliminating unwanted sounds
- Comes with a sturdy shock mount
6. AKG P420 Pro Audio Condenser Microphone
This is a one inch dual diaphragm microphone that has three selectable polar patterns for the perfect setting
It has low noise electronics and transformer less output for high dynamic range
This helps to ensure that the microphone delivers awesome audio quality when used
It has a switchable attenuation pad for high SPL applications up to 155 dB SPL
It comes with a perfect finish and nice design which makes it very durable and long lasting.
This is one microphone that is ideal for recording vocals and instruments
- Solid microphone with awesome audio quality
- It is ideal for recording vocals and instruments
- Great quality and versatility
7. MXL 990 Condenser Microphone
The MXL 990 Condenser microphone is a groundbreaking mic that delivers exceptional quality on all fronts.
It comes with an inbuilt FET preamp and a large diaphragm for truly professional sound quality in both digital and analog recordings
It has a ¾” gold sputtered diaphragm, attractive vintage body style with champagne finish
It has a 30Hz to 20KHz frequency response range and 130dB maximum SPL sensitivity.
All these attractive features definitely make this microphone a must addition for your home studio.
- Deep rich vocal tones making it the best for podcasting
- It has very good build quality
- It sounds great and has solid construction.
8. Rode NTK Condenser Microphone
The Rode NTK Condenser microphone is a premium valve condenser mic that is specially designed to provide warmth and detail in the studio.
The electronic circuitry that complements this microphone is a very sensitive transducers which includes a unique hand selected twin triode valve and audiophile grade components
This rich valve makes it perfectly ideal for recording vocals, instruments such as the acoustic guitar, drum overheads, guitar amps and pianos
It comes equipped with a dedicated power supply which ensures that it can be used for a very long time without any power issues
It’s unique internal capsule shock mounting system helps prevent a lot of vibration issues most other mics face when recording
This microphone is made from high strength heat treated steel mesh which gives it a pleasing finish and helps prevent it from wear and tear.
- It is silky smooth and delivers awesome audio quality
- Well rounded and good build quality
9. Shure PGA27 Condenser Microphone
The Shure PGA27 Condenser microphone is a large diaphragm cartridge mic which provides a wider dynamic range for clear highs and strong lows.
It has a unique cardioid polar pattern which helps pick up audio from the main source and then rejects unwanted noise.
It has a sleek and updated industrial design with black metallic finish and grille for unobtrusive visual presence
It comes with a high pass filter for additional control of unwanted low end signal
It has a -15dB switchable attenuator for additional SPL versatility
Its sturdy included shock mount is setup for additional stability and minimization of unwanted mechanical noise and vibration
It comes in a padded zipper case which helps to prevent wear and tear during storage and transportation.
Bearing the seal of the legendary Shure quality design and construction, this provides exceptional performance in rigorous environments.
- Amazing studio quality
- Great mic and at a great price
- Ideal for vocals and instruments
10. Neumann TLM 102 Condenser Microphone
This is a large diaphragm condenser microphone with cardioid directional characteristics
It has a compact and smaller scale Neumann design which makes it really nice and pleasing to look at
It has very high maximum sound pressure level and a slight presence boost above 6KHz
It comes with a transformer-less circuitry which ensures that the audio is crisp, clear and very clean.
It is available in two finishes: Nickel and matte black
The Neumann TLM 102 mic is ideal for home and project based studios and also for broadcasters and voice over artists.
Condenser Mic’s Buyers Guide
Before you buy a condenser microphone there are certain things you need to be aware of.
Most people thing that what makes a great recording is the skill of the artist of the audio technician.
While these factors help, the major factor is the quality of your microphone, especially a condenser mic which is ideal for recording vocals and instruments
Choosing the right condenser microphone is critical for your recording success and it just makes sense that you want to get it right the first time
Here are some factors you need to bear in mind the next time you want to get a condenser microphone.
1. The Frequency response
This is without a doubt the most important factor you need to consider before getting a condenser microphone
This is because the frequency response lets you hear the slightest details in your recording
Basically the frequency response can be either flat, wide or tailored.
In order to get the best frequency response, you must consider the application of the microphone
In other words, what will the mic be used for?
For example if you are basically going to be recording instruments, then you will need a flat frequency response
This simply means that what goes into the mic is exactly what comes out without any alterations
If you plan on recording vocals, then you want to go with a wide or tailored frequency response.
