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Spoken word or poetic performance art is a word-based form of oral art that focuses on the aesthetics of word play.
It involves a lot of intonation and voice inflection.
Bars and cafes hosts spoken word shows nowadays that more and more people are now enjoying.
But spoken word shows would not be successful without a good set-up and it all boils down to a GOOD MICROPHONE.
Our Winner After Careful Research
Best Microphones for Spoken Word - Comparison Table
Audio Technica AT2020 Microphone
Rode NT1-A Microphone
Rode NTK Microphone
AKG C214 Microphone
5 Best Microphones for Spoken Word
Well enough has been said, if you're planning to pursue a career or even a hobby in spoken word poetry, then picking the perfect microphone is crucial.
Here in this article we will recommend the 5 best brands and models to watch out for before you make that big purchase.
1. Audio Technica AT2020 Microphone
Audio Technica's AT2020 is a good quality microphone that does not break the bank.
First of all, it has a clean sound quality that eliminates bad feedback from the original sound.
Only producing a crystal clear voice sound quality in the room.
It also features a sleek design perfect for shows.
The highlight of this mic is its durability that can last for a long time of usage.
Perfect for a traveler who does gigs a lot anywhere and everywhere.
It is very convenient to carry since it does not require a case to protect the mic.
It is durable enough to withstand long travels.
2. Rode NT1-A Microphone
Rode's microphone the NT1-A looks so fabulous.
Just let me mention its expensive looking design of light gold shimmer.
This mic gives a classic touch on stage when in use making the presenter more engaged with the audience on stage.
On top of its gorgeous design, the mic boasts a reputation of being dubbed as "the quietest microphone of all time".
The mic is so clean and crystal clear no matter how you turn up the volume, there's still zero feedback and hissing.
Perfect for room environments that have been treated for quiet recordings.
For a cheaper deal, this purchase will not make you regret.
3. Rode NTK Microphone
Another candidate still from Rode's microphones is the classic NTK.
The physical design quite resembles the previous NT1-A.
However, NTK is way smoother in texture and slimmer.
This another beauty from Rode boasts a pleasant performance that does not fail.
The mic features a built in vlavbe amp that provides a crisp warm sound.
Most professionals attested to its impressive quality and excellent sound.
For an affordable price, it would feel like using the expensive Neumann mic.
Do not skip on one of Rode's mic masterpieces.
4. AKG C214 Microphone
The physical appearance of the mic is more on the vintage side.
It is quite huge and bulky.
The inside specs have a transparent touch to it making it more raggedly looking but in a good way.
If you like it vintage-ish looking during performances, then this is the best choice for you.
This mic was not only used by spoken word pros but was also trusted by many rappers and r&b artists.
No wonder the mic competes with other prominent brands in the market.
The mic boasts its ability to accentuate the sound source that other mics failed to do.
For an affordable price, the mic will surely provide a quality sound experience.
5. Behringer C1 Microphone
To be honest, I am not that impressed with its physical appearance.
The design looks dry to me and common.
I am more of the black and silver colored mics because it gives a more classic touch to it.
But the one thing why I like this mic is because of its cheap price, for real.
Compared to the other brands mentioned above, this mic is way cheaper but does not compromise the quality of the sound.
It offers a clear and robust sound that eliminates unwanted hissing unlike other mics.
For the price, you get more than what you pay for which I think is the big bonus of this brand.
How To Spot the Best Microphone?
Recording spoken word is somehow much more different than recording live vocal songs.
Vocal songs have more fluid and a lot of body while spoken word is more direct and simple.
A single glitch in spoken word can easily be spotted if you use a bad microphone.
Do not use a microphone that was designed for live performance.
These kinds of mics are meant to be used for close proximity from the mouth in order to get enough separation from the vocal and noise spilling from the backing instruments.
The proximity effect of the mic will suffer the effect of the sound quality especially once the bass frequencies are amplified.
Though Dynamic Microphones are not that bad for spoken word shows, it will still be doable as long as you pick the best quality mic in the market.
However, most professionals will still insist that the best kind of mic to use on spoken word are large diaphragm condensers or microphones.
Why the Large Diaphragm Microphones?
The large diaphragm condenser or microphone is perfect for giving the most natural and clearest sound possible.
Spoken word require a very clear sound to deliver every clear word that the presenter was saying.
When choosing what type of large diaphragm condenser, I would highly suggest the cardioid pattern.
A lot of microphones tend to change mic patterns if left unnoticed.
A mic pattern is the top area around the head of that microphone, sensitive enough to pick up the signal.
Cardioid pattern mics are perfect because of its ability to reject sound from behind, which are best used if you are recording in close rooms that are not acoustically untreated or just blatantly does not sound good.
I know we have listed all five of them, but if I were to choose which is the best from the five, I'd have to pick Rode NTK.
I usually do podcasts, quite the same as spoken word.
The mic does give a crisp and warm effect quality to it, making every word that I say clearer to hear by the audience.
Crystal clear quality is important and also the affordability of the product.
For me, Rode mics are perfect for spoken word, podcasts and other poetry art shows.