This is because the wide frequency response will be able to refine the sound that goes into the microphone yielding a much clearer sound
Basically choosing the perfect frequency response for your condenser microphone depends on how and what you plan on using the mic
Figure this out and you have a perfect mic in your hands
2. What is the Polar Pattern?
Another thing you need to consider is the polar patterns of the condenser mic
There are different polar patterns which include cardioid, omnidirectional, figure-8 and multiple pattern
You have to keep this in mind while deciding which mic is suitable for you
The cardioid polar pattern is the most common one and it resembles the shape of a heart.
This is because is focuses solely on the source of the sound right in front of it and rejects sound from the rear.
This helps eliminate background and mechanical noises from your recordings.
Omnidirectional polar patterns are known for picking up sound equally from all directions
If you are someone that prefers to have that true feel in your recordings, then the omnidirectional polar pattern mics is the best for you
They are very capable of giving you the natural recordings that you always wanted just make remember that you might also pick up some ambient sounds from the room.
If you are not sure which to get, then it is advisable you get a mic with multiple polar patterns as this will give you versatility and you have the freedom to switch to different polar patterns as the need arises.
3. The Size of the Diaphragm
The size of the mic’s diaphragm also plays a huge role in the quality of the mic
Most condenser mics diaphragm usually comes in two sizes; large and small
Large diaphragm mics are ideal for use with almost any applications
Whether you want to start recording vocals or instruments, then a condenser microphone with a large diaphragm is your best choice.
Also most large diaphragm microphones come with multiple polar patterns and audio pads which increases the versatility of these mics.
On the other hand, small diaphragm might not be as good as the large ones but they have very good audio response.
If you are looking to record any instruments with extended overtones and sharp transients, then these are your best bet.
4. What is the brand and your budget?
There are a number of high-quality brands when it comes to condenser mics. Still, our favorites have to be AKG, Audio Technica, RODE, as well as Fifine and Samson Technologies.
All of these are well-known brands that have a good history in the music tech industry and provide great value products.
Finally your budget plays an important role
If you require a high quality microphone with awesome accessories, then keep in mind that you have to pay more
If you are just starting out then you want to go for the less expensive options and then opt for the expensive ones as you progress.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does a condenser Mic need phantom power?
Yes a condenser microphone needs phantom power to make it work.
If you are looking to get the best sound quality and your condenser microphone is not a USB model, then you definitely need a phantom power supply.
A phantom power is something like an external power source that helps with the volume of your condenser mic when recording
Which is why when I get questions like Does a condenser mic need phantom power, I answer a resounding yes.
Not to worry though there are lots of good and quality phantom power drivers you can get.
2. Is a condenser mic good for Karaoke?
Is a condenser mic good for karaoke?
The simple answer to this question is yes
With a condenser mic, when singing karaoke you get very clear and clean vocals
This will ensure you have as much fun as possible when singing karaoke with your friends and family.
For a more detailed answer, I wrote an article here “Is a condenser mic good for karaoke?”
3. Why hang a condenser mic upside down?
Hanging a condenser mic upside down is a practice that helps with the clarity of your vocals.
There are so many theories surrounding why hang a condenser mic upside down but the most practical one and the one that makes sense is that it helps ease of use of the microphone and also improves the audio quality
Here is an article I wrote talking more about this – Why you should hang your condenser mic upside down
4. Why are condenser mics more sensitive?
Condenser microphones are more sensitive because of the large diaphragm that they have.
This feature makes them very responsive to audio and as such very sensitive
Another factor is their polar pattern.
The fact that most condenser microphones are cardioid polar patterns means that they tend to capture audio that is right in front of them
This increases their sensitivity
To read more on this topic here is an article i wrote “Why are condenser mics more sensitive?
5. How to setup a condenser microphone
Setting up a condenser microphone is a matter of attaching it to its shock mount or a tripod stand, and connecting it to a reliable phantom power source, or your computer.
You will want an adjustable microphone that can be horizontally and vertically tilted.
6. How does a condenser microphone work?
While it has a more complex design than a dynamic mic, there is nothing mysterious about it.
It uses a backplate as well as a thin-metal diaphragm to convert the soundwaves into an electric signal.
7. How to connect a condenser microphone to a laptop?
Ever wondered how to connect a condenser microphone to a laptop?
Here is a step by step guide I created to help you do this effectively.
8. How to power a condenser microphone?
Looking for how to power a condenser microphone?